|System: PS3, X360, PC, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Visual Concepts/Kush Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 7, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-7||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Similar to NBA Live 09, 2K9 has implemented downloadable stats and updates with its Living Rosters feature. Its not as detailed as EAs Dynamic DNA with daily updates, but it still offers updates every week that will change your game to mimic what is actually happening in the NBA.
Player statistics and trades will all change throughout the season, and just as time will tell how well EAs DNA feature works, we will have to see how well 2Ks Living Rosters feature adds to the value of this game throughout the season. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Living Rosters, and what separates it from EAs concept, is that it also goes so far as to offer new animations to make your game more interesting and full of variety. Packages will be available online offering newly created animations to mimic memorable plays and performances made by athletes throughout the year as 2K improves on their already fantastic animation system.
In addition to its new five-on-five multiplayer, NBA 2K9 offers lots to do. The Association mode makes a return, dubbed The Association 2.0. Its been given a bit of an upgrade to include three-team contracts as well as Larry Bird contracts. NBA Blacktop makes a return this year, which has only been changed slightly to make the Dunk Contest easier. Online five-on-five Total Team Control allows gamers to take control of each player on the court though its not without its typical slowdown issues. Players can also play one-on-one, share rosters, and create their own highlight reels using the games cool Reelmaker video editor and share them online.
The threesome commentating team of Cheryl Miller, Clark Kellogg, and Kevin Harlan add some variety with play-by-play reflective of whats happening onscreen. There is some repetitiveness in their play-calling, however, and the monotonous tone of the threesome really contrasts the excitement of the game. Stadium ambience is captured nicely in the cheering of the fans and background music, and arenas look incredibly realistic. The soundtrack is also among the games highlights with plenty of energetic hip-hop, reggae, and rock tracks to get you in the spirit with a wide range of artists including the Beastie Boys, N.E.R.D., and more.
NBA 2K9 is a solid basketball experience through and through. While the competition is still in a rebuilding process of sorts, 2K has taken advantage by improving on what theyve accomplished in their NBA series throughout recent years. Anyone who has enjoyed the last couple of installments wont be disappointed with the changes made this year. The Living Rosters feature is certainly enticing enough for 2K fans to pick this title up. Whereas Live 09 offers similar new features, 2K has the ability to back up their new features with smooth on-court gameplay. This is simply a more fun basketball experience.
CCC Freelance Writer