ESPN NBA Basketball is the continuation of the NBA 2K series of basketball games, a franchise that was born on the now-defunct Sega Dreamcast. Despite the series’ relative youth, compared to other basketball franchises, the 2K series has always been known for fantastic graphics and excellent simulation-style gameplay. This year, the developers at Visual Concepts have kept all the hallmarks of their earlier games, and they’ve added a new control system called “isomotion.” This system lets you execute juke moves on offense, and it gives you the ability to counter these jukes on defense. The team has also added a unique gameplay mode called 24/7 that is so addictive, it’s likely that many players will spend more time in 24/7 than playing standard games. If you are planning on buying only one basketball game this year, ESPN NBA Basketball is the one to get.
The ESPN NBA Basketball video game is an improvement on NBA 2K series of basketball games. This game not only has great graphics but also has the ESPN class written all over it. There is also a greater infusion of ESPN brand in the game. The opening menu shows the ESPN studio and the text uses the same fonts that are used on ESPN telecasts. Many of the signature tunes too are the same that you hear on ESPN basketball shows. The players can hear the familiar voice of broadcasters Bill Fitzgerald and Tom Tolbert. Clearly, ESPN looks upon the game as a brand building exercise too.
The designers and animators have worked extra hard in creating the graphics. Most of the players and coaches can be recognized easily. One does not have to look at jersey colors or jersey numbers to identify the player. They look very natural as they dunk a ball or rip a pass. Even the crowd movements are well synchronized. But what is amazing is the research that has gone into creating the video. Jason Kidd is shown blowing his trademark kiss to his son and Karl Malone flips the ball in his hands, exactly the way as he does on the court. The sound quality makes the game come alive. You can hear the squeaks of sneakers, player chatter and crowd noise.
But it is isomotion that sets this game apart from its predecessor, and other basketball games available in the market. This is ESPN’s reply to NBA Live’s freestyle technology, and can be considered almost as good. Isomotion not only helps you conduct defensive play but can also simulate real life play as you go on the offensive.
The game offers you a whole range of features that include full-length seasons, fantasy drafts, trades, and a point cap for all teams. You can even decide how your team will play. It truly is an exciting game, and should be considered by all basketball fans that want to simulate NBA basketball on their screens.