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NBA 2K16 adds Ernie Johnson and Shaquille ONeal to host a new pregame show

Whenever I sit down with a copy of NBA 2K, the first thing I do is create myself as either a Center or Power Forward and go straight to the MyCareer portion of the game. While my character choice was no different this year, once you delve into this mode you will see some quick differences. Now you can scan your face using the game camera if you have one; although the concept sounds great it takes time and patience for it to work well in practice. Also, a ton of good lighting helps or you will look like an orc from Mordor.
 
Zelnick has very good reason to be proud of 2K Sports, principally through what NBA 2K has done, but also because of what he and his company has been willing to let go - the NHL, college basketball, NBA 2K Sports learned, in very hard and painful ways, that no league's shield will ever make a bad or uninteresting video game better. It must make the best video game on its merits alone. The new shot release system feels the same, yet the way it gives feedback is smarter and more streamlined. Instead of displaying feedback at the top of the screen, it now shows a status bar underneath the shooting player. If the shot is too late or too early, the status bar appears red. When you release a slightly late or slightly early shot, the bar appears yellow. For a perfect shot, the status bar glows a bright green and allows you to make it easier to start a hot streak.
 
The commentators in NBA 2K16 are especially informative in the new NBA's Greatest mode. Building off the good feelings earned from the inclusion of Michael Jordan in last year's game, 2K went kinda nuts this year, including 30 classic teams (as well as a couple of pre-order bonus teams) from 15 noteworthy rivalries and feuds from the many years of NBA history. Bill Russell's Celtics, Michael Jordan's Bulls, Magic Johnson's Lakers, and Dr. J's 76ers are among the many options here. Even better, the full rosters for both teams are included, so when you take Larry Bird's Celtics into battle against the Atlanta Hawks, Dominique Wilkins and crew are all there to fight back as they should be.

 
Showing just how ahead of the pack 2K is in this genre we have a game that boasts some of the tightest controls I’ve had the pleasure of using. The move list is extensive and with the introduction of the right analogue stick as your primary input for shooting and using skills adds a deep element to the speed and fluidity of play. As mentioned earlier I haven’t played the other iterations of the franchise so to give me some background I invited my basketball crazy friend over to act as my coach.
 
Thanks to the dev team and the new man in charge of player ratings, computer-controlled players behave more realistic on offense and defense. Mike Stauffer was brought in to revamp the player ratings. He has implemented more ratings such as defensive IQ and perimeter defensive IQ to help differentiate the good defenders from the subpar ones. Only four players in the game have an overall rating of 90 or above. The Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is tops at 98 and cover athlete Kevin Durant has a 95. You can see all of the player ratings here.
 
Then it's time for the draft. Just like in real life, the draft starts off with NBA Commissioner David Stern (yes, it was really his voice) announcing the first pick and continuing on until your player gets selected. If you don't get picked early, this can be a rather drawn-out process since there is no way to skip to your selection. (Developers say the highest any created player can be selected is No. 3 (Utah Jazz), so don't set your sights on being the top pick.) NBA 2K16 adds TNT favorites Ernie Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal to host a new pre-game show. They set the stage capably, as Shaq often tells a story about one of the upcoming game’s star players to create a narrative for what is to come. I wonder how well this pre-game show will age, as we play this game for the better part of the next year. I fear it will quickly become repetitive - but it’s a good start and it works well.