NBA 2K8, NBA Live 08 and NBA ’08 Now Available

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The real NBA season may still be a few weeks off from its October 30th tip-off, but the virtual NBA season begins today with the releases of NBA 2K8 from 2K Sports, NBA Live 08 from EA Sports and NBA ’08 from SCEA.

NBA 2K8, the latest in the perennially top-rated NBA 2K franchise, takes basketball gaming to the next level with improved graphics and a host of new features, including the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest mode, off-ball player controls, a lock-on D mechanic, improved Signature Style technology for the most natural and realistic animations and player movement, an enhanced franchise mode and a diverse soundtrack. NBA 2K8 is available for PS3 and Xbox 360 at $59.99 and for PS2 at a more budget-friendly price of $29.99.

Competing with NBA 2K8 for this year’s top multi-platform basketball title is NBA Live 08. EA Sports’ NBA Live franchise has fallen on hard times over the last few installments, but judging from the recent PS3 and 360 demo this season’s effort appears to have put the series back on track with exciting new gameplay and control features like Hot Spots, Quickstrike Ballhandling, Own the Paint and Signature Go-To Moves, and the most realistically detailed player models you’ll see this season. NBA Live 08 is now available for PS3 ($59.99), Xbox 360 ($59.99), PS2 ($39.99), PSP ($39.99) and Wii ($49.99) and is coming to PC on October 30th.

Exclusively for PlayStation system owners, SCEA’s b-ball franchise is back in NBA ’08 for PS3, PS2 and PSP, with each version offering its own unique experience. Leading the bunch is the PS3 version, obviously, with its full 1080p HD graphics, RPG-like Upside Progression System, enhanced support for Sixaxis motion controls, Key Control Play Calling, and audio commentary by Kevin Calabro and Mark Jackson.

For PS2 gamers, NBA ’08 wraps up “The Life” series with over 60 different game scenarios in “The Life: Vol. 3,” in addition to featuring new play-by-play commentary, enhanced on-court and crowd ambiance, smarter AI, 24 mini-game events, all-new music and online play. Last but not least, the PSP version sets itself apart from the other two with its new Block Party mode of carnival-style mini-games specifically designed for quick, on-the-go gaming. There’s also revamped Conquest and Season modes, and updated game mechanics and AI too. NBA ’08 retails for $59.99 on PS3 and $39.99 for both PS2 and PSP.

I’m hoping to get my hands on all three of this season’s basketball titles for a comparison guide this holiday season, but will have to wait and see how that goes. Having played demos for all three, my early money is on NBA 2K8 to take the title again this year as it still seemed to me to have the flow of real basketball nailed compared to the others, but NBA Live 08 and NBA ’08 weren’t far behind and are no doubt better in full form. How about you? Which NBA game do you plan to go with the season?

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!