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NBA 2K11

 

 

SCORE: 93

 

NBA 2K11 NBA 2K11 

 

NBA 2K11 is the latest release in the most popular simulation basketball franchise from the last decade. With each annual update, 2K Sports brings new life to the series and continues stay on top of the basketball video game genre. But this time they have done more for an annual release game than ever before. NBA 2K11 is a masterpiece of video game development. From dribbling the basketball to running your NBA team in franchise mode, all of the subtle details have been included to make NBA 2K11 the best basketball game yet again.

Gamers will notice from the beginning that NBA 2K11 is serious about taking basketball to a new level with the endorsement of Michael Jordan - and his likeness over the cover. But not only does he grace the cover, but his presence adds an entirely new dimension to the game itself. The most enjoyable, yet challenging, aspects of implementing Jordan into the game are the 10 “greatest games” of Jordan’s career. Relive those moments of basketball history as Jordan himself. These Jordan moments are so deep in replay value and entertainment that they could be a stand-alone game all by themselves. And there is lies one of the main reasons this title is one for the ages – the Jordan mode is only a small part of NBA 2K11.

Back this year are all the fan favorite game modes – Association, My Player and more. In the franchise mode the AI has been improved and the computer operated GM’s act more like their real life counter parts. No longer can you simply trade the benchwarmers for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. There is much more strategy involved in running your team thanks to the improvements to the AI.

Also, receiving a nice update in NBA 2K11 is the overall gameplay. The teams play like the real teams in the NBA. The in-game controls are more fluid and life like. Gamers will immediately notice the increase in defensive intensity from the AI. This is a welcomed change as it keeps the games from becoming dunk fests within the first two minutes. The only downside to this upgrade is that 2K may have over-compensated. I once picked up a loose ball in the back court and had what appeared to be a clear path passed my defender when suddenly he appeared to slide four of five steps all at once to get back in front of me and stop the fast break. When the newly intensified defense works it is a thing of beauty, but there are frustrating moment when it is a little over-the-top.

The player designs are some of the best we have ever seen in a sports game…on most players. The stars obviously got most of the focus in regard to facial detail. However, some of the lesser-known players look like aliens. It just creates such a discrepancy when you see them on the floor at the same time. On a better note, the in-game graphics and animations are breath taking. From a distance your friends will be certain you are a ‘watching’ a live NBA game.

The presentation continues the run on realism from the game commentary to the tracking of statistic. The Jordan factor also adds significantly to the overall game presentation. Most basketball fans are well aware of the cross over between the NBA culture and that of rap and hi-hop music. This crossover is evident in sound track. For those not interested in that style of music, there is the option of editing the volume.

After playing last years NBA 2K10 I was eager to see if the multi-player slowdown issue would be corrected in 2K11. It definitely was. Playing on the same team or against a friend proved very fluid with no slowdown at any point. I was very pleased to see 2K corrected this issue.

One area that can be improved on - I hope 2K will listen to the critics and fans on this one – is the My Player mode. Granted it is a blast to create you player and start from scratch in an effort to make it to the big stage of the NBA. It just takes too long. A more streamlined version that picks up as an NBA rookie would be a welcomed change.

One thing I really enjoy when playing sports games is the opportunity to discuss healthy competition with my son. The topics of teamwork and sharing always come into play was well. Playing a game like NBA 2K11 also gives younger fans an opportunity to learn about the NBA game thanks to the emphasis on the details and realism. NBA 2K11 is the most realistic basketball simulator ever developed, in the discussion of best sports video game of all time. Can not wait to see how 2K defends their title next year.
- Alan

 

Graphics: 92%
Sound: 90%
Replay/Extras: 98%
Gameplay: 95%
Family Friendly Factor: 92%
System: PS3/Xbox 360/Wii
Publisher: 2K Sports
Rating:   ‘E’ - Everyone

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