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The One is the Reason You Should be Playing NBA Live 18

NBA Live 18

The One is the Reason You Should be Playing NBA Live 18

Like many of you reading this right now, I have been an NBA 2K fan for years. I absorb every news drop about the upcoming release, mining for every little detail. The truth is, even if 2K provided absolutely zero information prior to release date, I would still pre-order as soon as I could. And this year was no different.

When I found out I would be writing about NBA Live, I was excited to give it a try for the first time since I became a 2K junkie. Even with my excitement, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much. And if I’m being 100 percent honest, I was ready for the possibility that Live 18 would be an unplayable disaster unable to take my attention away from 2K for even one second.

Fast forward months later, and I never thought I would say this, but I am now a proud NBA Live fan. I enjoy both games for different reasons. I can certainly understand why people who aren’t hoop fiends wouldn’t try to find time for two games, but chances are if you’re as 2K obsessed as I am, you love basketball, and there’s plenty to love about NBA Live 18.

The One is the Answer

Shortly after launch, I wrote about what I liked and didn’t like about Live 18. I’ve never been big on Ultimate Team modes, but Live’s seems fine if that’s your cup of tea. Franchise/GM modes are one of my favorites, but sadly I feel like Live dropped the ball on this feature. It’s fine for what it is, but I find it too barebones for my tastes.

Then of course there are the bells and whistles, like creative suites and whatnot. Live caught a lot of flak upon release in this area, specifically for users’ inability to make any roster edits or trades of any sort. A recent patch has finally addressed this issue, which makes NBA Live 18 feel more complete.

That leaves us with the career mode, The One. This is what has consumed nearly all of my playing time with NBA Live 18, and in my opinion is by far the best thing about the game. It’s laid out very well with plenty of offline and online challenges to keep players coming back for more. There are even special events with rewards you can obtain only through that event, which gives you incentives to play often.

The premise isn’t anything groundbreaking. You create a player and you play games to level up and earn gear. Simple enough, right? But The One differentiates itself in splitting the mode in two between The Streets and The League. Each side has unique skills and challenges, but I find myself drawn more to the Streets. If you take a look at the online leaderboard, the top players seem to agree as, in most cases, their Street hype score dwarfs the size of their League hype score.

For offline play, you have some of the most famous street courts in the world to conquer, including Rucker Park and the Drew League. Each court comes with its own challenges to conquer. Successful completion of these challenges will get you unique reward crates that cannot be purchased with reward points. To unlock everything for each court, you have to meet multiple challenges per game, so there’s plenty of replay value here. If there’s one thing that’s missing here, it’s that the street courts are limited to five-on-five play only.

Take to the Streets

Lucky for the rest of us who prefer smaller street games, Live recently rolled out three-on-three play. In fact, this brought me back to the game after taking a bit of a break and it’s rejuvenated my interest. I find that smaller games tend to force players to utilize their teammates more, which leads to more touches for everyone. And as most coaches will tell you, players are more engaged when they touch the ball. Yes, you’ll still run into random hero-ball knuckleheads who spin their way out of bounds while you’re wide open for a corner three. But in my experience, it doesn’t happen as often as it does with five-on-five.

Unfortunately, three-on-three is limited to Live Run only, which is essentially a quick play game with random opponents or friends. These games are played in a special three-on-three arena, which eliminates the nice street court aesthetics Live worked so hard on for other areas of the game. Here’s hoping three-on-three (and two-on-two) gets utilized more throughout the mode in future releases.

Live Run is a Lot of Fun

Speaking of Live Run, it works great. I can’t recall any frustrating lag or matchmaking issues recently, if ever. Sometimes there are some competitive-balance issues. The other day, my teammates were in the high 70s and the other team’s three players were all in the 90s. This isn’t the norm by any means, but it warrants mentioning.

I find myself playing Live Run the most. As you play, you work towards meeting objectives to earn rewards. They range from small (score 50 total points and get a few reward points) to huge (dish out 300 assists and get a lot of reward points plus a special crate). You also earn hype, which unlocks more crates for purchase as you level up — and skill points, which you use to level up your skills.

This is perhaps my favorite thing about The One: the leveling up system. Instead of focusing on each individual attribute, you are eventually given five total skill slots: three primary and two secondary, which are unique to each player type. As you earn skill points, you have to choose which skill to upgrade, which then determines your overall rating. It’s a simple system, but it’s complex enough to add a layer of strategy that lets players differentiate themselves from other players online.

Before each game you play, whether it’s online or offline, the Streets or the League, you can swap out your three trait slots. Each trait gives you an attribute boost to one specific area, and each one is upgradable as you hit certain performance metrics. Between challenges, traits, and skills, there are plenty of things to work towards in The One.

The Store

And of course there’s the Store, which lets you spend your reward points to unlock reward crates. This isn’t a pack of cards with random gifts. You can open each crate category to see all of the different items inside. You purchase individual crates until you get everything from that category. There are plenty of cool items to unlock, not to mention all of the unique items you can only get by playing special events as they’re released.

There’s Fun to Be Had in Live 18

So yes, it is possible for hoops fans to get plenty of enjoyment from two very different basketball games. I love playing 2K’s franchise mode and exhibition games against friends. But when I want to play online or work on my created player, Live 18 is what I reach for. I didn’t expect to get hooked the way I did, but here we are. I’m on board and I can’t wait to see where this train is headed.

