NBA 2K15 Or NBA Live 2015 ?

It’s better than last year. If IGN reviews were restricted to five words, you’d probably hear the champagne corks popping at EA’s headquarters from here. Unfortunately there are 350 more words to go and we’re going to use them to say things like ‘boring’ and ‘abysmal’ and ‘buy NBA 2K15’ and ‘apple slice’.

In fact, we could review this game with three words buy NBA 2K15. Or two words and four initials. Whatever. Point is, that game is so much better, it renders NBA Live 15’s existence redundant. This isn't like a FIFA vs PES argument, which is the gaming equivalent of apples vs oranges. It's more apples vs an apple slice with teeth marks in and a worm crawling out the bottom. This isn't a question of personal preference. It’s a question of sanity.

It might not seem like a fair comparison given the NBA 2K series has had aeons to solve the long-standing problems with virtual basketball while NBA Live has only really just started tackling them. But these are full-price games we’re evaluating, not school projects, so there isn’t any room for charity. These are the problems that NBA Live hasn't solved yet: it doesn't have the rugged physicality of real basketball, defending never even threatens to be enjoyable, the AI is absolutely abysmal (wait until you see the ball bounce off a player’s face for the first time, or the hundredth) and it’s about as close to the real sport as it would be if you explained the rules to ten children, then threw an orange ball at them. Being unrealistic never hurt  NBA Jam’s success but God, at least that game knew how to be fun. NBA Live 15 doesn't even know what fun is.

The one positive NBA Live has is that it doesn't wrap itself up in finger tying controls like NBA 2K, so it’s a much less daunting prospect to play, but when ‘It uses fewer buttons!’ becomes a positive, you know we’re reaching. It’s also stuffed with game modes but they don’t make the game any more tolerable and regardless, as part of the forced tutorial (sigh), you have to play Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Wait. What? Isn’t that the entire point of the game? It would be like Mario kicking off his adventures by throwing Bowser into a pit of lava. In other words: boring.  Abysmal.  Buy NBA 2K15. Apple slice?

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