It's time for another instalment of the long-running NBA Live franchise: NBA Live 08. It has undergone an extreme visual makeover and, simply put, looks fantastic. Player animations and movements have been stepped up to look more realistic, without removing the arcade gameplay completely. There is also the addition of three new game modes; the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Championship, Quick Pick Play, and Scenario Play. Dynasty mode is still intact along with the enjoyable modes inside the All-Star weekend.
NBA Live 08 isn't only visually impressive, but the gameplay feels a lot smoother than previous entries into the series. Players contact and movement looks a lot more realistic and fluid, but sometimes the transition from passing the ball to dunking looks like a hard cut to the next animation. The trick-stick works a lot more seamlessly, so spinning around a defender then taking a side step followed by a fade away jump shot is much easier to perform this instalment. Knowing where you're going to take your next shot from can now be decided with a new feature that allows you bring up each individual players' "Hot and cold" spots on the court. By holding the LB button areas of the court are shown as red, yellow, or blue (hot, warm, or cold). The red areas will be your best bet to take a shot from and blue being your cold spot, so chances are lower. This is a great feature allowing you to make better use of each player.
One of the big features implemented back in NBA Live 06 was the Freestyle Superstar control, where an NBA Superstar would either be a Shooter, High Flyer, Scorer, or Playmaker. Superstars would have the use of signature moves and extra abilities on court -- this has now been scrapped in NBA Live 08 and doesn't feel like a loss whatsoever.
The Dynasty season mode, All-Star weekend's 3-point Shootout, Slam-Dunk Competition, All-Star and Rookie games still remain intact with only slight changes. There is now the addition of three new game modes, one which is in the spirit of the upcoming 2008 Olympics -- The FIBA World Championship game mode. This involves eight countries in a knockout competition; France, Germany, USA, Greece, Argentina, Spain, China, and Italy. Yes, unfortunately our Australian boys were left out of the line-up.