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2K Sports swishes it with ‘NBA 2K12’

Courtesy of 2K Sports

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“NBA 2K11″ was one of the great sports video games in history. The challenge for the game designers at 2K Sports was replicating that success in a year when the NBA is teetering on the edge of a lockout and season cancelation.

The game suffers slightly as a result of the real-life grudge match between players and owners currently embroiled in a labor dispute — the incoming class of rookie players is not included in the game. That means Cleveland Cavaliers fans won’t be able to take on the league with new guard Kyrie Irving guiding the Cavs’ offense.  

What the game lacks in full rosters, it makes up for in details ranging from more exact depictions of the teams’ courts and jerseys to players’ individual physique. Oh, and their shoes too. Some basketball fans will appreciate the attention paid to these small details, which amount to a more enjoyable gaming experience.

For gamers who like to exhaust offerings beyond simple gameplay, updates to the popular “My Player” mode will be a real thrill. You can sculpt a basketball player like the one you never evolved into, manage that player’s career and even hear commissioner David Stern call your name in the NBA Draft.

Then, you can begin your career, sign a contract and seek endorsements. But when its just you and your friends competing for bragging rights in exhibition matches, you’ll shoot the ball with ease thanks to “2K12’s” Total Shot Stick Control, which allows you to showcase new shots and make it rain with a simple flick of your right stick.

“2K12’s” greatest strength is, coincidentally, its Greatest Mode, which serves as a tribute to the past and a chance to experience the great NBA matchups of yesteryear. You can play as Larry Bird and take on Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers or play as Michael Jordan and reunite with Scottie Pippen.

The gameplay and shot control in “NBA2K12” is smooth, though the defense is stifling at times. The only drawback to this game is the fact that real-life circumstances in the league have prevented exciting rookie players from being included. The 2012 installment of this game is every bit the thrill last’s year’s edition was.

And hey, even if the NBA does avoid a lockout and have play the 2011-12 season, this game will likely be more exciting anyway.

Grade: A

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