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NBA 2K12 Preview

NBA 2K is built on a foundation of gameplay and presentation elements that become more refined with each new title. The new additions in NBA 2K12 are sure to be welcomed by the basketball purists. But with a special attention being made to star-player mannerisms and animations, signature style may be stronger than ever.

The first improvement NBA 2K players will notice is the overall polish. Menu colors are vibrant, and the main menu highlights NBA players with in-action still photos. These photos blend realism with the fictional NBA 2K world. Beautifully sculpted in-game player models come to life in pregame introductions. Wade and LeBron might be casually holding a Spalding ball, or Dirk and company might be standing in front of the camera with their mean muggin’ game faces on.

The graphical elements during introductions highlight superstar player models with a sponsored backdrop; the overall feel strikes me as a pay-per-view heavyweight bout, showcasing the world’s best in a tale of the tape. It’s a nice platform to show off the improved player faces and also the considerable detail made to the tattoos. Shading and lighting of the tattoos, coupled with the improved skin tones, were things that caught my attention from the start.

Gameplay Elements

NBA 2K12's gameplay feels more refined. I felt more in control than in the past, partly due to less clunkiness in the animations. Moves were tighter and more crisply executed; this makes it easier to branch from one animation to the next. The dribbling attacks happen in a smaller radius on the court, resulting in more control of your athletes in a given space. This will allow moves in the lane or post to be executed in a more precise fashion without unintentionally dribbling into crowded areas on the floor.

The post-up button has been moved to Y/Triangle, which I am not a fan of so far. It just does not feel practical to use your "shot stick" thumb to press the post-up button before returning back to the right stick. The dual-trigger post-up was inherently natural in my opinion because it allowed for a gamer to hold both triggers to initiate the post-up maneuver. From there, you could continue to hold down one of the triggers and initiate into a variety of moves. On the bright side, drop steps were harder to execute with the improved defensive mechanics that allow gamers to cut off certain angles. I was only able to pull off one drop step in my time with the game.

Beyond that, I was also unable to determine what button the "signature gather" was mapped to now, which tends to be one of my favorite mid-range moves. I was not able to confirm different control schemes, but I’m optimistic last year’s scheme will be an option.

Some other random things I noticed include subtle nuances that have been added for casual dribbles and mannerisms. The game also allows users to add up to 16 plays in a playbook to any particular player on the floor. If Kobe is your guy, he can truly be the focal point now. Another addition I loved was the tweaked in-game coaching strategy mapped to the directional pad. Players can instruct a basic offense to set screens for shooters or to space the floor rather than run specific plays. This allows the game to flow while running a core offensive system on the fly.

NBA’s Greatest

Dr. J steps on the court laced in optical white Star Player high-tops with the bravado of a world-class baller. His history was made, and it is now in the hands of everyone to remake and remix it.

NBA 2K12's Greatest mode is a digital basketball hall of fame featuring playable basketball tales from the greats around every corner. This mode has me beyond excited to play through these classic challenges.

Each era of the NBA is represented dating back to Mr. Logo himself, Jerry West. Animation sets change between eras, shifting from fundamentals of the '60s to the flash and uptempo hoops of the '70s. In my brief time with Ewing and the Knicks, I was able to witness some hard fouls and the ruggedness of the NBA in this era. However, I do not know yet if it was just this game I was playing, or if it was a purposely installed theme in the game. (One can only hope eras will be presented in the game in such a way.)

The legends are true representations, each with his own personal style. (This game mode is most likely where we will see a ton of new animations.) Julius Erving’s body frame appeared and felt unique to his game. His larger than life wingspan, and his maneuverability in the air allowed him to attack the rim at ease.

Bill Russell’s thin frame provided a skill set to rebound and defend over anybody on the court, with considerable touch around the rim. A player from a more Cousy-era has a fundamentally sound dribble game and fundamental shot while rocking uncomfortably tight shorts.

In the old-school Celtics/Lakers game, the Celtics play on old school woodgrain courts with no advertisements in the arena -- just folding tables in place of a scorer’s tables. The commentary had a filter over the voices, authentic to the sounds of the generation.

Final Thoughts

In my short time with NBA 2K12, my excitement level has increased. There seems to have been a focus on distinguishing each player and his skill set, which is a welcomed addition. I hope this focus will lead to more exciting matchups on each end of the floor because it would only enhance the strategies that could be built and executed.


NBA 2K12 Videos
Member Comments
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
Steve's preview is more focused on the NBA 2K12 Greatest mode, some presentation touches and a couple random insights.
Thanks.

You better duck for cover from the "I want more details other than The Greatest Mode" crowd.
 
# 2 Self313 @ 08/29/11 03:40 PM
ok so at what point do you realize that people are waiting on the meat n potatoes... who cares about these old dudes.. its dope yeah but this is 2011... lets see gameplay, myplayer, association... Im 27 I loved those guys back then... Im a die hard pistons fan... but cmon...

I mean this year 2k is givin us the run around... last year we had these things moving... I just wanna see somethin that I'll actually play... Ive had 2k11 since the first minute of release lol and I still havent played with Jordan...
 
