NBA2K12 is your basketball fix

by Andrew Mansfield

NBL fever is building as we head into round 8 of the season. If you’re someone like me who likes to continue the basketball action between games, you should get your hands on a copy of NBA2K12.

There are no two ways about it – if you like basketball you must own this game.

The best thing about it is it appeals to all skill levels. If you’re new to the game, set it on easy and feel like you’ll never miss a shot. On the flip side, when you’re looking for the world’s best basketball simulator, crank up the difficulty and the game changes to one where positioning, being ‘open’, players ratings and timing are critical to whether or not the ball will ever have a chance at seeing any net.

As for aesthetics, this game gets a 10 out of 10. There has never been a sporting game in my experience that looks this realistic. Countless times I’ve had passers-by comment that on first glance they thought it was a live game. The detail of the players, stadiums and TV show-like layouts of statistics and replays are stunning. But it’s the commentary, crowd noises and arena sounds that bring this game to life.

Thousands of lines of speech built into the game respond naturally to what is happening in the game with real world commentators like Steve Kerr and Kevin Harlan.

The gameplay has been tweaked again this year where real-world physics make a difference out there on the court. If you’re a little guy running around the tall timbers, expect to get banged up a bit. Vice versa if you’re a big guy trying to dribble it past a little guy – don’t be upset when he steals the ball off you, runs around you three times and sprints away while you lumber after him.

There is a new ‘Practice’ mode that teaches you all the skills you’ll need to dominate a game, with some of the more difficult skills requiring lots of time in the gym before you’re able pull them off. Even better, these skills are taught to you by NBA legends. Who doesn’t want to learn how to do the ‘dream shake’ after being taught by Hakeem Olajuwon himself?

This leads to the final point of my review – the ‘Legends’ mode. Last year we had Michael Jordan (don’t worry he’s still featured), but this time he’s brought some friends. You’ll play through some truly epic encounters with a collection of the NBA’s greatest players – Kareem, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J and many more. Unfortunately we haven’t got Charles Barkley yet, but rumour has it he’ll be making an appearance in an upcoming expansion pack.

Other cool things in the game that need mentioning include ‘My player’ mode where you play as an individual player and try to make it as a superstar in the league over many seasons (kind of like a role-playing game); the extensive ‘Franchise’ modes (both offline and online); and ‘Blacktop’ where you can pick your own street team from all of the NBA all-stars and play a game on a quiet street court away from the huge crowds.

Ultimately in a world of no real NBA (the NBA lockout still happening) NBA2K12 will have you hooked on its beauty and depth gameplay.

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