NBA 2K6 Feature Preview

We take a sneak peek at what's coming up for 2K Sports' long-running hoops game.

It's only been a few months since the NBA wrapped up its 2004/2005 season with a thrilling NBA Finals series between the Spurs and the Pistons, but already we're looking ahead to next season. Will Larry Brown end up coaching the Knicks? Will LeBron James find a way to lead the Cavs into the playoffs? Heck, will Darko Milicic finally see some substantial playing time? Of course, we're also curious about the next slate of basketball games arriving this fall, and 2K Sports' NBA 2K6 is no exception.

New post-play animations should give you more options under the net.

Since our last look at the game at E3 in May, more details are leaking about the seventh game in 2K's lauded hoops series. Many of the main features in the game will be very familiar to fans of the series or to 2K Sports games in general. The two main modes--24/7 and "the association"--return for another go-round. In 24/7 mode, you'll be once again living the life of an up-and-coming NBA baller, but there will be an added streetball twist. 2K6's 24/7 mode, subtitled "Road to the EBC," will find your created baller competing at the Entertainer's Basketball Classic (an annual street hoops event held at Harlem's Rucker Park) against both NBA players and Def Jam performers, such as Red Man, Method Man, Flavor Flav, and others. The association is 2K Sports' moniker for its franchise mode, and just like last year, you'll be building your staff from the ground up by hiring scouts and coaches to find and develop the talent on your team.

Because online play will be a big part of the NBA 2K6 feature set, it's nice to know the VIP system will return once again as well. After all, there's no better way to scout your buddy's tendencies online than to download his VIP profile and watch how he does things. If you're feeling extra froggy, you'll be able to jump into the deep end of the competitive waters so you can download profiles from the top-ranked 2K6 players and then truly put your skills to the test. After tasting sweet victory, you'll be able to retire to your crib, which is making its debut in the NBA series this year. Here's where you'll be able to cash in credits to spiff up your digs, play minigames, or purchase in-game music.

The simplicity of basketball bores Shaq Fu.

As for what's new in 2K6, we understand the game will feature a good deal of original animations, particularly those dealing with two- and three-man situations in the post. These include new blocks, such as animations for blocking layups and dunks from behind, as well as new steal animations that should bring some polish to the on-the-court action. Word also has it that 2K6 will feature a completely new control system, including a reworked turbo button and a new movement system. We got a glimpse of the game's updated mechanics, including the slightly altered look to the free-throw system and the directional steal controls that are now tied to the right analog stick, in our last peek at the game. So now we're eager to see how things have progressed, and we'd like to know what new twists have been added since then. As soon as we know, you'll know. So stay tuned to our continuing coverage of the game in the coming months.

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