NBA 2K9 REVIEW
Ever since the first NBA 2K game came out for the Dreamcast, I’ve been a fan. When NBA LIVE went to crap after 2004, I wasn’t to bummed because I had 2K. For some reason the 2k sports games where just better than the offerings of EA or the laughable 989 Studios.I remember the great sports game days before Madden effectively killed the better, cheaper NFL 2K series. Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of the weird choices and overhauls slapped on 2K8, but it wasn’t all bad. I still played NBA 2K7 over NBA LIVE O8. Did the latest NBA 2K make me want to retire my very old and battered copy of NBA 2K7? Well, no. I popped in the game and was happy to see that the updated roster has been added to the list of things the game does for you automatically. So no more having to go online yourself, just to update the roster. Now when I started the association mode, I noticed that they choice to make the main menu screen a very badly laid out NBA type website. It’s unneccessarily hard to navigate, it felt like they don’t want you to use the screen. I liked the news bits, but there’s been enough games so that it shouldn’t be a chore to try and play my teams game of the week. I still deeply miss the old ESPN type weekly run downs the 2K sports games used to include, it used to blow EA’s meager offerings out of the water….but of course it’s still gone and I don’t know why. Now horrible menu options aside, it looks nice. When I was finally able to get to my teams game I noticed that they took away the color commentating and added a pretty bland announcer. Now the best part of announcing is the dialogue between the color commentator and the serious commentator, but they decided it wasn’t neccessary. When the actual basketball game started I was a bit troubled with the fact that when going for the tip off, it feels like your character weighs like a ton of bricks. The characters overall don’t exactly work 100 % of the time. There were mind numbing parts when I would finally get a steal, but the characters didn’t notice that the ball had been stipped…that is my team didn’t notice that the ball was stripped, because the other teams computer A.I always sees where the ball is. Now whats the point of letting me steal if my team can’t “see” the ball. They also randomly will not even notice the rebound. I was playing with the Celtics and the other team shot a three pointer, missed and four of my guys literally stood there looking off into space while the ball rolled past them. On any given play the team A.I will just shut down, build up too much of a lead and your guys will randomly stop mid court as your on a fast break. There’s a few too many problems with this game. It’s not that this is a basketball game from a first time developer, this is a game that has been coming out since 1999, and you can’t code characters that can “see” the ball? It’s a basketball game, if a NBA player stood there looking off in the distance as a rebound rolled past him he’d be kicked out of the league. I had high hopes that this years NBA 2K would prove to me it wasn’t just resting on it’s ass while EA was asleep at the wheel. I just wish that the NBA:THE LIFE games didn’t feel like they where meant for the atari 2600, then maybe they’d try hard to still put out the best basketball game they could.
CHARLES’ GRADE: C –
PROS:SOME CHARACTERS LOOK GREAT
CONS: SO MANY THINGS, FRUSTRATING HELPER A.I., RANDOM GOD A.I. FOR OPPONENTS