Tag:video games
Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:31 am
Edited on: November 3, 2011 9:44 am

2KSports announces new NBA 2K12 legends pack

By Matt Moore

NBA 2K12's a pretty rad game all around (yeah, I said rad, you want to make something of it, McFly?), but the coolest feature has been their legends system, allowing players to play with greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and even great teams like Chris Webber's early-2000's Kings. It's been particularly interesting seeing younger players learn about stars like Sydney Moncrief and Moses Malone. Based off that success, in coordination with their new Legends Showcase update they're selling for the holidays, 2KSports announced a new batch of superstars available for download. And the list is a doozy. From the presser: 

Complete List of New Legends
George Mikan (1951 Lakers) David Thompson (1978 Nuggets) Derek Harper (1990 Mavericks)
Bob Cousy (1957 Celtics) Jamaal Wilkes (1981 Lakers) Tom Chambers (1990 Suns)
Bob Pettit (1959 Hawks) Jack Sikma (1982 Sonics) Kevin Johnson (1990 Suns)
Nate Thurmond (1967 Warriors) Alex English (1983 Nuggets) Reggie Lewis (1993 Celtics)
Lenny Wilkens (1968 Hawks) Adrian Dantley (1984 Jazz) Dan Majerle (1993 Suns)
Dave Bing (1968 Pistons) Bernard King (1984 Knicks) Kenny Anderson (1994 Nets)
Wes Unseld (1969 Bullets) Rolando Blackman (1984 Mavericks) Cedric Ceballos (1994 Suns)
Connie Hawkins (1970 Suns) Kiki Vandeweghe (1984 Nuggets) Dee Brown (1995 Celtics)
Dave Cowens (1973 Celtics) Mark Eaton (1985 Jazz) Gheorge Muresan (1996 Bullets)
Tiny Archibald (1973 Kings) Sleepy Floyd (1987 Warriors) Glen Rice (1997 Hornets)
Spencer Haywood (1973 Sonics) Fat Lever (1988 Nuggets) Shawn Bradley (1997 Mavericks)
Bob McAdoo (1975 Braves) Mark Jackson (1989 Knicks) Steve Smith (1998 Hawks)
Elvin Hayes (1975 Bullets) Kenny Walker (1989 Knicks) Jalen Rose (2001 Pacers)
Rick Barry (1975 Warriors) Dale Ellis (1989 Sonics) Jamal Mashburn (2003 Hornets)
Bob Lanier (1977 Pistons) Artis Gilmore (1978 Bulls) Yao Ming 
Some notes:

  • David Thompson and Alex English for the win. Just had to get that out of the way. 
  •  The addition of Yao should not be overlooked. The game significantly provides an advantage to height. Granted, I'm terrible at the game, but no one should be able to drop 50 on anyone with Hasheem Thabeet. No one. Yao could be devastating. 
  • Lots of pure shooters in this update, which could make for some fun H-O-R-S-E contests in the new legends pack. 
  • Notably still absent are Allen Iverson, Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley. 
Which legend interests you the most? How outraged are you by the continued absence of Charles Barkley?
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:53 pm

How 1993's NBA Jam was made and sold

Posted by Royce Young

There are certain things that you can identify the 1990s era of the NBA with. Michael Jordan. "Space Jam." John Stockton's short-shorts. And no doubt, NBA Jam.

You knew the game had made it into pop culture when "Boomshakalaka!" became part of everyone's lingo. But how did it make it? It wasn't your typical basketball game. It was a 2-on-2 arcade style game where you could clothesline someone. It was a game where the ball would literally catch on fire.

This video, via Kotaku, shows Williams Electronics pitch to the NBA to get the rights for players and logos into the game. It shows how the graphics for the game were developed and the process by which the game was made. Pretty cool.

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 24, 2011 9:44 am
Edited on: October 24, 2011 10:31 am

Dirk Nowitzki is here to help you with NBA 2k12

By Matt Moore

There's a weird quirk with NBA 2K12. Dirk Nowitzki is exceptionally difficult to play with. Even Mavericks fans have a hard time getting the hang of him. Part of it is due to his insanely long shooting motion (it's not slow, it's just long), part of it is the way the game treats size and range. But the result is that getting the real hang of the Finals MVP is a trick. But the big guy himself has a pretty easy solution. Just shoot, baby. From Nowitzki's Twitter:  
RT @TheRealTwiggg: @swish41 why are you so hard to play with in the video game 2k any tips?(Just press circle button to shoot from anywhere)
via Twitter / @swish41: RT @TheRealTwiggg: @swish4 ....

