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December 27, 2007
NBA 2K8 - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
21/11/20072K2K SportsVisual Concepts1-72-10
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Check out the background crowds.
Since the earliest video game systems basketball titles have been popular. Indeed in 1978 owners of the mighty powerful (for the time of course) Atari 2600/VCS could buy the game Basketball. Since then though the sport has made massive strides in terms of graphics, gameplay and realism with two main contenders now released on a yearly basis - Electronic Arts' NBA Live series, and 2K Sports' NBA 2K series. It seems though that Electronic Arts have lost their way with NBA Live 07 being an absolute shambles, and its development on the PS3 so troubled that the game was totally scrapped only weeks before its expected release. 2K Sports managed to release their title, NBA 2K7, and it was a brilliant game overall.

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Players look even better this year!
A year later and Electronic Arts has released NBA Live 08 (which we may add is still pretty crap), and 2K Sports has also released a new basketball title, NBA 2K8. Is this second generation version much, or even any, better then the original? Continue reading our review to find out...

The game modes in NBA 2K8 are pretty much as expected with quick matches, playoffs and seasons all included. The Association mode si where you will spend most of your time though as it is essentially a massive franchise mode which you can take control of almost every aspect of the sport - both on and off the court. Playing the game is as slick as ever with the big new inclusion being the Lock-on D which allows you to focus your defense on a player on the opposing team. The small issue we had with this is that it seems to make the defence against great players too strong and you'll be able to shut down almost anyone. As with last year the free throws are performed with the Sixaxis' motion sensing - it's fun, but accuracy is a little questionable.

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The new Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
One of the new game modes in this years title is the 'Spirte Slam Dunk Contest'. Hosted by Bobbito Garcia this is a pretty entertaining mode which allows you to perform hundreds of dunks and props to select from. This 4-player event is pretty entertaining and cen even be played online - shame there was no one to connect to when we tried to play it a couple of weeks ago! Online gameplay is also supported, but to be honest we had a hard time finding other players, and then connecting to play them. Are we seeing more problems like last year or are the connections to other player simply not strong enough? I'm not sure but I'd be careful if you only wanted to play this game online.

It must be said that the entire presentation of NBA 2K8 is so realistic that should someone just wander into the room upon first glance they mistake the game for actual TV coverage. It really is that polished and impressive. The first thing that really struck us, as well as several friends that checked out the game, was the realism of the crowd. While there is repetition, the range of animations, clothing being worn and the ebb and flow of the excitement really is impressive. It's not just off-court that looks fantastic either with the players and courts being another working over. The players now look much more realistic on the court and blend in a lot more realistically with their surroundings. Last year they looked a little disjoined from the actual court and background. Not only is the animation on the players fantastic but the range of Signature moves - those unique to individual players - has also been greatly expanded this year and they look wonderful.

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A fantastic looking game, no doubt about it.
If there is a slight drawback with the graphics it is that there are still some clipping issues in the game. On several occasions we noticed bounce passes going straight through the legs of other players while we also saw the occasional body parts passing through those on other players. It's rare, but still present.

Audio in NBA 2K8 is impressive too with some great atmospheric and crowd effects during the matches. Music has been provided from numerous acts including Common, Q-Tip, Run DMC, J-Dilla, Quasimotto, Cut Chemist, Devo, Stone Roses, Fishbone, Tommy Guerrero, Breakestra, G-Love, Quantic and many more. Commentary in the game is provided by Kevin Harlan and Kenny Smith and for the most part it's pretty impressive. There is some repetition (try shooting from the defensive half of the court several times to see what I mean) but it remains an impressive commentary effort overall..

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Another impressive screen.
NBA 2K8 is an impressive game and one which sports fans should add to their PS3 collections. The graphics and audio are great and the gameplay also engrossing. There's a lengthy franchise mode here too which could have you playing for months, unless you tire of the game by then. If there are a couple of downsides to this years title it's that there hasn't been any radical changes or additions to the game to push it up to the next level, and the loss of the 24/7 mode is a little disappointing. NBA 2K8 is on the shelves now, do yourselves a favour and check it out (and certainly choose this over the dire NBA Live 08.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSLooking even slicker then last year. Improvements all round. Brilliant.
SOUNDMore atmosphere, impressive crowd effects, solid commentary.
GAMEPLAYWhile improved from last year, there aren't drastic changes.
VALUEYet again a tonne to do, and plenty to enjoy in this game.
OVERALLNBA 2K8 doesn't offer any major changes over last year, but is still leaps and bounds above the competition - and makes NBA Live look weak in almost every area.

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