As with all of the games under EA's new All-Play lineup of Wii sports titles, NBA Live 09 All-Play seeks to make the game more approachable than last year's game. In addition to new controls tailored at novice players, NBA Live 09 includes a host of new game modes to cater to anyone's blacktop tastes. We had a chance to check out all of the new features at EA's pre-E3 event a few weeks ago.
The new All-Play control option in NBA Live 09 will let you disconnect the Wii Nunchuk attachment and simply take over control of key player actions such as shooting and passing. Most of the other player actions (including movement) are handled automatically by the AI. It is EA's hope that this will let experienced and novice players compete against each other, each using settings tailored to relative skill level. For the old-school enthusiasts, you can even turn the Wii Remote sideways and use the D pad and face buttons to get your game on.
Taking control improvements further, NBA Live 09 also introduces a new point-and-pass feature with which you will be able to highlight and dish passes to your teammates simply by pointing at them with the Wii Remote. This should make passing easier and allow for faster touch-pass offenses.
NBA Live 09 All-Play also debuts many new features not present in last year's game. You will now be able to face off against your opponent in two-on-two matches and games of 21. Both game modes let you select any NBA player and, as a result, typically feature rampant scoring in which the winner is likely to be the first one to cause a turnover. This year's game will also include a new slam-dunk contest and a three-point shootout.
However, NBA players aren't the only ones to get some love in this year's game. NBA Live 09 includes a revamped FIBA roster that features 24 international teams to select. All of the teams use their authentic rosters and jerseys, and you will be able to pit your favorite FIBA team against any NBA or WNBA team in the game.
Finally, online play has been touched up this year as well. In addition to an easier matchmaking system, up to four players will be able to suit up per console against four other players on another console online.
We will bring you more on this year's iteration of NBA Live for the Wii as more details are released.