MSRP $59.99 on Xbox 360
Also available on PS3 and PC
As a Knicks fan, this is painful to admit. Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time. There, I said it. #23 mastered the game with all the grace and strength the NBA has ever seen, and today's superstars will never compare. That's why a game like NBA 2K11 is a great nostalgia trip, with Jordan featured heavily in the game, and his inclusion alone makes this a basketball classic. The Jordan fanaticism begins straight away as they put you right in the middle of an NBA Finals game against the Lakers. The graphics are vibrant and beautiful, and the animation is second to no other sports game. Jordan looks just like Jordan, but more impressively he moves and acts like MJ, even sticking out his tongue when going up for a dunk.
Of course, the gorgeous visuals transcend just Jordan, with every NBA player featured beautifully. The faces are recognizable, and things like free-throw routines are personal to different players. NBA 2K11 makes it more impressive by showing players wincing in frustration or shouting after a great play. Very impressive.
The gameplay is nice and fluid, and it is easy enough to pick up and play. To really master the game, though, you're going to want to check out the tutorial. Button combos involving the shoulder buttons and the analog sticks allow your players to master moves as diverse as the teardrop layup, the step-back jumper, and a variety of dunks. It's amazing at how many different moves there are, but it will take some time to master them all.
Overall, NBA 2K11 offers a beautiful presentation, surprisingly deep gameplay and memories of the greatest player the NBA has ever had. Like it's cover athlete, NBA 2K11 offers the best basketball game in years.
Games.com Score: 5 (out of 5 championship rings)
Dead Rising 2
MSRP $59.99 on Xbox 360
Also available on PC and PS3
Everywhere you go, it's vampire this, warewolf that. Whatever happened to zombie this, braaaains that? Capcom is here to answer that question with the second game in their Dead Rising series. Vampires are for kids, zombies are here to stay.
Dead Rising 2 doesn't stray far at all from the original's core situation of "kill all of the zombies you can with whatever you can pick up." In a mall as big as the one in this game, that's a lot of ways to take care of the undead! From an umbrella to a golf club and more, part of the fun of Dead Rising 2 is using the different and creative ways to vanquish your zombie foes.
Part two takes things to the next level though with a way to combine different weapons to make super weapons, for yet another aspect to the crazy action. Tie a chainsaw to a pole? Sure, why not? The more creative the kills and the more you do at one time, the higher experience points you snag. The more experience points? The better you get at killing zombies, of course. It's pretty rad.
Another cool addition to the series is the multiplayer. You can play with three other players in a series of game show-like minigames that will test how quickly you can kill zombies compared to your friends. The one with the most points wins. Easy enough, although the two player option was a bit more fun. You can go through the game's story with another player and, while it doesn't add anything new in terms of gameplay, it's a lot of fun just messing around and accomplishing the different tasks in the game.
Zombies may not be the hot thing right now, but killing zombies is always in fashion. Dead Rising 2 allows you to do it with the best of them.
Games.com Score: 4 (out of 5 zombie mall cops)
Power A Pro Pack Mini
MSRP $49.99 on Nintendo Wii
Power A has been making a name for itself with innovative accessories that target a variety of gamers, most recently their really cool looking Lego Play & Build Remote. We recently had a chance to check out their Pro Pack Mini for Nintendo Wii and it brings some cool new features to the standard Wii remote.
First of all, you'll notice two things right away. Firstly, the remote and nunchuk come together in the same package (with both easily separated, just like the standard remote and nunchuk), so you get a bit more bang for your buck. The more obvious change is the size of this thing. It's about 35% smaller than the normal Wii remote, although the buttons are comparatively larger, so it fits comfortably even if you have large hands. And don't worry, it works fine with WiiMotion Plus.
When you finally hold it, you'll notice the texture of the remote has a grip to it that is supposed to reduce the slippage as you swing the remote back and forth. That is extremely helpful, especially if you're the type who forgets to wear the remote strap (which, for the love of your TV, you should never forget!).
Overall, it's a pretty neat package and definitely piques interest in what Power A has in store for us accessory nerds in the near future. Check out the Power A store to pick one up for yourself.
Games.com Recommendation: Buy It!