NBA 2k6 for the Xbox 360 is one of a long ling of NBA games that started in 1999 and have changed name a few times. The biggest change for this game is the introduction of the shot stick. You now take a different shot depending on which direction you push the thumb stick, while sometimes pulling off the move you want, other times pulling off something random (depending on your position on court). Free throws are now also taken by pulling back on the stick and letting go the exact moment the shooter does/should. Another new concept is team chemistry that goes up and down depending on performance (it also effects performance, although for the life of me I cant work out how to make it better or worse, or what actually effects it. Steals are difficult and often leave you exposed so in my view it's worth picking and choosing your moments to try them. Often I'll attempt one only to find I'm now behind my opponent with a 5 on 4 offence going on against me. The auto subsitute opption is poor, often leaving mismatches such as a centre guarding a point guard, which can be very frustrating and IMO is the worst part of the game. Tactic are easy to call and work with a decent level of effect. You do have to know whats about to happen with them and execute them well but they do work. The live play is pretty good and runs smoothly. I'll never get bored of playing 2 player sports with my mates. The achievements are easy, and I mean Easy. With only about 4 to achieve to get 1000 points this should take a maximum of 2-3 matches for experienced gamers. The graphics are crisp and sharp and at the time I bought this the best seen in any basketball game to that point. Overall a very playable game let down a little from the sub options. Best for basketball fans but you can probably get better these days.
What can I say about NBA 2K6? At the time, there was this or NBA LIVE 06 and NBA 2K6 was CONSIDERABLY better out of the two. The graphics, controls and gameplay were second to none, but we are talking about a 2 (almost 3) year old game here. If you were to get a game now, I strongly suggest getting the NBA LIVE series (either 08/09) because they have progressively got better and overtaken the NBA 2K series. If you are interested in buying an older, cheaper NBA game however, then this is the one to go for. Also, if you are looking for a game with easy achievement points, this is one to go for - it is entirely possibly to get all 1000 points in one 48 minute game (if you know what you are doing). It's a shame that the NBA LIVE series are now considerably better, because this was one of my original 360 games and i grew very fond of it, but for now - my allegience lies with the NBA LIVE series.
The best basketball game that I have ever played was NBA Jam back on the SNES. Here was a game that took the best elements of basketball, the pace and the showmanship, and then added to them with super moves and increased speed. No other basketball has come close to the excitement and hours that I spent playing this game, but when I say NBA 2K6 for only £9.99 in Toys R Us I thought that maybe it could be as good. This new game has better technology, advanced graphics, more realistic gameplay so how come it fails so badly? Gameplay NBA 2K6 has similar gameplay to most basketball games that have been produced in the past ten years including Mario Basketball. You control one of two teams on a court from a side view and must pass and dribble the ball to the opposing teams basket. Once you get there you gain three points if you score outside a given area or two points if you are nearer the basket. The team that ends the game with the most points wins. In essence NBA 2K6 follows all the rules of basketball and even has the official players to use. This means that the character builds mimic those of basketball players such as Shaq ONeill. If you decide to play in a tournament, or in a quick game between friends, the gameplay is fast and pretty fun. It feels as good as any other basketball game and the fluid gameplay allow you to try and pass and slam the ball well. Arguably NBA 2K6, and its later sequel, are the best two basketball games on the market. However, there are a couple of major gameplay issues that mean that this does not actually mean that much. Firstly, I have a major problem with basketball, full stop. Here is a sport were the average score in 100 vs. 100! This means that any changes to the score are pretty meaningless until the very dying minutes of the last quarter. This is the problem with American sports and their thirst for excitement there is no slow build up like in football. Where is the ecstasy in scoring yet another basket? If you like basketball then this is not likely to prove a gameplay issue to you. However, if like me you find it a pretty pointless pursuit NBA 2K6 adds nothing to the sport to make it enjoyable. NBA Jam on the SNES was able to make basketball into a computer game that worked separately from the boreathon that is the NBA. The second major gameplay flaw is in the career building section of the game. Arguably this will be the most played aspect of the title as the player is allowed to create their own character from scratch and build them up to become a world class BBall shooter. However, the mini games that make up the career are abysmal. One section that is particularly broken is the 1 on 1 game. Every time the ball goes out of play it takes the computer about 20 seconds to retrieve the ball unacceptable and broken. If you play this game with a friend in a 6 aside situation you are bound to enjoy the experience. However, the single player aspects of the game are so flawed that they turn you completely off the game within moments. (2 out of 5) Longevity The longevity of this game should in essence be quite high if you are willing to ignore all the bugs that are present in the title. You have the option to play a season as a pro team, a tournament or create your own career. These options plus all the online choices means that you could play this game indefinitely as you would something like Pro Evo Soccer. Unlike many 360 games NBK26 fails to use the achievement points in any meaningful way to expand the lifespan. There are only 5 achievements to get 1000 points and most of these can be achieved by playing just one game. This is ridiculous and undermines all the people who have struggled to get 1000 points on much tougher games. Shame on you. (2 out of 5) Graphics The graphics of NBA 2K6 are a mixed bag. From afar they look pretty good and sit comfortably in the next generation mould but compared to EAs basketball game and when you look closely this game is about as attractive as being invited to the Conservative Womens Over 60s Kissing with Tongues Luncheon. The number of polygons are too few and the character models look like they have been chiselled out of ugly stone. It tries hard to be attractive but in essence probably would not have looked out of place on the original Xbox. (1 out of 5) Sound Here is an area were this game is not completely awful. The sound effects during the game are pretty realistic and you can hear both the off and on court action hubbub. The players will call to one another if they want the ball and their feet squeak off the polished floor. The music does not fair quite as well unless you are a big fan of American Gansta Rap. The majority of the music was probably selected to reflect the choice of those gamers that like the sport of basketball which is fair enough. However, I suggest that you upload a couple of your favourite CDs onto the 360s hard drive and play those in the background instead. (3 out of 5) Summary NBA 2K6 is a decent game that is let down by major flaws in his gameplay design. The graphics are also not up to next generation standard so it makes sense why it became a budget title so soon. The main elements of the gameplay are ok and the game did garner some quite favourable reviews. However, the fact that parts are plain ugly and the inability of the games AI to speed through pointless animations makes this game one to avoid unless you want a quick 1000 achievement points. Maker: 2K Games RRP £30 Toys R Us - £10