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on October 10, 2011
Fun and Frustrating...
This is only the 4th NBA 2K game I've played (2K, 2K1, 2K11 now 2K12). I haven't gone through everything in 2K12 but here are my impressions on what I've played so far...

I play My Player mode the most so I'll start off with that...

- It's a lot easier to jump into than 2K11. You play 1 pre-draft game, not the 7 or so in 2K11 that you had to grind through.

- You are interviewed by three different GM's and you can "pick" what team drafts you by answering negatively or positively. The questions themselves sound pretty realistic. I made a power forward and told the Rocket's GM I wasn't happy with being Scola's backup so they didn't draft me. I also turned down the 76ers but told the Wizards I'd like to be part of their young front court and got drafted by them. The minor downside is you don't know which three teams are going to be interviewing you, but it'd be silly if you were able to choose what teams to interview with. I also made a shooting guard and it seems the interview teams range from decent core of talent (suns, sixers) to rebuilding teams (wizards, pistons).

- Draft night, you watch virtual David Stern announce all draft picks. You can't skip his announcements. If you're picked #21 you have to watch him announce #1-20, which sucks.

- You start the NBA season and there are a few changes. You start out at a higher player rating than last year. I started at 62 while 2K11 had me start in the low 50's I think. You upgrade offensive and defensive attributes just like last year with the skill points earned in games. This year they also added an area to upgrade abilities, these would be the special moves you can do in the game (fade away, cross over, post hook shot, etc...) but they're ridiculously expensive. It costs ~10,000 sp to do an ability upgrade.

- This year you can also buy stuff with the money you earn from your contract. You can buy additional skill points, increase the cap of your offensive/defensive attributes, but it's pricey. ($50K for 50 measly sp).

- Post game conferences are the same. You're still ranked in league wide popularity, team chemistry and fan support but you can track where you stand in these categories. If you need a boost in these categories there's a menu where you can spend your money to host a b-ball camp (boost fan support), give to charity (boost league popularity), or host team parties (increase chemistry). I'm not sure if any of these actually affect anything though. Like will a high team chemistry score actually get you the ball more? Will low fan support mean the GM wants to ship you out?

- Game play is still frustrating (in my player mode at least. I haven't played too many regular mode games)

a) The aggressive pass defense is back this year. It doesn't bug me too much cause I think I've just accepted that I need to be smarter about where I throw the ball to. Lead passing and Total control passing are back this year to help with that. But it's annoying seeing the CPU complete full court passes with no problem.

b) You're team mates are still idiots. Examples are taking dumb shots (shooting when double teamed, driving into a crowded paint and throw up an off balance shot) and standing with the ball as the shot clock counts down and either pass it to you with 5 seconds left or shoot from wherever they're standing at. Basically it feels like they all must have "F" ratings by the end of the game.

c) Moving around feels a bit smoother than last year. However you'll still get stuck to an opponent when you collide into them while trying to run past them and jumping to block is in slow motion (by the time I reach the peak of my jump the guy I was defending is already starting to run back on defense).

d) There are a lot more bounced foot animations and they happen pretty frequently. My PG tried to drive into a crowded lane and the ball bounced off someone's foot, I threw a fast break pass up the court and my teammate dropped the ball and it rolled off his foot.

e) A lot of attempted threes are made. Yes you can adjust sliders but I've always hated going through that trial and error process of finding the right settings.

f) The grade penalties are the same as last year (hogging the ball, call for bad pass, allow man to score, etc...) and they're as annoying as last year.

g) The typical 2K physics are still there and seem to be standard for the game. My teammate threw a bounce pass in the paint to the other big and in the replay you can see the ball actually travel through the defenders body.

h) Dynamic goals are new and they're basically impromptu goals given to you during the game. Some are easy (commit zero turnovers rest of the quarter) and others feel impossible (score next 10 points for your team) since they require you to demand the ball and the teammate won't give it to you.

i) I'm 11 games into the season and the past 2 or 3 games I'm starting to notice that my power forward keeps getting the ball stolen while posting up. I get the ball near the key, push Y to get to post up, as soon as I attempt to start backing down the big guarding me just swipes and picks the ball away. This has happened at least 4-5 times the last couple games, I hope this doesn't happen every game or else I'll need to start my player over with another position.

