Monday, October 04, 2010
There’s been a lot of anticipation surrounding the new 2K Sports “NBA 2K11” videogame, which hits stores Tuesday (10/5).
That anticipation is more than warranted. This NBA basketball simulation looks more like the real thing than any other sports game ever created. There’s never been a Madden this good. In fact, there’s never been too many games better. Put this one up there with Halo and Mario and Guitar Hero.
This is one of the best video games in a generation.
It features Bobcats owner Michael Jordan on the cover and in the game. You can try to recreate 10 of Jordan’s greatest games. These are quite challenging. Those Lakers and Trail Blazer teams were pretty good, and it was neat to see some of the legends like Magic Johnson and Scottie Pippen recreated so vividly. Scottie even had his flat top.
And if you can get Michael and the Bulls over the top, you unlock a special mode where you can draft Jordan as a rookie and play out his career.
You can also pick many of Jordan's best Chicago Bulls teams and play against some of today’s best. If you choose one from early in his career, you get a thinner Jordan who wanted to drive and dunk. Choose one of his final three championship teams and you get the more crafty guy who liked to head-fake, spin, and fadeway.
The ShotStick control system is easy to learn and basically asks you to use two buttons to call plays or make sudden moves. It also allows for precise movements, allowing you to pull off the “oh-my-goodness” moves you see on TV. There are not very many animations that are predetermined like we’ve seen in many a sports game.
But the thing that stands out here is the presentation. Sure, there’s all the important modes: career mode, create-a-player, draft-your-creation-and-earn-enough-skills-to-get-drafted. You can update your season in real-time with the real season, so if your star gets hurt in real life, he gets hurt in your game.
While always welcome, most titles have these type of features nowadays. They don’t have this attention to detail.
Other than Kobe Bryant, these guys look a lot like their real life counterpart. They also play like them. You won’t see Raymond Felton driving and dunking over a 7-footer. You’ll see the defensive help.
No longer can you just come down the floor, mash a few buttons and easily beat your defender for a dunk.
The game really looks and feels like a real TNT broadcast, down to the soundtrack and sound effects. The crowd sometimes will arrive late, and leave early if you’re at home and getting blown out. I noticed all kinds of fan animations, celebrating big baskets -- or berating you for giving up some. I even lost my place in the game a few times because I caught myself looking at all the “little things” going on around me.
The PlayStation 3 version is compatible with the new PS3 move controller. Using the wand controller, you can easily shoot, pass and block shots. It took awhile to get used to playing with the wand, but I enjoyed it.
And I enjoyed playing this game. There’s little to quibble with. It plays fast enough. It looks good enough. This is a love letter to basketball. It’s definitely worth a try.