There has been a cold war brewing between video game arch enemies 2K Sports and EA Sports over the supreme control of the basketball video game supremacy. I must say that I have been an EA Sports fanboy for most of my video game formative years as I got my early playing career with the NBA Live series. No one can deny that Electronic Arts started the NBA video game franchise because they made everything you see in the ball game come to life in your video game console. But their supremacy faltered as they became complacent and an upstart 2K Sports pulled a major upset year after year as the 2K series became better and better.

The NBA Live series has been left in the dark ages and became stale even it went on to become NBA Elite to rebrand itself as a new game. Then 2K Sports delivered the knockout punch by bringing in some guy named Michael Jordan in all his likeness and real-life playing style into the game. Then Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and their superfriends joined the game. NBA 2K12 was a stroll in the park as NBA Elite 11 was canned and NBA Elite 12 never made it to market. It seems NBA Live is now done and dusted, or so it seems...

EA Sports has revived the rivalry by bringing their NBA Live series back to life as 2K Sports fumbled on the online and matchmaking feature of their game. Although NBA 2K12 is planning to include the full All Star game festivities and fanfare into the game as a downloadable content, NBA Live 13 may one up its rival with its exclusive ESPN integration. I just hope they fix the gameplay first before the eye candies. Good player model and animation together with good AI logic is much better than including ESPN Sportscenter with actual commentators and dynamic speech system.

"Actual" gameplay from the E3 2012 may have leaked out already but it doesn't show the actual game since most of the presentation videos being used are based upon early builds of the game so you may see NBA Live 13 looking like, or even worse than, NBA Elite 11 while NBA 2K13 may still feel like the NBA 2K12 that you're playing right now. It's way too early to tell but the way it is going, EA Sports is already lagging too far since the game remains questionable even though they had all the time to bounce back from the mess they made in NBA Elite 11. A two-year hiatus should be enough to produce a "superior" product over a 2K Sports development team in a hustle to defend their "title" as the best NBA video game there is.

Check out the NBA Live 13 intro video at the E3 and a sample gameplay of NBA 2K13, please share your thoughts.

In my own opinion, the video shows player models similar to the much ballyhooed Elite canned animations and awkward modeling structure. Looks robotic to me!

One thing that I noticed is that 2K has changed the scoreboard but I find it too simple without the embellishment that I would like to have. I was thinking of TNT game presentation considering that Live is getting full ESPN integration. Manu Ginobili's drive to the basket against the Thunder defense looks so weird and clunky if I may say! Although it is understandable that there would a lot of bugs but I'm hoping these annoyances would not appear in the final product.

Honestly, the All Star game feature should not be a DLC because it is a staple mini-game for the NBA video game genre. Joystick button and analog stick combinations should be better than a "Guitar Hero" like control for a Slam Dunk contest.

At the end of the day, I'm leaning towards buying NBA 2K13 over NBA Live 13.

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  1. NBA Live was great from 1997 to 2002... when they changed everything in 2003. I bought 2k series. Till now I only buy NBA 2k series.

  2. nba live has a long way to go if they want to take the title from the 2k series!! I have bought 2k every year since '03. Could 2k take over Madden in football too?


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{picture#} JP Canonigo is a historian, professional blogger and copywriter, online content specialist, copywriter, video game junkie, sports fanatic and jack-of-all trades. {facebook#} {twitter#} {google#}
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