Sports games seem to always find ways to continue to improve and to become better and better throughout the years. The main reason for this is because they have to do with the intense competition for certain sports that has no exclusive license. The NBA is one of those sports that have had three big name titles released for it this year. One of them is from 2K Sports entitled NBA 2K6, a game that tries to give you a great game that gives more then its competitors. Did 2K Sports hit the game’s winning shot? Read our full review to find out!
For a long time it seemed as though EA’s NBA Live series was really going to just rule the land as there was never any real competition between basketball games, and it seemed like year in and year out EA was coming out with the best basketball product. Then came the Dreamcast, which brought forward the NBA 2K series, which tried to bring basketball to a system without any EA games. So then the demise of the Dreamcast came and thus brought forward the 2K games to the other consoles, and thus has brought some stiff competition for the NBA Live series. So is NBA 2K6 the newly crowned king of basketball?
One of the things I worried about with those exclusivity deals that happened with the NFL and MLB was that there would be no incentive to make the games better, but this is not the case with the NBA. NBA 2K6 really redefines their game this year with a completely new control scheme, which sports an all-new shot stick, which allows you to shoot with the analog stick. This new shot mechanic is definitely a tough bone to choose at first, because of how accustomed we have got with using the face buttons. But in the long run I found myself getting very accustomed to this new control scheme, that in my opinion worked extremely well.
I have to say that 2K Sports was going all out this year, as they revised their price of the game from 19.99 to 39.99. They justified the shift from a budget to a full-priced title with the addition of a whole new experience in the Association mode, which is basically a franchise mode with a whole lot more depth. In this mode you have a much more deep experience that allows much more time into scouting and picking up new players. Scheduling practices is a big part of the game, as this can allow for better team chemistry and improvement in your players, but of course too much practice can be a bad thing as well so you have to try and find a happy medium.
Of course the 24/7 mode is also back in this year’s game. For those who are unfamiliar with this mode, it basically a 2 on 2 or a 1 on 1 basketball experience that attempts to allow you to have an arcade style feel in the game, which adds some extra depth to the game. You can see 2K Sports has gone out of their way in every single game mode to make sure that everything in the game has been improved and it shows in a great way.
My favorite addition to the game, by far, is the massive improvement in the computer AI, which is not only a lot smarter then it was in last year’s game and this allows NBA 2K6 to really stand out in terms of how well the game plays. To be honest if you sat back and just watched the game played you would see that it is much more like the game of basketball then it has ever been. The computer is much better come the final minutes of the game and you will find that NBA 2K6 does a great job of allowing for a much more competitive basketball game.
The overall feel of NBA 2K6 is just such a satisfying experience. Sure it is not going to revolutionize the way we play basketball on the consoles, but it is making huge steps in the right direction, especially with the shot stick which adds a whole new level to the gameplay. I must say with the great Xbox Live support and all the other great features that come along with this game, you will be very happy to find NBA 2K6 is a much improved, and a extremely fun basketball game to play.
NBA 2K6’s only really gripe, in my opinion, is its presentation, which has not been changed at all from what it was in last year’s game. The character models don’t look any different from what they were last year, with a good amount of detail and a pretty nice feel to them. The stadiums still have great lighting effects and an overall good feel to them, but they to do not do anything overly amazing with the game either. Not spending too much time on the presentation of the game, there is no way in heck this game is a bad looking game. But at the same token I wish the developers had put more into this portion of the game.
When I look at NBA 2K6, I see a game that is 100% created for those who are huge fans of the NBA. This is not one of those games made for the casual fans. You really have to know basketball to do well in this game, and if you don’t you are going to be going through one tough crash course in the game of basketball. This is all compliments of how solid the AI is in this year’s game, as they really allow you to play the game of basketball the way the games are really played. Combine the great AI with great modes and fun online play, and you have a very entertaining basketball experience.
NBA 2K6 is a fun game that is truly made for the basketball enthusiasts who just live and breathe the NBA. I can honestly say that I have never been as impressed with any game from the 2K series as I am with NBA 2K6. This game combines all the right ingredients to make one heck of a basketball experience. If you love the NBA, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t go run out and purchase this game!
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.