In a new age of video gaming, users get the complete picture when it comes to sports games. Gone are the days when exhibition and season game modes were all that were offered. These days, you the gamer get a grand variety of modes when it comes to sports games.
With PlayStation2’s NBA 09: The Inside, you get the opportunity to be a part of the logical progression of an up-and-coming NBA player with “The Life” feature. “The Life” is the primary game feature The Inside has to offer, along with your basic exhibition, season, and franchise gameplay modes. The Life lets you go through the logical progression of a young player coming up in the business. This feature is the game’s main attraction, but little else is available to whet the gamer’s appetite. If you’ve experienced some of the more in-depth games out there, you will find these basic modes are just that – basic.
Because basically gameplay controls can be tricky (for example, directional passing is hard to pick up on but is important to know how to use), I would suggest honing your skills in some of the drills the game offers, such as “Claim the Post” and “Slalom Run”. These are okay alternatives if you tire of the basic gameplay modes. Shooting is somewhat tedious in this game, far more so than in the EA Sports games of years past. The shooting meter must illuminate in green to guarantee a good shot or yellow to guarantee a chance. Defense, in addition, is also hard to work with, mainly because it is hard to transition from switching players to getting into proper defensive position. Transition defense is so critical in the game of basketball, so not being able to utilize the controls with ease is rather frustrating.
In addition, the players and announcers in this game are cookie-cutter at best. There are no classic quotes from the broadcasters, a la John Madden in the Madden franchise. Even instant replay is slow and a pain to use. Most basketball games will give the user not only the option of multiple replay looks after baskets (in some cases, games will force-feed the gamer too many replays), but also make it a luxury rather than a nuisance to utilize. The buttons needed to view a replay are as hard to work as the actual gameplay buttons. But alas, if you are one of those ultra-competitive gamers, you can never see enough replays of your wicked, 360 slam-dunk.
Another thing to note that is that if you are playing a game, and let’s say you are either getting blown out or simply bored and fed up playing that particular game, there is no option to simulate the remainder of the game, such as there is in MLB 08: The Show. You can only restart or quit. So tip to the user: if you can’t figure out how to play, you could be in for long games – literally.
The game is still a suitable choice for avid sports fans because it still has all of the bare necessities a true sports gamer needs. But the overall quality is still rather lacking in comparison to its competition.
If you have a grand choice of basketball games to choose from, the wise choice would be to shun NBA 09: The Inside.
Graphics: 2.5 / 5.0
Gameplay 2.5 / 5.0
Sound 3.0 / 5.0
Replay value 2.0 / 5.0