Taking the action to the hoop once again, NBA '06 on the PSP is a solid hoops title with quick, responsive controls, excellent visuals, and solid gameplay. There's plenty of depth as well, thanks to the new trading card system that allows you to earn and trade cards with other players online. NBA '06 also features a number of interesting mini-games to challenge players, excellent multiplayer modes and all the licenses players have come to expect. Check out our review and find out why this portable basketball title packs such a punch.
Packing a surprisingly sophisticated array of features into a small package, NBA 06 is a solidly entertaining and challenging sports title that looks great on the PSP. The game's main mode of play offers the basic mechanics you'd expect, with solid controls that make running, passing and shooting easy to perform. All of the league's 41 teams and most of the famous players are represented, with many arenas also recreated for the game as well. NBA '06 offers both single and multi-player action, with game modes ranging from single games, to tournament mode and a season simulator where you can trade players, purchase free agents, and substitute injured players. The game lets you set a number of parameters before each match including rules, time, fouls, and other variables. Players can also challenge opponents on either the Infrastructure or Ad-Hoc modes, and compete against them head to head or participate in tournament play. In addition to these standard modes, the game also includes several mini-games.
of these min-games have returned from last years installment, with Paint the
Court, Skills Challenge, 3 Point Shot competitions and two new addictive
mini-games, Horse and Dodgeball. All of these mini-games are enjoyable in their
own right, and add a high-degree of replay values. To make these mini-games even
more interesting, NBA '06 implements a "Ladder" system, where players
can play increasingly difficult mini-games in order to earn extras and other
unlockable items. NBA '06's mini-games and ladder system makes the gameplay even
more addictive, and almost acts as a second game within the main game. As you
might expect, the single player modes are excellent with solid AI posing a
challenge, but the real fun comes in competing with other players in the Wi-fi
Ad hoc mode. Not only do human opponents pose a much more interesting challenge,
you can earn Upper Deck Trading Cards that feature snapshots of your players
performing wilder moves. This revised system has been better integrated into NBA
'06, making it feel more like a natural extension of the gameplay.
While the experience and features list isn't as deep or elaborate as a traditional console title, NBA '06 packs a surprising amount of depth and polish into a handheld sports title. The main game offers solid play, intuitive controls, competitive teams and a realistic feel throughout. More importantly, the pacing and strategy behind each game feels authentic, giving the game a realistic flavor. NBA '06's excellent production values give it a highly polished appearance, with smooth animation and above-average commentary creating an excellent atmosphere throughout. Adding the mini-games to the package was a great idea, since their ladder structure lets you play a quick and gradually earn new items as you work your way up. While its approach means it doesn't have the depth of a console sports title, NBA 06 successfully captures the essence of professional basketball. It's straightforward gameplay, intuitive controls and addictive mini-games make this a great game for any PSP sports fan looking for a quick dose of hoops action.