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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
Alright, first of all to put this into perspective: I'm an old-school gamer. I play NBA simulations on the PC since NBA Live 1996 and even before that the arcade NBA Jam on some Sega console. I played nearly all NBA Lives from 1996 to 2008 and after that NBA 2k9, 2k10 and now 2k11. I played NBA 2k11 for about a week now. So I hope my review is able to help old-school gamers like myself, who are in doubt about wether or not this game is worth buying.

Also I have to say I didn't try the Jordan mode yet, because I don't really care about it and I didn't try the online mode, because I didn't get it to work yet.

The main emphasize in this review is the AI, the overall difficulty, the realism, and how much and fun this game is -- playing with and against the CPU. I must say I'm usually very critical, so maybe I'm too harsh on some points, although I really don't think so and try to be as fair as I can be.

I play 10 minute quarters, with the gameplay setting being set to "simulation" and the difficulty being set to All-Star (second highest). After a couple of games I slightly tweaked the gameplay settings so that the CPU wouldn't throw so many ridiculous alley-hoops, and miss (relatively) too many dunks. In the standard "simulation" settings I had the CPU throw 3 or 4 alley-hoops per game, and none of them were fair or plausible, while at the same time missing about 1 dunk per game, which also mostly wasn't plausible. Also of course I tuned the graphics according to my system (medium to high) and disabled commentary because to me it gets annoying after about two games.

Another thing I tried to tweak is the lane interception thingy. Because the CPU is intercepting way to many passes in this version. Of course this is generally a good thing, since in all previous NBA simulations you could throw ridiculous passes from one end of the court to the other end, with the ball clipping through 2 or 3 defenders and reach the target without problems. So generally I really like the concept of having to think about the passes you make. But sadly this concept doesn't work out all that great. There are at least 4 problems with passing overall. The first two problems are due to the fact that the passer and the guy receiving the pass often times just don't work together very well.
So problem number one occurs in the following situation: the guy receiving the pass is standing on the court in a position that makes a pass very plausible and possible. However, once you tap the pass button he all of the sudden moves to a different spot while the ball is in mid-air (the pass somehow is designed to land exactly at that new spot) although you of course never intended to pass to that spot, but to his original point where he was standing when you tapped the pass button. The problem now is that while moving to that new undesirable spot, a defender is in the passing lane and easily grabs the pass. There is absolutely nothing you can do about that. You didn't want to pass to that spot, because you knew that the passing lane would be crowded, but the CPU causes you to do it anyway and you turn it over as a result.
The second problem is that the guy you control when making the pass isn't all that bright (even if he is a very capable PG). Instead of throwing a lob pass, that flies above the heads of the defenders making it impossible for them to intercept, he throws a medium height pass that never has a chance to get to the receiving player because the CPU easily snatches it. This is very annoying when you try to pass to your PF or C who is posting up. More often than not you can not get him the ball just like that, because it is intercepted. Although generally this should be an easy and common pass. You have the same problem for example when you try to give the ball to a player who is cutting. It is very difficult to get it right, just because the passer isn't throwing a correct pass. I don't know of any way to control this. Maybe there is one, and I didn't figure it out yet.
The third problem is that the plain direction passing is flawed. I guess only 60% of the passes go to the guy you intended to pass the ball to, even though you of course point LS in the correct direction. The game just doesn't get it right and attempts some weird cross court pass that is easily intercepted because of the reasons above, although a much more plausible pass to a semi open guy was intended. So you should use 'explicit passing', i.e. the method where you press a combination of two buttons to precisely select which player should get the pass. This of course isn't always that easy, because some times the guy usually playing the 3 is currently playing the 4, or because in the heat of the moment you don't exactly know which button to press, to give it to the right guy. So you really have to be good, to get this right -- however of course problems 1 and 2 still occur, even if you are good.
Problem number four is that none of the previous three problems happen for your AI opponent. He can throw ridiculous passes all over the court without much of a problem. He can easily get it to the cutter or lob it in the post. So usually you will have much more turnovers than your AI opponent.

