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One the one hand, you’ve got EA’s shiny but occasionally flawed NBA Live; on the other, a game that doesn’t look quite so polished, but is built on a super-solid core that has consistently outplayed the opposition for years. If you’re a casual fan of the sport, then either title will probably serve equally well, but if you really know what you’re doing when it comes to tactics, you’ll appreciate the extra depth of 2K10.
It has a great system for accessing complicated moves on the fly, via combinations of triggers and joysticks. Getting a few basic feints and body-swerves is simple and intuitive, while more advanced players are going to run rings around you online with the full range of athletic skills. Most importantly, the advanced stuff doesn’t seem out of reach, given how easy it is to get started, and it’s clearly not just for show. Master a new trick, and you’ll find it doesn’t take long before you’ll learn an effective use for it in-game.
My Player mode gives you a single player to groom from amateur matches in summer camps to a starting position in an NBA team. It’s basically EA’s Be A Pro mode, and after spending time learning the nuances of playing in one position, we found it a little jarring going back to the normal ‘control everyone’ style of solo mode.
Luckily you can continue your specialisation online, where you’ll no doubt have to argue in the pre-game lobby to select your ideal role if you’ve chosen the most popular centre position. To make sure everyone sticks to their position, the game rates your teamplay like EA’s last two NHL games. Play selfishly and you won’t get matched with folk who take it seriously. Another feature is dynamic online stat changes – if you’re having a great time scoring loads of points with a player who was overrated but he turns out to have a stinker of a season in the real world, he’ll be downgraded in-game.
This is the serious baller’s basketball game. It doesn’t look as nice as EA’s offering, but it has it where it counts.
Oct 12, 2009