NBA 2K7 Xbox 360
Published by 2K Sports
Developed by Visual Concepts
Release Date: Out Now
2K Sports have wasted no time in creating two of the finest sports games on the Xbox 360. We recently reviewed NHL 2K7 which is very impressive and here we have another, NBA 2K7. NBA 2K6 made a very impressive Xbox 360 debut for the NBA 2K series and was far superior to NBA Live 06. It did have some short comings though, such as numerous character models that had obviously been carried over from other console versions. Still it was more than good enough and did a lot to suggest NBA 2K7 could be something very special.
Like previous games in the series, NBA 2K7 is filled to the brim with a variety of game modes. You can opt to jump into a Quick Game or play the 24/7 mode, The Association mode, Season mode, Street mode, Tournament mode, Practice mode, Situation mode and of course Xbox Live mode offering league and tournament play. This year the 24/7 mode has been altered somewhat with enhanced character creation tools. It's also more forgiving and arcade-like with moves that are unique to the mode. The Association mode has also been improved and now allows 3 team trading, progressive fatigue and season award races amongst other things. On the whole NBA 2K7 plays a great game of basketball but there is one area of the game that’s not quite as good as it was last year.
Whilst most of NBA 2K7 is very enjoyable, one area of the game definitely seems to have gone backwards this year. Last year the game used the right analogue stick to carry out free throws and it worked pretty well especially as it was an intuitive use of the right analogue stick. For some reason it feels horrible this year and I’ve found it very difficult to achieve any kind of consistency (well unless you count almost being guaranteed to miss). Quite why this method of control has been tweaked until it’s become very difficult to use is a mystery and perhaps it’s the single biggest disappointment with NBA 2K7. The rather irritating in-game product advertising also makes a return and whilst it’s inevitable this kind of thing is going to happen more and more in games (sports games especially), it doesn’t make it any less irritating.
Graphically NBA 2K7 looks very good with some player models looking very realistic. That said there still are some rough edges. Whilst certain players do look great, some look like they came straight out of the PlayStation 2 version. The character models that have been used for the supporters also looks very poor considering this is a next generation console the game is appearing on. Load times are a little on the long side too. The frame rate can’t be faulted though and remains very smooth throughout, which is always good to see.
NBA 2K7 has the usual problems for deaf gamers that sports titles present. The commentary and all of the co-commentary and courtside feedback is not subtitled. As with other titles, this is disappointing if not surprising. The cutscenes in the 24/7 mode are not subtitled either so you’ll miss out on the rather poor story. Whilst that’s not necessarily a bad thing (due to the fact it’s not very interesting), it’s rather unfair. Other than that though there aren’t any other real problems. The 24/7 mode does show text objectives and tutorial messages. The other modes display all of their important messages in text too, meaning you’ll have no problem enjoying the game even if you don’t get to appreciate its full ambience.
Ultimately NBA 2K7 is a solid sequel to NBA 2K6 but probably isn’t the glorious sequel we might have hoped for. This year’s update isn’t going to wow anyone because the number of additions and improvements isn’t that great but there isn’t really a basketball game with up to date rosters to really compete with what NBA 2K7 has to offer. Fans of the sport and indeed of the series will definitely regard the game as a must own title, for the signature moves if nothing else, but if you purchased NBA 2K6 and only play the game occasionally, there’s nothing here you can’t do without. If you didn’t pick up NBA 2K6 then you probably should opt for NBA 2K7 because it’s marginally the better game and can be found for less than £30 online, which is excellent value for money.
Another great addition to the NBA 2K series but it's probably not the leap in quality fans of the series would have hoped for.