NBA 2K2 Review
Virtually every aspect of the real NBA game is accurately represented and well implemented to provide a roundball experience that is second to none.
If there's one sport that Electronic Arts has yet to perfect, it's NBA basketball. In the past, EA has had little to no competition for its NBA Live franchise, but with Sega's new multiplatform stance, the tables have suddenly turned. The NBA 2K franchise has long been considered the best the genre had to offer, but up until now it was only available on Sega's faltering Dreamcast console. NBA 2K2 is the series' first outing on a non-Sega console, and it proves just how complacent EA Sports has become with its basketball series.
Like any good sports simulation, NBA 2K2 has plenty of gameplay modes to keep players happy, whether they're squaring off against the computer or against friends. In addition to a rudimentary multiplayer mode for up to four players, NBA 2K2 also includes a franchise mode that carries statistics and rosters over from one year to the next. There's also a single season option for those who like to build a dynasty from scratch each year, a playoffs mode for the impatient, and a fantasy option for those who enjoy redrafting teams for each season. Trades, free-agent signings, and the ability to scout college players are all at your disposal and are simplified just enough to make such transactions appeal to the average player. As in past installments of the franchise, there's a street mode included that allows you to play on nine of the most popular playgrounds in America and show your street-ball skills. Practice and tournament modes round out the package--leaving virtually no stone unturned.
NBA 2K2 has earned a reputation for being the most in-depth basketball simulation on the market, and the PlayStation 2 iteration does nothing to change that. Zone defenses are new to the NBA this season, and NBA 2K2 will let you call a 3-2 on the fly to clog up the lane. Virtually any offensive or defensive play can be called with a flick of the right analog stick, and calling the right offensive set can immediately open the lane for a drive. Each team has its own specific playbook, so it's entirely possible to run the triangle offense with the Lakers or run isolation plays to get Allen Iverson the ball while playing as the 76ers. If you're unhappy with controlling your team's strategy on the fly, you can simply adjust the game's menu-driven coaching strategies. The inside post game is excellent. You can back a defender down into the paint, only to spin off and perform one of the many dynamic post moves included in the game. Defending against post moves is also possible thanks to a plethora of countermoves, but the advantage still seems to be with the offensive player most of the time.
Special dribbles are included in the game, but which move is performed is determined by the computer depending on the location and speed of your player. It works well the majority of the time, but other times special dribbles will cause your player to run out of bounds or directly into the chest of a defender. Stealing the ball is almost impossible unless the opposition is performing a special dribble, and making or missing shots is often arbitrary. It can be frustrating to watch a forward or center make a three-point shot with two players in his face while your shooting guard misses a wide-open jump shot the next time down the court. The computer AI has undergone some adjustments that keep players from being fooled as easily by pump fakes as they were in last year's game, and the fast break has been fixed so that players no longer stop when receiving the ball on the run. The computer can be difficult to beat on anything but the rookie setting, and a more gradual increase in difficulty would have been nice. In the early going, you'll either kick the computer's butt on the rookie setting or get yours handed to you in the pro and all-star difficulties.
- Player Reviews: 1
- Game Universe:
- NBA 2K2 (DC, PS2, GC, XBOX),
- NBA 2K3 (XBOX, PS2, GC),
- ESPN NBA Basketball (PS2, XBOX),
- ESPN NBA 2K5 (PS2, XBOX),
- NBA 2K6 (PS2, X360, XBOX),
- NBA 2K7 (PS3, PS2, XBOX, X360),
- NBA 2K8 (X360, PS2, PS3),
- NBA 2K9 (X360, PS3, PS2, PC),
- NBA 2K10 (X360, WII, PC, PS3, PS2, PSP),
- NBA 2K10: Draft Combine (X360, PS3)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: