For as long as I’ve played video games, my favorite genre has been the sports game. I remember renting Jordan vs Bird Super One on One as a young boy and thinking it was the epitome of what a basketball game could be. Of course, as I’ve played more sports games I’ve been more and more impressed, but it wasn’t until last year when 2K Sports released NBA 2K11 that I was blown away at how a sports video game should make me feel. Even so, I tempered my expectations at their first efforts on the iPhone with this year’s iteration, NBA 2K12. Thankfully, I underestimated how great their first iOS NBA game would be.
If you’ve played the NBA 2K series on a console, you’ll know that one of the big selling points of the franchise is the presentation, and 2K Sports has brought their fantastic presentation to iOS with NBA 2K12. Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg team up as the play-by-play and color men and do as terrific a job on the iPhone as they do on the Playstation 3. Where most sports franchises have stiff commentary that sounds delayed to the action on the court, NBA 2K12 sounds like the announcers are courtside watching the game and talking about it in realtime, as a real conversation. It’s simply fantastic hearing the banter between the two and realizing that you’re losing very little in commentary from the console to the iOS version. But the presentation doesn’t stop at just the commentary. The camera angles and cutaways are fantastic, and really evoke the feeling of true television presentation. Graphically NBA 2K12 isn’t as evolved as some of the games on the App Store, but it’s as great as any other sports title available.
NBA 2K12 offers two different control schemes, a traditional three “button” scheme, and a swipe control scheme that offers one-touch control of the players on the court. Personally, I found the swipe control to be difficult, mainly because the players moved automatically, and as a long-time player of sports games, my point guard moving by himself was a little unnerving. However, for casual fans, this control scheme may be ideal. For the rest of us, the three button control system works perfectly, and it includes a fourth button away from where the thumb rests for alley-oops.
NBA 2K12 is an ideal mobile game for basketball enthusiasts. With authentic rosters, a full season mode, and a Jordan mode which lets you recreate 10 of the legend’s most iconic performances, NBA 2K12 will fill your basketball fix for a long time to come, even if the entire season is lost due to the lockout. NBA 2K12 is available now in the App Store for $4.99 on iPhone and $9.99 on the iPad.
Here is a video demo of the NBA 2K12 for iPhone app on the iPhone
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