Video game review

Micah Paisner

If you love Michael Jordan, then I’m sure you’ve undoubtedly heard about NBA 2K11, 2K Sports’ newest basketball video game. Not only does this game deliver in terms of its Jordan appeal, but it is also easily the best basketball game I have ever played.
During his time in the NBA, Michael Jordan could not be found in video games. In order to acquire the right to create a specific player in one of these games, the makers must obtain his or her permission, something that Jordan never gave.
Now, 12 years after retiring for the second time – excluding his unfortunate return to the Washington Wizards – Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan has arrived in digital, video game glory, and it was well worth the wait.
What really makes NBA 2K11 stand out are the Jordan Challenges. In this game mode, players can relive some of Jordan’s greatest moments, such as the “Flu Game,” in which an extremely ill Jordan scored 38 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out seven assists, and put the Bulls within one game of winning their fifth NBA title of the 1990s.
There are nine other such moments in which players must complete a certain amount of Jordan objectives. As a diehard Bulls fan who remembers many of these great moments, this game mode is outstanding. Every starting player from these Bulls teams as well as their opponents can be found in the game, a feature missing from past NBA 2K games.
Once players beat the 10 Jordan Challenges, they then get to play with Jordan as a rookie, and have the ability to assign him to any current NBA team. I’ve still got three challenges to go, but I can tell you that this game mode is more than worth the price of the game.
There are, of course, other features that make this game stand out. 2K Sports vastly improved the game play for this installment. The majority of the glitches in the past games have been fixed, resulting in a much more fluid experience. You can no longer make no-look full court passes; the defense will steal the ball every time.
In addition, specific players are much more accurately depicted in this year’s game. Derrick Rose comes equipped with his signature flick layup, and Kobe Bryant will only sometimes throw out his arms to enact an airplane, a move he rarely does in real life. In the past games, he made this gesture frequently, rather than sparingly.
2K Sports also improved the Franchise mode. Users can no longer amass the perfect team, much to the dismay of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. In past games, opposing teams would accept any trade offered, an extremely unrealistic feature.
But for 2K11, teams weigh the options realistically. That means no more trading superstars for bench players, but so it goes. Also impressive is that a team in the midst of rebuilding will be willing to trade a good player for a draft pick. Teams know what they want. This has never been true of a basketball video game.
Finally, the My Player career mode stands out too. With this feature, gamers can create a player and journey with him through an entire NBA career. You start by playing with fellow rookies, attempting to play well enough to get noticed and drafted.
The game mode takes a lot of patience, as your player’s rating is initially only 37, but the payoff is worth it. You can participate in press conferences and choose what your player says. If you make an arrogant remark, the fans begin to boo you and your teammates refuse to pass to you. It really is an intuitive feature.
The Jordan Challenges could be a standalone game, but with all the other features, NBA 2K11 is impossible to pass up. This is quite possibly the best and most intuitive sports game any system has ever seen.