Greatest Players Mode

- This mode has 15 different matchups between two classic NBA teams. You unlock these teams for normal play by winning these matchups. I'm glad they included even more legends (they went way back and included Bill Russell's Celtics and Wilt's Lakers) but there's not much to accomplish in this mode. It doesn't have any objectives like last year with Jordan where you had to repeat his famous moments. All you do is win and unlock the teams. Some probably like this better because some 2K11 Jordan achievements were a pain to accomplish (like 4 steals in his last bulls game). But it just feels like a step down from 2K11.

- I gotta say the attention to detail on presentation is staggering. 2K made presentation to be true to the era that you're playing in. When playing as Russell's Celtics the game is shown in black and white, there's no 3 point line and jump ball happens every quarter. It's amazing how they tried to re-create 60's basketball.

- The commentary is weird. Throughout the game you'll hear the commentators call the game but switch to recalling their favorite memories of the superstar. So when playing Bulls vs Hornets from '92 you'll hear commentary about the game in progress than they suddenly start reflecting back what a great player Jordan was in his time.

Online
- Haven't tried any of it because servers were down this past weekend and didn't seem like it was anything 2K announced ahead of time, if you play online a lot than you'll probably be pissed cause the servers seem to be unstable again this year.

Training Camp for Controls
- The 2K controls are infamously complex and take lots of practice. 2K added this training camp mode and I think it's a god send. The computer literally shows you how to pull off all the moves contained in the game. I found this insanely helpful because I never mastered the 2K11 controls. In 2K11 you'd get instructions of how to pull off a move but kind left to yourself to decide whether you actually did it correctly. The training camp presentation is pretty nice, a CPU controlled legend will demonstrate the move and have you control a current star and try to mimic the move.

Presentation
- 2K maintains their high standard here. Minor complaints would be I haven't found the classic Bulls Sirius entrance from last year (not sure if it's in 2K12 at all. The substitution windows still take up a good chunk of screen space but I haven't seen it block viewing the game after inbounding the ball. The slam cam replay comes up after a big play and I've turned off action replays in the options menu but the slam cam still pops up. The commentary is still great and sounds like a TV broadcast. You still get repeated lines but that's a minor point. One thing that I hated from 2K11 was if a ball rolled to mid-court, you had to wait for the ref to grab the ball, walk over to the end of the court and hand it to the guy inbounding the ball. You couldn't skip straight to the inbound pass. I haven't seen this yet & hoping it's not in 2K12.

To get the game or not, it depends on what you're looking for. Personally I was hoping for an improved My Player mode experience. I love the GM interviews, it's great you get drafted right away but the annoying game play quirks are still there. In the end I still like the game because of my player and I found 2K11 my player a lot more tolerable once you're player actually develops and starts putting up all star numbers.

But if you love playing online a lot you might want to wait a while `till the servers become more stable. If you're a casual sports gaming fan and didn't like 2K11 last year you'd probably give this a rental at best. If you're a hardcore NBA fan it's probably worth getting the game as there's no other option this year other than NBA Jam OFE. There so many modes to play that you'll probably be able to invest a lot of time into the game and get enjoyment out of it somewhere.
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on October 9, 2011
I just want to say, I had some reserves about this year's title. I liked last year's 2K11 but I could not seem to really get into the game much. Honestly, I think last year's version was more difficult overall. So far I have tried to unlock the Dr. J challenge and was unsuccessful...lol Even thought I didn't win to unlock his challenge it was still fun to play. Those old school players still "got game" they can ball. I had so much fun with the Legends and My Player modes that I haven't even touched the regular game modes yet. I have officially been drafted in My Player, I had a ball creating my players every nook and cranny...very detailed and so much fun. You can create your players complexion, height, weight, eye color, facial hair, muscular physique, tatoos, equipment ie braces, bands, headbands, socks and sneakers (name brand w/ player endorsed footwear) I have the 2011 Hyperdunks Gray/Black/Red. I was also able to create my players signature style and moves. After I did all of that, I was entered into a pre-draft all-star game being watched by NBA team scouts. I did pretty good 24pts.,(3)rebounds,(2)assists,(4)steals and(4)fouls...yikes. All of your stats are on the top right side of the screen so you can keep an eye on your progress and you also get graded A thru F. The commentators are hard on you if you mess up and will praise you to death if your doing well, they will make comments about if you are draft material or not. This game has a lot of pressure centered around it...all for the best I guess. After this game was over I had(3)interviews one with the Pacers, Suns and the 76ers. I was drafted round (1) pick 13 by the Phoenix Suns. You would have thought I was drafted in real life... it was so exciting. I could go on for ever about the fun I had playing in My Player mode.

