After demoing the PSP version, I spotted the PS3 version of NBA 08. I was one of the few people who was able to see the good out of NBA 07 for the PS3, as I noted it had some solid gameplay aspects and, of course, splendid visuals. The game had tons of room for improvement, in particular with more modes, but there was clearly potential in the game. Now, it seems as if that potential is coming to fruition. I spent some time playing the game, and I came away fairly impressed.
First off, the thing that really draws your attention to the game is how stunning its visual quality is. The entire game glistens, and it looks brilliant running at 1080p. Animation seems to have improved quite a bit, as has collision detection. The collision detection is smarter now, meaning when you run up against another player, instead of continuing to run in one place against your opponent, this time you presence will be acknowledged. So after you run up to a player, you'll instantly be fended off, either by being kept back with an extended arm, or watching your opponent's back turn on you.
NBA 08 for the PS3 demonstrated tons of player maneuverability, as the game grants an excess amount of control over the team and their actions. You can pick go to guys and command them with an action to perform, or you can take matters into your own hands. There's a great deal of Sixaxis use; when you're on the offensive, moving around the Sixaxis controls the hand movements of the player. So raising the controller makes the ball-carrier raise the ball up, preventing your guard from stealing it. Move the control left or right, and the ball-carrier follows accordingly by keeping the ball away – just like a real player would. On defense, raising your controller up and down controls the hands of your selected player. So if you're trying to get in the face of a ball-carrier, raise the Sixaxis and worsen the chance of his shot. Likewise, if you're trying to get a steal, keep your controller down and try swiping the ball out of your opponent's hands.
Modes will also be plenty for NBA 08, and the game's all new progression mode will put you into the shoes of a created/custom athlete as you take him to the top. There'll be a point system in the game that you can use for attribute points, courts, jerseys and tons of other locked stuff. And the NBA Replay feature will return, this time with goals featuring specific shot-markers on the floorboard.
NBA 08 is really looking promising, and it's definitely the first time I've seen Sixaxis implemented so well into a sports game. Keep an eye out for it.
Related Game(s): NBA 08