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nba 2k12 review 
Posted on March 12, 2013 at 06:06 AM.
Once the fall hits you know what to expect. You know that 2k and their NBA game are coming out. Usually 2k does not have any hurdles to go along when they release their game but this year is an exception. Due to the NBA and their strike, 2k had to really prove that they do not need an NBA season to still produce an excellent game. Well did 2k come out swinging for the fence with NBA 2k12 or did they fall short just like the NBA season.

When you first start up NBA 2k12 you are greeted with a great video of the past and present players playing against each other. The video is stunning. What’s so cool about the video is that the past players are in a grey model to give you that classic look and feel. 2k did a great job with keeping the nostalgic feeling when playing with past teams and players. The music playing in the background goes so well. They chose a perfect song for the game, “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow. I always skip the beginning of games but this is the first time I would not mind watching it over a few times.

After you finish watching the video, you have to create your 2k account. You have to create a username and password for the new 2k account. This is something that you will use for the new 2k website. Once you’ve done that, they ask you to create your 2k player. It seems that 2k is really trying to link your stats from the game to the website. I cannot wait to see the final product of this. You can also link your Facebook or Twitter account. I am hoping that once they put all of this online, they will post every stat from every game you play.

Once all of your creating is done you are taken to the home screen. I love what 2k did with the menu overlays. It looked very modern. On the top of the screen there is quick game option. Underneath there is association and NBA online. It showed you how many people are actually playing online. In the middle of the screen, it has NBA Greatest. We will talk more about that later. To close out the menu there is My Player. In the My Player option once you start, it will show you your current game and your player model that you should have already created.

I played a quick game and definitely have to applaud 2k Sports. The game feels so smooth. The player models move more life-like then last year. What’s new to this year game is the three-man commentary. Most companies fail when they have more than one person other than say maybe EA’s NHL series. With the addition of Steve Kerr I think the game’s commentary is top notch and probably one of the best I have heard. What is so cool about this is you cannot tell they are reading from scripts at all. You would have thought they were broadcasting live as they watch the game play out. I love how they can talk about what’s going during the game then switch back to what they were talking before but if something big happens go straight back to the court. Many games try to do this but they fail badly, and I am mainly talking about a certain big name football game. Kudos to 2k for making some of the best commentary I have heard in all of sport games.

The game play is very smooth and you’ll notice very little in graphical flaws, if any. The computer A.I. is much smarter from last year. I think at times it might be too difficult but I like that. I lost by 20 while playing on Pro difficulty and that hasn’t happened in quite a while. They made this year game more life-like when it comes to camera cuts, camera angles, and player animations. You can tell when a foul happens because the whole crowd and team reacts. One thing I was surprised about was that 2k added was the ref review. I was shocked that they look over a call that happened on the floor and you see the refs walking over to the scoring table to review the play. I literally jumped out of my seat when I saw that because in my book that is realism and 2k nailed it.

One mode that was added was the NBA greatest and this is a mode that 2k has really been pushing in its advertising campaign. In this mode, you choose a player from a list of 15 that range from different eras and you get to play one of their greatest games. The players you can choose from are as follow: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Karee, Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, Isaiah Thomas, Karl Malone, Bill Russell, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, Jerry West and John Stockton.

One thing I like that 2k did was when you play as Oscar Robertson or Bill Russell you do not get color games in full HD spectrum. Instead you get the black and white grainy view that most folks saw on their television sets back in the 60’s. I really think the game captures the time periods and how games were broadcast very well. I was not alive to see games like this live on television but talking with my mom and she told me how the games used to look back then and that 2k really did a great job with presentation. She was impressed. When you beat each player goals, you will unlock classic teams that can be used in quick game. I think this mode along with Association mode and My Player mode will keep this game in console trays for a very long time.

One mode that 2k has talked a lot about revamping is My Player mode. For those that do not know or have been hiding under a rock, in My Player mode you create your player and take him up the ranks in hopes of making him a superstar. You get to create your player and make him look exactly as you would like and there are plenty of attributes that you can adjust to get that perfect player. After you do all the editing, you then have to play in the Rookie Showcase. During the Rookie Showcase, you have goals just like last year that you have to meet. If you do not meet your goals, your draft value will go down. After you play in the showcase, you will then have a press conference. The things you say to the press could have an effect on what team drafts you. What they added this year to My Player for the draft is the likeness of David Stern. He will be present for the first round and announce each draftee’s name and you get up on the stage and shake his hand just like in real life. Again, it’s just one of those things that creates a realism that I really enjoy. Besides that, My Player is pretty much just like last year. One other addition I need to mention is endorsements deals. You’ll have plenty of opportunities. Just don’t go running a dog fighting ring or anything because that could affect your endorsements. Ok, ok…you can’t have a dog fighting ring on the side. Just want to make that clear in case someone got excited and thought that might be true. My player really makes you feel like you are a true NBA player.

Association mode has pretty much remained untouched from last year but like the old saying goes, “If it’s not broken don’t fix it”. One big change though is now you can play this mode online with up to 29 other folks which can be managed from the PC or your console. Association mode gives you the option to choose one team and take that team through what would have been the current season. One thing that may turn gamers off during association mode is that there are no rookies. Due to the lock out the rookies will not be in the game. Therefore, you have to play your franchise with the summer rosters. I do not have a problem with that due to the fact at least the rosters are somewhat updated. However, those who are hardcore to the bone might not do association due to the no rookies. Now if the lockout does lift then the rookies will get some games under their belt and they should be able to be added via DLC and updates. As of the moment I am writing this review, the online mode is still as bad as last year. It takes you forever to start a match and for some reason they took out lobbies. For some reason this is one thing 2k has not fixed yet. The online feature is one thing that 2k has always had problems with regardless of the franchise. This really upsets me because I want to play this game online so bad but the features just aren’t there to have any fun and if you get a game or even get connected you are one lucky dog. I hope one of these years they get the online right.

Overall 2k has done it again with making another great basketball game. With the different type of animations, the replay value, and the excellent commentary, 2k has earned sports game of the year from me. I would even go on the limb and give this game of the year. The reason I give it game of the year is without rookies 2k did not let the current state of the NBA mess up their plans on making a great game. They went in thinking that there is going to be a season and just went on rolling. One thing I love about the 2k basketball guys is they do not get lazy due to no competition. They constantly evolve this title and have done so again this year. 2k knows what NBA fans want and they always seem to deliver a solid basketball product. I have confidence that the online will be fixed and this will be a perfect game in my book but at its current state and the fact there are no lobbies does hurt my final impression and score of the game. I seriously would have considered a perfect score if I felt the game’s online was worthy of a score like that.
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