I am not the greatest NBA 2K player by far, but now I have some motivation to go to the next level and try to get better and be competitive. I thought last year's 2K 11 was ground breaking, but the critics were right this game is by far the best game of all of the NBA 2K series. It makes you wonder what is in store for next year's edition. FYI, I read that because of the current NBA lockout; 2K Sports was forbidden to put any of the current NBA players on the cover of this year's edition (NBA 2K 12). Personally I like the Legends being on the covers. I like the fact that this year, you can choose (1) out of (3) Legends on your copy of the game, that is Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Erving "Magic" Johnson. All and all this game is worth it to buy, I don't suggest you rent it because you will have to send it back, JUST BUY IT!!!
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on January 2, 2012
NBA 2K12 is one of the most top heavy sports titles imaginable. What it does well is exceedingly impressive but faulty features or those that dont live up to potential do enough damage to affect the overall perception and complete value of the product.

(UPDATE) With the lockout ended and the season underway roster updates have arrived to help alleviate some of the problems it caused to the product. First round rookies are in but second rounders still no where to be found and NBA Today is working though seems to lag behind by a day. Patches have also helped to improve some areas of the game though nothing drastically.

POSITIVES

-NBA's GREATEST
This is where primary resources for NBA 2K12 were spent and it pays off with an enriching experience even if it may not have longevity beyond the first play-throughs. The authentic touches given to the 15 match-ups in terms of presentation, commentary, the nature of the audio, and rule implementation is fantastic. It's just unfortunate that those special elements can't be applied to games elsewhere and are instead limited to the mode itself.

-ROSTER OF HISTORIC TEAMS
NBA 2K12 features 36 historic teams - some carrying over from last year (but thankfully with more of the real players included) and several new ones being introduced. Actually the 36 is double the 18 of 2K11 so that is significant advancement. It's a great mix of popular squads and time periods with most complaints coming from the absence of Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller (and with that no classic Pacers teams).

For those bored or fed up with the current state of the NBA the teams are all compelling in their own ways or based on individual history as a fan. For myself it's fun to re-live the days of Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton but really all the teams of the late 80's and 90's for nostalgic reasons. They have to be unlocked by completing the NBA's Greatest mode however - and the Kings and Warriors are limited to the early run of copies via insert code.

-GAMEPLAY
NBA 2K12 builds off what 2K11 did very well - though it doesn't feel all that much different overall and instead has improved incrementally in a number of areas. Gameplay has been the central focus of the NBA 2K series and it still excels there. The new post-up mechanic is the biggest enhancement this year. The number of options available in the post are now numerous and work well which helps better balance out offensive effectiveness from the outside-in. I also really like the ability to contest shots or passes well with the right stick. The overall flow is quite good and fast breaks are also more effective after years of struggles in that area. There's a rich satisfying feeling for winning or even down to executing a single play successfully.

Despite all that there are some bothersome elements such as the CPU shooting (and making) an abnormal amount of threes with far too many players capable of making them consistently, the abundance of deflected passes and inability to "thread the needle" or pass to a cutter in the paint, the lack of ability to choose to bounce pass, defensive rotations are sometimes questionable, and for some reason players can't outstretch their arms when defending inbounds passes. It was also an odd design decision to paint gaudy giant colored circles on the court for zone defenses - though this can be turned off with "Who to Guard" in the controller settings.

-PRESENTATION/ATMOSPHERE
The broadcast style presentation is enhanced this year - with new camera angles, intros, and quarter-breaks. "Playoff crowds" finally make an appearance and greatly improve the atmosphere. The crowd doesn't always react properly to events but are much improved otherwise. NBA 2K continues its excellence in commentary with Steve Kerr as an additional analyst. It's very impressive how the commentary flows - even if something happens on the court that needs to be addressed immediately the guys will go back to and continue the story from the point they left off. The new pre-game intros are sharp as well.

