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Old 01-26-2011, 09:21 AM   #45
GrantXP
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NBA 2k11 - Xbox 360
Also available on Playstation 3

Back in 1994 I decided I would give NBA Jam a go. I didnt understand basketball at all. But the game had universal acclaim and arcade 2on2 gameplay. It immediately grabbed my attention. The use of licences and the attention to detail of the players was something never seen in a sports game... Various dreadful basketball games have come and gone since with the highlight for me being NBA 2K2 on the Dreamcast but as I'm not a die hard fan each year since then I would keep an eye out for an awesome NBA game and would be sorely disappointed!

Until now, I write this review as a gamer who knows little about basketball. Before playing this game I didn't know the rules. How the league worked or any players except for Kobe Bryant and Lebron James however this game is the perfect game to not just get you into Basketball games but make the sport more accessible in general! And Shaq O'Neill still plays basketball at a high level... What is he like 100 (astute gamers will remember Shaq Fu on the Mega Drive some 15 years ago!

When you first put the disc in you are immediately thrown in at the deep end playing with Michael Jordan’s Bulls against Magic Johnsons Orlando Magic! 99% of people in this game get destroyed! Its a real baptism of fire but if sets the standard of what's to come. Photo realistic visuals, incredible attention to detail with men who buffer the court (it's amusing to knock them over), mascots that moonwalk while you play and the most varied and vibrant crowd in a sports game I have seen. Add to this the gorgeous cheerleaders that I promos you'll watch at least once and the in game detail is staggering. Matched only by the level of game options you have. Firstly there is NBA Today mode! Where you can play any of the current games going on in the NBA. Play these and you will see secrets for the latest upcoming NBA games, live current season stats on all the teams and players. Not only this but the commented is the best commentary on a sports game... EVER! Not only is it fluid with analysis of players as they play. But when you switch the game on it will download additional commentary and where injured players are not available as the system updates injuries the commentators will actually comment on who is missing, how their injury will affect the game and how long they will be put for or even make references to the teams most recent outings, if the Heat played badly in the last game they will talk about it. The NBA Today mode sets new standards in the sports genre. Something EA should take note of with their sports games. On top of this there is an Association mode which let's players guide their chosen team all the way to the playoffs with the chance to meet Barak Obama if you are successful. A My Player mode similar to FIFA’s 'Be A Pro' mode as well as the ability to relive some of Michael Jordan’s famous magical moments and play as the great teams of yesteryear. Personally it was great to use Pippin, Kucoc and Armstrong in a simulation game having used them for the bulls in the magical NBA Jam TE all those years ago!

Playing alone is superb, the AI is spot on and the players are unforgiving. Each player controls slightly differently and you really feel it when you play and it affects the in game decisions you make. However, playing with friends this game really excels in every department. One friend remarked about how realistic the game looked and we were so mesmerised we didn't even skip the half time report or and of the time out sequences. Every game you play is a high octane event and with stick control your really feel every 3 point shot, lay up and slam dunk. Even for those people who knew nothing about basketball this game was surprisingly accessible and everyone was performing give & go's and ally oops in no time. Eventually isomotion moves will feel so intuitive and the satisfaction when you pull off a dunk or sink a 3 is unrivalled. There are a couple of niggles, the online mode is a little laggy and defending is a little controversial with many gamers complaining that you can let the computer do it for you. But here is the fun in that!

NBA 2K11 isn't just the best basketball sim. It's the best sports game I have played in a long time and arguably one of the best ever! Unless you have a serious aversion to sports games I cannot recommend this game highly enough. I honestly cannot think of a way to improve it, the presentation and detail are incredible and the game plays like a dream.

Pros - photo realistic graphics and environments. Superb sound. Incredible presentation. Innovative commentary.
Cons - online mode is a little laggy. Initial learning curve may put off some players.

Overall - 95%
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