The controls are very very difficult to master. Like I said before, I'm an old-school player. I never had problems making super combos on Street Fighter or Tekken or stuff like that, where you have to make some weird 180 degree or 360 degree rotations with your controller and press a number of different buttons to make some special move. But in this game the iso-motion stuff is crazy difficult imho. Even something as trivial as a behind-the-back dribble is really hard. It really is much easier to do nice moves in real life than it is in the game. I think this is because the game is so fast, there is so much going on and you have the 3D perspective and have to think in some weird ways. Breaking your man down off the dribble is nearly impossible. Even below average defenders like Luke Ridnour will stop Chris Paul 1 on 1 most of the time (at least if YOU are Chris Paul). You just run into them and loose your dribble. Doing spin moves is frigging hard (where in the past you just had to press one button). Cross-overs and in-and-outs can be done rather easily but often times won't help too much. Also I always feel like I'm not totally in control over what my player is doing. Even getting to an exact spot on the floor is sometimes not possible because of some animation going on. I know it's very hard to get the balance between having smooth animations and having great control over your player, but this game really has too many animations and therefor is difficult to control.
Also sometimes it feels like you are playing a Hockey game instead of a Basketball game. It's difficult to discribe. You just seem to slide over the floor like a Hockey player. It is much much easier to get an open shot than to get to the basket. Just slide over the floor a couple of times (using the turbo button) and your defender is gone. Getting to the basket is much harder because you constantly run into your super strong defender and lose the dribble. Although sometimes it just magically works, because of some animation.

AI offense:
The CPU opponent plays extremely static with very little player or ball moving. He runs too many sets, and always the same, even if they didn't work the last three times. Basically most of the time the PG waits behind the three point line, three of his teammates are not moving at all, while the other guy cuts and gets a pass (you'll have to defend the cutter, because otherwise he'll nearly always will get an open shot here). Most of the time you'll see the opponents players just standing around until some guy tries a one on one move, once you successfully stopped the set play. Your AI teammates are very slow and stupid and their defense is attrocious. Even though your opponent doesn't play very smart, you will have to do a lot of player switching on defense to not let the opponent get easy looks or cuts, because your teammates just don't get it.

"Basketball is a game of runs":
The developers took this ancient wisdom far too far. I think this problem existed in previous versions, but never was it more obvious than in NBA 2k11. I mean it is really nice to have runs, because that's what happens in the real game. But in this game this stuff is getting out of hand. When your opponent is on a run, you have nearly no chance of stopping him until he somehow finally misses and the game has mercy and allowes you to score. You have to play as hard and concentrated as you possibly can to stop a run. It's really brutal. On the other hand, if YOUR team is on a run, the CPU can not hit anything and looses the ball all the time and the game becomes super easy. The problem is that now it is really important to get off to a good start, because if you don't, you already pretty much lost the game.
If you start the game 2:12, with the opponent being red hot right from the start, you can pretty much end the game. Because you will not be able to come back. Maybe this is because of my difficulty setting, but it really is true. If you don't somehow manage to get back into the game ASAP, you will find yourself behind for the rest of the game, because your team will not be able to make baskets and your opponent will hit 60% of his shots and steal the ball a lot and win by 20 or 30. On the other hand if you yourself start 12:2, you pretty much already won the game. The only time it is fun to play, is if the game starts balanced 8:10 or something like that. I don't think there is a way to control this behaviour via any gameplay settings.

Other stuff:
Fadeaways work. I can't remember another NBA game where you really can hit fadeaways just like in this game. I generally like that. However now, your opponents PF will hit 7/10 fadeways easily, even with a hand in his face. Also, fadeaway bank shots from 18 feet out are sometimes no problem for even weak players.
A good thing is that now shots close to the basket actually go in without bouncing off the rim in a weird way. In earlier versions many shots didn't go when in reality those shots would virtually never be misses.

It's a good game. I don't know if it's better than a tuned NBA 2k10. I think the major reason for getting this game is because of the roster updates, and because the presentation is better. I didn't really highlight the positive things here. But the game is more realistic than ever before. It is also pretty annoying and might cause you to angrily push the reset button sometimes... Shot animations are better than in NBA 2k10 I think. Freethrows are still too unforgiving. The graphics are nice and the animations look great overall. The controls are too difficult. I think the PC version is worth it because it's pretty cheap and one can hope that community sliders and future patches will further improve the gameplay.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2010
I'm very happy to give this game a full 5 star rating as I look forward to playing this game! Graphically it is roughly the same, with some slight improvements (it might just be me, but the court looks cleaner than last year!) The presentation is excellent, I really like the television broadcast approach 2k takes on their NBA games, and they revamped the interface for a new look and it's impressive! Notably, game play is a huge step up in the right direction, the AI seems smarter and it makes for a good challenge playing this game against the computer. To me, the Michael Jordan thing is neat, but a bit of a gimmick, because I can't see myself playing it over just that of a typical season, but to each their own.

