NBA 10: The Inside Review (PSP)
If you have ever wanted to decide a playoff series with a game of dodgeball, NBA 10: The Inside is the game for you. Yes, you can play dodgeball and find out which team has the most two-sport potential. NBA 10 also offers a full fledged game of NBA basketball along with a host of other features and game modes.
The on-court action is quite simple. Veteran NBA 2K and Live gamers will not be fooled for long. I would compare it to a version of an old-school NBA Live. You don’t need a high basketball IQ to play, which may make this game a target of young children who like basketball. The crossover and spin moves are mapped to the square and triangle buttons respectively. It’s not hard to cross your opponent to get open look at the basket.
Of the camera angles available, the action or follow cams (similar to the 2K Cam) are most useful. When playing with the broadcast-style sideline cam, it’s easy to lose the ball when it goes on the far side of the court.
The game is designed to be played in short spurts. For example, the ball automatically appears in the hands of the passer on an inbounds play instead of it being retrieved by a player or referee. In addition, the default quarter length is four minutes, which makes a default game last fewer than 20 minutes.
Visually, this game is very well done. The arenas are all modeled after the real-life counterparts. The players are shaped and sized accordingly. The faces are impressive considering the small screen. Graphics do not make a game play any better, but it definitely helps dress up some flaws.
The rest of the package is very well done. The replays and player highlights show how detailed the graphics are from up close. The TV-style presentation looks great and is easily comparable to its rivals on the home consoles. The commentary is fantastic and it should be noted. Ian Eagle, who does play-by-play for the New Jersey Nets and CBS NFL Football, is teamed with Kenny Smith from NBA on TNT. Smith’s voice is familiar to gamers who played the NBA 2K series before 2K9. The duo does a great job calling the action and their voices are refreshing.
Franchise mode is a worthy distraction; though, the AI trade logic is awful. I was able to land Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Al Jefferson without giving up more than a few decent ballplayers and draft picks. I should mention that I could not steal LeBron no matter what I tried. Also, all my new All-Stars did nothing to help the Knicks, at least not in year one.
Your career as a GM goes on for 25 years if you choose to go that long. The game has a full offseason that includes the NBA Draft and free agency. If you’re on a long plane ride, you can sit down and set your sights on an NBA Championship. The mode is not as in depth as you’re probably used to, but it’s worth trying out if you’re bored.
But really, the appeal of NBA 10 is not what’s on the basketball court, it’s everything else. The game has the 3-Point Shootout and Skills Challenge from All-Star Weekend, along with the game itself of course. Conquest mode returns mostly unchanged but it’s fun nonetheless.
You can also find a collection of games more suited for the App Store but they’re welcome here. There is pinball, a variation of Brick Breaker, bowling and a few other arcade favorites. You can also play many of the mini-games along with a regular game of five on five with a friend via the Ad Hoc online mode. There is no Infrastructure mode to be seen, which is a disappointment. The extras are worth a try if you really want a basketball game for the PSP.
NBA 10 is not the simulation you may be looking for on the go, but it’s a solid distraction. The gameplay is extremely simple but it will only keep you entertained for a few games. I would compare it to a film that has a great supporting cast but is starring Pauly Shore. No matter how good the rest of the game is, the meat and potatoes are lacking.
I’d recommend this to two friends who were flying cross country and needed something to do, or a child who is not ready for a more in-depth game. There is value here for sure. Just be aware of what you are getting into and you can have some fun with NBA 10.
Graphics: Sony San Diego did a great job on the visuals.
Sound: Eagle and Smith do a wonderful job on commentary.
Entertainment Value: The mini-games and extras can shorten a long plane ride.
Online: Only Ad Hoc here, so no roster updates for anyone.
Learning Curve: Very easy to get into.
Score: 6.0 (Fair)