4th November 2010
That's right, it's officially video game week here at the BBR blog. On Monday, I looked at 2K Sports' NBA 2K11 for the PlayStation 3 -- the best hoops game the consoles have to offer -- and today I'm going to look at Wolverine Studios' Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2 for the PC, which should appeal to gamers seeking a management-oriented alternative to 2K11.
NBA 2K11 is a lot of things, but at its core it remains about a graphical representation of basketball, requiring you to mash buttons and manipulate thumbsticks to control the action. Most of us grew up on games like that, but there's also something to be said for text-based management sims like Out of the Park, Baseball Mogul, and NHL Eastside Hockey Manager, which offer a different, more cerebral challenge than their more arcade-styled console counterparts.
And while basketball has traditionally lacked a standout text sim, DDS: PB2 is definitely following in the footsteps of those great sports sim games of the past. Although it's at a slightly earlier stage on the development curve than some of the games I mentioned above, I would definitely recommend DDS: PB2 for any player looking for an in-depth, immersive game that focuses on the management side of the NBA.
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Posted in Consumer Testimonials, Video Games | 5 Comments »
1st November 2010
As cyber-ballers from the 1990s know, pinning down Michael Jordan is no easy task for an NBA video game. After 1992, when Jordan signed a licensing agreement independent of the Players' Association, he rarely appeared in virtual form, only lending his likeness to 1994's Chaos in the Windy City, NBA Live 2000, NBA Street, and 2K/Live during his Wizards comeback. For most of Jordan's prime, his Bulls were led on the video hardcourt by Scottie Pippen and/or "Roster Player #89", a fictional MJ doppelganger who took #23's place on Chicago's roster.
All of that changes with NBA 2K11. In it, 2K Sports brings vintage basketball back to life with the Jordan Challenge, a game mode that allows players to relive 10 of Mike's most memorable games, including his coming-out party against Boston in the '86 playoffs and the Flu Game in '97. The rosters of the teams involved -- well, the starting lineups at least -- are faithfully re-created, so you'll find Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, and co. just as they were when they crossed MJ's path (complete with accurate abilities & animations). In fact, the first time you start the game, you're immediately dropped into Chicago Stadium for Game 1 of the 1991 Finals against Magic Johnson's Lakers -- a highly memorable experience, and one unlike any other you'll find in a sports video game.
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Posted in Consumer Testimonials, Video Games | 8 Comments »
5th October 2010
I always like to make sure you guys are on the cutting edge of NBA analysis, which not only means providing our own statgeekery here at the BBR Blog, but also linking to any and all external sources of APBRmetric knowledge... That's why I feel it's my duty to urge you to check out Pro Basketball Prospectus 2010-11, available for digitial download at BBPro's site now (and hard copy next week).
Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle always do great work at the Prospectus website, and their annuals carry that tradition over into book form. Five years after John Hollinger wrote his last hard-copy version of the Pro Basketball Forecast, the PBP series is the only annual I'd pick to fill that void in my bookshelf. It's also the only book that I literally carry with me to NBA games -- seriously, ask Justin, he can confirm that I do this. PBP contains tons of advanced stats, scouting reports, skill ratings, and tendencies for every projected NBA regular, making it an invaluable resource to me as I'm watching games.
Simply put, if you love detailed, sophisticated NBA analysis, and you want a companion book for the 2011 season, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy.
Posted in Consumer Testimonials, Layups | 1 Comment »
8th October 2009
Thanks to Kevin Pelton, Brad Doolittle, and the rest of the team that makes Basketball Prospectus great, there's a new NBA annual that should be gracing your (digital or real-world) bookshelves as soon as possible: Pro Basketball Prospectus 2009-10 is now officially available via download today, and will be ready in hard copy form soon as well. We've already gotten a chance to look at it, and I can say that it's a truly awesome effort that very much raises the bar for the rest of us. Check it out, and I think you'll be as impressed as I am.
Posted in Consumer Testimonials, Layups | 4 Comments »
21st September 2009
If you're anything like me (and if so, god help you), you love this time of year because it's NBA Preview season -- magazines, books, online articles, Hollinger training-camp pieces at ESPN, etc. I'm such an NBA preview addict that one magazine per season is never enough; I usually grab all of them and read every last one cover to cover in the month-plus between publication and preseason tip-off. Now, I usually don't throw all of my support behind any single magazine, because each has their strengths and weaknesses, but I'm wholeheartedly advocating the Yahoo! Sports preview this season. Why? Because many of the same cast of characters that run Yahoo's excellent Ball Don't Lie blog are responsible for the content in the preview, including one of my absolute favorite NBA writers, Kelly Dwyer. KD has written the majority of the team previews, and I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have an NBA preseason magazine penned by someone as knowledgeable (and, may I add, stat-friendly) as he is. So if you're buying only one NBA magazine this season, seek out and find this one, because it's head and shoulders above the rest. (No, offense, Lindy's! And Athlon! And TSN! I mean, you're good too!)
Posted in Consumer Testimonials, Layups | 11 Comments »