I read IGN's PC review, and they mark it down because of lag. I completely disagree. I built my computer about 5 years ago and haven't upgraded since and it runs smoothly on high resolution, max detail and x2 anti aliasing. Only on rare occasions have I ever run into minor lag, but its typically very smooth:


Intel duo core 2.4
4gb ram
nvidea 9600gt

Its too bad they don't make NHL for PC, but I'll gladly take this game, will easily get me through the NBA season.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2011
To start off with, 2K Sports has widely impressed me in two sports now. NFL 2K5 was the greatest experience of all time for me, and this game really got me into basketball.

[MUSIC] : This game has an exceptional soundtrack which had me jamming along to lyrics I couldn't really tell. Enough said.

[GAMEPLAY] The game is very realistic, to say the least. There are plenty of game modes - My Player, MJ:Creating A Legend, The Association (franchise), Season, Playoffs, and two or three I can't remember. The learning curve is not very steep but can be a bit of a pain to master. You definitely won't get bored with this game. I played it for 3 or 4 hours without realizing the time.

[GRAPHICS] The quality isn't bad for the PC - it's actually pretty good and reflects the likenesses of the players, including their facial expressions and details. The performance is extremely fluid, provided you do a benchmark before anything else - that is essential before online play.

[REPLAY VALUE] I have to say that this is one of those games that you never stop playing. By the time you finally get tired of every facet of the game, I daresay 2K Sports will have made another masterpiece.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2010
There is no sports game better than this game. I am still a noob an so can only defeat the pro computer. They can beat me 3% of the time. It is so real. Howevr the online feature on PC is total garbage just like 2K10 on PC. I owned both 2K10 and now 2K11 and i will tell u that the online feature is not currently working for everybody, and for those it works for, they happen to play it on low quality (2K servers forces online video setting to low quality) with heavy lag. I have contacted their support but they keep saying the fault is on my own side however many users have been experiencing this same issue. I have opened all the ports both at my router and windows fire wall but the problem persist. Many other people are having this problem. Great game but a no no for anyone trying to play online. I will not buy this game on PC again. I might have to consider console next time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2013
What I love about this game is, I get to play with the legend Michael Jordan and his Bulls teams. The Jordan Challenge looks interesting. I love playing with the other legendary teams as well. The graphics are so good along with the game play of the game. I do like the broadcasting duo of Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg with Doris Burke as the sideline reporter. I recommend this game for any Basketball fans.
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on September 7, 2011
this game feels rigged, especially when you play at highest difficulty like Hall OF Fame. See, there are certain things the CPU player does in this game that have a much much higher rate of success without concern to how good the player doing that is. Some post players who can never hit a faceup 15 foot jumpshot in real life will always burn you in Hall of Fame difficulty. To sum up the rigging in this game, dont be surprised if the CPU shoots over 70% throughout the game even with you ferociously contesting most of the shots. So it basically boils down to you learning how to call plays (for star players especially) and keep hitting buckets and hope you get enough ...just enough defensive stops (which may not even depend on how good you play defence) to win the game. Also, the 3 pointers in this game are completely rigged. If you leave a 3 point shooter open even a little bit in hardest difficulty....its over. Similarly if you have a high rated 3 point shooter on ur team, just run to the 3 point line in fastbreak and with a few feet of open space take the goes in well over 70%.

Gameplay graphics are really pleasing to watch and the whole vibe of the game really makes it easy for you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of watching a real NBA game. (which is why most of us NBA fans play the video game.

This game is extremely detailed and you will have a lot of fun running a huge variety of plays for ur favorite players and watch the plays run succesfully.

The rigging is the only frustrating part of this game. I wish the game was made harder due to the CPU being clever instead of it just being unrealistically more successful in hitting shots and poking at your passes.

So if you can ignore that one major flaw in gameplay, which is quite easy for a close follower of the NBA like me, you will have lots of fun just trying to beat the CPU playing how real NBA is played. Calling plays and being strategic.

Best basketball game ive ever played.

PS. for PC version Im using a 360 controller which is fully supported and makes the game so much more easier to learn. Keyboard is possible but at first few tries I couldnt get the grip of it so I bought a 360 controller which is definitely worth it.
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on May 12, 2011
I usually buy my NBA games on the PC (I have a PS3 and WII as well) since there is usually more customization options and you don't have to rely on the company to give you updates to keep the game relevant. I have owned a number of different NBA games over the past decade, and this is by far the best. This is my first venture outside of the EA sports family as well and I am pleasantly surprised.

PROS: All sorts of game modes! Season, Assossiation, My Player....

Create a team: I have been wanting this feature for a while, it doesn't work quite as seamlessly as Live 2000 though. You can only clone players into your created team meaning there is the possibility of being more than one of the same player in a season

League Customization: Change out teams, add classic teams, do whatever you want. Want to make a season with ALL Decade teams? no problem.

