NBA 2k6 Preview

Discussion in 'Game Zone' started by masterragu, Aug 7, 2005.

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  1. masterragu

    masterragu Sweep The Leg, Johnny!

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
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  2. masterragu

    masterragu Sweep The Leg, Johnny!

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    Anyway, to take a jumper, you pull back on the Shot Stick and release. Press it forward for a lay-up and right or left to hang in the air and avoid the block. If you're looking to slam the ball, that's where the aggression comes back into play. As you head toward the basket, hold down the aggression stick while pressing up for a typical slam. If you're looking for something a little flashier, you can press the Shot Stick in other directions to pull off reverse jams, 360-slams, as well as all of the custom moves that are given to each superstar player. And since the game is trying to be more realistic, don't expect just anyone to fly toward the rim and pull a 360. This year it's based more on the ratings and attribute points so the flashy dunkers in real life will be flashy in the game, while everyone else, well, will dunk like everyone else... nothing special, that way you can tell the difference between a 'Sheed and an Elden Campbell, not just visually, but in the way they play.

    When it comes to playing defense, the right analog stick quickly transforms from a Shot Stick to the Strip and Rip Stick, as in stripping the ball from shooters and ripping the dribble or pass to cause a turnover. On the ball, defenders use the stick to swipe at the ball, and depending on which direction you press, you will actually determine which arm you are using to attempt the steal. You can also use the stick to jump in passing lanes, or take a quick swipe at the ball as the offensive player brings the ball up to shoot. You can even use the stick to attempt to block shots by pressing up at the right time to bat the ball back in the shooters face, or even use it on a fast break ala Tayshaun Prince and Reggie Miller to swipe a lay-up mere moments before it reaches the rim.

    And once you knock the shot loose or cause the shooter to miss his J, it's time to grab the rebound, and rebounding is another aspect of the game that's been completely re-written. Rebounding is all about positioning, and finally, it seems like players are reacting to shots and actually getting in the correct positions to snag the boards. In previous versions of the game, it was as if the players on the court were reacting to everything after it already happened. In NBA 2K6, the producers promise a more dynamic, more fluid game where the players are anticipating the action rather than adjusting after the fact. Expect to see this not only in rebounding, but in the way shooters spot up for shots and trailers storm down the court behind the break.

    [​IMG]

    And if you don't like the way your players are acting on the court, you can always just move them around yourself using a new system on the D-pad where you can actually cycle through your teammates on offense and command the player to instantly cut toward the hoop, post up, or spot up behind the arc. Add to that an improved form of icon passing where you cannot only throw to the man with the icon but lead the man or force him to come back for the pass, and you're looking at an insane amount of control over just about every aspect on the court.

    In terms of franchise play, The Association is back, but it's back in name only as, like I said, the player conversations and Full Authority options have been completely removed from the game. The focus of The Association this year is about scouting and building your team around young stars. You now have the ability to send three scouts out across the world year round to track the top prospects in hoops. Through the draft, just like real life, you will find second-round sleepers like Gilbert Arenas and first-round busts like Todd Fuller. Before the draft, you'll even have seven days of workouts where you can bring in any prospects and test their skills in a game of one-on-one (against someone on your team or even a free agent you want to workout at the same time), two-on-two, all the way up to five-on-five where you can test the game of 10 prospects all on the floor at once. You can schedule one workout per day, and the ratings of each prospect will change after their workouts, as you will find out more information about them through gameplay. You will also be given an NBA comparison for every player to know whether you are looking at the next Vince Carter or the next Anthony Carter.

    While working through your 35 year franchise as the team's GM, you will have to strike a balance between what the owner wants and your attempts to win the title. Some owners are like the Mark Cuban-type, a fan who wants to win at any cost and puts the pressure on his GM to put together a squad to win it all. Other owners are more the business-type, looking to acquire players who will sell jerseys while at the same time adding to the win column. And while you don't have control of how much to sell tickets or jerseys for, you will see all of the results in the overall financial sheet for your team, and each player is actually rated in terms of marketability. So trading a player with a big name might just come back to haunt you, not necessarily on your rise through the playoffs with your new ballers, but in the pocketbook when you lose millions. And to some owners, that's the most important aspect of the game.
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  3. masterragu

    masterragu Sweep The Leg, Johnny!

