As you may have surmised by my lack of updates, it's been a little while since I've played any NBA 2K10. Partially this is because it's just hard to get into it during the off-season. Not to mention NHL 11 is pretty friggin' sweet. However, I've also had an increasingly common system error on my PC that causes the game to spontaneously freeze to a black screen for two or three seconds, then finally reload at the pause menu. I've traced it back to a hardware conflict of some sort, but nobody can seem to pinpoint what causes this because it's a very generic error. It's frustrating since it really disrupts the flow of the game (though at least it's not as bad as a racing game where I've already gone off track and crashed into the barriers by the time the game recovers), and the error is getting more and more frequent.

Needless to say, this has kind of zapped my desire to continue my current NBA 2K10 My Player career, especially since I have recently gotten a PS3 and we're so close to the release NBA 2K11 and it's competitor NBA Elite 11 (formerly NBA Live). Or not. Keep reading...

The NBA 2K11 demo was recently released on the Xbox360 and Playstation 3, roughly three weeks prior to the game's scheduled October 5th release. I have, however, only played the demo once because the demo is crap.

Don't get me wrong. The game itself isn't necessarily crap, and I actually expect it to be pretty good. I loved NBA 2K10, and theoretically it should only be better with the addition of the Michael Jordan modes, plus fixes and improvements to the addictive My Player mode, not to mention any other polishing and fine-tuning. The problem is the demo's lack of options. As in any options. At all. You get to play five minutes of action as the Lakers against the Celtics in Pro difficulty with all the defaults, and no commentary. That's it. You have to play as the Lakers. You have to play with the annoying broadcast-style camera. You have to use the default control scheme and default difficulty levels (which make blocks and steals far too frequent).

...yeah.

As you might have guessed, I was none too pleased with being forced to play on the same team as Kobe (I felt like a much shorter, much less athletic, and much less successful Luke Walton for five minutes, though I did spend roughly as much time on an actual basketball court as he did during the playoffs). Aside from that, it seems like a pretty solid game. Okay, yes, your players' speed being restricted to either running or crawling like you are being weighed down by the gravity on Jupiter, and the graphics used for the ball itself are disturbingly, oddly shiny like it was doused in a layer of baby oil. But beyond that, I'm looking forward to buying this title.

Lucky me, I suppose, since it looks like it'll be a little while before I could buy NBA Elite 11 even if I wanted to. EA Sports has officially delayed the release of NBA Elite 11, while in the interim NBA Live 10 will be updated via free downloadable content for the 2010-2011 NBA season. Also, the PS3 and Xbox360 versions of NBA Jam that were supposed to be included with Elite will now be separate releases, though we still don't have the details of how they're going to handle that. (However, the Wii version of NBA Jam still is set to be released on October 5th. So that's nice.)

The explanation given by EA Sports president Peter Moore is vague at best, but it boils down to the actual response from the general public to the playable demo -- it's crap. It's buggy, the new control scheme is not being very well-received (it's not as bad as some people claim, especially if you've played NHL 11 with its similar new controls scheme, but it's still needing improvement), and the game is buggy and lacking polish.

And seriouly, did I mention the bugs? Check out this video (NSFW audio):


Fast-forward to 3:00 into the video. Trust me.

What the fuck, indeed.

I'll be interested to see what the final version of NBA Elite 11 looks like, assuming it ever actually sees the light of day. I personally thought it didn't play that bad, and the graphics looked okay (if a little shiny) to me, but there are quite a few dissenting opinion out there. Looks like EA's got some serious programming to do.

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29 Comments:
Anonymous Mladen said...
I know that the video quality isn't particularly good, but I still have to say that I'm repulsed by the graphics. I mean, seriously, EA? You guys still haven't figured out how to do realistic graphics? You still don't know how to make a player model look like the actual player, instead of a caricature? Also, the players still move at the speed of those racers in "Wipeout"! Just look at Bynum racing down the court like Speedy Gonzales (before he decides to re-enact the "You shall not pass!" scene from LoTR...). Fuck this shit, I'm never going back to Live, or Elite, or anything EA puts out.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
I love how he just keeps playing 4 on 5 for a minute and a half.

Anonymous Stockton said...
It's their version of the matador defense...

Anonymous Mladen said...
@Czernobog:
Considering that Rajon Rondo was standing behind the 3pt line most of the time, it was actually more like 4 on 4.

Anonymous Cetti said...
Yeah, and whats with the completely free reverselayup?
I was lucky to play the full 2k11 version yesterday, and all I can say is that it's way better than 2k10. more midrange game, more postgame, it just feels good.

Anonymous Original said...
What's so weird about that? Haven't you guys heard about Phil's new tactic to make sure Bynum stays healthy? EA is quite forward-thinking to include that in the game.

