The core gameplay in 2k6 is very good despite some flaws that it has. The essence to a sports game is solid gameplay, and NBA 2k6 exceeds those requirements. The game plays smooth and it really captures the style of basketball that is showcased in the NBA. All players of all skills are sure to get some fun out of the game. The game is easy to pick up and play for nearly any type of gamer. The controls are simple with the A button used to pass, and the X button used to shoot. The triggers act as modifiers which allow you to boost and execute moves such as crossovers and fake outs. NBA 2k6 also features the shot stick in which any type of shots can be taken with a timing motion of the right stick. Th shot stick works, but I prefer to use the classic button style. The gameplay despite being a blast to play has some flaws. The main problem I had with the game was that layups are missed way too frequently, and I found that shooting can be pretty difficult especially with three pointers. The missed layups are my biggest complaint, as point blank easy shots would sometimes miss.
The AI in NBA 2k6 is very good, but again there is a small issue that keeps it from being perfect. The issue I have with the AI is that when a player starts to make a few shots and heats up they become virtually unstoppable. When this is combined with a star player like Dwayne Wade or Kobe Bryant they will make every shot from everywhere on the court even if you have defended them properly. There really is an over emphasis and overpowerness to the star players, which unbalances the game a little bit. There are a few different game modes in NBA 2k6 and i easily spent most of my 40 hours of playtime on the franchise mode. A good franchise mode is a cornerstone to any sports title, and NBA 2k6's is executed well. The franchise mode features a ton of options and slick menus. All of the content is there from playing games to the nba draft to free agent signings. There main game mode in 2k6, which I found unique to a simulation game, is a 24/7 street ball mode. In this mode you take a created player and build his attributes through a number of street ball challenges against both nba stars and celebrities. The mode is only ok however, and I got stuck early on in it due to some messed up rule sets for challenges. The one in particular I am stuck on involves all of the controls being reversed for your player, and the AI will basically dominate you. I think i scored 2 pts once, and constantly lost 11-0.
The graphics in NBA 2k6 are very realistic for the new xbox 360 hardware, and the player models look incredibly realistic. The game is very detailed and you will see the sweat accumulating and dripping off of each player. The animations that occur during the gameplay are very good, and aside from the occasional graphical glitch the game is very solid in that department. The sound design is also good, but I would have liked a better soundtrack. The soundtrack features some pretty generic hip hop music. The announcers are above average for a sports title.
Overall NBA 2k6 is a very solid first iteration on the next gen consoles. The game has tight gameplay and animations while being very graphically detailed. I had fun playing the game and my interest was kept into it for longer than I thought it would be.
4 stars (8.0)