NBA Live 10

Video gaming giant Electronic Arts has been making a strong push to deliver satisfying mobile editions of their premiere franchises, such as Madden and Guitar Hero. The translation of sports games is particularly challenging because mobile technology simply does not have the juice to recreate the experience to which gamers have grown accustomed.

Rather than recreate the experience poorly, EA decided to go the other way with it and recreate the game from scratch. It is clear from the moment you start playing that this was the right choice. NBA Live 10 is its own game, a mobile execution of 5-on-5 basketball with a full official NBA license. Rather than give us a poor port, EA gives us a throwback to the early days of NBA Live.

This might underwhelm the hardcore sports gamer, but if you can get into old school balling, then this game is a blast while waiting at the doctor’s office or while stuck o­n the commuter train. The game handles surprisingly well by way of a “virtual stick” that the player can “pick up” and drop o­nto the screen wherever it feels most comfortable. Players react well, but not so well relative to their ratings. In the hands of a skilled player, they can be made to do the impossible.

Think old school NBA Live with a touch of NBA Jam. However, despite not playing like a simulation, all of the sim trappings modern gamers expect are there. Players have access to the full range of stats and roster management, and they can even play through multiple complete seasons o­n their way to building a dynasty. Overall, we are impressed. EA Sports has managed to translate NBA Live to a mobile platform about as well as anyone could expect, and they did it in a way that makes it accessible to just about anyone.