NBA 2k11 (Playstation 3)
Developers: Visual Concepts
Publishers: 2k Sports
Platform: Playstation 3
Other Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, Playstation 2 , Nintendo Wii, Playstation Portable
Uberly-lazy author’s note: Remember the site’s title…this is how lazy we are. A 3-month delayed posting of this full review for NBA 2k11. ENJOY 😀
A word from the lazy guy: “Whoa, MJ, nice!”
2k11 = best game ever made?
The NBA 2K series has come a long way. From its early days where Allen Iverson graced the covers of the first 4 games up to KG and Kobe being the players on the covers for 2k9 and 2k10 respectively, it became one of the biggest basketball videogame franchise in the past decade. Now, NBA 2k11 has Michael Jordan gracing its cover and shows dominance over the other games. This dominance for this NBA season is most notable since its rival game NBA Elite, formerly called the NBA Live franchise, is nowhere to be found. The question does present itself, is NBA 2k11 the best game ever made? Well, if you talk about it being the best in terms of a basketball videogame/simulation/whatever you wanna call it, then it does stand as one of the best games in recent memory. One big argument as to that is because of one man: Michael Jordan
After a number of years, Michael Jordan makes his return to a videogame as one of the playable characters in NBA 2k11. The best thing about it is that you don’t only get to play as one Michael Jordan, but a number of Michael Jordans from different seasons. NBA 2k11 has a special feature called the Jordan Challenge where you play as Michael Jordan from selected Bulls seasons and relive his legend. Yes, NBA 2k11 lets you play out some of MJ’s highlights such as pouring on 63 points on the Celtics or even winning the series against the Lakers in the 1991 playoffs.
Aside from the Jordan Challenge, you can unlock about 40 Air Jordans by just playing the game itself. So you’ll sometimes encounter that you’ve unlocked a shoe after finishing a game (in any mode of 2k11). A tip to the wise, remember to save your user profile after unlocking a shoe.
Something relatively new in the association mode is the player morale system and the rotations. For the rotations, it’s more than just placing who is in the starting five, the bench, or at the injured reserved. In this feature, you have to allocate 240 minutes around the 12 active players you have on your roster. The minutes you allot them, and the minutes you give them when you play a season game affects their morale. This morale, in turn affects team chemistry and other things. If you don’t give a certain player the minutes he feels he deserves, you might get a request for him to be traded either from his player card or the NBA.com interface. There’s also a trade finder wherein you can select one of your players and see the possible offers he can have with the other teams in the association. The association mode also has very interesting post-season feature. You can now view the white house if your team wins, or if any other team wins for that matter. Yes, you’ll see the NBA champions in the White House chilling out with President Obama himself.
If there is any other mode that has been improved, it would be the My Player mode. Compared to 2k10, you don’t need to buy/download a draft combine game for 2k11. The reason: The draft combine is already in 2k11’s My Player mode. In other words, you can have your player drafted, depending on how well he does in the draft combine workouts at the beginning of the game. My Player mode has a new post-game press conference where the way you respond to questions can raise your player’s league popularity, local fan support, and his chemistry with his team. So the way you answer a question post-game can make a difference to how much the team can trust you or how the fans perceive you. With league-wide popularity comes in sponsorships. Yes, 2k11’s My Player mode can give your player an opportunity to get sponsorship from the Jordan brand. In fact don’t get too surprised if the sponsors either give you a billboard or a front page cover of a magazine as you progress through the game. Eventually, you’ll even have your own shoe.
The gameplay of 2k11 is similar to the past 2k titles. Still the same controls, same substitution interface while you’re on the court. But you have to admit there are pretty neat additions. One of the biggest revamps of the gameplay is the pre-game and post-game videos you get. Before a game starts you may either see your team’s top player leaving the bus or the team doing a huddle in the corridors before running towards the arena. 2k11 features a TNT like broadcast of the game with the announce team of Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellog, with Doris Burke on the sidelines. When there is a time out done during the game, or any break for that matter, the broadcast team would go on and show the latest stats or standings of the league (especially true when you’re playing the association mode). The 2k11 halftime report in itself is sponsored by HP and hosted by Indeed, 2k11 is really bringing in the TNT broadcast feel to this year’s game with those new in-game additions.
When you download the latest patch of 2k11, you get to see the directions as to where you have to have your player in place once you run a play (this also goes for My Player mode). In other words, running plays on NBA 2k11 is easier now given that the CPU guides the player where to go after setting a certain offensive play. However there are still a few glitches that would affect the game from time to time. Though after the latest patches for the game have been released, I doubt they would bother the overall game experience.
Just like the previous games, NBA 2k11 has an impressive array of soundtracks. We got tracks from Snoop Dogg, Big Boi from OutKast, and even Ron Artest. I got so interested in these songs that I even downloaded it for my listening pleasure on my computer. “Shutterbug” by Big Bio, “Hollywood” by Art vs Science, and “Skeleton Dance” by Children Collide are some of the songs that gave me a last song syndrome during gameplay.
It’s all in the game when you…
All in all this game is pretty impressive and might be the best NBA videogame to come out for quite some time. The addition of the Jordan Challenges makes it look like the game has another game attached to it, which is in itself not a bad thing. Reliving the past Jordan moments and the chance to play past NBA teams makes this game worth buying already. As mentioned earlier, the improvement to the gameplay, the association and my player modes are very noteworthy. I’ll have to admit, there are some glitches in the game here and there during a ball game, but that just happens out of the blue. 99% of the time, this is one kick ass game.
Sven’s Review in Lazy Format
The Good: MJ is in the game! WOOT!, Major improvements in My Player and Association modes, TNT broadcast
The Bad: Some glitches during game play, but that’s about it.
Overall: 9.5/10 (Yes, I’m totally copying IGN’s score on this game. HAH! :P)