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    If you plan on winning, not only in the financial sector, but also on the court, the key will be team chemistry. Last year chemistry was more about players complaining about playing time or shot selection. This year, chemistry is achieved through team cohesion. The longer a team plays together, the more chemistry they will have on the court. So while a trade might look good on paper, it will actually lower your team chemistry for a bit while your new starting five learns to play together. The more you win, the faster your chemistry rises.

    And to build up your team even more you can take players through a series of 12 drills to increase their attribute points. Drills like Dribble and Shoot, Attack Basket, and Shooting will put a player like Lamar Odom on the court against a defender and you'll be given spots on the floor to shoot from. Sink the basket and earn points. Score enough points and your attribute points will increase for the season in the area you were working on. And to stop all 99's from happening, you can only workout one player a month and you can only use the same drill two times per season. This is the ultimate tool in molding your new draft picks as you can work him out in the areas he needs the most or in the areas your team is looking for a boost, and the increase in attribute points can be significant.

    To keep track of your team, you will be able to look back at full box scores for all 82 games of your season and you can check the power rankings, standings, and schedules, all in a simplified calendar system where everything is a click away.

    As your players get older, expect to watch their skills deteriorate to the point where some of those superstar trademark moves start to disappear while the new crop of rookies continue their rise toward the rim. When signing free agents (old or young) you'll finally be able to offer multiple year deals, backend them, front load them, and see the affects on the salary cap before the deal is signed.

    Beyond franchise and the enhanced gameplay, NBA 2K6 will also feature the popular VIP mode originally found in NFL 2K5 where you'll be able to play against a computer version of yourself or your friends, including tendencies, favorite plays, even the way they constantly throw down reverse slams. If you do it in the game, you'll se it in VIP.

    [​IMG]

    In addition, the game will feature a new 24/7 mode where the focus has changed (even since E3). When originally announced, it was going to be a road from streetball legend to the NBA. Now the road you take is to simply become the greatest streetball player in history, and the mode will be tied to the popular EBC (Entertainer's Basketball Classic) streetball league, complete with games against rappers like Common.

    There are so many new aspects to the NBA 2K6 series, such a change in direction from last year, it's a bit overwhelming to step back and think about. They are completely changing the way you dribble and shoot the ball. They are completely changing the way you play The Association. And in months, they changed 24/7 from an NBA focus to playing against rappers. Will it work? Sounds like the same question Knicks fans are asking about Larry Brown. Sometimes starting from scratch can be a wonderful thing, even if, at times, it can also be a bit scary. Only time will tell if either franchise is holding a title this time next year... but my bet, NBA 2K6 has a far easier road to the Finals than the Knicks.

    Just my two cents as I wait for my chance to drop a dime on the PS2 and Xbox this October.
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  4. masterragu

    masterragu Sweep The Leg, Johnny!

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    This game is looking pretty nasty
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  5. Killumin

    Killumin Be happy with what u got!

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    it's looking sick and sounding amazing
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  6. TwiztidHarmony

    TwiztidHarmony New Member

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    def gonna cop dis shit.........go steal it from best buy......lol nah i'd pay tha 20 bucks .......now 60 and i'd steal it tho
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  7. Guy LeDouche

    Guy LeDouche Registered Abuser

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    Sept. 26 can't come soon enuff.
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  8. Matt Hood

    Matt Hood New Member

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    if live is not better this year i won't even touch it i'll just stick to 2k6 becasue that's more then likely what im going to be getting.
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  9. The HUnter

    The HUnter Forgotten legend.

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    this game looks like it will be the truth.
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  10. Guy LeDouche

    Guy LeDouche Registered Abuser

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    Anyone know who's gonna be on the cover?
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  11. !ron HorSe

    !ron HorSe New Member

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    This is not Playstation 2 graphics???

    IF so .... IM GETTING IT EVEN IF I HAVE TO KILL.
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