PSP for the simple reason that the Nintendo DS had no NBA basketball simulation games on the system, and that particular genre is one that my video game life lives and dies by.
I went out of my way the day I bought my PSP this Spring to also purchase copies of Live 09 and NBA: The Inside 09. Both games had many flaws I won't go into here, and although I usually never tire of a basketball title quickly these rapidly feel from from favor and collected dust on the shelf.
Later I was pleased to find that 2K Sports would be releasing a basketball simulation on the PSP in the Fall of 2009 and I went out and bought it on the day of its release.
From the opening tip the changes were so wonderfully drastic from the previous two basketball titles I had played on the PSP that I almost jumped for joy.
Gone were the horrid angles of Inside and the ice skating players of Live. I 'felt' my jump shots like I am used to in basketball simulation and the flow of the game had very little slow down, barring some dunks.
So lets break this one down:
Game play: This as said is miles above all the other NBA simulations currently on the PSP. At times here as in others aspects, it sort of reminds me of some of the older PS2 versions of the 2K series, but that is not a bad thing as those games were at the top of their genre at the time of their release.
This is an early and short review but if you are checking this space to see if the game 'works' as a good NBA simulation, yes it does. You can have fun playing this one. 9/10
Graphics: Already I have seen negative comments about the games looks. This game is on a PSP, not a PS3 or a X-Box 360, so therefore it will not have the looks of it's big brothers and sisters. But it does a decent job of it for the system it is on, making it easy to recognize players by sight and follow the ball and player movement.
The fan cut away animations are ripped straight from some random 2K NBA game I cannot recall right now for either the PS2 or GameCube, but they do their jobs well, as do the coach animations. The arena is decent and admittedly the crowd is kind of blah, but you have to take the rough with the smooth, even when they are polygons. 7/10
Sound: The sound presentation is actually the worst aspect of this game, beyond the soundtrack on the menus (Which I personally find annoying and bland but then that might just be my musical tastes.), the in game play by play is pretty horrid and the arena announcer is really no better.
This is the one aspect of this game that is really below average, even Live 09 had better, and trust me if you played that particular game you know that that is bad. 4/10
Final Verdict: If you are looking for a fun NBA basketball simulation on a portable gaming system that has most of the expected bells and whistles from the 2K basketball series, pick this one up, if you are a fan of a good sports game, pick this up.
I think you see the trend here, this game is very playable especially compared to the competition on this particular system. The sound is a let down, but not enough to stop this from bein a solid title in the PSP's sports library. 8/10