|I just had a minor (only type I get) epiphany about games based on big league sports: I prefer the demo versions. The demo versions are set up to get you right into some of the most top-notch gameplay the title can offer, and to conclude relatively quickly, after a brief and exciting gameplay experience. What more can the full title offer?|
Well, I don't really know, as I haven't explored 2K8 enough to say. There's all kinds of league and online and simulation stuff, I'm sure. There's some kind of annoying online sports ticker that scrolls along the bottom of the screen telling you the latest sports scores, sort of like you'd see on a cable sports channel. And of course you can play with all the teams in the league, etc, and with full announcer voiceovers (these are okay, but not great), multiple stadiums, and so forth.
That's all well and good, but I don't follow basketball anymore, so I don't care. What I do care about it enjoying it as a fast-paced action game, but when you have to sit through digging up the disc, inserting it, running it, sitting through multiple title screens, clicking through loading up your multiple profile and save files, connecting to the 2K network to get the sports ticker feeds, and all that, it makes me not want to bother. The demo, on the other hand, runs quickly from my PS3's desktop, and goes straight into a game. Yay!
So anyway, you can probably tell that I'm not suited to review this full game. This version introduced a feature where you could hold a shoulder button while on defense to pretty much lock on to your man-on-man target, and, from what I've read, made playing defense way too easy. I didn't really try it, because it seemed silly. I still like the old style basketball games where you just ran around jumping and flailing for balls like a madman. At least in 2K8 there's only one button necessary for shooting, and one for passing (some of the other modern basketball games I tried have two shoot buttons!). So you can play a decent game without having to use quite every single darn button on the controller.
One downer is intermittent, bad slowdown. This usually kicks in during the little cutscenes of players that take place between changes of possession, and sort of spoils the whole effect; why try to show a neat cinematic view of the players if you can only do it with a sucky framerate? But sometimes it lasts into gameplay, and makes just running up and down the court an unpleasant experience. There doesn't seem to be a particular cause, so who knows. The game only runs at 720p, and looks all right, but not spectacular by any means (though the animations are good), so I don't understand the seemingly random slowdown.
Anyhoo, I only stuck this back in to compare it to the NBA 2K9 demo, and they seem pretty much the same, but the 2K9 demo loads faster, so I'll just be sticking to that for my brief hardcourt action fixes until...2K10 demo comes along, I guess.