“Become The Greatest.” That is the tagline for the newest incarnation of the NBA2K series. Surpassing NBA Live (now Elite) as the best selling basketball game for the past few years, NBA2K11 looks to continue their winning streak by securing the co-sign of arguably the greatest to ever lace up the hightops: Michael Jordan.
Not only is this the first time in recent memory a former player has graced the cover of an NBA licensed video game, but the first time since the old Bulls vs. Blazers (for Sega Genesis!) game in the early 90’s that Michael Jordan has appeared in a game licensed by the NBA.
NBA2K11 has all the makings of being a classic. Basketball games in the past have boasted about allowing full control of player movements, but NBA2K11 delivers on the promise with a full tutorial on which direction to move the controller to perform moves such as behind the back dribble, step back moves, and crossover to drive combos. Gone are the days of wiggling the controller and hoping something happens.
NBA2K11 has also improved minor details such as pre-game introductions and the halftime report which now includes a full recap of other games in progress. The in-game animations have been brought to a new level as well. One example of this is when #1 overall draft pick and Washington Wizards rookie John Wall makes a good play, he celebrates by doing his famous dance (look it up on YouTube).
Jordan isn’t on the cover of the game for his looks. He is an integral part of the game play with various features including “The Jordan Challenge” where the user can play in ten classic Jordan games including “The Flu Game” against the Utah Jazz from 1997 and the “Shoulder Shrug” game against the Portland Trailblazers among others. There is also a feature where the user can become Michael Jordan and re-create his career thus the aforementioned tagline.
Fans who pine for the glory days of the NBA will be happy to know that teams such as Dominique Wilkins-led Atlanta Hawks (look for current Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers on the team as well), Patrick Ewing’s Knicks and the Isiah Thomas-led Bad Boys of Detroit are here as well to try to knock a young Michael Jordan (there are animations of Jordan with hair) off his throne all over again.
With the 2010-2011 NBA season one of the most anticipated in recent memory, NBA2K11 is the perfect way to play along with your favorite team or stroll down memory lane.