I have never been a big fan of the NBA 2K series, neither of basketball sport itself, so obviously, when I went in to play NBA 2K12, I wasn’t expecting a lot. At first, when I booted up my first quick match, what stunned me the most was the presentation. Presentation has always been a strong point for the NBA games, but never before has 2K delivered so comprehensively in this aspect of the game. Each match gets full build-ups, animated team sheets with the commentators listing out the player names and their positions, a great crowd, and even advertisements for upcoming matches. It adds greatly to the authenticity of the game, and will definitely appeal heavily to the fans of the sport and the game series. The commentary also is very good, putting all competition to shame.
The best addition has to be the new challenge modes. Whereas in NBA 2K11, we only had challenge modes for Michael Jordan, this time around, we have them for fifteen legendary players, having us play out classic scenarios from some memorable matches. The presentation in these matches is awesome. If we’re replaying a match from the olden times, the game will appear in black and white, with contemporary commentary and some awesome player likenesses for the players. These modes provide a great deal of value to the game, especially if you’re a basketball fan of long times.
What addicted me long time to the game, though, was the My Player mode, which was way better than last year. I had incredible amounts of fun with the realistic presentation, the post match conferences, and how I had to concentrate on the growth of just my player. Not even FIFA’s Be A Pro can rank amongst My Player, despite being one of my favourite modes in the FIFA series. My Player is just too comprehensive, detailed and addictive to be inferior to any similar mode in sports games.
The Association mode hasn’t changed much from last year, though that isn’t really a bad thing. I would have liked to see some more changes, but Association mode was fun as it was. Managing my team throughout the seasons was a hell lot of fun, especially since a lot of attention has been [aid to tiny little things, all of which come together to make the experience feel more authentic, and thus, realistic. Much better than that, though, is the Online Association mode. It gives us a lot of freedom designing our team to our own will, and customizing it as per our needs. While it’s a tone both online and off, I personally preferred the online mode.
There were some negative aspects to the game as well, most of which were purely technical. The player likenesses, for one, are highly inconsistent, being highly similar to the real thing sometimes, and downright ugly others. It could do with a lot of improvements, as could the jerky player animations and the somewhat rough textures of the game, which mar the visual fidelity. Then, there’s the AI. It’s not always bad, but sometimes, it can be really cheap and unrealistic, which goes against the overall purpose and spirit of the game- to provide a realistic and enjoyable experience.
Overall, NBA 2K12 is one hell of a game. Yes, it has some technical problems, and the Association Mode hasn’t changed much, but when you take into account the extra player challenges, the excellent My Player mode, the addictive online gameplay and the super-realistic presentational aspects of the game, you’d be more than willing to overlook the minor niggles of the game.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Stellar, full blown broadcast-like presentation; Very good commentary; A lot of control is given; Players control very smoothly; My Player mode is brilliant and comprehensively better than last year; 15 player Challenges add a lot of replay value to the game; Online Association is very enjoyable and addictive; Lots of vintage teams and players for the basketball fanatics
Jerky animations; Player likenesses need improvement; Graphics could be much better; Association hasn't changed much from last year; AI is occasionally cheap and unrealistic
Some technical problems aside, NBA 2K12 is a wonderful game and definitely one of the best games in the sports genre till date.
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