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"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."-Michael Jordan
Basketball isn't the most popular sport in this country in terms of the number of people who watch and play the sport but it is one of the most popular sports of the world. I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of the sport but now have a team that I follow in the NBA (Boston Celtics) and a more than passing interest in the sport. I don't know anything like as much as I do about football but it is a sport I enjoy watching when I can. This game features one of the most instantly recognised names in basketball in the form of the legendary Michael Jordan who appears on the cover. He is arguably one of the best , if not the best basketball players and sportsmen of his generation. I was certainly a fan of his when growing up even though I wasn't a big fan of basketball. I have previously played only one basketball game before which was NBA Live (made by EA Sports) a few years ago. This game is made by 2k sports who describe themselves as having the best selling and best rated basketball game of the past few years. After seeing some good reviews for this game and needing a new sports game after getting a bit bored with Fifa 11, I went for this after seeing it available for less than £20 online. As well as the normal PS3 controls it also features Playstation Move compatibility. I don't yet have the motion sensor controller for the PS3 so won't be able to comment on how good this is.
This game heavily features the legendary Michael Jordan. When you first start the game you are introduced to MJ who asks "are you ready?" as you enter the Chicago Bulls tunnel of 1991 as you are about to play against the LA Lakers team with another great basket ball player (Magic Johnson). You have this game to play before you even enter the menu on the game. For someone like me who was a relative beginner to basketball games, it probably wasn't what I expected and wanted.It was quite difficult as I hadn't yet fully grasped the controls. There is a practice mode though which you can access to go through various moves which include dribbling manoeuvres, shooting methods and learning such entertaining moves as dunking. Michael Jordan is shown in the trailers for the game and is heavily featured in the game itself with access to the Jordan challenge where you can relive and recreate 10 of his career accomplishments. In MJ :creating a legend you start of with MJ as a rookie and lead him through an NBA career. As well as classic Chicago Bulls teams that Jordan played with there are also some other classic teams included in the game which you can also match up against the current teams so you can see how the current best (La Lakers) compare with the teams of the past. There is also the My player mode where you can create a player and train up to play in the NBA. There are also the normal modes such as playing a quick game or going through the season or playoffs. There is also the online mode where you can play online with other players via a network connection. There are live updates available if you are connected to the internet which adds to the freshness of the game.
Graphics/audio and presentation
Visually this game is quite stunning and the overall presentation is also very professional and it is like watching a game that is broadcast on television. The introductions are great and even feature footage from locker rooms and players arriving as well as players going through rituals before a game starts. The halftime report is a great feature also and features the best player from each team and shows highlights up to that point. At the end of the game there is also a player of the game presentation which shows some highlights from the best player of the game and if you go to the menu you can also see some highlights for individual player. There is even a press book from each game which captures images during the game which you can see after the game. It goes into so much depth it is almost crazy at times. The commentary is also pretty good and also features someone known as a sideline reporter who chips in with comments also. This can seem to be a bit excessive but I guess it is added for realism. The commentary also goes with the reports and they will state the number of points/assists and such. The game also has a good soundtrack with some great music.
I have to say this game is certainly not for a casual gamer as it is not easy to just pick up and play. If you want to get good at it you will have to practice. Even starting out in the rookie game setting, it is not really easy if you are a beginner to the sport.I don't really have an understanding of tactics and plays in basketball like I do with football so this is definitely a disadvantage if I want to progress in the higher levels. For someone who has played this game before and knows alot about basketball, this is probably close to a dream game.
In comparison to the game I played a few years ago, this game is a lot more realistic and true to life. The AI overall in the game is very impressive. It is visually impressive. IGN which is a well respected review site has described this game very favourably-" This isn't just the best basketball game ever; it's the best sports game of this generation." That is a pretty bold statement. I would be close to agreeing with this statement if I were a heavy basketball gamer and had played a few games like this before but as a relative newcomer, although this game is very good, there is quite a steep learning curve. I think it assumes you have already played the game before. If you are after something more casual and less realistic then something like NBA Jam is recommended. If you are able to persist with a game like this and prefer realism then NBA 2k11 is highly recommended. I would really like to give it 5 stars as this game does deserve it but for me personally I would give it 4/5 stars. Fifa is as close as you get to this in football but this game seems to be a more complete package for basketball fans. This game could even be recommended if you are not a basketball fan and like playing very good games.