RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Nov 25th 2012 at 11:25:18 AM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Dreamcast, Sega




Ah, basketball: The one sport I actually care about in real life. Even in my earliest video game-playing years I was a fan of basketball games. Be it Double Dribble or NBA Jam, I always seemed to have at least one go-to basketball game per system. When I started getting into really collecting games five or so years back, I realized I needed a way to limit which basketball games I'd pick up since sports games are so cheap and abundant for yesteryear's hardware. So the obvious thing was this: if there's a Celtics uniform on the cover, I'll buy it. And this led me adding NBA 2K9 to my Christmas list after the C's won the 2008 Championship, landing Kevin Garnett on the cover. Really at the time I could differentiate between any of the modern NBA series, but that all changed with NBA 2k9. My wife got me the game for PS2 and it pretty much blew my mind just how far basketball games had come. There was so much realism, so much control. It felt like I was a coach watching and directing my team rather than just playing a game.





By the time NBA 2K12 was released with Larry Bird as one of the three cover players, I had a PS3 to play it on. And though there were tweaks to the 2K9 formula (and of course now I was playing it in HD) really the game had been perfected already. But certainly it should be no surprise that a game series could refine itself so much over a dozen iterations.

I picked up NBA 2K for around two dollars while eagerly collecting Dreamcast games a few months back. This was the first game in the series -- and one born out of necessity. When the Dreamcast launched EA wanted nothing to do with Sega or their new console. Of course this hurt far more on the football front, as it meant Madden would not be the DC. But this was really a blessing in disguise as Sega launched their Sega Sports line of games and starting supplying gamers with the top-notch 2K franchises.





What I find so impressive is that NBA 2K -- the first game in the series -- is completely solid. This new NBA game, built from the ground up, is already near-perfect. And certainly at the time it would have blown its competition out of the water. Even now that I own newer, revised editions of the 2K series, I can have so much fun playing the original and really not feel that I'm stuck with an inferior version. That's saying a lot for a two dollar sports game that's over a decade old.

So much about 2K was brilliant right out of the gate. The visual presentation is that of watching a game on ESPN. The players move realistically, even when the ball isn't in play. The commentators make sense (even if they will get a bit repetitive). The sound is there. The AI is (mostly) believable. Your players have their legit strengths based on their real life counterparts. It's all  just so amazing how much effort Sega Sports put into making this a basketball game that felt like basketball rather than just another basketball video game.

Ultimately any of my complaints are nit-picky. Shooting free throws in this game can be a total drag if you're not using a player who's great at them. In order to shoot a free throw you have to apply just the right amount of pressure to the left and right triggers which can be really difficult, especially if beer is involved. Also later iterations of the series let you choose between a horizontal or vertical view of the court. Unless this option is buried in a menu I haven't found yet, it seems that only a vertical view is offered in this initial game which is not my preferred perspective. Again, these are tiny flaws in my book. Far from game-breaking. In fact if this was the only basketball game I owned, I'd still be more than happy to march my team through a full season.




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Comments
 
Basketball games can be pretty fun. I happen to own NBA 2K as well, I don't think I've put too much time into this particular one but there have been a few random basketball games I've gotten into.

I like to play b-ball in real life but haven't had the chance lately. So I get to get my playing in through video games, hmmm, this is getting me thinking, I have a season I'm about half way through on one of the b-ball games I have, I should get back to that.....
 
I remember being one of the few Dreamcast owners in Orchestra/Band in High School. We had a trip to Seattle and our hotel room was easily the most popular as I had brought the console along with me. I remember all night marathons of NBA 2K and Dead or Alive 2. Both games, at the time, were absolute masterpieces of gameplay and graphics and were relatively unmatched. It almost feels like NBA 2K regressed graphically in the later years on the PS2. I guess what astounded me the most about the game was the crowd. For the first time it wasn't a pixelated mess and you could actually make out individual seats (and empty seats!)
 
I started with 2K1 but still, cannot complain about the series.
 
well I spoke too soon -- there are alternate angles in the options menu if you pause during a game. So yeah. I actually have no complaints about 2K. I love this game.

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