NBA 2K12 - Playstation 3 Review

I've been playing sports games for a very long time.  It's funny, but I was a bit backwards - I grew interested in the video game versions of sports first, and then started an interest in the real thing afterward.  I cut my teeth on Tecmo Bowl, Double Dribble, RBI Baseball and more before really diving into the Tecmo Super Bowl and Basketball games, Madden and EA's NBA offerings.

Over the last few years however, the NBA 2K series has really taken over the market share from Electronic Arts and their NBA titles - so much so that they did not even release a proper NBA title this year.  Normally - I'm all for a bit of competition.  I think it would be great if the NFL license was out there for other companies to combat Madden with.  That said?  Just as well EA stayed home this year, because NBA 2K12 is one of the best sports titles I have ever had the pleasure of playing - and that's saying something because I really liked the last two iterations of this series, and they are nowhere near as polished as this season's outing.

The NBA season got off to a late start - finally tipping off on Christmas Day.  Ironically enough, I got this title from my wife the same day and fired it up.  Let's break this thing down, shall we?

Graphics -9:

There's a few odd animations, jerseys maybe don't sit on shoulders perfectly and some of the players' faces are frighteningly zombie-like, with all too dead and soulless eyes.  Sound like I'm nitpicking?  I am, but that's because those things are about all I can complain about visually.   I love how games are starting to blur the line between what you see when watching the game on television, and what you see when you have a controller on your hand.  The stats, the visual flair, the player animations and the courts themselves all look spectacular.  I have attended quite a few Pistons games over the years, and the arena looks fantastic with its reflections, panned out shots and more.  The crowd is a bit generic, as usual, but I hardly ever notice it while taking in the action itself.

Sound & Music - 10:

I can't think of a game that's had better commentary.  After the abomination that was this year's commentary in Madden, it was refreshing to see it handled so well in this game.  Is it perfect?  No.  Sometimes a name sounds a bit odd, like it's been shoehorned into the sentence - which obviously it has, but this is rare.  You will get some repetition if you play using the same teams over and over again, but not nearly as much as in titles in the past.  Beyond that?  The sounds of the game being played are excellent, and I actually liked the soundtrack too.  It's varied, and there were some tunes that stuck with me even when I was not playing.  Excellent all around effort.