NBA Live '06 First Look

We got to play EA's upcoming NBA Live '06 for V Cast and were pleased to see full five-on-five play.

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NBA Live '06 is a five-on-five basketball game for V Cast phones. Like other EA Sports offerings, Live '06 will feature plenty of licensed content, like accurate player rosters and popular music (via EA Trax).

The hardwood court looked nice on the LG VX8000.
The hardwood court looked nice on the LG VX8000.

NBA Live plays just like those with console basketball experience would expect. Although you can call plays, you control only one baller at a time. You can switch between these with a push of a button, which will default your cursor and control to the player nearest the ball.

The game uses pretty simple 3D. The hardwood court is nicely textured and looks appropriately reflective. The players themselves aren't recognizable as their real-world counterparts, as they're fairly unrefined and low-poly. The early build we saw on the LG VX8000 was very slow, but we were assured that it would be improved upon before going gold.

Perhaps the most unique part of the game is its dunking control, which was hard to grasp at first. When you're in the paint and prepared to dunk, you press a button to command your player to run ahead and leap toward the basket. If an opposing player is in a position to get in the way of this animation, it will be interrupted. Dunking therefore works a little like rolls in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games. "Argh! Shaq has BC (Block Class) -10, so my shot was rejected!"

Making a full five-on-five basketball game is an ambitious goal on mobile, where we're accustomed to seeing two-on-two or three-on-three matchups. We hope EA will be able to minimize the slowdown we encountered before the game is released later this fall. If so, basketball fans will have a pretty cool-looking game to look forward to.

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