NBA 2K11 Review, Part 1: Jordan Moments

I wanted to break down the review of NBA 2K11, because as some have written, the game is really two games in one. There’s the core NBA 2K11 gameplay of My Player, Online, Standard play and then there’s everything that goes along with the Jordan Moments Challenges.

It’s honestly been difficult for me to sit down and find time to write about this game, and not because I’ve been overly busy. I’m physically having a difficult time putting it down. (Today alone, I woke up around 8:45 and played until about 12:45 before I forced myself to turn it off and actually shower like a grownup.)

The Jordan Moments are an absolute blast to play for so many reasons. First and foremost, you’re playing them with Michael Jordan. It’s obvious, but it should be noted. Michael Jordan is finally in a video game. 2K Sports nail so many of his signature moves from the tongue out, to how he finishes at the rim, to how he shoots jumpers. It’s all there.

The moments themselves are so keenly tailored to what really happened, which was why I instantly went to the “Shrug” game against Portland as my first Jordan Moment. After I knocked in my six 3-pointers in the first quarter — didn’t even need the whole half! — Jordan did the classic shrug. And I paused the game. I probably re-watched that moment a half dozen times before I went on to finish the game, successfully holding Clyde Drexler under 20 points to complete the challenge.

Not all of the challenges are particularly easy. Getting the Double Nickel was rough on me at times, not because I couldn’t force my way to 55, but because the swarming Knicks defense took its toll on my field goal percentage, which wound up not being high enough to pass the challenge on my first attempt.

Playing the moments is fun beyond just playing with Jordan, there’s the opportunity to play with Pippen again — and not late-era Pippen, we’re talking Pippen in his prime. You have to love that they paid attention to what weird hair color Dennis Rodman was rocking for various Finals appearances, too.

A special tip of the hat goes to 2K for the job they did on commentary in the Jordan Moments. We weren’t getting generic commentary specifically about that game. Instead we were treated to some background about what was going on in a series beforehand, whether it was an off night from Jordan, an injury for Pippen or something else. I thought that was a great touch — and something EA Sports has failed to execute in a similar setting with Madden Moments that has always driven me nuts.

Beyond playing with all of Jordan’s Bulls teams, you get to use all of his foes. Shawn Kemp and GP? Stockton and Malone? Mark Price? The Bad Boy Pistons? It’s an unreasonable amount of fun and nostalgia.

You’ve also got the chance to unlock a full catalog of Air Jordan sneakers, a feature that isn’t lost on a sneakerhead like me. The various sneakers can give you additional skill points as you play games, which really makes it even more fun.

And finally you’re able to add Jordan to modern-day teams. How would Jordan look in a Heat uniform? How would he look playing off Kobe? Could he step on the floor and save his Bobcats? You can do it all.

2K found itself with a massive opportunity when it became the first game to land Jordan and they did not squander it. This was a truly impressive performance by 2K just in this part of the game alone. Even if you didn’t want to play the rest of the game, it’d be worth every penny.

Part 2 of my review, involving Online Play, My Player and more, will be posted next week.


One Response to NBA 2K11 Review, Part 1: Jordan Moments

  1. Pingback: NBA 2K11 Review, Part 2: The rest « chris littmann

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