NBA 07 is a very solid title that all PSP owners should have whether they're devoted basketball fans or not. It retains all of the core traits of its PS2 cousin, and thankfully omits a few of the "tacked on" features that hound the PS2 edition.
I was initially quite impressed with the general level of polish present in NBA 07. The interface is as slick as they come. Within seconds I was playing a quick match without having to wait for long loading times or having to access a long list of options for character customization. And this is where the PSP version of the game has the advantage over its PS2 counterpart. There is no "The Life" mode on the PSP version, which on the PS2, serves as little more than a convoluted story line tacked on to the games' league or franchise mode. In my opinion, NBA 07 for the PSP is the superior title just taking into account the absence of this useless feature. As it turns out, however, it's pretty much identical with regard to gameplay, almost as deep with regard to its franchise mode, and pretty much blows away the PS2 version if you account for the fact that it's a portable title.
The core gameplay in NBA 07 is actually quite intuitive and enjoyable once you get the hang of it. I've played past NBA titles and always found them to be really playable and this title leaves nothing behind. It seems as if there has been another level of refinement added to the controls. Veterans of the series will find that all of the fluidity and tightness of controls carries over from past titles fully intact and that there are even a couple of new features. An open shot indicator helps players to gage the optimum time to shoot the ball and a power boarding system allows you to aggressively go after rebounds. Basic gameplay is easy to pick up and get into. It helps when you learn to think a step ahead with regard to setting up plays. Pretty soon you're faking out guards, setting picks and tossing alley-oops with the best of them. The analog control on the PSP version was surprisingly responsive given some criticism levied against the system for it's suspect responsiveness on other titles. The game does a good job of keeping you on your toes without being cheep about it, although there were a few occasions where I wondered why the opposing team seemed to net everything from three-point territory where I had to really focus on netting two footers. Small details aside, the gameplay in NBA 07 really stands out as reason to buy this title. Mini games like free throw competitions and dunk competitions are nice additions that serve to add variety and replay ability to the title, although they seem more like nice diversions rather than full-fledged alternative modes of play.
Audio for the sounds of the court and announcers is very good overall. Everything from the roar of the crowd to the squeaking of sneakers does a good job of immersing players in the NBA experience. I especially liked how the announcers' banter would change to reflect the direction of the game. I especially liked how the intonation in the announcers voices and the cheers from the crowd would swell to reflect the action as big plays developed. A little more variety in the comments announcers use would be welcome, but overall, the sound lends to the perception of overall quality regarding the presentation of the game.
I an not a huge follower of the NBA so I didn't have to much occasion to get into the league play or franchise mode of the game so it's hard to comment upon substantial improvements to this mode of play from past titles. Given that this is a portable title, one might think that the quick play and exhibition modes are more conducive to this format of gameplay rather than one that requires a good amount of time and effort on the parts of players. It's worth noting that I found it to be incredibly deep with regard to the choices one has to alter teams by adding or subtracting players. Being able to purchase free agents stands out as a neat feature only because one could theoretically construct a dream roster and then pit them against the rest of the league. At the very least this game retains all of the features of the PS2 version, just maybe a little less depth. The commitment the average PSP player will give to developing their team and completing an entire season remains to be seen.
Overall, NBA '07 stands out as a quality title every PSP owner should own even if they aren't fans of the sport. It's an enjoyable basketball title, and one of the best available to date on the PSP handheld.