By on September 27, 2006

2K Sports brings us the king of the court in basketball simulation.


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First Impressions
My reaction is

NBA 2K7 has a whole lot of gameplay modes. There’s the Season mode which is an emulation of a basketball season, The Association, which puts you in the shoes of the General Manager of the basketball team you choose, Street mode which is semi-street basketball, which isn’t needed at all (make Street 2K7 instead of that 2K Sports!), Situation mode, which puts you in the situation you like, in a game, and Practice mode where you can do normal practice, or practice free throws, and the Exhibition mode.

Let’s start with the Street mode. Its story is appalling. You meet Shaquille O’Neal (one of the biggest NBA stars, if you didn’t know) shooting free throws in your run-down basketball court, where, incidentally, you and your friends are playing too. Your friend sees Shaq, and actually challenges him to play ball with you! Shaq agrees to play with you only if you beat him in shooting free throws. Now, there’s a script for your next movie Steven Spielberg! Anyways, most of you who will be buying this wouldn’t probably be playing this, as this is a basketball simulation.

The Season mode is deep and runs the entire basketball season. Although there is nothing new to this, it still is a fun gameplay mode. More impressive is the Association, where you’re the General Manager of a basketball team. It is very deep, and you have a lot of duties to perform, other than playing the matches. You can scout for new talents, you can participate in the annual NBA draft, and you can schedule practices for your team, and you have to maintain and improve your team’s chemistry. This is one of the main gameplay modes, and it is a lot of fun to play. Situation mode is more for the veterans of the game, who just want to get into a match already in progress, and try to beat the opposing team.

The actual, professional game plays great. Unlike NBA Live 07, where you can block every shot, or steal the ball almost every time you try to, this game plays like the real sport. Your offense and defense will be largely affected by which team you are playing with. For example, you can’t expect to get many fast break points with the San Antonio Spurs, and don’t expect too many points to come from beyond the arc with Miami Heat. Also, utilizing each player’s skills is necessary to win a ball game in NBA 2K7.

So, though NBA 2K7 has got its basics right, and its foundation solid, it has a lot of small, nagging glitches and problems which, unfortunately, hinder the most exciting parts of the game. Fast breaks can be frustratingly cut off, just because one of your players stopped to pick up a pass, and that allowed the defense to come back. No player stops during fast break, as that ruins its whole purpose! Also, some of the A.I passes are too predictable, and the ball can be easily stolen. None of your blocks connect with the ball, and these result in a lot of fouls, although you can tune this with the gameplay sliders.

Free throws take a lot of practice to get right, and still the result is unpredictable, as the game is unforgiving with your timing. So, even if you mistimed your free throw by a split-second (and your player is not a great free throw shooter), odds are the ball is going to bounce off the rim. Don’t expect the scores in NBA 2K7 to be high, though. This is mostly due to the sudden change in the A.I during fast breaks. Everyone in the opposing team suddenly seems to be an Allen Iverson, stealing almost every pass you make during a fast break. Also, dunks are missed quite a lot (is that even possible?), and wide-open 3 pointers disappointingly bounce of the rim.

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The Scorecard
Great, accurate simulation of basketball, though fast breaks and free throws mess up part of the experience.
Realistic player animation, individualized player shots look good, but some camera issues, and some ugly graphical glitches.
Great commentary livens up the experience and songs sound good.
Large number of gameplay modes and online play gives good value for the game.
NBA 2K7 is a deep, yet fun game, and though it takes some time to get used to, is a great overall basketball experience.


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