As a sports video game enthusiast, I often like to try the same game on multiple consoles and compare two or more versions. One of my favorite recent games is NBA 2K12 from 2K Sports. I played it first on my Nintendo Wii and thought it the best basketball video game I had seen to that point. I then tried it on my Xbox 360 and became an even bigger fan. The game is great on both consoles, but given a choice, I prefer playing on Xbox 360.
NBA 2K12 is available for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 2 and 3, PSP, and PC DVD. Its price ranges between $19.99 and $39.99 depending on console and venue. Used versions may cost less.
Both versions include various camera angles, including sideline and baseline shots, to make the game appear more like a television broadcast. Slow motion close-up replays show the players' elation or frustration. I thought the graphics on the Wii were very good and showed great detail. Then, I saw the Xbox version. The players' contours are even more defined on the Xbox, especially on close-ups, and their movements are even more fluent and closer to that of the real players.
The biggest difference I see - or actually hear - in the two versions is the announcing. Again, I thought the Wii game was terrific. It has very natural and conversational announcing, but it focuses more on the game at hand. Both versions give scoring updates and refer to past plays in the game. They both praise good plays and criticize poor plays, unnecessary fouls, or careless turnovers.
The Wii version talks some about past and current players, but the Xbox contains full conversations about the teams and players. For example, my son and I played a game using the Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks. During the course of play, my son had LeBron James slam dunk. Announcers Steve Kerr, Clark Kellogg, and Kevin Harlan described the move that James made from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Heat. They also gave a brief history of past reigning MVPs who went to new teams. The commentary on the Xbox sounded so natural that it nearly made me forget that I was playing a video game.
Regarding in-game officiating, I prefer the Wii. The Xbox version tends to call many more fouls for simple things like reaching in. That makes me not want to play aggressive defense. With the Wii, I can go for the steal much more often and get the foul called only when making hard contact. This allows me to play defense more aggressively. Nevertheless, I like the Xbox's other in-game features better.
Both versions have nice additional options. For example, both include playing full seasons with playoffs and championships. Both also allow players to create their own superstars and super teams. We can play street ball with some of the NBA's greatest legends such as Michael Jordan, David Robinson, and more or see some of the NBA's best teams from past seasons. The biggest difference I notice is that the Xbox includes online play against anyone in the world through WiFi, but the Wii does not.
Four slam dunks
I rate NBA 2K12 four slam dunks out of five on the Wii and 4.5 on the Xbox. I will play either one, but given the choice between the two, I like the Xbox version better for its graphics, announcing, and online play. Regardless of console, sports video game fans should really enjoy either version of NBA 2K12.
2K Sports, NBA 2K12, 2ksports.com
2K Store, NBA 2K12, store.2k.com.
Raymond grew up in the days of Atari and watched the progression of home video game consoles. He has played sports games on most consoles and personal computers as they became available. He now owns multiple game systems and enjoys most professional sports games. Follow Raymond on Twitter@RayBureau
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