Blogger Dan B. said...
I was lucky to play the full 2k11 version yesterday, and all I can say is that it's way better than 2k10. more midrange game, more postgame, it just feels good.

That's what I like to hear! Can't wait to get the game when it comes out next Tuesday. I also was impressed by the improved contact in the paint in the demo. Prior to the patch, NBA 2K10 made it far too easy to get easy layups, but after the patch, contact in the paint tended to slow you down too much and get you locked into animations you didn't want. The demo of 2K11 seems to balance this out very well, and it feels very natural.

Anonymous Cetti said...
they got rid if those animations. no stumbling behind the basket, no ridiculous layup move against bigger centers. also, the "wrap-around-the-defender-passes" look very good. quite nice to start a layup with rose just to wrap it around the center to let boozer finish it. if you guys have some questions, feel free.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Cetti-
How's the new My Player mode? Besides press conferences, what other new features have they added?

Blogger Cortez said...
I got the full version yesterday.

It's great.

Blogger Sorbo said...
Screw all-a-y'alls, NBA Jam is where the real players play!

Sucks about Elite, the new controls looked pretty cool in a previous demo. Looks like I'll just have to draft Jordan onto the Clippers and destroy his virtual career.

Bring back Tecmo Super Basketball!

Blogger Sorbo said...
Whoops! I meant 2K11.

By the way, anybody here ever play "NBA in the Zone" on PS1? The most bogus game of all-time. It was arcade style, but even then it was so random.

Apart from Sprewell's name being pronounced Spruell, and Horry being pronounce Whore-y, you can have John Stockton dunk on just about anyone. I'm talking two-handed tomahawk dunks with no need of a running start. Amazing! That and the soundtrack was just a beat with some guys saying "Go!" over and over again.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Looks like I'll just have to draft Jordan onto the Clippers and destroy his virtual career.

After your Virtual Jordan ruptures his ACL, MCL, and PCL in both knees in his very first practice with the Clippers, Real Jordan will somehow track you down and belittle you. Mark it down. It will happen.

Anonymous JJ said...
Sorry to change the subject, but is pick up ball series over and somehow I missed it? Or it's just on a hiatus?

Anonymous AK Dave said...
We've come a loooong way since NBA Live '98.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Ahh man I saw that vid a week ago and laughed my ass off. I'm not surprised it ended up here

Blogger Dan B. said...
kazam92 -- You saw it a week ago and you didn't immediately inform us? How dare you! :)

Seriously though (and this applies to everyone), if you see something you think would be worth posting on this blog, please let us know by e-mail or posting in the comments, or you can find me on Twitter. Otherwise it might get lost in the vast emptiness of the internets...

Anonymous Heretic said...
Anyone else think that it should have been Ron Artest that should have been standing midcourt like a scarecrow?

At least that way EA can argue that that there's a good chance that Ron Artest could pull a stunt like that in an actual NBA game.

Blogger Dan B. said...
While Ron Ron might do something like that, it might also just be a metaphorical jab at Bynum's lack of mobility when his knees are acting up. Or it might just be EA's programmers suck. Either or.

Blogger Sorbo said...
Someone should re-edit that Elite demo video with Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose."

Blogger winnetou said...
A My Player question for the lucky ones who have already played the full version:
If I understood correctly, My Player mode is intended to be more involving, including working yourself into a position to get drafted. Would that mean that you can't really choose your first team or how is it handled?

Not having owned one of the 90's consoles, my first nba game experience was NBA Live (95?). "Threeee!"

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Gotcha Dan. I remember a while back posting a random Yao video of him getting blocked then dunked on in an international game and how it was featured. I was so proud

Blogger Dan B. said...
Another NBA Elite 11 demo glitch I just read about: "players can also make hook shots from beyond the arc 100 percent of the time." That's awesome.

Blogger winnetou said...
What are everyone's plans for this one? Anybody focusing on the Jordan Challenges, then entering the Legend mode?
I'll probably play the same thing as in 2k10, My PG. Only this time on the Bobcats since they don't seem to have a good one and are in the Southeast Division.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the demo sucks because you are stuck on Broadcast Cam. 2K cam is the only way to play the game

Blogger Dan B. said...
the demo sucks because you are stuck on Broadcast Cam. 2K cam is the only way to play the game

Seriously, broadcast cam is awful for actual gameplay. It looks good from an aesthetic point of view, but you can't get as good a sense of spacing, ball movement, etc. when you're looking from that angle.

Blogger winnetou said...

Anonymous Cetti said...
i'm always playing with the broadcast cam, I kinda got used to it throughout all the years (NBA LIVE 97...)but you're right, i'm prone to turnovers when the ball is on the far side.

Anonymous DENNIS said...
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