NBA 2K11 versus NBA ELITE

First and foremost, I feel as though I need to put a disclaimer on this post.

I am a faithful fan of NBA LIVE and the EA SPORTS brand.

With that out of the way, I’m ready to go.

As an adult male, I can honestly say I’ve been playing video games for the last 10 years. I am 22. Long time, right?

I digress.

For as long as I can remember, my favorite video game genre has been sports. From Madden to NFL 2K, NBA JAM on sega, NFL whatever it was on Dreamcast, NFL QB Club, NBA Live, NBA 2K, and now NBA ELITE. I’ve even wasted my time playing sports titles on Wii. Never again.

I feel that these few things give me quite the resume and make  me somewhat of an expert on the matter. So now, on to the point.

NBA 2K11 is not that good. Wait, wait, wait, hear me out. Neither is NBA ELITE. But which one is better?

I’ll analyze both games with my keen unbiased opinion and abilities of analysis. And all of my analysis will be based on the PS3 demo versions of aforementioned games.

Graphics: NBA 2k11 has the same graphics as last year in my opinion. With minor tweeks. Is this because of a fear to really try to get better and possibly lose fan base due to innovations that might not go over well? Or perhaps because they only make changes based on what the competition does? The plays still look like the faces are photo shopped onto bodies that are too bulky and not similar to the actual bodies of the players that they are meant to represent. The faces look exaggerated or distorted (see Kobe Bryant or Rajon Rondo on the demo), and the bodies are comparable to those of the latest NFL BLITZ.

NBA ELITE have completely revamped graphics that look more like 2K9 than any LIVE series before it. I dislike this as well. It’s almost as if the game designers copied the mold that 2KSports made, without even trying to make any improvements, but rather hoped that this would gain them some 2K fans. This bothers me as a FORMER EA SPORTS FAN. The bodies and faces match better, and the faces are more similar, but they are still far below what I personally expect.

Gameplay: NBA2K11 has improved the realism of the jumpshots considerably. Every one has a jumpshot that is almost spot on in comparison to their living counter parts. Kobe has the leg kick, Rondo has the elbow hitch, and Pierce still leans like a 12 year old queer. This gives it a big leg up on the competition this year. However, I still am adamantly against the movement of the left analog stick. It’s just not real. Crossovers based on jerking the joystick in random directions and going straight to the rim? Lame. If that were realistic, I’d be in the NBA right now tweeting about the bad broads I’m banging instead of typing on my blog. It’s a sad life. The pick and roll control is nothing compared to the pick and roll control that LIVE touted in recent years. The post up game is also nearly non existent. These two aspects sadden me and almost completely take away from the GREAT jumpshots this year.

NBA ELITE has above average jump shots, very generic, and they have regressed considerably since last years jumpshots that were some of the realest I’ve ever seen. This pisses me off. Bottom line. Furthermore, the post up game and pick and roll control are both TERRIBLE, almost on the level of 2k11. They still seem to be going backwards. The only legitimate upside or improvements seem to be the theft of the jumpshot stick from 2K11(which is exactly the same), the new crossover system, and the brand new dunk/lay-up control. The jumpshot is nothing to rave about, and the theft is sad, but good designing. The crossover system makes the gameplay far more real than it’s been in recent years for LIVE and far more difficult to get to the rim. The best thing in the game is the new dunk/lay-up control. Being able to change from the dunk to the lay-up mid air and still look realistic is something that LIVE has never had before. I will truly enjoy using that in the game. However, the ability to dunk from almost anywhere that has been seen in different youtube.com videos(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay6MSRHy4Gg) is more than upsetting. It makes me wonder how this is “the most physics based NBA game of all-time”. I’ve personally been unsuccessful in my attempts to dunk from unreal distances in the demo, but there is no denying the FAKE history of EASPORTS basketball games. Feel free to see when they went dunk contest crazy after the first year of having it. They put dunk contest dunks in game. I literally jumped over opponents, dunked on people between the legs, and all of this was done from FAR outside the paint. I’m happy the “fakism” isn’t this drastic this year, but when will they finally cut this out?

Smoothness vote goes to NBA ELITE.

Realism in gameplay goes to 2K11.

Graphics goes to NBA ELITE as well.

Depth of gameplay I believe will go to NBA ELITE, unless 2K11 has truly brought back the single player/superstar mode that they once had. I’m hoping that both games have fun Become a Legend mode, or whatever they are going to call it.

The most important thing for video games, is probably the advertisement though. NBA 2K11 wins this one by a land slide. Putting Jordan on the cover? GENIUS! It’s the best way to cover up the flaws and shortcomings and lack of REAL improvements of a game. Just ask EA when they put Favre on the cover of Madden. Plus, NBA ELITE doesn’t even have a legit release date due to lack of completion. What? Really? How will you ever when this battle if you can’t even release your game in a timely manner? Then again, I feel that I’d rather have a complete thing than a partially done one. Like the IPhone. They release it with flaws that they know about, and then re release it months later with some improvements. That pisses people off.

So, my final synopsis is that NBA 2K11 is the better game due to creativity, completion, and because they are staying true to the brand. Nothing too major as far as changes go, and the improvements seem to be great and are masked by good marketing. NBA ELITE is trying to return to their roots, but they are doing it by copying the competition. If they can fix their fatal flaw of making the game very ARCADE-like and improve on the things that they are stealing from 2KSPORTS, ELITE will be a great game, but it has to be released to even come close to proving that. When a release date comes out, I plan on purchasing both, playing them each for about 5 hours, and then making my final decision because demos simply aren’t enough. That is all.

McFly

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