NEGATIVES

-MY PLAYER
What was supposed to be a huge improvement to the career mode is fatally hampered by incredibly bad trade logic. Rosters are constantly churning - often through trades that made no sense for the team or involve big name players that would never be moved. The gameplay experience is still lacking due to poor teammate AI, opponent 3PT attempts/percentages too high (no sliders in this mode), and difficulty in simply moving around as players are like magnets pulling the user into what become akin to brick walls. Despite having the NBA Draft with generated players they actually aren't added to the team rosters which creates issues of its own. There is also a freeze that halts progress if the user's team wins the Championship. My Player does do some things well - its attempts to implement more off-the-court elements are appreciated but they mean little when everything else isn't properly established first.

-ONLINE PLAY/ONLINE ASSOCIATION
Arguably the worst online experience in years and little progress has been made in the last week plus since release. Online play is plagued by overwhelming numbers of disconnects and heavy lag/poor responsiveness - while popular modes such as Crew were removed without any prior notification or even acknowledgement since. It's embarrassing that the promoted new website, which is to house important features consumers were anticipating, not only wasn't ready for release day but remains unlaunched. The biggest disappointment comes with Online Association - admirable in the goal of delivering an online component to the complete offline mode - but coming up short by not including all the necessary options and admin control.

-NBA LOCKOUT
This is no fault of 2K Sports but the lockout does have an effect on the product's value. 2K was smart to increase the presence of legends and historic teams in a year when fans would potentially be turned off by today's NBA. They could have planned a bit better though by expanding NBA's Greatest presentation for use elsewhere, making it easy to edit historic teams and move players onto other rosters, and by allowing historic teams to be used online (without having to pay for it through upcoming DLC). The lack of rookies does sting even in a down year for talent and well-received features such as NBA Today are rendered irrelevant.

SUMMARY
NBA 2K12 is a game that one desperately wants to love but the severely troubled features make it difficult to do so. Coming off a year in which NBA 2K11 delivered just about the total package - 2K12 extends on a good thing with its historic team-related content and the relevance to the product but otherwise fails to come near re-creating the perfect storm of last year.
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on November 25, 2011
Just bought nba 2k12 two days ago, I also bought 2k11 last year. I thought it was the best hoops game of all time and one of the best sports titles ever. That said 11 was still far from perfect. A lot of the players on 11 looked really hidious . I can say that 12 has improved on that greatly .There are still some akward looking players but its not nearly as bad as last year.As far as i can tell so far the gameplay remains largely the same. It's crisp as ever but the there are still age old problems. The passing system still sucks. You'll looking to pass to the player next to you and it will go across the court. It's still incredibly hard to run a fast break without turning the ball over. The AI still does some really goofy s&*%. For example a defender will leave a deadly shooter to double a player in the paint the likes of matt bonner. The legend mode dosn't always do its homework either. I was playing aginst the 1990-91 blazers and clyde drexler, a historically mediocore 3 point shooter ,went 7 for 10 on threes and most were contested . When playing as the 97-98 spurs i was able to turn avery johnson into chris paul and just blow by everyone in sight. Also if your playing aginst a legend and their feeling it good luck stoping them .I was playing against dominique wilkens and was routinely triple teaming him with bird, mchale,and parish to no avale. I know these guys are greats of the game but come on. I know this seems like knit picking but for a game that prides itself on being a simulation it kinda annoys me. All that said the game is still addicting as hell. The legend mode is unblevible. The level of detail is very impressive. I grew up loving the nba in the 90s and the majority of the stars move and play the way they did when they actually were lacing em up. They current rosters are largley the same with no rookies. This is not 2k's fault because the lockout screwed everything up. I kinda wish 2k had just ditched the association mode for a year and just focused on the legend mode. Overall this game is still far from perfect but still the best sports title out there.
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on November 19, 2011
If ur an attention to detail kind of person then this game will definitively be worth it over 2k11. The graphics, physics, and some how even the game play are just very much improved over 2k11. Before I considered buying this game my self i was very skeptical as to whether or not the game would be worth it. But after having it and having played for the past two weeks now I'm glad i bought the game and will never play that crapy old 2k11 ever again(for god sakes Kobe Bryant looks like an alien in that game!) Every player in 2k12 looks EXACTLY like the real players. That includes Kobe, Lebron, Javale mcgee, John Wall, D Rose, Chauncy billups, Amar'e stoudamier and Carmelo Anthony, Michael beasley, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rudy Gay, Manu ginobli(He looked creepy in 2k11), Brook Lopez(Hideous in 2k11 really cool looking in 2k12)Even Danillo Gallinari looks like the real guy. The players look simply AMAZING! The only one thing that kept me from giving this game a full 5 star rating is the really anoying sighn up process. Since when do you have to sighn up to play a game??? The first time u start it up you have to sighn for a "my 2k" account...
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on March 12, 2012
Nba 2k12 is a great game overall. Some people are very harsh when it comes to judging video games. If you love basketball video games, your gonna like this. Some people like nba 2k11 better than 2k12. If you have nba 2k11 already, I suggest that you should get nba 2k12. If you dont like it you could always return it.
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on August 16, 2013
The game play takes quite some time to getting use to but it's still fun to play. The most annoying is getting use to how to shoot the ball, It's far too overly complicated and it sort of takes the fun out of playing. The graphics are sort of disappointing and could have been much better. The animations (such as a close up of a coach or player standing around) are a little disappointing as well. I absolutely hate the menu layout for this game. I don't like how every time someone changes a team, Both sides do a quick flash of someone changing their team despite you not changing your's. The AI in this game are ok at times but poor at others.

