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September 28, 2007
NBA 2K8 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
22/11/20072K2K SportsVisual Concepts
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-7TBA$99.95

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Check out the background crowds.
While Electronic Arts keep floundering around with their sports games - including NBA Live which was an absolute farce last year before being totally scrapped on the Playstation 3 - 2K Sports keep making big strides in their sports titles, and at the moment their NBA 2K series is well and truly superior to anything Electronic Arts can hope to produce. NBA 2K8 continues that trend with several major enhancements to what was already a fantastic title last year. Indeed last year we reviewed NBA 2K7 (you can read that here) and gave it 87% overall.

So yep, it's a basketball game based on the NBA - the biggest league in the world. Game modes should be pretty familiar, quick matches, playoff and seasons will be included. The bulk of the game will yet again be through the Association mode. This is basically the franchise mode in which you are tasked with identifying player roles, balancing playing time, and keeping team morale up. The Hoopcast Simulator makes simulating games exciting while SimCentral centralizes all necessary information for real-time stats, standing, injuries, and much more.

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Players look even better this year!
There have been a host of new additions and enhancements to this game. Signature Styles have been expanded and the game now includes customizable Free Throws, Dribble Moves, and Dunks give users total control over the way their favorite players play on the court. All new signature shots from many of your favorite NBA players, including #1 draft choice Greg Oden, as well as individual post and dribble moves, makes NBA 2K8 the most authentic NBA simulation on the market. Defensive controls have been reworked to give users more control of their player in defence. The right analog stick is used to play tighter defense on the ball-handler, body up on the ball handler, and run advanced defensive sets. On offense, you now have the option to switch off the ball handler to other players where you can call for alley-oops, jostle for post-position, set screens, etc.

Another of the big additions to this game is the post match coverage. Following the game you can check out the best plays during the match not only for the player of the match, but the best plays from every single player that jumped onto the court. Pretty damn impressive isn't it? Well that's just the start. You'll actually be able to watch almost every single play in the game again!! Essentially a full replay which you will be able to edit with different camera angles! Unreal.

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The new Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
The big new addition to this game is the 'Sprite Slam Dunk Contest'. Live from Las Vegas, 2K is bringing you the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, hosted by street legend Bobbito Garcia. Choose from hundreds of dunks and a vast array of props as you compete against the NBA's finest dunkers in this 4 player event. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest is also playable online (see note below about Australia); it's here that you can prove to the world that you are the greatest dunker there is.

As with the recently previewed NHL 2K8 we aren't sure about the online gameplay for this title in Australia. I would expect it will be included, but until we have actual confirmation from 2K Games I won't say for sure. Should the game be playable online new features (and these will of course work in the American version for sure) include a news ticker that updates you with sports headlines across the country, a user customizable Front Page display, and a Co-op mode that allows 2 users to play on the same team against the AI.

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A fantastic looking game, no doubt about it.
Graphically NBA 2K8 looks to be quite improved over last years title. The players now look even more realistic and don't look so disjoined from the backgrounds while the range of animations, including the previously mentioned Signature styles has been expanded. The crowds have also been given a working over with all new AI and animations to make them more realistic - and react to the action to the court in a more believable manner. Music also plays a big role an the soundtrack in NBA 2K8 includes bands such as Common, Q-Tip, Run DMC, J-Dilla, Quasimotto, Cut Chemist, Devo, Stone Roses, Fishbone, Tommy Guerrero, Breakestra, G-Love, Quantic and many more. Commentary in the game is being provided by Kevin Harlan and Kenny Smith.

Everything in this title oozes quality and we expect 2K Sports to continue their dominance in the field of basketball simulations. Gamers who haven't sampled the delights of a 2K Sports title really need to consider their options this year - if Electronic Arts continue to release sub-par products onto the market and they still sell in the millions there is something wrong, and one day people are going to feel very short changed. NBA 2K8 is going to be a phenomenal title when it hits the court in late October.