NBA 2K11 Review, Part 2: The rest

About two weeks ago, I wrote up my thoughts on the Jordan Moments area of NBA 2K11. (If you want to go back and read it, click here.) After logging a lot of time with the game — particularly online and in My Player — I’m fairly certain this is my favorite sports game since… well, I’m not even really sure. College Hoops 2K6 was a highly addictive game for me, even though it was highly flawed in retrospect. It was certainly the most fun I’d had with any basketball game prior to NBA 2K11, but when you talk about bang-for-the-buck, 2K11 bests it easily. In overall sports titles, I thought last season’s Madden with Pro-Tak, etc. was a huge step forward in gameplay, perhaps the most significant in some time. Any way you slice it, NBA 2K11 is easily one of the two or three best sports titles of this particular generation as far as I can tell.

After the jump, I’ll go through some of the highlights of the game for me personally, along with a few minor issues I’d like to see addressed in title updates and patches. Read more of this post


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.

Read more of this post

Survey: Are you experiencing 2K11 slowness?

I’m starting to finally collect my thoughts for review posts on NBA 2K11. I’ll probably break it up into Jordan Moments and everything else. A big part of the everything else, as always, is Online Play. I’m having a heck of a time getting ranked matches set up. I sit and watch an endless “Searching For Available Matches” screen and I can’t really tell if it’s me with a bad connection or 2K’s servers being overwhelmed. The consensus from Twitter seems to be that I’m not alone. Even when I was able to connect tonight for two games, I had one disconnect mid-way through the first quarter. The other disconnected with less than 2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. (And I’d just taken the lead with the Thunder against the Lakers! /shakes fist at the sky.)

So let me know in the comments, or on Twitter/Facebook: Are you experiencing matchmaking slowness on NBA 2K11? I’ve pinged @Ronnie2K, who I’m sure is slammed at the moment with launch, and I’ve yet to hear if this is a widespread issue. While the gameplay is superior, I’m hoping that when this game sells like hotcakes, some of it will be reinvested in infrastructure for online play so we don’t have to deal with this.

NBA 2K11: What if?

Last night I had the cold shakes because I was sick, which was incredibly unpleasant. Tonight I’ve got them because I just heard a bit ago that my copy of NBA 2K11 should be arriving. I think I’m going to go at the reviewing of the game a different way this time around, maybe with a post each day on a particular mode. I think people will really evaluate the game on a few levels: core gameplay, Jordan Moments, Online Play.

Really just can’t wait to get my hands on this. I admit I’m probably more excited for NBA 2K11 this season, thanks to Jordan Moments, than I’ve been for anything this side of Gears of War 2.

Essential reading on NBA Elite 11

The most fateful day for NBA Elite 11 was not Monday, Sept. 27, the day it was postponed indefinitely. It’s Sept. 21, the day it was crucified.

From Owen Good on Kotaku. Be sure to read his piece not just on the delay, but also on what went on in the past year as EA Sports rebranded the Live franchise to Elite and other details.

NBA Elite 11 delayed; is this the end?

On a day when NBA 2K11 released the above trailer that really flashes a lot of the fun from their upcoming Jordan Moments feature, there was some less-than-positive news coming from EA Sports regarding NBA Elite 11. The release of the game has been delayed to an undetermined time.

The details from IGN:

“EA Sports has decided to delay next month’s launch of NBA Elite 11. NBA Jam will launch on the Wii on October 5; we’re also now going to ship NBA Jam as a standalone product on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in time for the holidays,” a spokesperson told IGN.

“We set ambitious goals for NBA Elite, and we are creating a game that will introduce several breakthrough features that have been missing from the basketball genre. We are going to keep working until we’re certain we can deliver a breakthrough basketball experience.”

“We feel this is in the best interest of our consumers, our company and our shareholders.”

Obviously a lot to take away from this one statement. The fact that NBA Elite 11 is being delayed might not be the worst thing in the world. Some of the glitches found in demo gameplay were pretty awful. The hook shot exploit. The glitch that can only be described as “The Passion of Andrew Bynum.” Whatever the heck this dribble glitch is. It hasn’t been pretty.

There’s also the news that NBA Jam will be made available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as a standalone title. This hadn’t been announced until this point, but I never believed it would only come as a standalone title on the Wii. I always assumed they were keeping the PS3/Xbox 360 plans under wraps as a way of buoying sales for Elite.

Now the question remains what kind of future Elite, in its first year of being rebranded, really has. By coming out later than 2K11 and not having the allure of NBA Jam exclusivity, the market could be bone-dry, even if EA Sports only comes to shelves one week late.

I certainly hope the game comes to market, because there were parts of the game that intrigued me. They really looked like they were getting closer to eliminating that “playing on skates” feeling, which is just the worst in basketball titles.

Rajon Rondo > Derrick Rose > David Lee

It’s the transitive property that we learn from the latest NBA 2K11 ad. These t-shirts really, really need to be sold. (Particularly the Derrick Rose one.)

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