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whatshot NBA 2K8 PS3 PlayStation 3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.8
Graphics 8.7
Sound 8.6
Value 8.7
Distributor: 2KGames
Classification:
G
Review Date:
December 07
Reviewer:
Kyle Sudukis

8.7


NBA 2K8

Finally, the next installment of the NBA franchise arrives on the PlayStation 3 that features new graphics and gameplay to truly showcase the power of the console and the developers. With realistic visuals, almost perfect controls and a great career mode, the NBA franchise has never looked better and this time they're playing for keeps in what just may be one of the best sport games of the year... on the PS3 that is!


 

Features:

  • Sprite Slam Dunk Contest - Live from Las Vegas, 2K is bringing you the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, hosted by street legend Bobbito Garcia. Choose from hundreds of dunks and a vast array of props as you compete against the NBA's finest dunkers in this 4 player event. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest is also playable online; it's here that you can prove to the world that you are the greatest dunker there is.

  • More Signature Style - Customizable Free Throws, Dribble Moves, and Dunks give users total control over the way their favorite players play on the court. All new signature shots from many of your favorite NBA players, including #1 draft choice Greg Oden, as well as individual post and dribble moves, makes NBA 2K8 the most authentic NBA simulation on the market.

  • Off-Ball Control - Run quick on the fly sets to get your favorite player the ball in the best situation for him to get a quick bucket. Use the Get Open button for a fast play, or call for the exact situation you want with the Off-Ball Control menu. On offense, you now have the option to switch off the ball handler to other players where you can call for alley-oops, jostle for post-position, set screens, etc.

  • A Whole New Look - Every NBA player has been completely redone to improve likenesses and overall graphical quality. Kevin Harlan and Kenny Smith now deliver emotionally charged commentary and the new Game Wrap-Up feature allows you to choose the kind of post game show you watch.

  • Lock-On D - All-new defensive controls give users more control of their player than ever before! Use the right analog to play tighter defense on the ball-handler, body up on the ball handler, and run advanced defensive sets.

  • The Association - Run your franchise by identifying player roles, balancing playing time, and keeping team morale up. The Hoopcast Simulator makes simulating games exciting while SimCentral centralizes all necessary information for real-time stats, standing, injuries, and much more.

  • 2K Online - Nobody does online gaming like 2K Sports and this year we have added tons of new features including a news ticker that updates you with sports headlines across the country, a user customizable Front Page display, and a Co-op mode that allows 2 users to play on the same team against the AI.

Fans of the series will be pleased to know that the association mode is still around which allows the gamer to scout draft picks, schedule practices, and of course negotiate contracts with players together with the inclusion of no-trade clauses. You can also set your starters and bench warmers before each game which does alter gameplay as having the right players on the court will boost team morale. Of course if all of this sounds a bit overbearing you can always opt to sim the portions you donít want to control and not have to worry about sacrificing too much strategy. However, if you invest the time to learn the ins and outs of this system it can be very rewarding, especially for fans of the sport.

The control system of the game has also been revamped to allow both novice and professional gamers play the title according to their level, however the biggest change is the dribbling aspect with a focus on foot planting. No longer will you have pre-determined animations for blowing past a defender for the rim, but now you will need to plant your feet and utilize your momentum to perform moves that, in the past, were automatic.

As for the rest of the action everything in 2K8 feels so much more realistic thanks to a revamped animation system that focuses on player strengths as opposed to stock animations. Each player has their own personal style just like in real life and will utilize it on the court. Shaq will dominate inside with monster dunks dropping his defender to the ground, while Kobe will dominate entire quarters with his ball-hogging ability.

Another huge factor when playing a sports game is the CPU AI on both offense and defense. It can be a tedious process to balance between cheap and challenging and with NBA 2K8 it is a 50/50 split. On offense the CPU makes outstanding moves on the ball, taking full advantage of player skills and really simulating human intelligence well. On the defensive side of the ball things are a bit different. The computer will not catch on to shot tendencies so if you have been draining threes all game long there really is no reason to stop as the AI will seemingly never catch onto your plan.

Graphically, 2K8 is a pretty game, and with the addition of individual animation styles the game jumps to a new tier in the eye candy department. The player models are nice but sometimes the faces look a little awkward or possessed but fortunately you are too busy playing to notice this. The crowd is animated nicely, even though they look like they were ripped out of the starring role of a PS1 game and the courts feature great lighting and surface trexturing. The frame rate rarely drops, except when watching a replay or, for some peculiar reason, when shooting a free throw.

The last component, and quite possibly most important to some fans, is the robust online mode. In series tradition 2K has delivered the most feature-filled online experience currently available. There is an online season mode where players can take the fate of the NBA into their own hands, complete with draft. There are also tournaments to compete in and of course the standard ranked and unranked bouts.

The soundtrack of the title is great and match in some realistic "basketball" sound effects and it's almost as if you are watching TV. The crowd noise is excellent with fans booing and cheering when appropriate and the play-by-play calling from Kevin Harlan, Craig Sagar, and Kenny Smith is usually spot on with only a few missed calls and repeated lines from time to time.

In conclusion NBA 2K8 is a sturdy game that focuses on good old fashioned basketball fun with good gameplay, great graphics and some really good online play. Definitively a title you want on your Christmas wish list. Go out and SLAM DUNK it now





 

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