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NBA 2K12 Preview (Xbox 360)

As many of you already know, I had the opportunity to play NBA 2K12 for the past two days, here at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Before I start with my impressions, I want to tell you where I come from, in the NBA 2K series. I started with NBA 2K7, which I thought was the greatest game ever. It still has a certain place in my heart. I played that game every day. I thought NBA 2K8 was good, but not as great as NBA 2K7. No momentum shots killed it for me. NBA 2K9 and NBA 2K10 were huge disappointments to me. It felt like they totally lost the controls in those games, even the shooting became worse. NBA 2K11 was really good again, but also had some issues. I have to admit that I liked NBA Live a lot, especially the last ones, because there are certain aspects of the game that are better than the NBA 2K games, for example spacing and working the ball around for a good shot.

With that said, let’s talk about NBA 2K12. The demo featured the Dallas Mavericks against the Miami Heat. I was automatically assigned to the Mavs, but could switch to the Heat, via option menu. Play calling was disabled, just like last year with 4 minute halves. The pregame introduction is great this year, as you can see in one of my videos, posted earlier.

Gameplay. After winning the tip, I moved around with my player and it felt a lot like NBA 2K11. I think the offensive movement, with the left stick has remained unchanged. The first disappointment came when I tried every possible combination, to see whether or not manual passes were in the game (bounce passes for example, like in NBA 2K7). I really wanted to see that in the game, but I couldn’t figure it out, couldn't find the modifiers.

The second thing on my watch list was shooting, I thought it was one of the largest shortcomings in NBA 2K11. I’m happy to say, jump shots are fun again. There are now momentum jumpers from every possible angle, whether you are running or walking. My favorite has to be when you walk towards the rim, in a straight line and push the x button, you get an immediate and smooth forward leaning jump shot. It’s really useful when you want to pull up on a fast break. It feels great too. Shooting is better, because of the release points. It’s not just a couple of milliseconds, then let go of the button. Now you can really elevate again and release the shot at the top of the jump. Jason Kidd doesn’t jump when shooting, but still feels a lot better than before. I could go on and on about shooting, that was the most important thing for me to look at.

Well after those observations I was pretty much sold. But let me tell you about some other cool stuff, before I arrive at some of the negatives. I’ve never been a great post game player in the NBA 2K series, but this could definitely change with NBA 2K12. It’s really easy and intuitive. You back down with the Y button, from anywhere on the court, then you can do all sorts of moves in the post. I’m sure I only scratched the surface of the available arsenal this year in the paint. I tried a few combinations and it was great to see what you can do. But quite honestly, I had no idea what I was doing, but I can state the post game is much more fun.

I thought defenders were much more active in helping out. I saw some early doubles for Dirk and rotations were made all over the place. I have to say, it’s still not as open (spacing-wise) as NBA Live 10 was, but you could tell the differences. For example, when I got a screen from LeBron, you could see the third defender rotated to the zone, to prevent penetration. Much more about that from Czar, if he makes the videos again this year.

Not everything was roses, I have to bring up some of the negatives. I want to demonstrate this with a play I often use in NBA 2K games. Let’s say I control Wade and get a screen from Bosh at the perimeter, I go around the screen to the corner to penetrate into the zone, which brings the help of a third defender in most cases, then I try to pass out to my open jump shooters, for a corner three. Okay, that’s why I loved NBA 2K7 so much. When you penetrated you could really kick the ball out with the manual bounce pass, for an open J. In NBA 2K11 and now also in NBA 2K12 (at least in this early build) the problem exists. Actually, there are two problems.

1) No manual bounce pass means Wade would throw an overhead pass to the corner 3, which often resulted in a throw at the backboard, going out of bounds.

2) Those passes get deflected 9 out of 10 times, even if the help defender is next to you.

I couldn’t find any passing modifiers in the build I was playing.

Here are some quick observations:

  • Players can stumble when running up the court
  • More contact shots in the zone
  • Great physics
  • Size Up Moves seemed to have changed, look for that in the videos. I couldn’t figure out how it worked, but felt like you had more control over the dribble.
  • Defensive movement improved
  • Much more fighting for the ball on rebounds thanks to the new ball physics
  • Steve Kerr did an excellent job as a third commentator

In summary, I would say the playable version of NBA 2K12 at Gamescom, was great, very similar to NBA 2K11, but improved in the right areas. It’s still early, but to me it’s already looking like a must buy, lockout or not.


NBA 2K12 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 wrestlinggod1 @ 08/18/11 08:58 PM
Awesome man. Just awesome
 
# 2 kjjnesb @ 08/18/11 09:01 PM
I have to admit I'm geeked especially hearing Steve Kerr was correctly implanted can't wait.
 