Tendencies: You can adjust the gameplay any way you want. Think the AI shoots too many threes? you can change it. Too many fouls? change it. Game moving to fast? change it. Anything you can think of you can tweak to make the game as realistic or arcade-like as you want.

Graphics are great, although there are still plenty of glitches. I've seen a player's head disappear a few times.

Announcers seem to be more immersed in the game than before. Very nice for a stat maniac like me.

Play as Jordan, or against him.

The ability to edit any player to what you think he should be. Hundreds of editing options as well.

CONS: on the PC online play isn't so great. this is where console versions excel.

Wish there were more options with Create a Team to get a 100% customizable league going. Not quite there yet.

Keyboard control customization sucks. This game made me buy a controller for my PC because the keyboard controls are so bad. Not intuitive at all.
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on March 1, 2011
This game got me back into basketball games.

This is a rather amazing thing for a basketball game to do. I played a lot of basketball games when I was young, all the ones like Double Dribble, Jordan versus Bird, Tecmo Basketball. I loved Basketball, loved watching the NBA and playing all the video games. Over the years, I lost interest in the NBA as all the great players left the game. Back in the day when Jordan played, teams were stacked with pure talent, even on their bench, it was the golden age of Basketball. I saw Jordan on the cover of the game and I knew I had to get it. They paid respect to a legend in Basketball by putting him on the cover, I knew then the company that made this had some love for the game of basketball. It was worth getting to me.

The gameplay in this game is the best ever I have played in a basketball game, it beats out all the old games I played when I was young. It is the best basketball game ever put out on the market. Several reviewers before me mention how great the gameplay is, I would just echo it. I have to play real basketball and I have to look for bad passes, I have to look for bad shots. The ball will get stolen or blocked if I don't. I have never played a basketball game like this, I have to actually think while playing. There's a lot of sliders in the game to make almost every little detail harder or easier, fit to my liking, I absolutely love this feature. I can fine tune the game in every detail to make it challenging and very realistic, even to fit my not very good skill level.

Most of all, this game is FUN! Even for non-NBA fans, I bet they would love this game too.


It's on PC!

Not only does the game look better on PC, but you can get Mods for it! Check out the official forum, there is a sticky with links for Mods in it. You can make the game look even better than it already does with graphic mods, you can get missing portraits, get better shoes, get different balls, get better courts, change the teams into college teams... the list goes on! Only can you do this on the PC.

A lot of controllers work with the game! I have tried 7 year old controllers with the game and they work perfect with it. There's no guarantee that your controller would work with it too, but if all my old controllers work for it, controller support for this game must be good. You do not need an XBOX controller to play it! They put the XBOX controller all over the manual for this game, but it's not needed to play.


All custom made players and random generated players look the same!

I am not knocking the players already made, they look fantastic! All the players in the NBA are made with detail in this game. What I am talking about, are the rookies generated in Association mode and the players you try to make. When playing in Association mode, rookies are generated at the beginning of each year for the draft. They all tend to look the exact same. A white guy looks like a black guy! Imagine a lot of black albinos in the NBA... that's what the NBA looks like in the Association mode I am playing with now. I am playing against black albinos. A black wth an afro looks just like a white/black albino with red hair. They really need to make the random created guys look more unique, because this is really annoying. The players I try to make myself look the same. I try to make a white player, but all I get are black features to work with. There are sliders to play around with to make a more detailed face, but lets face it, a lot of people aren't good with these, including myself.

Because I only really enjoy playing the Association mode, this is a big minus for me in this game.

One final note, get the patch for the game. It's a great patch! Sometimes patches for games are lame, don't do much, break the game, etc... but this is one of the good ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
I have always been an nbalive guy and was weary in buying this game. I bought it when it was on special for 10 bucks so I went with it, and let me say I was surprised. It was very fun to play, and graphics were very good.
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I'm running with an AMD Phenom II x4 955 black edition and the radeon HD 6850. You don't need a high end computer but the graphics do depend a decent running graphics card.

Here are my experiences:

- Graphics are wonderful and look awesome on the PC. Good graphics on sport PC games are so rare now and there's less emphasis on the PC platform compared to the PS3 and the XBOX 360. It's refreshing to see that models, textures, and arenas are beautifully designed. Minor details like the fans don't look as nice however. The basketball floor, lightening, hoop, and players are look amazing.

- The AI is very challenging. You can't make crazy unbelievable passes. You cannot score easily. You will have to make good plays.

- The controls on the PC keyboard takes a little time to get used to. I haven't thought about a controller yet, since I usually prefer the keyboard.

Overall a great game. It's one of the only still updated NBA games on the PC!
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