NBA season is back, and EA Sports has just released their NBA game for the new season with NBA Elite 2011. It’s the only five on five basketball experience on the iPhone letting you play the real 2010-11 NBA season. NBA Live is now NBA Elite letting you shoot, dunk, and ball up anyone in the pros.
The main part of the game is season mode allowing you play the authentic schedule of your favorite NBA team, and you have the choice to play all 82, or 41, or even a 20 game season. You can jump right into the playoffs, or match up with any teams in exhibition mode. There is a also the three point shooting contest to play anytime, and there are three difficulty levels for all game modes.
If you want to play full five on five basketball on your iPhone there is no other choice in the App Store. Thankfully EA has improved upon last years mediocre effort despite not having any competition for Basketball games like they do in Football or Soccer. The game engine is much more free flowing like an actual basketball game which is a nice change of pace.
The controls are well done to put many complex moves in a few action buttons allowing you to do crossovers and spins with the dribble with a flick based button. Shooting is just as easy as you hold the button until the half spheres line up above the player. When you’re around the rim, you can dunk when the circle beneath your player fills in.
You can play the game just trying to go one on one with an opponent trying to dribble past them, and through the rest of the opposing team. The best way to play though is using the offensive plays that really get wide open shots, alley-oops, and lay-ups. NBA Elite embodies basketball much better than NBA Live so you’ll enjoy it if you’re a basketball fan.
The game has well made visuals on a retina display with smooth flowing basketball animations that look authentic. The player design isn’t very good, but thats not really why you’re playing. The ability to play through the actual 2010-11 season is the best aspect of the game so you can play or simulate every game of your favorite team.
The game isn’t without it’s faults with the usual bad commentary and player design. Those are minor though in comparison to the lack of content namely not being able to play more than just the current season. Just like Madden it would be great to have the Dynasty mode (franchise mode in Madden) where you can control a team for year after year like the console versions.
It would also help with some online connectivity of the game allowing you to play multiplayer. Sports games are just begging to be played head to head against a real person, but EA doesn’t allow it. In the actual game it’s tough to play defense as it’s hard to stay in front of the offensive player with the precision of the control stick.
Blocking is nearly impossible whether you’re on the perimeter or under the basket. When an offensive player goes for a dunk you just simply can’t block it 99 out of 100 times. Stealing the ball works better than blocking, but you can be called for fouls.
NBA Elite is a definite improvement from last year’s, but still has some problems. If you’re a fan of basketball you’ll no doubt enjoy playing it on the go on your iPhone or iPod Touch. The player animations and entire flow of the game is very smooth, and you have a lot of different actions you can control right at your finger tips.
NBA Elite 2011 is worth it for $4.99, and is a quality game as your only Basketball choice in the App Store.