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NBA 2K7 (Xbox 360) artwork

NBA 2K7 (Xbox 360) review

"When I first bought the Xbox 360 version of NBA 2K7, I had already played the PS2 version for many hours. I didn't think that two games with identical titles, cover arts, and game modes could be so different. It's not just a huge graphical upgrade; the two games are like night and day. It is the true sequel to 2KSports's NBA 2K6. "

When I first bought the Xbox 360 version of NBA 2K7, I had already played the PS2 version for many hours. I didn't think that two games with identical titles, cover arts, and game modes could be so different. It's not just a huge graphical upgrade; the two games are like night and day. It is the true sequel to 2KSports's NBA 2K6.

The new controls are much smoother than those on older consoles. 2KSports has really turned up a notch on defense. The right stick shifts your position. For example, if you tilt it right, you'll shift right to stop penetrators. If you tilt the stick up, you'll hold your hands straight up to make it difficult for the opposing player to shoot over you. Your computer team mates also have become smarter, coming over to help defend against penetrators instead of leaving you to bite the dust.

On the offense, don't expect to be able to be able to do a crossover and just drive into the paint every time. If you bump into a defender, the game won't just let you keep on pushing around or through him like in previous games. As soon as you make contact, a foul will be called or you'll lose the ball. It takes more strategy to take the ball into the paint a score a bucket. In addition, you can't just pound the ball to you center and have him dunk every time. The post game has also changed a bit. Even for some of the better centers such as the game's coverboy, Shaq, you can't keep on pushing and pushing and pushing from anywhere near the key. The defender won't allow you. You must actually get a real position in the post before receiving the entry pass, then make a move.

I hope it doesn't seem like it's impossible to make a basket. Although the defense really has improved, the game isn't a Spurs vs Rockets slowfest. If anything, the game might have become a little quicker. You can now press the down button on the control pad to bring up a menu during gameplay which allows you to quickly send in substitutions. There are more choices in the offensive/defensive sets that you can choose from by pressing right. With good passing, you can still break down an opponent's defensive sets. Good ball handlers have a wide assortment of moves that you can use to attempt penetration. 2KSports's Isomotion controls are still there. Move the right stick while holding LB, RB, or both buttons can perform a number of moves such as a crossover, hesitation, half spin, and more. You also have the Y button which can perform "stopping" moves, such as the hop step, step back and spin move. Moreover, you can use some of these moves in the post too, so you the big man won't feel left out. If you're really on a roll, you can even break someone's ankles and go in for a crazy, high-flying, 360 reverse dunk alley-oop with your most athletic swingmen.

You're not just going to feel these improvements. You will see them. Each move of the isomotion control is very fluid. You can see Jamal Crawford's slick hesitation crossover very clearly as it swings around his legs and back out again. You can see Kobe dash around the wing and pull up for the jumper with his usual little kick in his shot. Even guys like Jared Jeffries have their own unique animation when going for a jump shot. Almost every player in the game have a signature shot, a new addition in the graphics department of NBA 2K7.

In addition to the player models themselves, the arenas themselves look better. You can see each individual panel of wood on the court as well as the reflection of the bigscreen above. The fans no longer look like flat cardboard cutouts. They don't look as detailed as the real NBA players themselves, but they definitely do look like people. I'll have to admit, some faces of NBA players don't look like their real counterparts, but it's hard to imagine what can be improved in the graphics past that.

The overall atmosphere gives you the feel that you're watching a real NBA game. The fans cheer when you hit a clutch shot and scream "DE-FENSE!" when the opposing team has the ball. Players get off the bench when called for a substitution. You have Kenny Smith's "Stamp of Approval" during halftime. Everything was very well done.

Outside of the games, there are still the same old modes that you can play. There's the Season and Association modes, both allowing you to take over a franchise and guide it to a championship. Multiple player function is back, allowing you to take control of more than one team in a single file. New to this generation of 2KSports's basketball series is three-team trading. You can still do everything as in the previous installments. One could develop a player, scout some young rookies, determine when daily practices are, and change your lineup more times than the price of your gasoline. This is the mode that you'll be spending the most time in offline.

Outside of the self-explanatory street and tournament modes, the Xbox 360 version of NBA 2K7 gets the exclusive 24/7 mode. Although it's a few steps forward from NBA 2K6, it's still boring as hell. In 24/7, you create your own character that plays an uncountable number of street games to increase your reputation, allowing you entrance to a tournament where the best ballers in the NBA play. These street games comprise of special rules, such as 3-on-3 halfcourt with jumpshots only, or 1-on-1 times games which are NOTHING like NBA games that I described a few paragraphs ago. There are no fouls and the computer can be extremely cheap, just cutting through your created player that you're forced to play as without any help. Your CPU teammates can also be really dumb, just standing around or dribbling in the same place. All in all, it's very frustrating to win games. And once you do, nothing happens. You have to play another street game. It becomes repetitive very fast. The feeble characters and storyline aren't enough to make most people play through this awful mode, which doesn't even have any rewards for you to reap.

As great as this game can be, it suffers from a few more problems than the optional 24/7 mode. The online mode is not very good. There are the usual disconnectors and such, but it seems so much more easier to get a shot off. During online play, you can nail a contested three with just about anybody with a 70+ 3pt rating. It's not uncommon to see teams shooting 60+% from deep, even if they're played as tight as possible without getting a foul. If you decide not to take threes, you can pick the team's best ballhandler and wiggle the control stick a few times to get past a defender for an easy dunk. The dunks are almost impossible to stop, especially when people use Lebron, Wade, or Kobe to do this. Other broken moves are full court passes and spin move. If you can get past the cheap factor, you'll have a good time playing online. I personally did not.

Although there were many improvements to the new installment of the NBA 2K series, there are still a number of flaws to be fixed, particularly the online system. However, this is still the best basketball simulator out there, and you can't forget the flowing movement of the characters, how easy it is to create off the dribble, and of course, the amazing graphical capacity. Anyone who likes basketball or just sports in general should try it. There's not a basketball game out there that can match up to NBA 2K7.


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Community review by strawhat (March 18, 2007)

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