NBA 2k9 (PS3)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Thursday, March 26, 2009

Graphics: 9.00
Sound: 9.00
Gameplay: 9.00
Replays: 9.00
Gamelength: 9.00

2k Sports definitely has the edge in the realm of basketball and “NBA 2k9” proves that fact all over again.

This is “the” basketball game to get. No questions asked, this is it. No matter how little you know about basketball or even if you’re an extremist about the sport, this is pretty much as close as you’ll get to the real deal without going out there and shooting some hoops in reality. Grab a basketball, call your friends and come on out for a few games in “NBA 2k9”.

As far as basketball games go, this is the top of the chain. Highly realistic character models, a lively crowd, proper court reflections and best of all: the most realistic player animations I’ve ever seen in a game. I don’t watch basketball frequently, but from what I’ve seen, these players move just like they do in reality. I’m quite impressed by this fact and looking forward to more improvements when the next game is out.

Much like the visuals, the sound quality is as good as it gets. The announcers have a wide variety of dialogue and while some things do get repeated from time to time, it sounds just like they’re announcing a real game of basketball. Crowds are also accurate and make plenty of appropriate noises, depending on how intense the match is. Music is a must and while it exists, it’s not really the showstopper. It’s more like a nice bonus tacked on for added effect, but the music is all pretty good nonetheless.

What’s really impressive about “NBA 2k9”, though, is how it manages to feel like such an improvement over the basketball games of yesteryear, despite not having much new content. You’ll get the usual roster and stat updates, along with the newest addition to the series, “living rosters”. These living rosters essentially keep player stats and moves up to date, but there’s a lot of potential with this design and it’s a seamless part of the game. There are tons upon tons of game modes, but of them, the online play and Associaton modes are the most notable. Association mode is essentially a franchise mode, but it’s easily the most involved and outstanding out of every basketball game thus far. Online play is lag-free and adds an endless amount of replay value to the game. There’s always a ton of people playing, so it’s never difficult to get a nice match going. For the most enthusiastic fans of basketball, there’s a ton of stuff to delve into and while it’s similar to the last game in terms of content, it’s still a worthy update. The only issue is the ridiculous control scheme, which may take novice players quite some time to get used to. There are approximately five million different control combinations. Obvious overexaggeration aside, there really is a lot to take in and without a lot of practice, you’re going to get frustrated very easily. I know it drove me nuts for a while. All told, this is the perfect basketball game for anyone looking to shoot some hoops, extremist or not.

Overall, “NBA 2k9” improves upon the existing formula without changing too much. With tons of modes, online play and up to the minute roster updates, what’s not to love?

Pros:
-Top notch visual quality.
-Announcers get the job done better than any sports game to date.
-Player animations are astounding.
-Association mode is addictive, fan or not.
-Online play is lag-free and highly populated.
-Living roster is a neat feature.

Cons:
-Overwhelming controls.

Bottom Line:
I’d easily recommend this game to anyone interested in shooting some hoops. This is the best game of the genre out there, at least until the next batch.

Overall Rating: 9.00

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