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Review: NBA 2K12

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If there’s one sports game that was already good but just got a whole lot better with the latest version then it will have to be NBA 2K12.

Improvements in gameplay, AI and realism will make you feel like your courtside controlling the greatest basketball players the world has ever seen.

Each game is treated like a broadcast, complete with sponsors, live stats and colourful commentary.  

If you love NBA basketball, you’re going to love NBA 2K12.

The game features all the greats from various eras including Michael Jordan, Kareeen Abdul Jabbar, Hakeen Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing to name a few.

The Greatest Mode lets you pit these legendary players against one another to see once and for all who is the best of all time.

Larry Bird tries to get past Magic Johnson in NBA 2K12

Even players from different eras are all in their prime in this game which only heightens the interest in the game.

The likeness of the players and the realism of their playing styles are remarkable. It is incredibly close to watching the real thing – another major improvement over NBA 2K11.

So all the signature moves and playing styles are there along with period accurate uniforms.

Players have the option of playing NBA 2K12 with their regular controller or with the Move motion controller and can even be played in 3D if you have a compatible television.

My Player Mode is back again and you can take control of a rising star and guide him through the key matches of the season rather than every game of the 82-match season with feedback through team popularity, chemistry with other players and even fan support.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in NBA 2K12

Association Mode lets you take control of your franchise and guide it through the season and playing at the various well-known stadiums, including Madison Square Garden, with your decisions having an effect on the team on and off the court.

You can even set play this mode online and take on your friends in your own mini NBA season.

Another star of the game apart from the photorealistic players that populate the game is the realistic game play.

This is a game of skill in attack and defence with players able to switch players on the court to either pass or block, fake pass or shoot and execute many other moves you’d seen in a real game.

Players have to have sharp reflexes in offence and defence. Blocking and going man on man in defence is takes a little practice for newcomers but regulars will take to it in an instant.

On the attacking side, passing and dribbling, faking and shooting can also be meticulously controlled for hyper accurate game play so whether you’re playing against the CPU or another player it ensures a tight exciting contest.

And the beauty of NBA 2K12 – it’s not just a button masher. Players must learn the moves and get their timing right.

The great man  himself: Michael Jordan in NBA 2K12

Even shooting, all controlled with the right analog stick, needs to be timed just right to get it to the basket.

The AI (artificial intelligence) in the game, when you’re playing against the CPU, is also a step above the previous version. The opposing players still react to fake passes but you still have to work hard to get around them.

And when you’re defending your hard work will pay off – you will earn that steal or blocked shot if you’re on your game so you always think you’re playing against other people instead of a perfect emotion-free computer.

What adds to the whole experience and game atmosphere is the reactions from the coaches, the player interchanges and the time outs – it’s like you’re watching the real thing.

But take a closer look at the crowd. It’s amazing just watching that. There are some people in the crowd who cheer, other that are just walking around and some are deep in conversation.

We were fascinated just watching that let alone playing this world class game.

NBA 2K12 has lasting appeal because of its eternal playability and the many modes at your fingertips

If you love sports games and, in particular, basketball – NBA 2K12 has to be a part of your game collection.

NBA 2K12

Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Four and half stars (out of five)

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