The NBA 2k series is back, this time for the Xbox 360. This marks the next gen debut of the 2k series and also has the honor of being the first basket ballgame on 360. Whereas other next generation titles have been stripped to their bare bones and improved visually, NBA 2K6 has retained all of the features from past versions and adds to them with an improved control system and updated graphics.
There are seven modes to choose from. Along with the basics such as street, Tournament and practice, there’s the custom player mode “24/7 Road to the EBC”. This mode has you use your custom player to play through the early days of their career, until they make it to the major leagues. Custom players can stand from a short 4’6” to 7’6” and be customized with tattoos, accessories and gear. As you progress, you collect trophies which can be viewed in a 3D trophy room.
NBA is a mixed bag visually. The models - although beefed up from the older versions - don’t look as good as they should on a next gen console. Although they still come off with more detail and polygons than the older systems are capable of, and their clothes move according to their movements, the players still almost look like something the original Xbox could render.
Moving players around can be hindered by the camera when passing the ball for a long distance because the camera zooms in and out. However, controls have been tightened up, giving you more control over shots and movement. Both of these factors make it hard for beginners to get into.
With plenty of Basketball games available on every console, NBA 2K6 does little to stand out, except being the first on the 360. Hopefully we will see a full-blown next gen only basketball game in the near future. The high learning curve makes this a title best left to fans of the sport.