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Published on October 13th, 2009 | by Brian Browne

NBA Live 10 Review

Release Date: October 6, 2009
Developer: EA Canada
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3

NBA Live 10 opens up with a intense Dwight Howard montage and Mos Def voice over. This intro sets the tone for the game, because this is not the same title from last year. The theme of the montage is revival and I believe that is what NBA Live 10 has done with the franchise.

The EA Sports team went back to the drawing board with a whole new team for this one, including former 2K gameplay director, Mike Wang. The new player models are outstanding and come equipped with accurate tattoos, shoes, and even custom poses for star players. Player intros are small in time, but standout with fans of the game, as you can see Dwight Howard’s Superman in the playoffs, Kevin Garnett’s chest pound, or Lebron tossing chalk.

Gameplay is excellent with improved pick and roll controls as you can call/set off ball screens, just don’t try to get away with one, because illegal screens are called in NBA Live 10. Freestyle passing allows you to take advantage of your better passers on the team as you can throw a pass one way while moving in a opposite direction. The action feels natural and more fluid than previous titles in the NBA Live franchise, but doesn’t go over the top like an arcade title.

Dynamic DNA. Ahhh…where to begin with this one. The feature has returned and has been tweaked even more. Scoring is not driven by attributes, but by real life numbers (i.e. shots made while guarded and off-dribble). The best part about this, is that it updates every day during the season! So, if your favorite player is stinking up the hardwood, expect the rainstorm of bricks to follow him to your favorite console. Its not just a number cruncher however, as starting five and jersey number changes are reflected upon accurately as well.

In conjunction with the DNA portion, is the Dynamic Season. This feature allows you to play with actual NBA season as the games unfold. So, the numbers and even injuries that come from the actual day are merged with your virtual season. If you felt your stomach turn throughout the season while watching basketball (I should know, being a Bobcats fan), you can even rewind games to make your own outcome.

Presentation is where NBA Live 10 shines. There are over 100 possible storylines that can happen throughout the season and these are reflected by the commentary from Steve Kerr and Marv Albert. Some games during the regular season, there will be empty seats throughout the arena. However, come playoff time the place will be packed will crazed, towel-waving fans and the amount of seats filled can change depending on team performance.

Fans will cheer more for certain players and use certain chants (i.e. When at the free throw line with Lebron, Cavs fans were shouting “MVP!!, MVP!!”). Signature sounds from arenas are an added bonus that fans will love. From the “Wooo” for a Chris Paul basket to Vince Carter getting booed EVERY time that he touches the ball in Toronto. Over 75 throwback jerseys along with “specials” (i.e. NBA Latino Nights and St. Patrick Day) and with the variety of shoes included in NBA Live 10, the title would make Imelda Marcos blush.

Overall, NBA Live 10 is a well put together installment. The title does nothing but reinvigorate the series and will win back former players that wrote the franchise off. It does an excellent job of producing a accurate basketball atmosphere and while there were a few hiccups that I had with the game, NBA Live 10 is a title that I will be playing throughout the season.

Rating: 8.5


  • Dynamic DNA feature
  • Passing Controls
  • NBA atmosphere


  • Defensive AI is poor

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