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Critic Reviews

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GameZone (Oct 01, 2007)
NBA 08 is like a two-disc set: half is a simulation basketball game with a new street mode, the other half is a series of mini-games that could've been sold as a collection via the PlayStation Network. The b-ball gameplay is great – stellar controls, smooth frame rate, and an impressive array of animations. NBA 08's pinball and Arkanoid-style mini-games are tons of fun, and the rest are entertaining diversions that encourage players to return.
The premise of NBA 08 - a current roster of players with downloadable content featuring oodles of real and pretend basketball action - sounds like a dream come true for fans. Certainly, this is a very respectable entry, but lack of enjoyable A.I. doesn't help the shelf life. There is also an absence of meaningful content relative to the PS3. Games on PSP need to start leveraging the big system or guys (like me) that couldn't splash out hundreds of dollars on a next-gen console won't develop a burning desire to own a PS3. The big pro of NBA 08 is in its presentation and depth, but the lack of strong A.I. makes this a one-sided affair. Still, NBA 08 is a great best-of-breed entry and a must-own for basketball fans that like the idea of playing through entire seasons with the players they know and love.
PGNx Media (Oct 03, 2007)
NBA 08 succeeds on the PSP for three primary reasons. The somewhat shallow gameplay feels fine on the portable, the inclusion of minigames make short play sessions quite fun and the series is only competing against one other series (NBA Live), which is going through some growing pains on the platform. NBA 08 on PSP is definitely the best of the three NBA 08 games, and a good basketball game to boot.
IGN (Sep 27, 2007)
Sony has managed to get the balance between mini-games and basketball right for a second year in a row, which is truly incredible. The addition of four new and amusing mini-games are a lot of fun, and the additional depth that was added to Conquest mode makes the feature more engaging than ever before. The new focus on downloadable content, particularly with additional pinball boards is pretty cool as well. While there haven't been a lot of fixes to the gameplay, the added player chemistry does strengthen the traditionally weaker court action. Overall, NBA 08 is a nice follow up to last year's impressive title.
Extreme Gamer (Oct 05, 2007)
Besides all the qualms, NBA 08 for the PS3 is still entertaining with a concentrated focus on the gamer contributing to the game with the original progression system. It’s not enough to make up for what the PS3 version looses compared to the other versions, but it’s still enough to recommend having a look at NBA 08 along side the other developer’s ballers. Next year, I hope they can make the PS3 version the grand daddy of NBA 08, making it your one stop source for NBA action.
As far as basketball games on the PSP are concerned, NBA 08 is certainly in the top 3. It's not the best NBA game available; however it is a great addition to the franchise and has made some significant leaps from last year's version. If you are an NBA fan, and own Sony's portable gaming device, NBA 08 offers up an abundance of content which will surely ensure you will get your money's worth.
Armchair Empire, The (Oct 12, 2007)
At the end of the day, I’m looking for fun from my games and NBA 08 has enough options to suite whatever mood I might be in when I start it up. All of that and a decent basketball game? It’s a no-brainer for basketball fans on the go.
NBA08 turned out to be not only an interesting diversion, but a title that I find myself playing fairly often. There are enough different things to do to keep you playing for some time, whether you need entertainment for five minutes or an hour. As far as sports games go, especially handheld ones, it was far more than I expected.
PSX Extreme (Oct 31, 2007)
The most important thing to consider here is that NBA 08 is a really good basketball game for the PSP. It may feel a bit simplistic, but it still plays well. There's a ton of modes to choose from, and so the replay value greatly increases thanks to that. It's visually generic, as player details could stand to see some improvement, but it's an acceptable offering overall. If you're a PSP owner and looking for a basketball sim for your handheld, NBA 08 is precisely it.
