Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2017 Review (PC)
Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball is a series which has been around for quite awhile. Its initial releases were highly regarded, but the series has recently kind of fell into a rut.
The Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball series puts you in the role of an NBA general manager, giving you control over a franchise and its future. Initially the game has fake teams (but correct rosters), but you can get around that by simply hunting down a NBA mod.
In Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2017, there's a lot of improvements over last year's game, and fans of management sims will likely find a lot to love about the game. Let's take a look.
Text-sims begin and end with their interface. This has always been and will always be the case.
In Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2017, there's a lot of depth to explore, but the interface itself does suffer from clunkiness and a lack of life. There are several instances where a simple action of moving players around on your depth chart is hidden in a place you wouldn't expect
That seems to be the overall tone of DDS:PBB 2017's interface. While the functionality you crave is there, it's just sometimes not obvious how to make some things happen.
For instance, you would expect trades to be a window you could access quickly from anywhere, but its actually hidden in the roster overview window. Contrast this to other sims on the market where you can get to the same place via multiple routes, and you end up feeling like the interface of DDS:PBB 2017 could use some modernizing
In-game, the sound effects and crowd noises are actually not bad at all -- and the 2-D display of the action is something I didn't really find to be a problem. Other text-sims have moved to 3-D displays of the action for sure, but I really don't find that adds much to a sim experience as much of your time is spent managing rosters.
When it comes to options for managing a roster and managing games, Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2017 is a mixed bag.
On the roster management side, the game gives you a lot of options, but also sadly misses some pretty essential aspects of NBA management.
Multi-team trades are nowhere to be found still, which is just a bummer considering the amount of huge deals that go down between several teams.
The salary cap has been modeled better, and the luxury tax/salary cap both will increase over time as you play through the game this year. Also new this year are additional scouting options, with multiple regions to assign scouts to as you look for the best players in the upcoming draft.
The draft itself is handled well, though, again, the lack of multi-team trades and the overall clunkiness of the interface does take some enjoyment away from the overall experience.
The new player personalities are handled relatively well, but as with something as complex as human emotion, you'll find some situations where it's just impossible to do anything reasonable. In reality, that may be somewhat true to life, but I couldn't help but feel that I was being given a no-win situation in an unfair manner with some players at times. At the very least, the addition still means you really have to consider things other than a guy's three-point shooting rating, which is more realistic.
In-game, you are able to set up a variety of attacks and defenses, and mix and match roster pieces at will.
You have a 1-10 simulation speed setting, and options on offense to use isolation, pick and roll, post-up, spot up, motion and transition sets (assigned as percentages out of 100). On top of those options, you can set how hard you want to crash the boards and your offensive pacing.
There are situational options as well that allow you to look for 3s, go for a 2-for-1 when available, get a last shot or intentional foul.
Defensively you can set up a zone vs. man, how much pressure you want to put on an offense, and if you want to press full court or not.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the in-game experience is that it suffers from the same problems the overall experience does with a relatively clunky menu system that makes you click a few more times than you really should.
Stat tracking is excellent in DDS:PBB 2017. You have advanced stats, tons of attributes and even lineup stat tracking to see which sets are doing the best on the floor for you. This allows you to make some really smart decisions as to what lineups you roll with most, or even when it might be best to get rid of a player versus keeping him. Just like real GMs, information is king and you have plenty of it.
Other than those, there are other various options and improvements to make it easier on you with gameplay. The assistant options, as well as the options to stop simulation on events, makes it easier to play through a few seasons quickly while still retaining the ability to control your franchise's future in a meaningful way.
Overall, Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2017 is a big improvement over last year's game. There are still options that are missing from the overall package, like multi-team trades, that honestly need to find their way into the game somehow.
Regardless, last year's edition seemed like a low point for the franchise and now that we are seeing the game build itself back up, there's hope for the future. For now, if you are an NBA stat nut who always wanted to manage your own roster and wanted all the statistical options to do that with, Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2017 offers a compelling way to do just that.
Score: 6.5 (Above Average)