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NBA 2K8 Review

NBA 2k8
Matt Congdon
Score 3.5/5


Basketball, when anyone cares, is such a great sport. It’s all about being down to the wire and the players are running on empty but still manage to get that game winning steal. However the problem is in the NBA it seems like they hardly care. The NBA finals this year this amassed an all time low of viewers, which shows that the players’ lack of interest is infectious. I know I didn’t watch it, but I think I must have watched 30+ college games during the NCAA playoffs. As far as NBA video games go, NBA 2K8 does a good job capturing the feel of the NBA. The game has its lows and its highs. It can get very exciting when you tied up going into the final minute and playing against a friend, but playing against the computer isn’t that fun.
NBA 28k is a lot of fun at times but just like the NBA has some definite flaws. One of the most obvious is that too many damn layups and dunks are missed. If there is someone else in your vicinity in the paint chances are you will miss the layup. You shoot literally about 25% on layups with a defender on you. It gets really annoying after you miss a couple in a row. That problem also extends to shooting elsewhere. If there is a defender in your face you can’t shoot at all. For 3 pt shots for example if you are wide open you might shoot about 60%, while with a defender on a mere 10% or less. This make playing defense tough because you know if they swing to an open guard on the perimeter it’s pretty much automatic.


One thing that I really appreciate is how the ball is not magnetic to the players. The ball can be knocked loose, bounce around, be blocked, it truly has a life of its own. If bouncing towards out of bounds a player will sometimes dive out trying to throw it in. Of course this only works sometimes which is nice to keep it realistic. This makes you cautious with passing on offense, as balls can be tipped away quite easily when trying to weave a bounce pass into the center.
Size is so important in this game. As a result players like Iverson, Nash and Kidd pretty much suck. They all get their shots blocked and are never able to get that open. Forget about driving the lane with them, because half the time the ball won’t even get close to the basket - it will just get blocked back in their respective faces. If you can find a big man who can shoot a little then you’re in the money, and my recommendation to those who are playing through the season mode is to trade for one. Players like Nowitski, Anthony, and Garnett really can rip up defenses. During one 5 minute quarter game I played with the west all stars, I subbed in Anthony early in the game just to see how if he could shoot three’s. In a 5 minute quarter game the average points scored by each team is about 60. Anthony that game had 34 going 14-21. Quite impressive for someone who shoots 40% in real life. It is really easy to get short buckets if you have a good player down low, someone who will dunk most of the time.


Sometimes setting up plays to run and penetrating at all on offense can be tough. Much different from the older games where using the juke button would pretty much get you through anything. The key to this game is truly working it inside and getting easy buckets off of fast break points. When the other team misses a shot it is pretty easy to chuck it up court to someone and score. Although this doesn’t work every time, it does create a problem. This creates radical swings in the score, and if you are losing and miss a few times in a row you could be out of the game. Coming from behind in this game is so hard to do. There is no point in the game when you are safe to take dumb shots. This makes it worse because usually when you’re behind you’ll be more likely to shoot 3’s but that just makes matters worse. Soon your deficit will be snowballing out of control and before you know it you’re down by 30. I took on my friend the other day. The first game he destroyed me by 25 points, the second I beat him by 31.The swings in momentum in this game are huge and you need to control it to be successful.


The graphics in this game are outstanding, some of the best I have seen in a sports game. The player models look good and the flow of the cloth uniforms looks very realistic. The floor shines brightly as It should and the audio for the most part is spot on. Some of the commentary is a little cheesy at times but I guess it breaks up the action nicely in a long game. Most of the coaches’ faces look really bad, I’m not sure why but they just look like really ugly porcelain dolls.
As far as basketball goes this year, nothing is perfect but NBA 2k8 at least tries to be. The game was developed for the most part with some thought and has been brought together nicely. The graphics look really good and it plays pretty smoothly with not nearly as many bugs as NBA live 08. This is the best basketball game on the 360 this year, so if you need those updated rosters and the unimportant new features this game has, Id say go for it. If you’re just a casual basketball fan and you had last years’ edition, I’d say don’t waste your money on this year’s, there isn’t all that much difference.

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