# 3 mrdbooky @ 08/18/11 09:05 PM
Thanks DaWolf,, but I'm just curious, how was the game graphically, in terms of player models and faces? I know that 2K talked about this but I wanna hear from somebody that played hands-on
 
# 4 spankdatazz22 @ 08/18/11 09:05 PM
Nice balanced write up - thx for all your work Wolf! It's not always said, but it's VERY much appreciated
 
# 5 KyotoCarl @ 08/18/11 09:09 PM
Great write-up. You did an awesome job last year and an awesome job this year. Thanks alot for bringing us these videos and thanks for being to involved and wanting to give to the community!
 
# 6 Goffs @ 08/18/11 09:10 PM
nice! i wonder how you do the pro-hop now that the Y button is the new post up button...

personally i would like to see that gone since it so damn overpowering once your in the paint...
 
# 7 MrBigShot1 @ 08/18/11 09:10 PM
Big thanks to DaWolf for all of the videos and write up.
 
# 8 aloncho11 @ 08/18/11 09:14 PM
@mrdbooky

Haven't you watched the 8 videos? I advise you to view them on HD on full screen. You will see that player models are better, very lean looking and not beefed up, shadowing on players is also improved. Check out the hi-res screens.

As for the physics, player movements and fluidity of the game, man it's feels (yes, feels even though I have just watched) so fluid, organic and "human".
 
# 9 SwagDoc101 @ 08/18/11 09:16 PM
im mos def going to buy...its sad that it sounds like some of these guys that they send to these events dont really know how to play the game...not being negative ...im just saying..always have to judge for myself
 
# 10 domidomdomz @ 08/18/11 09:29 PM
Thanks for the write-up, DaWolf. Highly appreciated!

Just a couple of questions,

1. Did you try to do some "flick-flick" moves? Was there a change on how to do those moves compared to 2K11?

2. Were the CPU team repeating their offensive plays on consecutive possessions?
 
# 11 mrdbooky @ 08/18/11 09:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloncho11
@mrdbooky

Haven't you watched the 8 videos? I advise you to view them on HD on full screen. You will see that player models are better, very lean looking and not beefed up, shadowing on players is also improved. Check out the hi-res screens.

As for the physics, player movements and fluidity of the game, man it's feels (yes, feels even though I have just watched) so fluid, organic and "human".
Yea I did see them,, but w/o any real close ups or anything I couldnt really tell, plus its an off-screen video so yea, just sayin...
 
# 12 Da_Czar @ 08/18/11 09:42 PM
OS is worldwide !! Great Job Wolf thanks for taking the time to share with us !
 
# 13 ClevelandinDistress @ 08/18/11 09:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Czar
OS is worldwide !! Great Job Wolf thanks for taking the time to share with us !
Speaking of which, why weren't you whisked away to Cologne first class? Oh man the CZAR doing interviews at Gamescon!
 
# 14 LM1213 @ 08/18/11 09:52 PM
was the passing more accurate? one of my main issues with 2k11 was the passing was not very accurate. I would push towards one person and it would go towards someone totally different. did you feel a change in this? Overall I love 2k11. passing was the main sour point for me. aside from that . one other question, did the defenders have the spidey sense for picking off passes again? 2k is must pick up for me, just hoping they addressed these issues.
 
# 15 vln13 @ 08/18/11 10:01 PM
Thanks, but Steve Kerr is a third commentator? Is Kellogg still in?
 
# 16 ffaacc03 @ 08/18/11 10:36 PM
- Kerr is an addition and Kellog was never out ...

Now DaWolf, just a question, I know this isnt a Q & A but:

- Were the stolen passes done by players with their backs facing the passer/ball/trajectory/receiver ? ... ala fortune tellers, like 2k11 ? ... if so, how often ? ... or were they facing or partially doing so ?
 
# 17 SageInfinite @ 08/19/11 12:05 AM
Thanks for the write-up. Much appreciated. Can't wait for more info. I know I will be in love with this game. I still play 2k11 almost daily.
 
# 18 dennis09 @ 08/19/11 12:09 AM
thats what i thought clark kellog will never be removed from the game
 
# 19 DaWolf @ 08/19/11 02:50 AM
About the passing - I thought it was a little better, not so many miracle deflections from the defenders. But still an area where I hoped they would have put more work in. As i wrote I think the issues could be solved by putting manual bounce passing in. Many steals were occuring from the passes like in 11 - so I guess passing was my only real concern with the demo.
 
# 20 Da_Czar @ 08/19/11 05:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffaacc03

- Were the stolen passes done by players with their backs facing the passer/ball/trajectory/receiver ? ... ala fortune tellers, like 2k11 ? ... if so, how often ? ... or were they facing or partially doing so ?
Ffaaco I don't know how much better it will be but I know they worked on that area this year anytime we saw any questionabke steals they went to the code to see what triggered it and removed it. Again I don't know if they got to everything.

as a side note the rotations have improved which means that first pass is not always open that will take some adjustment on our part.

everytime I got trapped I would auto pass to the next availabke guy and it was transition city. But those weren't back to the ball steals.

I know its improved but sure if its enough for gen population.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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