Thursday , Nov , 13 , 2008 J.N.

NBA 2K9 Review


NBA 2K9 ReviewSince no one here really reviewed the game, I’ll do it. I know it’s way late, but this is a basketball site; someone should do it. After playing it thoroughly, the game itself is not a drastic change from the previous edition. Not the most terrible thing in the world, but Visual Concepts is still playing it safe. Let’s cut the bullshit and go straight to what I think.

GAMEPLAY
Not many improvements because it’s very minor. I don’t know how it is for you guys, but the 2K view is now unplayable. I’m not sure if it’s the lag or the jumpiness in animations, but it’s not as fluid as last year’s. The broadcast view is the new king. Hundreds of new animations are present and I appreciate that. It’s a lot more realistic and cooler looking. The intelligence of teammates is dumb. After I do a pick and roll, they don’t know when to cut to the basket.

Computer still has an easy time making buckets. They tried to fix that by making the human user have a good chance of making baskets, too. The thing is that feels like NBA Jam. There’s too much scoring. It gets ridiculous after awhile. Computer has an easy time blocking shots. They just seem more responsive while my guys are slow when they try to reject shots. It’s good to have sliders because of this.

I would like to note that 2K Sports shouldn’t just think “oh fuck it, they got the sliders. Rely on that to balance the game play.” The sliders cannot be seen as a bailout for the programmers. Many players don’t like that because we rather have everything fair 50/50 on the sliders instead of lowering the computer’s stuff especially on the superstar-hall of fame skill level. LeBron is LeGod. Dwyane Wade, Kobe, Chris Paul, Yao, KG and the other stars around the league just can’t miss any shots.

GRAPHICS

The faces are better. The overall look of the game is better. The animations are fluid. Again, they did a great job on animations and my hat’s off to them.

SOUND
This needs work. Each arena has their special music and sound effects they play such as Homer Simpson’s “D’oh” after a missed free throw or “Hit the road jack” after an ejection. I’m sure copyright law and money issues are in the way. Nonetheless, NBA Live kills them in this department. They just know how to capture the aura of an arena.

As for the commentary, Marv Albert will always be better than Kevin Harlan. They got their ace in the hole so fuck it…Go off track and hire Daunte and Galant (sp?) to do commentary. They usually do the hilarious careless commentary for the Orlando Summer League. It’s better than listening to Harlan spew off repetitive lines that were used in previous editions. The only plus is the sick soundtrack. Major kudos to stick with underground hip-hop acts.

EXTRAS
Plenty of extras were added such as trophies, better menu design, better stat tracking, headlines, NBA Insider, and such, but it’s not enough. Some of these things have been desired by fans for years now. The major saving grace is the downloadable content to update the game periodically and the choice to pick the best create-a-player online from people around the country.

ONLINE
Can’t comment enough because my subscription has run out. If anyone has a brand spanking new subscription card to give me, please do. I just know that 2K servers suck.

THINGS TO IMPROVE

All the little things. All-Star game is still meaningless. I don’t even play it because there’s no All-Star MVP award to hand out. Rookie-Sophomore game has been added, but it wasn’t a part of All-Star Weekend. When we place players on trade blocks, there has to be an option where I only want expiring deals in return. Injured players should be in suits instead of fully decked out player uniform.

Stat tracking still needs major work. When scouting college players, there has to be a “once in a generation”-type player like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, or Shaquille O’Neal who comes up. There also have to be sleepers in the second round somewhere. There is a 2K vs. Live article I wrote that goes in-depth with some things to think about.

The Good: Player animations and certain characteristics were captured. The new improved menu design makes things easier on the eyes.

The Bad: Vinny Del Negro’s bugged out eyes.

FINAL SCORE: 7.8/10 (Still the best b-ball game on the market. It can get better though. More improvements need to be made).

[image:www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2926134358/]