NBA 2K11: Five Features To Look Forward To

Dustin Turner@@penjockeyDTCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2010

NBA 2K11: Five Features To Look Forward To

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    Yet another NBA season is upon us, and given the offseason fireworks, we have no reason to believe in anything but an intense season. These days, another year in pro sports means at least one video game release and NBA 2K11 appears to be second to none on all platforms. 

    With NBA Elite not set to hit stores until around playoff time, NBA 2K11 will virtually be the gamers' only option to get their NBA fix.  And, if 2K can bring it as hard as last year, there is plenty to look forward to. With the announcement of new features, there's plenty of reasons to get excited.

    But of all the expected improvements, which will be the most addicting? What are you going to be up until 3 a.m. playing because you just can't put it away? I have picked the five biggest things to look forward to from this year's installment of the best NBA game on the market.

5. Play Old School

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    This year's 2K game allows you to play with some of the best teams of all time not only in exhibition mode, but also in The Association mode. This marks the first time in recent memory where a game has incorporated classic teams into any type of season or franchise mode. You get to take control of Magic's Showtime Lakers teams or Bird's Celtics and make the same run they did over 20 years ago.

    What will be the most exciting part of this feature has to be being able to play these teams against each other. It allows you to recreate the legendary rivalries of the great past of the NBA. Imagine watching watching Russell's Celtics of the '60s butt heads with the "Bad Boy" Pistons of the '80s and '90s.

    Well, now you don't have to. You are given the freedom to put these teams against other classic teams as well as today's talent. This feature adds new excitement and may even get an older generation involved in the game as they recognize the names and teams from their time.

4. Improved Broadcast Presentation

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    2K received numerous complaints and criticisms of their broadcast presentation not being on the same level as other sports franchises such as Madden and MLB 2K10. So, unlike most franchises, they made a big change. 2K brought in a TNT producer to help them make the game more like what you would experience watching a game on TNT.

    The players are shown as they arrive to the stadium on the team bus and walking into the arena. The commentary is specific to the time of year and situation of the game. For instance, if you're in The Association mode and your team is fighting for the eight seed with two other teams, the announcer will draw attention to it. Improved presentation will allow the gamer to be less distracted and enjoy the game more. 

3. NBA Draft Combine

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    Last year's game introduced Superstar mode. For the first time, you were able to create your very own NBA likeness and begin a career.

    There were two main issues with this game mode: Lack of ability to sim any games, thus having to play all 82 as well as every playoff game, and no draft combine.

    Last year, the draft combine feature was only available by purchasing it on the Playstation Store or the XBOX dashboard. This year, they have incorporated it into the game, giving the user the opportunity to improve the player's ratings before even playing a game. And if the gamer does a good job at the combine, they have the chance of getting their player drafted.

    As for the other problem, I haven't heard any definitive word on whether it has been fixed, but I would be surprised if you have to play all the games again.

2. Beat The Heat

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    Let's be honest. Since the moment LeBron signed his name on the dotted line, many NBA fans have been waiting for an opportunity to take him down. Well, this is likely as close as anybody will ever get to consistently beat the Heat. The other side of this is if you can master a balance playing with this team, you will draw the ire of all other online players.

    While this may not be a specific feature or improvement, it is certainly an exciting idea. You will also be able to take this team and put them up against the classic teams to see if you can dethrone historical champs or prove that old school toughness can beat new school talent.

    This is absolutely the newest unintentional perfect storm for 2K Sports. The offseason that produced this super team will increase sales by that much more due to the general public scorn for all three players. This is an intriguing and potentially very fun prospect, but it cannot hold a candle to the newest feature...

1. Michael Jordan

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    Michael Jordan. That's right, the greatest player and perhaps the greatest ego in NBA history has his face and name all over this one. Could 2K have dreamed of a better cover-guy than the best that ever played? They have spared no space in this game. Make no mistake, this video game is about Michael Jordan, and everything else is simply protocol. 

    The Jordan Challenge mode allows you to take control of Air Jordan in 10 of his greatest performances. Your task is to recreate these 10 moments that made Jordan the greatest ever. Suit up at No. 23 for the Bulls and harness the talent of a true legend of the game.

    Once the Jordan Challenge is completed, you unlock a mode that allows you to take Jordan from the start of his career and all the way through to the end. What if he had left Chicago? That is now your call as you can take his career down an entirely different path or stick with Pippen and company in Chi-town.

    After seeing a staggeringly great review from IGN and the new screenshots and videos, this game could be the best basketball video game ever produced. All indications are this is one to buy and play for a long long time.