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10 Things I Loved About the 2011 NBA Playoffs June 14, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA, Sport.
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12 comments

Ahh…it’s finally all over. The Dallas Mavericks just defeated the Miami Heat in 6 games to capture the 2011 NBA Championship in what has been the most enjoyable NBA Playoffs in recent memory. Dirk Nowitzki was named Finals MVP, elevating the big silky German to all-time great status and denying Miami’s much-maligned ‘Big Three’ of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh a chance at a title in their first year together. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Here are the 10 things that I thought made these Playoffs one of the best ever.

(to read on, click on ‘more…’)

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Game Review: NBA 2K11 (PS3) October 21, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Game Reviews, NBA.
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[Note: Almost two weeks after its release, I am finally reviewing NBA 2K11.  I wanted to make sure I played enough of the game to do the review justice.]

There is no competition this year.  Literally.  With NBA Elite 2011 back to the drawing board until further notice, NBA 2K11 has been automatically elevated to the title of the must-have basketball sim of the year.  Not to say that Elite would have been a challenge had it been released.  Anyone who has played the demo knows that.

In a nutshell, NBA 2K11 is the best basketball sim ever released.  It’s not perfect and there is still plenty of room for improvement, but 2K has kept the bar so high over the years that it doesn’t take much improvement to make a new game the ‘best ever’.

This year, the major improvements have been:

  • improved gameplay, in particular better off-the-ball movements, set plays and more fluid ISO-motion plays;
  • improved presentation, with slicker half-time reports, Player of the Game videos and highlights and easier to control menus;
  • upgraded My Player experience, to include the Draft Combine for free, trade requests, endorsements and post-game interviews; and of course
  • the Jordan Mode, which allows gamers to relive 10 of Jordan’s best moments and then the ability to play as him in My Player Mode.

Okay, time for me to review the game elements one by one and give it an overall rating.

(click on ‘more…’ to find out!)

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NBA 2K11 provides a glimpse of the new Miami Heat September 30, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Game Reviews, Indiana Pacers, NBA.
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I’ve been following all the NBA 2K11 videos on YouTube in advance of the release on October 5th (October 8th in Australia).

The best of the lot has been from MrOperationSports, one of the few sites that seem to genuinely hold a copy of the real game.  But their latest video, which gives us a glimpse of the new look Miami Heat, is too much for me.  It’s entitled ‘The Conseco Massacre’, and depicts Dwyane Wade and Lebron James having their way with the new look Pacers.  Dunks, threes, spin moves, alley oops, big blocks — the video has it all.  It even has Lebron James trash-talking Danny Granger (probably about his lack of minutes for Team USA), while Brandon Rush stands in the background looking completely stoned.  And you thought basketball games were not realistic!

Here is the vid.

As a Pacers fan, that video was utterly brutal, but I’m not going to pretend there’s no chance of it happening in real life.  But why the Pacers?  Why, oh why?

Anyway, 2K11 is looking really good.  I’m not even a Michael Jordan guy, but this new trailer has my blood pumping.

Can’t wait.  And you can forget about NBA Elite 2011.  I’d be surprised if anyone prefers that game after what we’ve seen from the demo.

Thoughts on the NBA 2K11 Demo September 22, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Game Reviews, NBA.
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3 comments

Source: Sneakernews.com

[To read about my thoughts on the NBA Elite 2011 demo, click here]

Yesterday I downloaded the eagerly anticipated NBA 2K11 demo on the PS3.  It’s very very basic — a 4 minute first quarter game between last season’s finalists, the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics, and you can only use the Lakers (I hate both teams so it didn’t really matter).  The sound has also obviously been stripped down — there is no commentary and the music appears to be not much more than bare bones.  Nonetheless, in terms of graphics, presentation and gameplay, it provided a solid insight into just how good NBA 2K11 is going to be this year.

Here are my thoughts.

(To continue click on ‘more…’)

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NBA 2K11 or NBA Elite 2011? September 8, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Boxing, Game Reviews, NBA.
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3 comments

[Update: To read my thoughts on the NBA 2K11 demo (with a few thoughts on Elite thrown in), click here, and to read about my thoughts on the NBA Elite 2011 demo (with a few thoughts on 2K thrown in), click here]

Still early days…well, not really.  We’re about a month away from the release of the games (5 October 2010), and so far there has been surprisingly little information released on both NBA 2K11 and NBA Elite 2011 (formerly the ‘Live’ franchise).

We know NBA 2K11 is bringing back Michael Jordan (personally not that excited about it but I know a lot of fanboys are spraying their baggy shorts) and a bunch of legendary teams from the past.  We know they still have essentially the same control system plus a slightly revamped My Player Mode (with press conferences where you can choose how you want to answer questions — not sure about how good of an idea this is — if there isn’t enough variety it could get old in a hurry).  Apart from that, the game looks and feels very much like NBA 2K10, which was excellent and in my opinion better than NBA Live 2010.

As for NBA Elite 2011, everything is changing.  Apparently they are revamping the game from the ground up, and the biggest thing they’ve got is the new hands-0n controls that allow you do control every move on the court.  It’s also got, supposedly, real-life physics, ‘real’ AI (are they suggesting all the AI before was fake?) and some new ‘Be a Pro’ mode, which is a subtle rip-off of My Player, but involves you trying to become ‘Legendary’ (I suppose like Fight Night Round 4).  And the big bonus — it will allow access to three modes of the long-awaited return of one of the greatest basketball games ever, NBA Jam!

Looking at the visuals, the fluidity and sheer awesomeness of the moves, I’d probably still say 2K has the edge at the moment, though Elite does intrigue me with its new control system.  If 2K thinks it can just throw in Michael Jordan and basically keep everything else the same (we haven’t really heard of any actual gameplay improvements), then they might be in trouble this year — or at least they ought to be.  I like the fact that these two franchises are competing and keeping each other in check.

I’m not going to post the trailers because NBA Elite 2011 hasn’t posted a proper one yet, and the stuff that’s out there at the moment makes the game look pretty awful in comparison to NBA 2k11, which I don’t believe is fair.

HOWEVER, when looking for some gameplay photos I found this beauty from the EA Sports website (they make NBA Elite).  Well, I think the caption just about says it all…these EA guys clearly have no idea what they are doing when it comes to basketball…

For those who can't see the caption it says: 'Kevin Durant sets up for a three pointer'...well done EA!

We’re in real trouble.

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