NBA 2K11: What Needs to Stay

Author:Dustin Toms

From: http://www.operationsports.com/feature.php?id=1038

People always enjoy knocking a game. They love complaining about it, they love criticizing it, and they love giving their opinion on it (OS is in the midst of an ongoing feature like this right now).

But do people praise games often enough? It never seems to be what should stay the same but rather what should change. Regardless, here is what should not change in NBA 2K11.

1. Custom Music

For those of you who do not use this feature, you are missing out. You are not losing anything by not using it, but if you do use it, you will gain so much. Any game can put itself in a win-win situation as long as the word custom is somewhere to be found. This year, 2K added the custom music option -- only for Xbox 360 owners -- to allow gamers to play their favorite songs or the actual songs at each arena in the game.

The feature adds another angle of realism, which is what all sports gamers are dying to have. If you have not used this feature yet, or do not know how to use it, visit these two threads on the OS forums.

2. Rookie Ratings

I was half tempted to put all ratings on here, but a few players pre-NBA Today were just bogus (Amar?e Stoudemire only an 82?). Either way, the rookies were spot on. Seeing all those big-time rookies sitting in the 60s or barely at 70 overall made me smile. Too many times have people traded away stars for rookies with high potential, only to reap the benefit of a rookie starting five just one year later.

Sure, Blake Griffin came in at a 76, but nobody can blame the developers for that one. James Harden also hopped into the video game world with a 76, which some people might argue -- but also might forget that he was considered the most complete player in the draft. Tyreke Evans was a 71 out of the gate, which pissed a lot of people off, but he is a rookie. Rookies should not be assumed to be good enough to start right away, and 2K gets that.

3. NBA Today

Continuing off of the rookie ratings and Evans? low 71 overall rating, let me talk a bit about NBA Today (NT). Fans can now start their Kings franchise with a nicely polished, 80-rated Evans thanks to NT. NT freshens up 2K on a daily basis. Though ratings do not change drastically over one day, they have certainly changed a great deal during the entirety of the season. We have seen huge jumps to huge drops, but they have all made the game more enjoyable.

Taj Gibson, Darren Collison and Omri Casspi have all reaped the benefits of NT the most, each improving their overall rating by 15 points. On the other hand, Devin Harris and Kevin Garnett have taken the largest hits, dropping eight and 10 points respectively.

And do not forget the commentary. How often do you see threads screaming for the death of the lackluster commentary? With Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg giving us new commentary often, the game does not feel as stale as it has in the past.

4. My Player

I know there is next to no chance that this game mode is not in the game next year, but what I am getting at here is that I hope 2K does not turn My Player into Madden?s superstar mode.

My Player, just like any other solo career mode, has more potential then an 18-year-old LeBron James. Yes, there are kinks to work out, but at least try to work them out. This mode is fun, it is addictive and it adds yet another sense of realism when you get stuck in the D-League.

5. Custom Draft Classes

Unlike other OS'ers, I do not feel this is a guarantee to stay next year. To my surprise, many people have had issues with this feature. But this feature has brought back association mode for me. I hated playing NBA 2K9 and finishing a season because it felt like the end of the game. With the custom draft classes being shareable (thank you 2K Share), association mode has been revived.

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