NBA 2K6 Review
NBA 2K6 looks fantastic if you have an HDTV, but the gameplay will seem familiar to you if you've played one of the other versions of the game already.
- Isomotion and shot stick are great
- Fantastic graphics and presentation
- Teams and players play like they do in real life
- Tons of content
- Plays just like the Xbox and PS2 versions.
- Plays just like the Xbox and PS2 versions
- Not for casual basketball fans
- Need a high-definition display to get the most out of it.
When NBA 2K6 was released on the Xbox and the PlayStation 2 earlier this year, it brought forth revolutionary new control mechanisms in the shot stick and the new isomotion juke system. This allowed basketball fans to have extremely detailed control over their players. These new control systems were married to an excellent-looking game engine that shined in both graphics and realistic artificial intelligence. If you've been waiting for the Xbox 360 version of the game, then we have good news, and, depending on how you look at it, bad news. The good news is that the Xbox 360 version maintains everything that made 2K6 on the Xbox one of the best basketball games released in years. The bad news is that if you already own the Xbox or PS2 version, this version doesn't play a whole lot differently--it's pretty much the same game.
If you own an HDTV capable of 720p resolution, then NBA 2K6 is one of the best-looking basketball games you've ever seenůmost of the time, that is. The court looks extremely sharp thanks to antialiasing, with great contrast on the lines and painted areas. The player models are extremely detailed, offering lifelike cloth physics on jerseys and shorts, and modeled sweat that intensifies over the course of a game. You'll see players look dry at the beginning, but as the game progresses you'll see sweat stains on the chest and upper back areas of the jerseys, as well as around the waistband of players' shorts. Sweat on skin is a realistic, glistening sheen that's easy to see when replays zoom in close to the players. The players' faces are also carefully detailed. Some players look more accurate than others, but whether you can agree with the likenesses or not, they animate well. You'll see players' eyes tracking the ball as it's passed or bounces off the rim, and even mouths open as you go up for dunks or jostle for position in the post. Skin textures do look a little bit like plastic or porcelain, but most of the flaws you see in NBA 2K6's player models are a result of the so-called "uncanny valley." That is, since the player models look so real now, it's the minute flaws that are beginning to stand out.
What also makes the game stand out from a visual perspective is the unparalleled wealth of animations used for player movement, collisions, and more. You'll find a ton of flexibility and variety in the way players move and act, whether it's dribbling the ball, defending, shooting, rebounding, or even saving a ball from going out of bounds. The animations do pop once in a while, and you will notice some clipping, which can be distracting, but overall the fluidity of the animation in NBA 2K6 is fantastic and unmatched. Frame rates are silky smooth at all times as well; we noticed no slowdowns at all. Where 2K6 falters is in the details. The models used for the crowd, coaches, and cheerleaders don't seem to have been updated at all compared to the Xbox version. When you see a shot of the crowd, you'll notice their lack of detail, which immediately stands out from the great-looking players you saw just a second ago. It is also a stark contrast when you look at the players huddling around their coach, who looks noticeably blockier and flatter than they do. Fortunately, you'll spend most of your time watching gameplay and instant replays, and 2K6 shines visually like no other basketball game during these times. If you have a good HDTV, 2K6 really looks a lot like a live basketball broadcast when viewed from a short distance away.
And that's the rub: "...if you have a good HDTV." Playing NBA 2K6 on a standard-definition television results in a game that is difficult to distinguish from the regular Xbox version. You can make out some of the cloth details as players move around, and the replays certainly look better, with player models that are obviously more detailed. But at the default camera angle, player models are noticeably fuzzier and less detailed. Even the court itself doesn't look so great, with ugly jaggies on the painted lines. The point is that you need an HDTV to fully appreciate NBA 2K6 on the Xbox 360, especially because the gameplay mechanics are so similar. Sure, there's the addition of a defensive crouch button (L trigger on defense), and there have been some refinements made to the shot stick and isomotion. However, the game is largely the same. If you're stuck with a standard-definition television, then you might as well pay less and enjoy the game on your Xbox or PlayStation 2 if you own one of those consoles.
- Player Reviews: 186
- 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:
Competitive, Team Oriented
- Online Modes:
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
8 Players Online