I have to admit though, I play this game with my brother and we have a ton of fun whenever we manage to get a basket in.
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Wow, what has 2K Sports made, 2K13 & 2K14 now? As much as I enjoy their basketball games, I have yet to make a decision about updating or even upgrading to one of the games since NBA 2K12. The game is very fun, and the first time my wife saw it on our television, she asked, "Who's playing?" She did not realize it was a video game, so I can only imagine what '13 and '14 look like, especially on the next-gen consoles. Even if you purchase a used copy, it will be money well spent. It's fun to play.
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on February 14, 2012
To start, this game has the nicest graphics of any basketball game I've ever played. The controls and moves are well integrated and make sense, and the game's depth of modes and presentations are spectacular. That being said, it is sad how buggy this game is. Issues that were apparently fixed in a patch still prevail. I will go through a few:
1) First and foremost, if you play against the computer, the AI is ridiculously dumb. The computer will essentially dribble the ball in one spot for about 10 seconds before finally settling into a shot. I can live with that for the duration of the game, but at the end of games is when you begin to wonder what the point of playing this game is. The AI is not programmed to play smart end game basketball offensively. I can't stress how many times I have had a 3 point lead and the computer had the ball with 20 seconds to go, and did the following: either dribble the ball down with a non-shooter and attempt a horrible shot at the buzzer, take a TWO POINTER at the buzzer, or just dribble the ball down and not even attempt a shot. This is simply inexcusable. The ends of close games in basketball should be exciting, not frustrating, leaving you to wonder why you just spent a half hour playing the game if the ending will not be realistic, or even challenging.

2) The game is extremely buggy. On screen season team statistics are inaccurate; apparently my team leads the league in every category by a wide margin. Also, I have had the commentary "break" in two game modes. About 30 games into My Player mode and Association, all color commentary that really enhances the presentation of the game just stops. You just stop hearing the commentators talk about individual players, teams and coaches; it gets reduced to bland play by play commentary. I've also had Associations where the computer is signing players with asterisks instead of names. Other bugs include getting fouled while shooting (and missing the shot) and only getting one free throw, amongst many other bugs and glitches. If I have already invested several weeks into a game mode and something "breaks" or becomes buggy, why would I waste the time and start over? It is frustrating.

All in all, this game could have been great, possibly the greatest sports game ever. I suppose if you play exclusively online, it is amazing. However the offline bugs and glitches render the game frustrating and after a while, a waste of your time. In the end, this makes it a grand disappointment.
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on January 19, 2012
This has everything you could possibly want in a basketball game. Yesterdays legends... check todays stars... check Incorporates live schedules and roster updates everyday... check. But the bottom line is that this game is fun every time you pick it up. The franchise mode is very in depth and playing as Jordan, Bird, Magic, and so on, during big games in their careers is a basketbal fans dream. Buy it!
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