Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 2, PC
Release Date: October 7, 2008
This is the best simulation game to date and before others get on about why it should be NBA 2K10, let's explore 2K9.
First off, the graphics are as great as any bball game that has been made. If you have this on the Playstation 3 or the Xbox 360 with high definition, the picture looks amazing. This game makes great use of truly establishing the differences of players through their ratings. If you have Kobe Bryant he will take over the game just as Dwayne Wade or LeBron James would. Don't expect the same 30 point outbursts from the likes of Chris Kaman, Brian Skinner or Brian Scalabrine.
If you have a great defensive team like the Celtics, they will play great defense, just as the Grizzlies will play poor defense. Chauncey Billups will accurately hit the three and make your team play better as a unit than Allen Iverson would as was shown through the past trade for each other in real life. As will Allen Iverson's declining skills show up when you play with him as was established through 2K's Living Rosters. A way that updates the skills of players daily that Electronic Arts put into their NBA Live game as well.
The game play is just outstanding overall and the only place you can truly fault the game is in the passing lanes. There are errant passes aplenty in this game, but unfortunately every simulation game is still struggling to make passing truly realistic. These are overall very minute towards the whole of the game. The interior post moves are smooth and the use of the glass when you play with a big man like Tim Duncan is refreshing to see.
The Slam Dunk Contest was brought up to speed by having Vince Carter challenge you to a dunk off if you win the dunk contest with a high enough score. To have this action happen is surprising to say the least. The three point challenge is tough, but gives you a better idea on how the individual player, say Steve Nash, shoots the ball comparatively to Ray Allen. The slight nuances of play in previous titles is upped in many facets of this game.
The 2K Reel maker and viewer is great along with the ability to create and download rosters and videos online. It was cool downloading the 1997-98 roster which one person had created and watching countless amounts of videos that had been created by different users through the reel maker.
It overshadows 2K10 in competitive balance in the Association Mode (Franchise Mode) and reaffirms its position even for being a year older game. The home team and road team are given the correct chances to win and lose based on your play; not on whether or not you are the home team or road team and that is another factor in why this is the best simulation game that has been made up to now.
We'll see if this years title can bump it off.