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NBA 2K11 Hands-on: 3D and Motion Controls

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If you've ever heard me talk about 3D gaming on a Mobcast, you know that I absolutely love it. Needless to say, when 2K Sports offered me the opportunity to check out NBA 2K11 in 3D, I jumped at the chance. I was also able to get some hands-on time with the game's PlayStation Move controls. One of these new features was awesome; one was not so awesome.

If you guessed that the awesome feature was 3D, give yourself a high five — you're a winner! The game won't ship with 3D support, but it will be made available as a free download shortly after launch. From my perspective it will be well worth the wait. 

I just sat here for ten minutes trying to come up with a way to describe to you what I saw, and nothing comes close to doing it justice. I was struck by how unobtrusive the 3D was; not because the effect was subtle, but because it looked and felt so natural. The added layers of depth made it feel almost as if I was sitting in the stands at a real basketball game and controlling the action on the court. The longer I played, the more I became immersed in the life-like environment.

While the 3D generally played a complimentary role during gameplay, it took center stage during replays. It was really cool to pause the action and zoom the camera around the players — I felt like I was seeing a video game from the future. I even wasted a few minutes lining up the camera just right so that it looked as if an inbounds pass was headed directly for my face. Honestly, I probably could have spent another hour just messing around with the replay camera — it was that much fun.

 

The PlayStation Move controls were not as much fun, so I won't spend a lot of time discussing them with you here. The motion controls are, of course, optional, and can be used in any game mode. I tried them out with in the slam dunk contest, which is a fun mode that has typically had less-than-stellar controls.

I held a Dualshock controller in my left hand, and used the analog stick to move my player to the ball rack. I pressed the T button on the Move controller to pick up a ball, moved the left analog stick toward the hoop, made a left-to-right motion to start my dunk, made a half-circle to do the rest of the dunk, and then released the T button when the meter indicated the time was right.

Sound complicated? It was. Actually, it wasn't particularly difficult to do a dunk, but it was tough to do a specific dunk. I mostly flailed my arms around and made jokes about my sub-par performance. I'm not sure if the developers were laughing at me or with me.

To be completely honest with you, I got the sense that the Move support was there just so the game box could say that it supported the peripheral. But, its addition doesn't hurt the overall package, and perhaps someone out there will enjoy it.

OK, so it's settled — we're all going out and buying 3D televisions next weekend. Who’s with me?!


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