NBA 2K7 Review
NBA 2K7 is a very good game, but it's largely unchanged from NBA 2K6.
- Solid, time-proven gameplay
- Robust online play
- Terrific animation
- Healthy offering of game modes
- Free throw system works better here than on the Xbox 360.
- Visuals are showing their age
- Controls are often unwieldy
- Not significantly improved over last year
- Questionable artificial intelligence.
While the focus of 2K Sports' NBA franchise has clearly shifted to the next generation of consoles, the series is still going strong, for the most part, on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. At this point, 2K seems content to build of the framework that it already has established with these versions, opting against any large, sweeping changes, and simply turning out a new edition that offers new rosters, minor tweaks, and not much else. But because that framework is so good, it makes the fact that NBA 2K7 plays so much like 2K6 a bit easier to swallow.
NBA 2K7 features an impressive number of gameplay modes. Quick play, street, season, the association, tournaments, and a robust online component give the game tremendous replay value. There are also a number of options and sliders that let you tweak the game to your heart's content. Navigating through all of the modes and options is much easier here than on the Xbox 360, thanks to a more manageable menu structure.
The association is NBA 2K7's multiseason mode, and it's deeper than ever. You're placed in charge of an NBA franchise and it's your job to hire coaches, set up practices, perform general manager duties, and play the games. Watching your team's chemistry as well as fatigue level is very important, since players will tire after hard practices, thereby not giving you their best effort during a game. Should you need to shake things up in the locker room, three player trades are now supported, though to be honest, we spent 30 minutes trying to pull one off without success. You'll also need to prepare for the NBA draft by scouting players and even putting them through a series of predraft workouts. One thing's for sure--there's never a lack of activities to keep you occupied. For such a complex simulation, the association seems to run smoothly, without any major glitches.
24/7 mode received a face-lift on the 360, but it's mysteriously MIA on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. If you're looking for a street-ball experience without the story, you can play one-on-one, 21, and half- or full-court in locales from Venice Beach to New York's Rucker Park. You won't find any street-specific moves here, but you can play as Flavor Flav, which, depending on your affinity for the world's greatest hype-man and object of trashy women everywhere's affections, is either great or awful.
On the court, Visual Concepts didn't make any huge alterations to how the game plays. Newcomers will likely find the controls difficult to pick up, while series veterans will appreciate them for their seemingly endless depth. Player substitutions, play calling, and more can be done during play by pressing the appropriate direction on the D pad, but the boxes that pop up obscure a large portion of the screen, particularly on the PlayStation 2. Effective use of set plays is an integral part of getting open shots, partially because that's how real NBA teams do it, but also because players move around the court as if getting open and cutting to the hoop aren't high on their list of things to do. Bumping up the difficulty to Hall of Fame does get the CPU to play with a higher sense of urgency. Crossovers, spins, and hesitation moves are done via the "isomotion" controls (right trigger or R1 plus the left analog stick). The hop step is mapped to a face button in the Xbox 360 version, but here you'll need to tap and release L1 or the left trigger while not touching the analog stick. It's tougher to do the move this way, meaning many people will probably never use it--a shame because it's a useful move down low.
Shooting is mapped to a face button, but if you prefer, you can use the right analog stick for greater shot control. In theory, using the right analog stick to shoot lets you pick the best shot for the situation. A shorter guard posting up a power forward might want to opt for a fadeaway, while a taller player might go up strong and attempt a power dunk. In reality, using the analog stick results in players frequently putting up unnecessary low-percentage shots, rather than the simple shot you were hoping for. Free throws are performed by pulling down on the right analog stick to start the shot, and then letting up to release. Foul shots are very difficult to make on the Xbox 360, but here they're significantly easier.
Final scores and shooting percentages are slightly lower this year, in part because teams play like their real-life counterparts. One night you might put up a bunch of points against Phoenix, which loves to push the tempo, and on the next evening put up far fewer against the slower-paced Spurs. There's also an ugly side as to why scores are so low. Sometimes defenders legitimately play great defense, but just as often you'll skate in place, performing crossovers and hesitation moves against an invisible wall. The game seems to keep scoring down by increasing the amount of missed shots. By no means should players be expected to hit all their shots, but blown dunks and lay-ups, wide-open jumpers clanking off the rim, and missed put-backs all happen more than they should; however, this problem is less frequent on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox than it is on the Xbox 360. A few tweaks to the gameplay sliders can correct the anomalies, but that shouldn't be necessary.
As well as 2K7plays, it has some noticeable artificial intelligence problems. Teams occasionally failing to even attempt a shot as time expires--a problem that we didn't experience on the Xbox 360. Ball handlers are prone to dribbling out of bounds for no apparent reason three or four times a game. Players also constantly rotate into mismatches. It's not uncommon to see a center guarding a point guard or vice versa. Not all of the AI is bad. When the computer is on defense, defenders will fight through picks, rotate quickly, and double-team the hot player. But there are some noticeable issues, even on the Hall of Fame difficulty setting.
- Player Reviews: 16
- Game Universe:
- NBA 2K2 (DC, PS2, GC, XBOX),
- NBA 2K3 (XBOX, PS2, GC),
- ESPN NBA Basketball (PS2, XBOX),
- ESPN NBA 2K5 (PS2, XBOX),
- NBA 2K6 (PS2, X360, XBOX),
- NBA 2K7 (PS3, PS2, XBOX, X360),
- NBA 2K8 (X360, PS2, PS3),
- NBA 2K9 (X360, PS3, PS2, PC),
- NBA 2K10 (X360, WII, PC, PS3, PS2, PSP),
- NBA 2K10: Draft Combine (X360, PS3)
- Offline Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Online Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
10 Players Online