You might think that writing a review of an annual sports title would be as easy as creating the game itself. In other words, take last year's version, include a few new elements, fix what people didn't like last time...or ignore it if it cannot be fixed...slap the relevant year on it, and voila! Isn't that how publishers usually do it?
Unfortunately, even if I was desperate and lazy enough to resort to this method, no one at Eurogamer appears to have reviewed NBA '07 last year. I can only assume that my fellow editors were too busy playing football, cricket, rugby, snooker, darts or any one of a dozen sports which are more popular than basketball in the UK. But we like to give everything a fair crack , so we thought we'd see how one the US' most popular games is fairing these days.
Let's get the new features out of the way first. Chief among them is player progression, in which you earn "achievement points" for your athlete as you take him through a season. Points are awarded for everything from your first double-double to scoring a set number of points at a certain position to winning a mini-game by a certain margin. And why would you care about these points? Well, you can use them to unlock a lot of nifty extras such as different floor patterns and jerseys, or to upgrade the abilities of your created character.