# 3 ProfessaPackMan @ 08/29/11 03:42 PM
Dude...it's only August LOL.
 
# 4 Goffs @ 08/29/11 03:42 PM
27 huh...thanks Chase looking forward to the rest
 
# 5 Self313 @ 08/29/11 03:44 PM
yeah 27... its what my people do.. work, bet on 2k

sports head just like u
 
# 6 ChaseB @ 08/29/11 03:47 PM
I think The Greatest Mode is fun to talk about beyond it being old timers. It speaks to certain focuses from an overall standpoint. The focus on signature style, the focus on honing in on era-specific gameplay (potentially), the work done on presentation -- it might just be me, but my favorite part of the mode is just seeing the old-school overlays and such.)

You can certainly extrapolate certain things from talk about Greatest Mode and assume what it means for the overall product. Also, I think we're WAY ahead of where we normally are in terms of seeing stuff for this game. Remember this is NBA 2K we're talking about. Usually we're lucky to get anything significant before like mid-September since they are the kings of "we'll show it when it's about finished."
 
# 7 ProfessaPackMan @ 08/29/11 03:49 PM
Quote:
Some other random things I noticed include subtle nuances that have been added for casual dribbles and mannerisms. The game also allows users to add up to 16 plays in a playbook to any particular player on the floor. If Kobe is your guy, he can truly be the focal point now. Another addition I loved was the tweaked in-game coaching strategy mapped to the directional pad. Players can instruct a basic offense to set screens for shooters or to space the floor rather than run specific plays. This allows the game to flow while running a core offensive system on the fly
Definitely loving this.
 
# 8 Self313 @ 08/29/11 03:52 PM
I respect it...

maybe Im in the minority... as I said I just want some info on things I'll touch...
 
# 9 FBeaule04 @ 08/29/11 03:55 PM
I've picked up my NBA 2K11 lately and having a fun time with it. Reading this preview just makes me more hungry about the NBA 2K12 release.
 
# 10 infam0us @ 08/29/11 04:02 PM
Chase any input on the drop step and signature gather? Being you had more time than Steve and he wasn't able to determine the button for the gather.
 
# 11 ChaseB @ 08/29/11 04:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by infam0us
Chase any input on the drop step and signature gather? Being you had more time than Steve and he wasn't able to determine the button for the gather.
I'll talk about it with more depth, but I feel like the Y button thing is probably just personal preference, doesn't really mess with the functionality to me (except perhaps to enter and exit post post play in an easier fashion? -- I can't remember if you just press Y again to get out of post play). The post-game itself is the part worth talking about rather than the single button to initiate for me. I never really use signature gather, so I didn't even notice it wasn't on Y -- but it would make sense if post-up is there now.
 
# 12 aloncho11 @ 08/29/11 04:29 PM
I can't believe nobody isn't mentioning this:

"Julius Erving’s body frame appeared and felt unique to his game. His larger than life wingspan, and his maneuverability in the air allowed him to attack the rim at ease. "

Can someone please confirm if real wingspan has been effectively added to the game?
 
# 13 Eman5805 @ 08/29/11 04:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloncho11
I can't believe nobody isn't mentioning this:

"Julius Erving’s body frame appeared and felt unique to his game. His larger than life wingspan, and his maneuverability in the air allowed him to attack the rim at ease. "

Can someone please confirm if real wingspan has been effectively added to the game?
Lord in heaven, PLEASE let variable wingspans be in the game. Playing with a KevinDurant that isn't 90% arms and legs just don't feel right.
 
# 14 eko718 @ 08/29/11 04:58 PM
I like everything I heard in this review. Might have to play with different control schemes though... I don't imagine I'd like the Y button post up either.
 
# 15 NYdreams @ 08/29/11 05:00 PM
man.. i didnt even finish jordan mode yet... it got boring but this is gonna b fun cause im not just focusing on one player the whole time.. but im just dying to know if we can play online with the classic teams ?? i dont play 2k without going online .. so this is really irrelevant to me lol
 
# 16 SwagDoc101 @ 08/29/11 05:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eman5805
Lord in heaven, PLEASE let variable wingspans be in the game. Playing with a KevinDurant that isn't 90% arms and legs just don't feel right.

im hoping this is so bc there needs to be more indidviduality amongst CAPs
 
# 17 The Senator @ 08/29/11 05:08 PM
Wait, which team is Bob Cousy on in here? I seem to remember that none of the Celtics teams announced for the Greatest Mode were old enough to have him on their roster. The article mentions him quite a bit, so perhaps there's either more teams than were announced before, or they also have Decade teams if he is in.
 
# 18 Goffs @ 08/29/11 05:17 PM
The y button I never used so the transition to use it as the post up button should be easy.
I really hope wingspan is in this! Variety in players is much needed!
 
# 19 stillfeelme @ 08/29/11 05:18 PM
Hmm wanted to hear more about gameplay... The post game will take some getting used to. I am interested in seeing where did the signature gathers button go to? B is my guess for xbox users
 
# 20 BDM313 @ 08/29/11 05:39 PM
yeah the greatest mode info is gettin tiresome but its cool that we are getting more info early compared to last year im kinda waitin on the meat and potatoes tho....GAMEPLAY!!!
 

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