28 Things We Want and Don't Want to See in NBA 2K12

Kristian Winfield@@KrisWinfield_Correspondent IIIAugust 12, 2011

28 Things We Want and Don't Want to See in NBA 2K12

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    When NBA 2k11 came out, I was among the first to buy it. What started out as a great game slowly became a nuisance, and now, there's flaws at every turn.

    While it might have been dubbed one of the best basketball games to ever hit the market, there are still a myriad of ways that the game can be improved upon. Reading forward, you will be enlightened as to how many imperfections NBA 2k11 actually had, and how NBA 2k12 can be an even better product.

My Player Mode: More Endorsements and New Sponsors

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    When I received my first Jordan brand endorsement—the billboard—I got really excited for what the rest of my player's career would hold. But after the signature shoe, the Sports Illustrated cover, and the second billboard (if your career was on the fast track like my player was), the endorsements came to a screeching halt.

    While the idea was great, I feel as though it was somewhat incomplete. As a budding star in the NBA, your player should be drowned in endorsement opportunities from companies such as like Reebok, Adidas, Under Armour, Nike, and more.

    Photo shoots, commercials, and even movie roles should be added to the game too. Well, maybe not the movie roles, but interactive commercials and photo shoots would be incredible.

Add Flagrant and Technical Fouls

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    I still have no idea what the Emotion rating is for in NBA 2K11. Players like Ron Artest (right) and Rasheed Wallace (left) have more technical fouls than career games played and that has yet to be illustrated in any NBA 2K game.

    Producers need to add both technical and flagrant fouls to make the game more realistic. Players get frustrated and let their emotions get the best of them (see Andrew Bynum vs. J.J. Barea). To best display that in the next game, NBA 2K12 should include Flagrant 1 and 2 fouls as well as technical fouls for repeat offenders.

No More Fake, Animation Block/Steals

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    Have you ever driven baseline and gone up for a dunk when, instead of completing the dunk, your player dives into a defender under the rim and tosses up a shot which, 90 percent of the time, bricks terribly? 

    That's got to be the single most annoying thing in NBA 2k11 and it needs to be removed immediately. It's even worse in My Player mode when you go up for a layup and some freaky animation occurs where you get blocked, and they give you a turnover for it! 

    The glitches and animations in 2K11 get extremely annoying and need to be fixed for the sequel.

Make the Rim a Shield, Not a Defender

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    How annoying is it to go up for a reverse layup only to have your shot brick off the bottom of the rim? What about when you have a defender tracking you down and they somehow block your shot through the rim?

    Rajon Rondo has mastered the art of making the rim defend the defenders. He uses the basket to protect his layups from being blocked by players like Josh Smith and LeBron James. NBA 2K12 should incorporate that into the game.

My Player Mode: Better Press Conferences After Each My Player Game

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    The My Player mode press conferences get VERY repetitive. So repetitive that it started to turn me off of the game. This response to a question was hilarious, but for the most part they're boring, PR-devised answers.

    Maybe NBA 2k12's got something new up its sleeves for post-game press conferences.

My Player Mode: Different Voices and Faces for My Players

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    Aren't you tired of hearing the same boring accent and seeing the same dull face in every player you create? 

    2k should add a variety of each to spice up the next My Player mode they create. It's not far-fetched. It might actually be a part of the next game.

    Could you imagine if every NBA player spoke in a deep, monotone voice like Gerald Wallace? It would be deafening.

For Heaven's Sake, Take the Hands Rating out of the Game!

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    Every time you throw a pass with a non-Guard, the recipient is seen bobbling the ball, which most of the time results in a turnover. That is NOT realistic and should be immediately taken out of the game.

    I can understand fumbling over full-or-three-quarter-court passes, but no professional basketball player will drop a seven-foot pass. Removing that out of the game would make it flow so much better and create an all-around better experience.

Better Living Roster Updates

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    For about the first month or two of the regular season, DeShawn Stevenson led the NBA in made three-point field goals. Yet somehow, his three-point rating was still a 70 and you couldn't knock down a wide open corner pocket shot with him.

    But when Derrick Rose knocks down a couple threes over a stretch of games, his rating skyrockets. Now, I'm not knocking Derrick Rose at all, his three-point shot has definitely improved, but it took Stevenson months longer to get the recognition that Rose got.

