NBA 2K6 Shot Stick, franchise and more. by Jon Robinson July 29, 2005 - Sometimes in order to win a championship you have to scrap what you've got and move on in a fresh direction. Rick Carlisle for Larry Brown; Larry Brown for Flip Saunders; Herb Williams for Larry Brown -- Okay, so maybe I have Larry Brown on the brain a bit too much these days, but the thing Brown has been able to do at every stop on his magical mystery tour to seemingly coach every franchise in the NBA is this: win. And that's the thing: sometimes it's as easy as bringing in someone new, a fresh thinker giving his team a fresh start to ultimately carry the franchise to that next level. In the world of videogames, the same thing holds true. Sometimes you need a change in style, a change in direction to ultimately reach your goal (sales, not rings, but I guess if you sell enough units you can buy your own rings). That's why the team at Visual Concepts dramatically shifted their focus for NBA 2K6. They added team members from their NFL series, from their College Hoops series, even from the former NBA Inside Drive team, and together they're bringing the NBA 2K franchise in a dramatically new direction. Gone from the series is Full Authority. Gone are the cut scenes of players talking to you looking for advice or a trade during The Association. Gone is IsoMotion as you knew it. That's right, gone, scrapped, completely out of NBA 2K6. The team has also completely rewritten the code for everything from rebounding to fast breaks to defense. That's right: it's completely rewritten the code. The goal is to make a more realistic game of basketball where Bruce Bowen spots up behind the arc, Shaq plays down low and calls for the ball, and Rip Hamilton (complete with mask) pump fakes before leaning in for his mid-range jumper. They're attempting to capture the tendencies of the star players on the court so that the polygonal players actually gravitate to their strengths. This also means that star players will have their own signature moves. Take Shaq in the post and you'll see him throw up the hook, power his way in for the two-handed slam and hang, or the one-handed dunk with the lean. Duncan will turnaround and fire his mid-range jumper, Wade has his step-back juke (Raja Bell remembers it well), and when Tayshaun Prince goes up for the dunk, he does it with the effortless style he always plays with. This was the developer's goal, to capture more of the signature moments from the NBA elite. LeBron sweeping through the air and stiff-arming the rock through the rim; Nash taking his man off the dribble, forcing the contact, then adjusts his shot in mid-air for the and-one. If you've seen your favorite player do it real life, chance are, you're about to see him do it in the game. And to pull off these high-flying moves gamers are going to be presented with an all-new control scheme. The key to the new controls is the right trigger, now dubbed the aggression trigger. Aggression takes the place of turbo, in effect eliminating the turbo abuse that has plagued the game for years. To dribble the ball and run up the court, all you do is simply move the left analog stick. But if you want to pull off a crossover or a spin, hold down the aggression trigger and not only is your player faster, but as you spin the left analog stick or press from right to left, you will actually pull off spin moves or crossovers. And since you can hold down the aggression trigger for a prolonged period of time, this enables you to chain moves together as you work your way through the defense as a Steve Nash or a Luke Ridnour and try to find the open man. Once you spot up for a shot or it's time to swoop in for the dunk, you can go old school and press the shoot button, or you can try the new Shot Stick where you have the ability to control the type of shot you want with the right analog stick. That's right, now the moves and dribbles are on the left stick, and the shots are on the right stick. Let's just say, you'll be taking a lot of shots from half court by accident until you get the hang of this switch.