NBA 2K8 is video game that is available exclusively for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and the Xbox 360. Two years ago, marked 2K Sports’ first foray into the next generation of consoles. They made an adequate first impression. This year is different, and NBA 2K 8 improves from last year again. All of the things you see an NBA player do in real life is done well in the game. The stylish passes by Baron Davis and Steve Nash are as mundane as Tracy McGrady choking in the playoffs. Sorry Houston Rockets fans, but it is true. When LeBron James throws it down with an incredible dunk, the crowd will get up from their seats and give a standing ovation. The game is a phenomenal basketball simulation, and gamers will see everything they would see if they were watching a real NBA game. For instance, the Phoenix Suns will attempt to speed the game up by playing a fast break offense. Conversely, the San Antonio Spurs will try to slow it down and utilize the shot clock. Players like Ray Allen, will have a quick release and drain the long range three point shot. The gameplay is the most authentic I have seen in any NBA game. Even the seemingly incongruous things can be greatly admired. These things include diving for loose balls and throwing the basketball off a defender’s body in order to salvage the possession. Every player in the game can have their appearance tweaked to look anyway they want. Even their basketball mannerisms can be altered such as how they dribble the basketball.
NBA 2K 8 is not only for avid NBA fans; the game can be enjoyed by novice gamers as well. For example, calling a play will have arrows and designations on the basketball court that make the game intuitive. Team chemistry actually has an impact on a team’s performance this year. For example, putting a team together with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant will have disastrous consequences. Players with expressive feelings (like Rasheed Wallace) can shatter team chemistry if they are not properly accommodated. The post-game show is definitely a sight to behold. Gamers can view the best plays of the game and the player of the game. You can even save the replays and add them to your own personal collection. Plus, all of the usual statistics can be seen after the game. There are the rudimentary free agency and trade options, so acquiring a role player can put you well on your way to the NBA championship. The visuals in the game are stunning. Players look exactly like their real life counterparts. Allen Iverson has his corn rolls, Ben Wallace has his afro hair style, and Rasheed Wallace has an absurd bald spot on his head. Two original features in the game is known as foot planting and head tracking. Instead of stopping on a dime, players will plant their feet and turn. This gives a much more realistic feel to the game. The second thing is head tracking, and it works very similar to Madden. Rather than looking away from the basketball, players will look at the ball when they catch it. The only gripe I had with this game is the audio. Commentary needs to be bolstered. Occasionally, the commentating is convoluted. The color commentator (Kenny Smith) will say something and just stop talking for a prolonged period of time (ala Madden 2006). I thought the commentary in the game was somewhat robotic. The street mode is back, but it is not as engrossing as the season gameplay. There is even a Tim Donaghy gambling training mode where you can gamble your life away. Moreover, the Isaiah Thomas sexual harassment gameplay element is excellent. I am obviously being facetious, but I would not be surprised if something like that could be playable in the game. In all seriousness, NBA 2K 8 does a fantastic job of appeasing NBA aficionados. Clearly, the NBA 2K franchise has always been several dunks ahead of the NBA Live series and NBA 2008. This season is no exception to that rule. If anyone is looking for a pure basketball simulation, then NBA 2 K8 is the answer.