    Also, 2k does a poor job of comparing and contrasting the ratings that they dole out. For example, Dirk Nowitzki's got a mid-range jumper rating of 88, and Kyle Korver's got a mid-range of 91. But we all know that Nowitzki is a way better shooter in his sleep than Korver.

    They just need to keep an eye on the stats and let those figures be better reflected in the ratings they give. That's all.

Please, Make Blake Griffin a Monster

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    If you've played NBA 2K11, you know that Blake Griffin plays like a piece of cow dung in that game. One of the most ferocious players in the NBA, 2Ksports did not do Griffin justice with their rendering of his skills.

    In order to display him as the beast that he truly is, NBA 2K12 needs to allow Griffin to jump over all obstacles in his way. Far ahead of the pack with the most poster dunks last season, Griffin's skills in 2K11 were limited to contact layups and close-range jumpers with the occasional blow-by dunk. He needs to be fairly represented in the sequel.

My Player Mode: Contract Negotiation

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    Just to add a little more depth into the My Player mode, NBA 2K12 should feature some type of contract negotiation aspect including player and team options.

    It would make the game a little more realistic, as opposed to re-signing with the same team every year for God knows how much money.

My Player Mode: Make the Computer IQ Just a Bit Higher

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    Don't you get annoyed when you dump the ball down low to an open player and they take a fadeaway close-range jumper that completely bricks? Or how about giving the ball to Ray Allen in the corner pocket who drives the lane and throws up a contested floater?

    The computer IQ in the game is so low, I have no choice but to score all the points by myself. In 2K12, the computer needs to shoot their open shots and attack the basket when they have an open lane. Not kick it out to the Center at the three-point line or attempt a turn-around jumper in traffic. 

    Teammates should play the way they would normally play.

Add '89-'90 and '95-'00 Indiana Pacers with Reggie Miller in His Prime

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    2K Sports did a great job by adding Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins, Magic Johnson and other old-school Hall of Famers.

    However, they're still missing one of the most prolific shooters in the history of the game: Reggie Miller.

    I've been waiting for 2K to come out with a game featuring Miller Time since he retired in 2005. Hopefully they use NBA 2K12 as the opportunity to do so.

Add Wingspan and Footwork as Features in Player Creation

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    You've played basketball before. You know there's a big difference between you and the guy whose arms cover the entire paint.

    That's something that needs to be added into NBA 2K12. Wingspan is something that scouts look for when drafting rookies. Long arms help on the defensive end, as well as down low on the boards. It's still a video game, so it might be difficult to incorporate the importance of wingspan, but it would be a nice thing to have.

    Footwork, too, would be tricky to add in, but it would definitely hinder or help the effectiveness of a Eurostep layup or a big man's offensive post repertoire. Such a big part of basketball should not be kept out. Critics rave about how Kobe Bryant has the craftiest footwork in the NBA, by far. Show us how it's done by incorporating it into NBA 2k12.

More Freedom in the Offensive Low Post

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    I'm a huge Portland Trail Blazers fan, so when I play, I dump the ball down low to LaMarcus Aldridge a whole lot. It gets annoying only having a few moves to score down low in the post with. You can take a hook shot, fadeaway, up-and-under or hop step, but there's a lot of things that are missing from an effective post game.

    First: 2K12 should revisit the move they had in 2K10 where you could attack the basket and attempt a post dunk with a simple combination of buttons. Something where the big man can take two steps or a hop step into the paint and put up a jump hook/layup. In 2K10 for XBox 360, if you posted up, held RT and pointed the analog stick towards the basket, any good big man would take a power step to the hole and dunk in the lane.

    Second: They need to make inside shots drop more often. Every time I back down in the low post and spin baseline, I have an open look at the basket. Then someone glitches towards me and it becomes an extremely contested layup out of nowhere. That needs to be a dunk every time.

    I love how they've added the shimmy fadeaway and shimmy hook shot, but they just need to bring part of the 2K10 post game back.

New Specialty Dunks, Custom Dunk Packages and Alley-Oop Finishes

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    Every time I throw an alley-oop up to J.R. Smith, I get disappointed with the simple two-handed dunk he does. Or, even better, sometimes he'll put up a layup. NBA 2K11 did no justice to Smith's high-flying dunks, nor did they do so for any other dunkers around the league.