Helpful, Dirk. Now if we can just figure out how to dribble with your seven-foot self.  One tip? Drop the big guy into the post at the elbow, then go to the pump fake and fadeaway. You know. Like he is in real life. Even then, it takes some getting used to. 

In other 2K12 news, 2K Sports announced last week a new game mode being introduced through online addition, based on the popularity of the legends mode they integrated, which allowed players to play classic games of great teams to unlock them. (Only took me twelve tries to unlock the Sixers. Sidney Moncrief is a monster in that game.) From a 2K Sports release: 

Legends Showcase allows gamers to select from more than 150 of the NBA’s all-time greatest players, including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Dr. J, and compete in authentic pick-up games from 1-on-1 up to 5-on-5.  Legends Showcase also features mini-games, such as 21 and H-O-R-S-E, along with other new features like the 2-on-2 Teammate Challenge and 3-on-3 Era Challenge.  Gamers can also unlock current NBA players to create unique match-ups between legends and current stars.  Finally, for the ultimate challenge, gamers can bring their My Player into the mix and battle the legends of the NBA to see how they stack up against the best ever.

Gotta say, pretty exciting to think about playing H-O-R-S-E with Larry Bird vs. Kevin Durant. Now we just need to be able to set up your own dunk contest with Dr. J, Jordan, and Vince Carter and we'll be set. 

(Image via 2KSports on Facebook.)
Posted on: November 5, 2010 2:49 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 2:56 pm

Kobe appears in first-person shooter game ad

Posted by Matt Moore

Like any good red-blooded American under the age of 40, I've played my fair share of first-person shooter video games. I've done the old "sneak up behind your friend with the silencer and give him the digital double tap" routine. Very little shocks me in the way of either video games or their advertisements, and yet the latest commercial for "Call of Duty: Black Ops" has me a little off-kilter. There's nothing particularly over the top about the ad. See for yourself.

Like I said, nothing particularly over the top. The commercial doesn't depict blood, gore, or death. There's a lot of random shooting, and a helicopter goes down, but there's nothing that really shows the traumatic effects of war.

Which is kind of the problem. You've got ordinary citizens, mixed in with the Black Mamba and Jimmy Kimmel, shooting at enemies in a massive combat scene. It definitely depicts the idea that everyone should want to pick up an automatic assault rifle and start firing indescriminently. In a lot of ways, the ad is mocking itself, particularly with Kimmel's appearance. But similar to the LA Times ' take, I find myself a little bothered by the overall message of casual violence and gun play.

There have been rampant debates on the effects of violent video games, most of which I tend to want to avoid, but for whatever reason, this commercial seems to breach that line of making it clear these are video games, and portraying violence as a real, enjoyable, and admirable activity.

But hey, Kobe looks cool.

UPDATE: As BDL notes, Bryant appeared at a charity event held by Activision (the maker of the game) which gives funds to veterans and veteran organizations. Also, apparently Bryant fired real weapons on set, which must have been fun for Lakers' PR, and the game is rated M for Mature and they are targeting adult audiences. Like football. Because kids don't watch football. Or read sports blogs. Wait.

Posted on: October 5, 2010 2:32 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 2:57 pm

NBA 2K11 Review: The game lives up to its cover

Posted by Royce Young

NBA 2K11 knew exactly what it was doing.

When 2K Sports announced Michael Jordan would be on the cover of the game, they knew what the were indicating. You put The Greatest on the cover and make him the center of your game and you better produce something similar in quality.

And boy, did they ever.

NBA 2K11 isn't quite on par with basketball's top legend, but that's only because it's not flawless. It's like the 1991 MJ - near perfect, but not quite there.

Before you even see a menu, the game starts with a dimmed screen with Jordan standing with his back to you in the tunnel. You can hear a hum as strobe lights pulse around Jordan. And as soon as I heard that hum, I knew what was coming. It honestly gave me chills for a second. That low organ note and then the riff. Before I knew it, I was reliving one of the biggest moments of my childhood. The Alan Parsons Project was blaring and I'm hearing, "From North Carolina... at guard.... Mike-alll Jorrrrrrr-dannnn!" It was pretty awesome.

