Basketball isn't that big in the UK, however that hasn't stopped Sony launching the third title based on the sport for the PS3 since it launched last year. But can this beat off the competition from EA and 2K? We shoot some hoops to find out.

There are four main areas of play in this year's version: Quick Play, Online, NBA Replay, and League.

Quick play that gets you right into the action from the go get, allowing you to choose two teams, set sides (up to four players, two on each side) and then take to the court. As it's name suggests it's quick and its simple with little decision making to be done before you get to taste the action.

The Online play is equally simple to run, manage and play. Here you can find other players to challenge as well as post your scores for all to see. If playing isn't your cup of tea there are lobbies as well that let you chat with other likeminded basketball players who also can't be bothered to play the game even though they've loaded up the disk.

Then there is League, one of the two main areas of NBA 08. Here you can play a team through an exhibition, season, playoffs or just minigames like 3 pts, own the court, skills challenge.

Disappointingly you can only create a single player rather than a dream team although the more you play with that character the more experience he earns and the better he becomes.

Finally there is NBA replay, a chance to relive key moments in the last NBA season. Here gameplay takes on the guise of having to complete a series of tasks in-game, like scoring from a certain place or not letting a certain player score more than a set amount of baskets. Every challenge is timed and there are secondary goals for gamers looking to score extra points. Complete them and you get to move on to the next week.

When it comes to gameplay NBA 08 is easy to master, while offering greater scope for those looking to learn by including support for the motion function (SIXAXIS) in the PS3 controller.

Pull back on the controller for example and the players throw their arms in the air making it harder for a shooter to see the basket. Pull it down and you block the path stopping them charge for the hoop.


So how does it compare to the other two basketball games on the market? Well NBA offers plenty, but not much more beyond the remit of last year's version and while the SIXAXIS control system brings depth to the game it does make it hard to master.

NBA 08 is a good attempt at taking the king of the court status, but it's still missing those killer elements to make it a must-have.