The graphics are mediocre at best. Models are blurry, lines are fuzzy, and nothing has much detail. While slightly better than GameCube graphics, the game pales in comparison to other current gen sports games. With the exception of Mii integration for referees and some nice colorful fonts there is absolutely zero visual polish.
The sound is the one thing about this game that approaches average. The menu music is all light hip-hop and techno. It is the perfect match for the game’s mood. Unfortunately there are only a few tracks of it. Steve Kerr and Marv Albert are the in-game commentators. Their commentary can be insightful and includes a few nice details. The commentary programming is atrocious; Kerr and Albert will often repeat the same lines over and over. For instance, one time I had three inbound plays in quick succession. Each one had the exact same comment from Kerr. There is no in-stadium music or player chatter. The crowd noise is not impressive or dynamic.
It seems like someone at EA had a lot of good ideas for this game. The amount of modes is good, the online has a nice setup, and the new casual modes could be enticing to franchise newcomers. Unfortunately, the game’s execution is horrible. The terrible A.I. and control scheme makes the game not fun and unplayable. The online is hampered by awful connections. Both casual players and serious basketball fans should avoid playing this game at all costs. I hope that NBA Live 10 All-Play will actually follow through on all of this game’s potential.
NBA Live 09 All-Play is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on:PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360.