    2K12 should incorporate some feature where you can control what kind of dunk the recipient of an oop does. Maybe rotating the analog stick makes the dunker do a windmill or a 360? Some type of creativity would be appreciated.

    In addition, 2K should allow users to create our own dunk packages. Those specialty dunks get very boring very quickly. What if I wanted Dominique Wilkins' windmill, Jason Richardson's 360 between-the-legs dunk and Michael Jordan's foul-line dunk all at once? Maybe I'm asking for a bit much, but if I'm shelling out 65 dollars for a game, I want all the perks. Don't you?

    The least 2K could do is add a new "Vinsanity" dunk package.

Incorporate Some of NBA 2K10's Ball-Handling Moves

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    The ball-handling in NBA 2K11, if you ask me, was a bit limited. In NBA 2K10, I loved using the double crossover followed with the behind-the-back move with Jamal Crawford; it mimicked his on-court swagger beautifully.

    I'm not saying they need to scratch everything completely, but they should add some more fluid movements to the repertoire. A player like Rafer Alston, for example, should have superior dribbling skills to a player like, say, Steve Blake. 

    There should be moves that players like Monta Ellis, Dwyane Wade, and Russell Westbrook use to slash to the lane, and moves that players like Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Roy, and Kevin Durant use to create separation for a jumper.

    The Isolation Forward, Back, Left, Right and Gather moves were a great addition. They should just expand on the moves a tad bit more.

Fix the Uncapped My Player Glitch, or Crack Down More on Glitchers Online

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    If you play My Crew online, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Playing against a crew with regular My Players has become a rarity. You either get matched up against a team stacked with uncapped 99 overall players or a team with 10-foot-tall Small Forwards that make every shot.

    2K has clamped down on them, banning the accounts of all who play their My Player mode with their glitched players, but somehow, people have found loopholes in the system.

    I don't know how to fix the problem, but they need to eliminate those types of glitched My Players. It makes the My Crew aspect frustrating and it's no fun for the team on the receiving end of the beatdown.

Player Celebrations, Especially After Game-Winners and Poster Dunks

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    Just watch the video and you'll see what I'm going for.

    Now, seeing Baron Davis lift his jersey up after every poster dunk might be a health hazard, but 2K needs to add something like that to their next game. Emotions are a big part of basketball, and players express themselves in several different ways after big plays.

    Whether it was Dikembe Mutombo's finger wag or Kobe Bryant's Tiger Woods impression, there should be some type of post-big-play celebration.

    Everyone does something different. Jason Terry flies up court, Dwyane Wade does some crazy body distortion, and shooters let their hands hang high in the air. Either way, big-play celebrations should be added.

    At least something along the lines of the Shawn Kemp-Alton Lister fiasco. Now, that was a celebration.

Real-Time Breakaway Speed

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    You ever get on a fast break with LeBron James and he's running like a Defensive Tackle for the Baltimore Ravens? That's not realistic, and it happens way too often.

    King James, John Wall, Devin Harris and Chris Paul are four of the fastest players in the NBA, but you would never know that if you played NBA 2K11. James is the most unstoppable player in the open court and 2K did an inadequate job of portraying his dominance on the fast break.

    How to fix the problem?

    They need to make the gap between 99 speed and 90 speed a huge difference. That way, a player like Al Horford, who would be somewhere around 70 speed, could never perform a chase-down block on the King.

    Another speed-related improvement they should make is better incorporating the blow-by. As sticky as Joakim Noah is, there's no way he's stopping Monta Ellis from getting to the hole. Speed is what you need to succeed in the league (hey, that rhymed) and it needs to be a bigger factor in the next 2K.

Call Fouls When One Is Fouled

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    Doesn't it get annoying giving up a foul on one end of the floor and not getting the same call going your way? If you drive the paint and put up one of those double-pump, contested layups, it seems as though 2K has a randomize button to determine when the foul is called.

    That needs to change.

    If the defender hacks you when attacking the basket, your player should be at the line for two free throws. Period.

My Player Mode: Practice Mode Should Weigh More

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    Is it me, or does it seem like you got your player averaging 25 points after a week of playing the game?

    That's not real; not even by a long shot. The greatest players in the league today (Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant) dedicate hours upon hours every week to perfecting their craft. In NBA 2K11, the only reason I ever went to practice mode was to see my new dunks or prevent my game from freezing when it went back to the main menu.

