Steven Bartlett: The NBA 2K12 demo is very stripped down from the build I played just a few weeks back. Here, there isn’t too much to be explored when compared to 2K11, as it almost feels the same. However, the improvements in gameplay do arise in certain situations.
The game tempo flows smoother, and that is due in the overall execution of individual movesets. The size-up animations occur quicker, and in a more controlled space allowing for chaining animations together and finding an open shooter. Catch and shoot corner threes execute faster.
Mid-air controls play out more natural. Switching hands and changing shots dynamically occurs without any slow up or awkward animations – it actually works effectively.
The Y-button post up is intriguing in its ability to free up the whole arsenal of buttons and triggers to execute moves. Originally, I wasn’t comfortable with it but I have faith in the 2K team’s control scheme. The shot stick is very effective out of the post.
2K12 is a title that will never be mastered, but always provide a level of perfection in controls to be desired. There are so many points of attack that this franchise never gets stale. I look forward to achieving Iso-Motion from the 2K camera, where I have a better feel of direction on the shot stick.
Jayson Young: Player movement still feels incredibly awkward and bogged down by the bazillion animations Visual Concepts crams into their basketball games. NBA 2K12makes the effort to capture unique jump shots for most of its players, yet the game struggles with basic transitional animations like going from the triple threat position into a blow-by dribble or catching a pass and then making a quick first step in another direction.
My biggest pet peeve is how the passing, after more than 10 years of 2K basketball, is still slow and floaty. Shouldn't Jason Kidd be zipping passes around the court? Beach ball passing, sadly, is still the norm in 2K12.
Playcalling isn't available in the demo, and with set plays being a weak point in the NBA 2K series for years, I'm skeptical that Visual Concepts has gotten this crucial element of basketball correct. NBA 2K's play system has been plagued by a cumbersome interface and dumb AI teammates since its Dreamcast debut.
NBA 2K12 certainly looks great graphically and sold a ton of copies last year, but I just haven't been impressed with the animation-heavy direction the on-court gameplay has taken since NBA 2K7. Like many of today's NBA superstars, NBA 2K12 seems to focus too much on the flash and glamour of basketball and not enough on the sport's fundamentals.
Caley Roark: I'm not a basketball expert, and didn't really give NBA 2K11 enough time last year to fully appreciate the improvements. That said, I found some positive and negative aspects of the demo that I feel qualified to dissect.
First, compared to recent demos, this one seems especially limited. I understand why there is no commentary, but no play calling? This seems like a basic function of the game, and one that's supposedly been improved by adding player specific options. It seems like something that might have been showcased in a demo, not unlike Fifa's new defensive system.
While I'm complaining, I saw that typical 2K jerkiness between animations that I believe Jayson is talking about. Only, in my case, it's more noticeable when we are watching guys who aren't in action. Those pre-game zoomed in shots look good, except when the player awkwardly twitches between warming up and heading to the bench.
On the presentation side, this game should continue to build on 2K's recent legacy of outstanding television-style camera work and graphics. While it was just an ad, the little animated banner with Lebron and Dirk looks like something you'd see on just about any channel. And the pre-game video was current, authentic and awesome.
I wish the demo might have touted the game's new features a bit better, but I did have fun with it. I think the things I'm really looking forward to (My Player, great commentary, era specific presentations) couldn't have been included anyway. For being only a casual basketball fan, the press for this game, and now the demo, has me itching to see the whole thing.
Dustin Toms: The NBA 2K12 demo is not impressive to me. Compared to what I played down at 2K Studios, this demo is slow, slightly clunky and just not that fun. You only get four minutes to begin to get a feel for the game, which is entirely too short. All in all, it's a typically 2K demo. Their demos are known for being very early, stripped down builds of the retail product.
The demo does showcase some of the new gameplay features, mainly the collisions and fast break system. The fast break does happen too often, though. Jason Kidd had three steals in a row that lead to easy points. That was way too often for more liking, regardless if the sequence looked like a thing of beauty.
The help defense is showing up, which is a big factor for 2K12's success. Miami had to fight their way into the paint; they couldn't just post up with Chris Bosh or, *gasp*, LeBron. There were a couple times when Bosh would just give up, spin around and take a terrible fade-away over Dirk.
The post game is there, but it doesn't feel as fine tuned as when I was abusing it with our boy Dirk. The Y button doesn't feel as responsive as in the build I played, which made posting up feel slow and unbalanced. I was still able to watch Dirk's pretty signature style, which really is one of the best animations I have seen in a sports game.
And lastly, for you Dallas fans out there, Caron Butler can stroke it again. Four 3s in a row.