With scores approaching the hundreds, tactical fouling, and the incessant skincrawling sound of trainers squeaking, basketball has 'annoying American sport' written all over it. Still, at least it gives freakishly tall people the chance to look normal for a while.
Basketball videogames on the other hand are nearly always good fun, tending to offer either a straightup sim or a ridiculously exaggerated and blinged-up 'street' version. In the case of NBA 2K7, we now have a game that tries desperately hard to please both sets of fans and ends up overreaching itself.
What the game sorely lacks in NBA Live 07's glitz and glamour, it partly makes up for with plenty of different ways to play the sport. How many can there be? Well, we have the usual quickplay option for those who want to get straight onto the court, a Situation mode that lets you tailor the settings to give yourself a real challenge, and a full Career mode. The Street mode is an attempt to offer what rival games such as NBA Street and NBA Ballers Phenom are built around, but sadly it's just the same game of regular basketball and the same old moves only played on an outdoor court. A missed opportunity then, compounded by the absence of any fun mini-games.
The controls are kept mercifully simple, with the right analogue stick handling shooting rather than dribbling. This does mean that tricks are fewer and more difficult to pull off than in other basketball games, so instead you'll be forced to work openings through careful, accurate passing. Many players also have their own trademark moves, though unless you're familiar with what a fadeaway jumpshot is or what a crossover move looks like, then these unique animations will be wasted on you. One thing we did pick up on is how everyone seems to be an expert at three-pointers, such is the high ratio of shots that fly in from outside the three-point line.
It's all a bit dour in truth, with little excitement generated by the commentators, the court-side atmosphere and, most significantly, what happens on the court itself. We might have a pop at EA Sports games for relying too heavily on useless cut-scenes and an obsession with getting the graphics right before the gameplay, but a sprinkle of whatever glossy magic they use wouldn't have gone amiss here.
As a budget 'baller it does exactly what you'd expect, but not much more than that. Disappointing.
- Nice and simple controls
- Emphasis on quick passing
- Lacks atmosphere and excitement
- Street mode is wasted