It is getting harder and harder for sports video games in this age and time. Any innovation you come up with can be copied in a year or less. Any special features you offer this year can be a hit in another series a few months later. Thinking outside the box though is what this business is all about, and NBA 2K11 just took that box and shipped it away. The developers of this game brought their A game for this title, read on and find out why and how.
What is the best basketball ball series in the past 10 year? NBA 2K for sure, no questions or explanations needed. After the excellent 2K and 2K1 titles on the Dreamcast, the series moved on to the PS2 and Xbox. Impressing on both systems did not stop the developers from releasing some of the top sports games year in and year out. For the past few years though, the series started to struggle a bit. With NBA Live proving to be too weak of a competitor, the 2K series looked like it was taking it easy. New features were limited and often rushed, and last year saw some really bad issues hinder the game and its speed. The developers though, took last year’s game – added great features, fixed all the glitches and released one of the best sports games ever.
What we love about this game is how familiar it feels, no massive renovation was done to perfect this one. The developers simply took the same engine and made sure all the issues and glitches were fixed while adding a load of features and game modes. 2K11 compared to 2K10 is like redecorating your house and spending a ton of cash on it while still feeling at home, instead of moving to a brand new unfamiliar house (PES 11 compared to PES 2010 for example).
I usually do not comment on the cover athlete much, but this is MJ after all. To be honest, I was not that excited when I heard the announcement a few months ago. MJ has been gone for so long now; a game with him on the cover should have been released years ago. I also found it pretty ironic that BBall games in 1997 and 1998 did not have the MJ license. So why come back with him on the cover after all of these years? Well, 2K had a master plan behind all of this and that plan just proved to be a success. Unlike every other sports game that pays the cover athlete just to appear on the cover and take a few photo shoots, NBA 2K used MJ with style. He is on the cover and the whole game seems to resolve all around him. Classic Bulls teams are included, classical bulls rivals such as the Lake Show from the 80s and The Jazz from the last 90s are there, each with a unique set of legends for you to run the court with.