Another sports game… indeed, the x-th in its kindand still… the 2K Sports series has brought the necessary innovations and improvements in the gameplay area. Just start with a comparison of NBA Live 06 and NBA 2K6, a world of difference in every way (with 2K6 coming up way above its EA Sports competitor). Can the same be said this time?
Where the 2K Sports series tend to have a bit lesser graphics, they usually more than make up with gameplay. To start there’s still the shotstick, your right analog, with which you can choose your kind of shot. A perfect example of this is the possibility to to select the type of lay-up depending on the game situation (something not possible with the competition). For instance, you’re alone on a fast-break but are pursued by a giant man that tries to block you. With NBA Live there’s little choice, you go to the goal and get the ball back in your face. With 2K7 on the other hand you can choose the normal attempt, but after seeing that giant you have the possibility to change to a lay-back with which you’ll literally fly by your opponent and put the ball in the net. Also on the defensive side you can use your shot stick and determine the type of steal (pull the ball towards you, push it away or just tag it out), do a quick pass to keep up with your opponent, and so on. About every move from basketball can be used and for a lover like myself that’s… breathtaking!
Where I said that the 2K games are less in graphics I wasn’t completely telling the truth, they still don’t perform bad, on the contrary. Players that just start wiill start sweating after a while, you’ll see shirts getting wet, have a nicely detailed ball, … and all these things look truly beautiful. Where things do go wrong is with the faces of certain players. You can recognise them but unfortunately they don’t really look alike their real-life counterparts (or not completely).
The beautiful setup of the rest will make you feel like watching a real game and this especially during the half-time break with Kenny’s Stamp of Approval. One of the commentaries (Kenny) gives a short oversight of which players did especially well or bad in the first half or when a perfect fast-break has been done you’ll get to see a replay with the “Toyota Fast-Break Cam” with a futurist tint. There’s also reports of short interviews during the game and all this together nicely dresses things up and make you truly involved in the game.
Next to all this there’s also a new game made called “24:7 Next” which can be compared to NBA Street. You start with a character and need to build it up to become one of the best players of the outside courts. This doesn’t really differ from the normal playing style but the one thing that’s remarkable (it’s even the first time I see these things) is that you need to take a free shot in first person view… and that against Shaq (about the best free shot taker in the NBA… joy for the challenge…)
Of course this game also has a multiplayer component, what would a game be without. You can play online seasons, tournaments… and so on. Unfortunately the fun through Xbox Live isn’t quite the same as when your opponent is sitting next to you. You can’t rub in his face just how hard you’re beating him. Not quite as interesting this multiplayer but of course this doesn’t make the game any less good.
When comparing this game with NBA Live it seems to have happened again. NBA 2K7 is clearly the better of the two and this in almost all areas. If you love basketball and gaming then this is simply a must have… I won’t spoil any more words on it, this is one of the best of its kind!