NBA 2K7

NBA 2K7

Best basketball sim out there? Yep, that sounds about right.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: November 30, 2006
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One of the benefits to the PlayStation 3 hitting toward the end of the year is that sports game developers have time to tweak the game that went out on the 360 just a few weeks prior. In some cases, that time is spent simply integrating the PS3's SIXAXIS controller functionality, but Visual Concepts and poppa company 2K Sports managed to make a few minute tweaks to the game to help make it an overall stronger experience, if mostly in the visuals department.


NBA 2K7 has been a solid basketball sim for years now, and the inclusion of PlayStation Network support has only helped strengthen this. The online play works in much the same was as it has for years now, with the addition of finally offering a persistent login and buddies list. 30-person full season leagues, exhibition, tournaments and one-on-one games are all here, and all of a particular player's habits and trends are tracked by their VIP, their online/offline profile. Post-game surveys let you flag asshole players for others in the future, which is a nice little touch. Unlike the sometimes stuttery play of EA's titles, the 2K servers seem far more adept at handling big games, too.

Nearly everything you can play online, you can play offline, including setting up some Practice matches (useful if you want to learn how to shoot the new free-throws, but more on those in a second), playing a single game, and then tucking into the game's more meaty modes like a full season and even The Association, the game's multi-season career mode that lets you handle all parts of a team's progress drilling down from hiring/firing coaches, staff and players right to playing every single game yourself if you'd like. Deeper than your standard franchise mode, you actually have the onus of creating practice times for players, maintain progressive fatigue, work out trades (even three-way ones if you can get them to work, though I never did), and geek out on all the stats generated by the computer and your play time.

If The Association is the game's simulation mode, 24/7 is its more arcade, street ball component. The thing is, this wasn't nearly as well fleshed-out as the more natural fit of the simulations. Being a fan of arcade basketball games over sims most of the time (mostly due to animations and ball physics), it was a little insulting to watch what must've been French mime clones of NBA players ham-fisted into a "story" of being an up-and-comer noticed by Shaq and taken to a legends tournament. Though the NBA players will rarely talk, it's probably a blessing given how stilted and cringe-worthy the dialogue is. Still the core game is indeed a modest take on street ball, and it's better than most of the NBA Street contenders out there (which probably says more for the competition than it does about 24/7's gameplay).

Though there are some holes in the AI from time to time, you'll often find plenty of pressure from teams, and even some nice replication of particular squads that love to push the game in a given direction. You'll feel like you're fighting against a tide of momentum, which is something I frankly didn't expect to get since it's so nuanced a lot of the time, but perhaps that speaks to the game's sense of immersion. That's broken a few times during things like loose ball scrambles, but you'll notice some smart double-teaming, and great coverage and rotations.

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