Posted on 09. Mar, 2012 by in Achievements And Trophies
Many gamers, myself included, considered NBA 2K11 to be one of the greatest basketball games of our generation, and potentially one of the greatest sports games of all-time. So it seems like it’d be pretty hard to top what 2K11 brought to the table, right? Wrong. NBA 2K12 fixes a few minor issues from NBA 2K11 and improves upon everything that it did well, making it rival the quality of what some say is the greatest sports series of all-time, MLB the Show. Nearly everything has been improved upon. The CPU has better AI, franchise mode has gotten a boost, some minor graphical issues were fixed, and 2K Sports has brought back Jordan, along with some of the greatest players throughout NBA history.
Graphically, NBA 2K11 looked great. This year 2K Sports decided to focus most of their attention on gameplay features and minor fixes. Even so, the graphics went through a few minor tweaks and improvements. Gone are most of the “alien” looking players from previous versions of the game and star players look more like themselves. That said, there are still a handful of role-players that look completely out of place and unrealistic, which can detract from the amazing graphics and presentation. But for the most part 2K has given the player models a nice improvement. As a whole, players, arenas, and the courts themselves look slightly improved over previous versions of the game.
This is where NBA 2K12 shines. The presentation is fantastic, and arguably the best of any sports game – ever. Every single NBA arena has its own very distinct feel. Playing against the Lakers in the Staples Center is just like watching the game on TV. The lights are dimmed and the arena music and sound effects are spot-on. Regardless of your favorite team you’ll feel right at home.
The commentary has also gotten a solid boost in NBA 2K12. Steve Kerr joins the team this year as an addition to Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg. The three-man team helps add variety and greater interaction to the commentary. However, as with any sports game, commentary will start to get a little stale the longer you play it. But with twice the amount of vocabulary of 2K11 it’s going to take a lot longer.
Classic teams and players are back in a big way. 2K brings an amazing “NBA’s Greatest” mode to NBA 2K12. Jordan is back, and along with him are some of the greatest players in NBA history – Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, and more. Classic games are presented just as you’d see them on TV in their era. Playing as the Celtics in the mid 1960’s? You’ll be treated to amazing presentation with the game being in black-and-white and the announcers sharing trivia about the players and it game itself. This new mode also gives you the ability to pit Michael Jordan in his prime and a classic Chicago Bulls team against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers of today. Can the Black-Mamba prove that he’s better than Jordan? Hardcore NBA geeks, like me, will have a blast playing out these scenarios in NBA 2K12.
The gameplay in 2K12 has been tightened-up and improved upon this year. While the CPU still gets away with the occasional cheap play, you’ll see less of it in NBA 2K12. That’s not to say, however, that the game is any easier. Make a mistake and you will definitely pay. Trying to throw a pass from the half-court line to the paint? Expect it to be intercepted and taken back from an easy dunk or layup. Brick a 3-pointer that leads to a long rebound? You better get back on defense or the CPU will run you out of the gym. The CPU will also take advantages of a mismatch whenever it can. If Steve Nash happens to get switched onto Andrew Bynum in the paint the CPU will do everything it can to exploit it.
The controls have been improved upon this year as well. Though they take some time to get used to most players will appreciate the changes. There are a number of new ISO and post moves in 2K12.
We’ve already touched on the amazing “NBA’s Greatest” mode. You’ll find a number of other game modes as well. Most have gotten an improvement over previous versions of the series. You can choose to play a standard exhibition game, season, multi-year association, an online association, the popular my player mode, and NBA legend mode. New to 2K12, NBA legend mode lets you take control of any player in the NBA, similar to the popular my player mode. Want to take Dwight Howard from a raw rookie to one of the dominant forces of all-time at the center position? Legend mode lets you live out this scenario.
The popular my player mode has also seen a few improvements worth mentioning. Gone are the practice and potential D-League games. This year you’re thrown directly into a single game with full-presentation and commentary. Beyond that you’ll go through interviews with three potential teams, then directly to the draft.
Association mode is as strong and feature-rich as ever. Want to bring the struggling Milwaukee Bucks out of their cycle of irrelevancy? Now you can. Trade AI can be a little spotty at times, but aside from the occasional head-scratcher of a trade, the mode is almost as entertaining, or as heart-breaking, depending on your favorite team, as a real NBA season. David Stern even makes an appearance in the offseason during the NBA draft.
The online NBA association mode lets you play against friends and players from across the world to see who can stake their claim as the best virtual GM.
After what 2K Sports was able to do with NBA 2K11, it seemed nearly impossible to improve on the series with NBA 2K12. But they pulled it off. With a handful of new game modes, minor graphical fixes, amazing presentation, and improved AI, it looks like NBA fans will be playing NBA 2K12 right up until the release of 2K13. 2K Sports has done it again and created one of the greatest sports games of our generation.