One of the best sportsmen in history - NBA 2K12 game review
Last year did not bring much choice to fans of virtual basketball. Virtually the only serious option for basketball enthusiasts was NBA 2K11 , not counting the flashy and not very extensive NBA Jam . Competitors can not be found yet: EA Sports is cooking its simulation for the third year and the end is hardly in sight, but I doubt anyone will be thinking about it at the moment. The 2K Sports team proves once again that they can create a masterpiece worthy of this wonderful discipline.
In the face of the still prevailing lockout, fans of spending the night in front of the TV do not have to turn it off and go to bed earlier - all they have to do is start the console and buy NBA 2K12 . We will not find a better substitute - emotions associated with exciting duels and spectacular plays are guaranteed, and the syndrome of "one more match" appears as often as the double double on Dwight Howard's account. It is amazing that the NBA 2K series is getting better every year, although with each new installment it seems that it can't get any better. Meanwhile, we are dealing again with a few novelties and changes that have a positive impact on the shape of the game.
After an incredibly successful experiment, which was a special mode dedicated to "His Sky in the Sky" - Michael Jordan, also this time we go back into the past with the NBA Greatest module. As the name suggests, it allows you to take control of the most outstanding players in the history of the best league in the world and to feel the difference between modern basketball and the local basketball, often radically different from today's standards. Among the 15 stars that we can find in this mode, there are such greats as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird or Julius Erving, although in this outstanding group we will also locate Wilt Chamberlain - the record holder in terms of points scored in a single match, or Bill Russell - the legendary star of the Boston Celtics from the 1960s and the first black coach in the NBA. Playing matches with big stars, however, does not mean that oldboats suddenly appear in modern halls and have a friendship match that will end in a draw. The authors give us the opportunity to participate in real battles, in completely different settings, creating a unique atmosphere of a basketball festival from several decades ago. During the match with the aforementioned Russell in the lead role, we feel as if we have just stepped back in time 50 years - the screen becomes black and white and practically the whole view is obscured by ascetic statistics and a list of starting fives. There is a terrible noise from the loudspeakers and a vague account of the commentator describing the meeting, and the musical jingles and audience reactions sound funny and reflect the crazy atmosphere of America of those years.
The creators did not forget about the rules of the game prevailing at that time, significantly different from today's ones - on the court floor we will not see a three-point line, and each foul is confirmed with personal throws. The fantastic designs of halls and players are enchanting - basketball players must wear characteristic short shorts, hairstyles even now can be amazing, and the field of play, substitute benches and referees' stands remind us that computers were once only a melody of the future.
A jump for a dozen or so years ahead also brings many changes - the image, although already in color, is still grainy and indistinct, and the transmission is dominated by bright colors. There is a noticeable progress in technical implementation - the tracking of the field rivalry is made even more pleasant by more accurate and readable statistics, and the clear voice of the commentator allows us to believe that the sound engineers did a great job. Each victory in such a match unlocks the entire team in which our star was at that time, which allows to confront the skills of outstanding players of that time with today's kings of basketball. What can I say - this mode is a bull's eye and an extremely creative development of the idea from last year. I wonder how far the creators will go in next year's edition.
The new NBA, however, is not only a classic mode - "twelve" is also a lot of improvements in terms of gameplay. The use of the right analog opens much more possibilities - thanks to it, both the positioning and execution of the throw turns out to be easier and more precise, although it must be admitted that learning this system takes a lot of time and requires practice. Now it is worth putting more effort into making passes properly - opponents often intercept the balls and carry out instant counterattacks, which allows them to quickly increase their score. Computer rivals often look for fouls in low-cost situations - you can often fall for branded throws, the blocking of which automatically means an offense and free throws. At this point, it is worth mentioning a slightly changed system of their execution - now the accuracy is measured using a percentage scale, which allows you to quickly eliminate errors.
The league mode makes its debut in multiplayer, in which we can play the entire regular season with play-offs online with 29 other people. Unfortunately, sometimes there are problems related to playing on the Internet - we often have to wait a few minutes for the game to find the right user for us, and the loading period sometimes extends significantly. Fans of the My Player mode will also find some changes - unlike the previous part, the beginning of our competitive career is just one match played before the draft, in which we have to show our full skills. Then we only have talks with interested teams and waiting for a gala where we are informed in which club we will play in the coming season.
NBA 2K12 is also a big step forward in terms of the setting of meetings and their surroundings. The dynamic preview of the match was very interesting, consisting of the most beautiful actions of the biggest stars of both teams, cheerleading performances and a preview of the competition arena filled to the last place. The presentation of the first lineups of both teams looks great - we get to the animated dance floor, where the profiles of the players showing off in front of the viewers along with their statistics appear. In the break between consecutive quarters, we watch announcements of the most important meetings, as well as the antics of club mascots - all this is reminiscent of a TV broadcast, made in a truly masterful style.
It is impossible not to mention the three commentators, whom I authoritatively declare as the best specialists in my profession. In no sports game we will find people who describe situations on the pitch in such an interesting and extremely dynamic manner. Announcements are constantly throwing us with hilarious anecdotes and crazy texts, recalling the old days and becoming a speaking encyclopedia of basketball. The spontaneous shouts of the duo of men sitting behind the table with microphones and their messenger on the pitch are the greatest reward for making an effective dunk or casting the decisive "three".
The creators also tried to improve the physics engine, although they failed to remove a few annoying bugs with basketball players permeating or bumping into a basket. Player animation has been significantly improved - it's hard to spot problems with moving from one sequence to another now, making the gameplay more fluid. Traditionally, the artists did a good job - the game looks great: the models of the biggest NBA stars look and move like real ones, and the audience and their reactions are in a class of their own. The soundtrack, consisting mainly of a mixture of hip-hop and rap, is also good, which perfectly harmonizes with the fighting atmosphere of the whole.
I believe I can fly ...
NBA 2K12 is one of the best sports titles in history. The basketball saga of Visual Concepts and 2K Sports continues its glorious traditions - its latest installment is another step towards the ideal. Although this is a production without errors (mainly in the technical sphere), it is difficult at this point to provide a richer and fuller embodiment of the exemplary definition of a virtual basketball. It is a complete game with amazing levels of playability, and the multitude of game modes and its content will surely guarantee us months of decent training with a pad in hand. If you had any doubts, at this point you should finally give them up - the "twelve" is worth every penny spent on it!
Amadeusz "ElMundo" Cyganek