You're immediately put into the 1991 NBA Finals against the Lakers with Jordan, Pippen, Paxson and the bunch taking on Worthy and Magic. In other games I never play with the all-time teams because I didn't buy Madden 11 to play with the 1966 Bears, but this is a whole other experience. The Jordan Challenge could be its own game. Seriously, they could have just forgot the My Player, the Association Mode and the other 30 teams. Forget Kobe and LeBron and Durant and Wade. The Jordan Challenge really is almost a game in itself.

It's almost a bad thing. Because I don't see myself getting off the Jordan stuff for a while. I can't wait to try and drop 63 against the Celtics in '86. Or get the shrug against the Blazers. Or take over in the flu game. It's the stuff I grew up loving and finally, I get the memories brought back. 2K11 knew what it was doing and it's genius. As it's gaming audience changes, the people that were 10, 12 or 15 when Michael Jordan ruled the world are now its peak market. And if they're anything like me, they'll jump at the chance to see it all again.

But what about the other stuff? I keep telling you, you almost forget there's a game in there after all this. The gameplay is terrific. At first, I had written down a qualm about the passing because it seems to defense really is eager to jump a passing lane and a long crosscourt pass never seems to work. But then I realized that's just because a lot of us are used to making dumb passes all the time. This game plays like real basketball. If the passing lane is cut off, you're not getting a ball through. You're not getting lucky. The defenders will get their hands on it and they'll be going the other way in a blink. It's a little frustrating at first, but the more you get used to it, the more it makes you appreciate a perfectly executed bounce pass or beautiful lob.

The AI is just terrific. Honestly, it's probably the underrated top highlight in the game. For instance, the switching. The computer knows when it gets a mismatch and it works right at it. If the Heat are running a pick and roll with Bosh and Wade and Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick get caught in a switch with Redick on Bosh, the computer immediately calls a play trying to get the ball to Bosh in the post. That's impressive. The computer switches for you as defenders would in a real game and if you bring a guy over to try and switch back, your defense helps and recovers as if it were real life.

Game presentation and feel are probably the most important things to me in any video game because I want it to seem like I'm just taking part in a real game. And while Clark Kellogg is more known as a college announcer than an NBA one, the combo of him and Kevin Harlan is terrific. My wife was in the other room and she came in and asked, "Who's playing? Is this a replay or something?" The announcing sounds that legit. They have set topics for each team to touch on. For instance, when playing with the Thunder, Harlan talks about how 150 fans or so met the team at the airport after OKC clinched a playoff berth. (I only mention that one specifically because I probably found that cooler than others because I organized that meet-up.) But Kellogg and Harlan even cut off one of the anecdotes if something big happens. When Jonny Flynn flashed in the paint for a big dunk, both announcers letting out a "Ohhh!" with Kellogg putting the story he had going on hold.

There's an incredible attention to detail down to things like accurate tattoos and free throw routines. Kevin Durant does his shimmy. Steve Nash goes through his practice motion and then quick dribble routine. And 2K11 once again nailed individual shooting styles. Magic Johnson's is so spot on it's ridiculous. I found myself trying to get fouled with Bill Cartwright to see if his free throw style was replicated. (It was.) I absolutely eat that kind of stuff up.

Now what keeps this game from being the 1997 Jordan in terms of perfection are a few minor things. For instance if a player has white knee-high socks on, they constantly turn black. I'm sure a patch could fix it, but I found it pretty annoying. Another thing is that I'm not in love with the ball-handling. There's not a ton of control over what your player does and while Elite 11 was otherwise a mess, the ball-handling system was pretty cool. But that's picking nits there.

Overall this game is as good as any basketball game - or sports game period for that matter - you'll ever play. From the crowds, to the announcing, to the play calling system - everything is as close to real basketball as it can be. Basketball games have notoriously struggled to bring the actual game into a video game because it's so free flowing and basketball lacks structure. But 2K11 is as close as you can get.

If you saw Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, the last line of the movie is Brad Pitt's character saying, "I think this just might be my masterpiece." Some saw it as a direct statement from Tarantino about the way he felt about his movie. And in the same way, by NBA 2K11 putting The Greatest on the cover of its game, I think they were probably trying to make the same statement.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 5:00 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2010 10:26 am

Andre Iguodala looks like Bowser from Mario Bros.