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  1. Yeah.... OK! We all know where this train is headed and that's straight to the yard for some serious maintenance!!! If the team couldn't maximize the ignite engine in 2013 then there's no reason to believe that they'll kick the door open on FROSTBITE!! The possibilities are endless but their stock holders are afraid to stand up too Visual Concepts.... It's all fluff!! From the suits to the guy at GameStop handing you a receipt at the register! When they show us something like NBA 2K did with 14 on next gen ( million dollar trailer ) I'll actually care about articles like these..
    MLBNFLNBALGS
    Yeah.... OK! We all know where this train is headed and that's straight to the yard for some serious maintenance!!! If the team couldn't maximize the ignite engine in 2013 then there's no reason to believe that they'll kick the door open on FROSTBITE!! The possibilities are endless but their stock holders are afraid to stand up too Visual Concepts.... It's all fluff!! From the suits to the guy at GameStop handing you a receipt at the register! When they show us something like NBA 2K did with 14 on next gen ( million dollar trailer ) I'll actually care about articles like these..

    Will you please stop complaining with boondocks gifs attached???
    Man what are you talking about?  This is a hands on The One impression from a 2K player who says it's good.  And you know what?  It's not perfect by any stretch, the gameplay for sure needs work but this mode is FUN.  I play both The One and MyCareer and it's a nice break from the cheesiness of the MyCareer writing.
    This article points out my #1 reason for not reading reviews on sports games. Fanboys! Live is my only hoop series I have bought dating back to PS2. U don't need anyone's else's opinions on sports games.
    Sent
    zrohman
    Will you please stop complaining with boondocks gifs attached???
    That's his m.o., lol.
    I still haven't played The One yet. Maybe over Christmas vacation I'll give it a go.
    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
    I enjoy the game a great deal, and 'The One' is definitely my favorite part.  That said, it's the little head scratchers from EA that hold the game back in my opinion.  They refuse to frequently and accurately update rosters, at least at the level to which we've all become accustomed, and then when they finally add roster editing, there's no share feature.  I mean, really??  Do they not realize the wasted potential here?
    Also, I haven't played 3v3 yet, but why in the world would they not allow you to play on the normal park venues?  I can't think of a single logical reason for that decision.  The parks are one of the things that set Live apart from its competitor, but they don't utilize those venues the way they should.
    I love the controls of the game though, just feels a bit more responsive and reliable than 2k.  They just need to go all out on the bells and whistles next year, and probably to double the total number of animations.
    I haven't played a BB game since NBA Live on the Sega Genesis so I decided to give this one a go as it was pretty cheep, 4k on my XB1X and many people said good things about it.  Also most agreed this was a better game for those just getting into a BB game.  2K18 got a lot of negative reviews this year because of the VC system, so I shied away from that game even when it was on a good sale during Thanksgiving weekend.  I am loving The One though.  I have a few characters different play styles and its rather entertaining.  I don't play online but I love all the offline modes.  Well worth my $22 I spent on it.  I mean what game can you get this much fun of out these days for $22 that looks this good and plays this well with good patching support and features added after release even.
    zrohman
    Will you please stop complaining with boondocks gifs attached???
    How else would he get his point across?
    I prefer The One over MyCutscenes anytime. I find it more realistic and grounded IMO.
    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
    I just brought 2 copies of Live 18 (1 for a friend), can't wait to play it especially for the 3v3! The demo was fun and I'm ready to give 2K a break (frustrating online game) and start my NBA Live 18 grind.
    zrohman
    Will you please stop complaining with boondocks gifs attached???

    Goffs
    How else would he get his point across?

    Mind your business! I bet I have more man-hours in NBA LIVE 14 this year than y'all in 18 combined!!! My opinion/comments hold wayyyyyyy more weight than some guy with a house cat avatar! Y'all don't know me! The write up was outstanding but guys such as myself have done these same mock ups for years after installments only to be ignored buy guys that don't know a lick about basketball.... Same guys who bashed NBA LIVE for years caught the vapors and think they can belittle an NBA LIVE VET like me without consequences??? Go to sleep....
    I really like what Live has done with The One this year.
    It will only continue to get better as the modes flesh out and the community grows.
    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    The 24th Letter
    I really like what Live has done with The One this year.
    It will only continue to get better as the modes flesh out and the community grows.
    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

    I do have some concern they may go the micro transaction route a la 2K and ruin the mode.
    DBMcGee3

    Also, I haven't played 3v3 yet, but why in the world would they not allow you to play on the normal park venues?* I can't think of a single logical reason for that decision.* The parks are one of the things that set Live apart from its competitor, but they don't utilize those venues the way they should.
    .

    Play it. You will see why. The court is shorter which leads to a more intimate affair. It's hella fun.
    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Operation Sports mobile app
    I must say that agree with what he is saying. Live took 2k formulas and ran with it.. The control scheme and past ideas. The one is a take on 24/7 park mode from 2k7. Same concept with the exception that you can choose your player type from the onset. 2k had the right idea with growing your player from high school, through college to the draft. If they would have stayed with that formula and built it more, integrated MLB the show style where you gain attributes through college play and maybe give the option to turn pro early or stay in college and grow your player more, it would have been a better fit. I would have loved more high school games to develop a base and archetype, and college to grow your attributes and personality. This street option is always fun, but they put too much stock in it. Very few street ballers go right to the league. I hope they go back to a more organic formula and put more emphasis on the combine like in the past.
    The one has gotten the most online play from me in a sports title. Even when I get on a team of "Drivers", I still just try my best to help the team win.
    Actually, I like the Franchise in NBA Live 18 much better than NBA 2k18. 2k just seems to convoluted. I like the fact NBA Live 18 has a fairly simple GUI and shooting the ball seem a lot better.
    I'm not a fan of modes like the One but it is definitely the only mode besides WNBA that I play on this game; it's worth the price of admission. It's really fun and brings me back to the old days when I used to create myself dreaming about being on the Suns or Hornet as a kid.

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