GameSpy (Oct 02, 2007)
NBA '08 is a solid NBA sim. The controls may not be as smooth as you'd like and shooting isn't always as intuitive as it could be, but it does the job of delivering a reasonable handheld NBA experience. It's everything else that's been loaded onto the UMD that makes the game shine. The Block Party and Conquest modes add incredible depth to the disk. Sony may be stumbling out on the court with its PS2 and PS3 releases, but its PSP offering is a rim-rattler.
Operation Sports (Oct 09, 2007)
For me, the role of handheld gaming in the industry is about fun. It’s about tuning out distractions, clicking off your brain for a few minutes and just killing some time. NBA 08 embraces that role by providing a fun alternative to the usual fare during basketball release season. If you’re buying it in hopes of seeing a perfectly executed Triangle Offense – you’ll probably want to pass. If you want a great game of X’s and O’s – it’s not for you. NBA 08 is fun. What else are you looking for?
80 (Nov 16, 2007)
Once the mechanics of the game can be mastered, there are limitless possibilities of playing this game, whether it is on the court in the superior conquest mode or through the quasi-related mini-games which prove to be apt divergences.
I doubt that there's a portable game that gives you more for your money than NBA '08. You get a ton of gameplay packed onto that little, noisy UMD disc: mini games, arcade games, skills games, an awesome conquest mode, and, oh yeah, some NBA basketball action. With all of the options available in NBA '08 it will take you a while to get tired of the game and the variety of modes make it a great game to keep tucked away in your PSP's case. Now if only the basketball itself were a bit better…
Before the end of this review, I just want to take the time to request that everyone take notice of Conquest mode. It’s really a shot in the arm for sports games and should really be present in every other title in the genre. This game can’t be that obscure that nobody has noticed this brilliant gameplay option, can it?
TotalPlayStation (Oct 05, 2007)
In the end, NBA 08 offers enough outside stuff to distract from the fact that the core game of basketball is seriously lacking when compared to the other games on the market -- it's simply a matter of how much distraction there actually is. The PSP one obviously leads in this respect, but with the things Sony has attempted with the PS2 and PS3 versions, all the ingredients for a really unique basketball sim are in place, Sony just needs to pull the trigger. As the games stand right now, though, they're merely half-cocked.
Game Shark (Nov 15, 2007)
NBA '08 provides a good variety of games and modes to keep the consumer busy for many hours. There are not enough good things that can be said about the Conquest mode. It is a original new game mode that will likely result in copycat game modes on other sports franchises. Continuing improvement will allow this game to become the best NBA portable game on the market.
Worth Playing (Nov 03, 2008)
Although there are some slight gameplay improvements over the 2007 offering, most of the improvements in NBA 08 are simply additions to the already bizarre collection of carnival mini-games. The single-player Conquest mode and robust multiplayer capabilities do help to redeem this title and are certainly worth a look, but if you already own NBA 07, you should carefully consider if NBA 08 offers enough improvements and new features to justify a purchase.
GameSpot (Oct 09, 2007)
Rather than tossing in more game modes than anyone could possibly desire, it would have been great if SCEA focused on making the core gameplay better. Until then, the enjoyable conquest mode will remain one of the few reasons anyone would want to play this otherwise unimpressive game.
Video Game Talk (Oct 25, 2007)
Overall, NBA 08 is a decent basketball game for the PSP. Its strength comes in all of the mini-games and carnival mode. These offer a diverse cadre of gaming options that should keep one's interest. However, at the same time the actual basketball game play suffers from difficult navigation controls and a shooting power meter that doesn't work well. In the end, I would rent this game if there is any interest. It's competition, EA Sports' NBA Live 08, has better controls and feels more like basketball.
Modojo (Dec 05, 2007)
Still, we can't fully recommend a basketball game if the main function of the game is this broken. NBA 08 has potential galore, but it's blown by the lack of basic principles. If you can't shoot worth a damn or defend worth a damn, then, really, what's the point if the AI is just going to run right over you? If you like incredible challenges or just can't live without trying a basketball-ified version of whac-a-mole and pinball, by all means step up. Just remember to keep in mind what you're getting into.