After seeing the commercials on television for NBA 06 I couldn’t wait to break the seal on the package and insert the game into my PlayStation 2. Being the avid basketball fan that I am, I had to scan the rosters to ensure that they were up to date for the 2005 season. Yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers did indeed have all of the new additions, including Damon Jones, Larry Hughes and Donyel Marshal.
It’s hard not to compare this game to my other favorite basketball game, NBA2K5, but after playing NBA 06 for a couple weeks I have come to realize that this game will never live up to the expectations and performance of the NBA2K series. There are many pluses to this game and although it does not compare to the NBA2K5 series, it is a nice play. The graphics are slightly better during game play and the Life feature adds a unique gaming experience.
The Life feature allows the game user to practice and perfect the various moves in a way that is fun, allowing yourself to customize a player’s appearance, although the game does limit the customized player in that they can only be a point guard, which unlike the commercial with the tall Russian guy the makers of the game make it seem like you can customize the size and position of the player. Overall, the Life feature is enjoyable, but is not nearly as fun as the 24/7 mode in NBA2K5 where you can play versus other NBA players and unlock jerseys, etc.
The Three Point contest is very entertaining and a good feature to use when friends are over, but the Skills competition was rather boring and not very exciting. It would have been nice to have a slam dunk competition just like they have during the all star weekend. What ever happened to the Slam Dunk contest in basketball games? I miss the old Jordan vs. Bird for the Commodore 64. Also the loading time during NBA 2006 adds up and is very disappointing.
The graphics for a regular game were indeed more detailed than all of the other basketball games for the PS2 that I have played. When shooting the basketball, it seemed very realistic along with the sound of the dribble of the basketball. I did miss the fact that there were no announcers in this game and the pace of the game didn’t really change throughout the game. Also, the crowd never seemed to get into the game.
Although NBA 06 is enjoyable and has replay value, I would rather spend my time checking out NBA2K6 before I spend any more time playing in season mode and Life feature. Although this game has many positives (good graphics, the Life feature, updated rosters, NBA development League teams, and shot meter), the negatives (no announcers during the game - e.g. Bill Walton, free throws are difficult to shoot, players faces are hard to see and seem blurred, pace of game doesn’t change throughout the game, playing defense can be frustrating at times, etc.) outweigh the positive aspects of this game.
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