(Just play the Mario Bros. music in your head as you read this post.)
Posted by Matt Moore

You know, Iggy's living nicely. Andre Iguodala was a huge part of Team USA's success in the FIBA World Championships this year. His defense, rebounding, and all-around support play were major contributions to the effort that netted Team USA the gold. He's in a new commercial series that idolizes the greatest for an NBA video game. And hey, speaking of video games, now he gets to look like one! Iguodala dropped this picture on his Twitter account today to show off his new haircut:

Not bad. Very... sharp. You know, like spikes. Kind of like... Bowser!

I very much look forward to Igoudala spitting fireballs at a jumping Derrick Rose (an obvious Mario choice; Andrea Bargnani is Luigi, naturally) this season. Just don't go Go Kart racing, Iggy. You're slow. Really, really slow.

(HT: Liberty Ballers , Bowser image courtesy of SmashBros.com )
Posted on: September 10, 2010 9:11 am

Shootaround 9.10.10: An extension for Noah?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Before we get too carried away with Joakim Noah for Carmelo Anthony talk, Marc Stein of ESPN says that the Bulls are actually working on something else Noah related: an extension. Which adds a potentially interesting twist to the trade rumors. Right now, Noah's salary is nowhere close to being enough to get a deal done with Denver for Anthony. Luol Deng would have to be included in the trade, but Denver is lukewarm on Deng. So if the Bulls extend Noah to say, $10 million a year, that would make a swap much easier. Just a thought.
  • Kevin Durant wrote "1972" on his sneakers yesterday for the game against Russia. Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie: "Not only does it remind me of how proud I am to be an American, but it should remind followers from all nations in this tournament that being part of a team can be a pretty special thing. Whether you're a member of Team USA at one point, CCCP, the Russian team, or a squad that didn't even exist in the 1988 Olympics (which took place the month Kevin Durant was born), it hardly matters. You're a teammate for life, and I appreciated Durant's little message to his teammates."
  • Ailene Voison of the Sac Bee on the reprehensible situation with Omri Casspi: "Kings forward Omri Casspi said Thursday he was 'hurt' after learning that a mural featuring his likeness was defaced with a swastika. The incident at 16th and R streets in midtown Sacramento is being investigated as a possible hate crime by local authorities. 'It's been all over the news over here,' said Casspi by phone at his family home in Yavne, Israel. 'Everybody's talking about it. It's hurtful to think that this is 2010, and there are still people like that out there. I almost don't know what to say. It's probably just some idiot who wants some publicity. But I know the people in Sacramento, and they have been wonderful to me. I know they must feel bad about this. Same thing with the Kings. I'll just let the police handle this and focus on having a great season.' Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA, returns to Sacramento on Monday to begin preparing for his second training camp."
  • What does the old show "The White Shadow" and Turkey's 12 Giant Men have in common? Pete Thamel of the NY Times: "Turkey’s rapid rise as a basketball power can be traced, in part, to 'The White Shadow,' whose 54 episodes appeared on black-and-white TV here from 1980 to 1982. 'It made people aware of basketball in Turkey,' said Alper Yilmaz, a former national team player who works in the front office of Efes Pilsen, a club in Istanbul that has won 13 Turkish League titles since its founding in 1976. 'There was already basketball in Turkey,' Yilmaz added, 'but after that show, everyone started playing.'"
  • Chris Sheridan of ESPN on what gets lost in translation in international basketball: "The inclination for a player in foul trouble is to hold back, even just a little. Not so for Andre Iguodala , who played with so much energy and passion right when the Americans needed it that one of the Russian players actually thought he was swearing at him -- in Russian. "He say in Russian a bad word. I don't know how he know this. I won't even translate it. It's bad," said Russian forward Andrey Vorontsevich, who got yelled at by Iguodala after being a little too physical with Lamar Odom . "All I said was, 'watch it, watch it,'" Iguodala said, bewildered. "I don't speak any Russian."Apparently (according to bilingual Russian journalist Vladimir Gomelsky of NTV+, the Russian all-sports cable network), if you say, "watch it, watch it" fast enough, it can be misconstrued as the Russian euphemism for a female canine."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com