    NBA 2K12 should incorporate some type of "practice makes perfect" aspect where attempting a set amount of shots from a spot on the court increases your rating or turns that section into a hot spot. The drills become repetitive and the skill point system has become really boring.

    It should be extremely difficult to get your player's mid-range jumper to 85.

My Player Mode: What You Do in-Game Should Reflect Your Player's Ratings

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    Have you ever played NBA 08: The Life? In that game, the things you do in-game are how you make your player better. For example, if you got three steals in a game, your steal rating would increase. The same would go for blocks, rebounds, threes, and the other ratings.

    In the 2K My Player series, it seems as though the skill point system has become too easy. We get about 3,000 skill points each game (if you're good), and twice as many for Key Games. Then, you get 500 points along with a rating boost for completing drills.

    Is it me, or is it just too easy? Aside from the endless practicing, your player should only receive rating boosts if he incorporates his skills into the game. Without a change of pace, My Player mode gets really boring really fast.

Add Shooting Range as a Rating

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    LeBron James, Chauncey Billups, J.R. Smith and Jimmer Fredette: these four names have one thing in common.

    Aside from the obvious fact that they're all NBA players, each of them has superior range that extends past the hash on the sidelines. Yet, in playing NBA 2K11, shots from that deep of a distance rarely drop.

    In order to differentiate between the deep marksmen and the inch-behind-the-line shooters, a range rating should be added. They shouldn't be fully automatic from the logo at half court, but defenders should have to guard those deep threats from 35 feet too.

Adjust Player Forms

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    Is 2Ksports seriously trying to tell me that Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, and Ronnie Brewer all shoot the same way? How about DeShawn Stevenson and his seven-foot fadeaway jumper? Or even Wesley Matthews' ridiculous shot-put form?

    2K11 had some great form changes, but they went backwards with Nowitzki. I'm not sure what kind of Sports Science technology they're using to create the shooting forms, but they need to change it up a bit.

    Actually, this might be a LONG stretch, but Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move users should be able to create their own form using the video camera built into their systems. That would be an incredible addition the the My Player mode. It probably won't happen, but one can dream, right?

Player-Specific Dribbling and Passing Styles

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    This is something I think has a high chance of actually being a new aspect to NBA 2K12.

    If you asked Chris Paul and Steve Nash to dribble up and down the court a few times, you would immediately spot differences in the dribbling styles. Nash has more of a protective dribble, while Paul has a cocky swagger to his.

    When Kobe dribbles towards the middle of the court, you already know the shot is good just by the way he dribbles: protecting the ball low to the ground. It would be nice to see the major players get their own signature dribbling styles. 

Take out the Glitch Lead Passes Through Traffic

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    The most annoying thing is watching your opponent throw a lead pass through traffic while your team sits there helplessly and does nothing. It's the least realistic thing in the game by far.

    The defense in NBA 2K11 was a huge step up from that of 2K10, but those lead passes need to be picked off every time. I understand Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash are two of the most precise passers in the game, but they are not magicians. The ball shouldn't be traveling through my players' bodies.

Add New and Improved Slashing Layups

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    Every time you slash to the hole with a legitimate slashing guard (Monta Ellis, Russell Westbrook), it seems as though they attempt the same layups that get blocked every time. 

    I don't want to Euro step or hop step into the lane. No, I want to see Westbrook explode off the ground and do his patented hand-changing layup. I want to be able to make Dwyane Wade smoothly split a double team and finesse his way to the hole.

    2K needs to add that to the next game. Not for every Guard, but the top-tier slashers should be able to finish above and around wimpy defenders with ease.

And Last but Definitely Not Least, New Contact Dunks!

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    First and foremost, I strung together that video right there myself, so kudos to me.

    But on a serious tip, I love attacking the basket with relentless dunkers like Gerald Wallace, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, or J.R. Smith. 2K did a great job making the lousy defenders pay for their lack of intensity down low.

    Now that it's a new year, it's time for some new dunks. We watched Blake Griffin run through the NBA with his freakish athletic ability. It's time for 2K to mimic his dunks. Even the big men, like Nene, get busy down low when the only thing standing between them and two points is a weak defender. 

    A few new poster dunks would be a lovely addition for NBA 2K12. I'm still waiting on the Dwyane Wade-Anderson Varejao dunk to appear in a video game. There's nothing more ferocious than that in my opinion.