Are you ready for some basketball?

I don’t know if I’m using the phrase correctly in my subject header. That might be a football thing, so if that’s wrong, just pretend it says ‘Nothin’ but net!’ or maybe ‘Goooooaaaaaaaallllllllll’, one of which is certainly a basketball idiom.

Here’s my question: What’s the best basketball game for someone who knows nothing about basketball? I’m not saying that’s me. But let’s say a ‘friend’ of mine is interesting in dinking around with a basketball game. Should he try one of those EA things? Does it matter if it’s college or pro ball? Are some better than others for basketball retards?

Supertanker showed my ‘friend’ NBA Street Vol. 3, which looked like it had very little to do with actual basketball and more to do with what Supertanker said was “a gangsta’s fantasy of how the game should play”. My ‘friend’ isn’t a ‘gantsa’ and is instead just interested in an interactive way to learn more about the sport. Which game should I tell my ‘friend’ to get?

-Tom

One of the ESPN series of Basketball.

I have been playing the hell out of ESPN’s 2005 College version. I think I am in my 6th year in Legacy mode. I am at my second college in a mid-major conference and will probably get a job in a major conference at the end of this season.

I love the recruiting throughout the year (Now, I play w/ assisted recruiting so I am not sure what the other option changes). I enjoy begging guys, being sure they will commit and then not knowing until the end of the season. The limit on recruiting makes you really have to plan and concentrate resources.

I love the affect your coaching ability grade helps affect stat increases and the option to hire and fire assistants between seasons to compliment those abilities.

I have always been a B’ball fan, but have not played a real simulation since the PSOne days. The customiztion options for your coach and the fact that you can do as much or as little as you want is great.

Then there is the actual playing…Gameplay is good. I am not sure how it compares because, as I said, it has been a while. This factor has seemed to always be fairly constant from game to game. It has the usual assortment of moves and icon passing and timing and blah. The biorythm option that affects the day-to-day play of your players is cool, too.

The NBA Street games are fun for arcade-y dunkathons and transfer the feel of the BIG franchise which first attracted me in SSX and I had never played skateboard/snowbaord games prior to that.

I could go on, but this was more than you asked for. Tom Chick does not like sports games so just tell your friend that, so far, two of us vote for ESPN’s college.

I don’t know if it’s the video games or the television but I know and see a lot of people who play the game “gangsta” style – maybe not as much pushing and fouling, but nevertheless they do crazy things like tipping and fancy-looking stunts.

I’ve got both ESPN NBA and NCAA College Hoops 2k5. Both are great games. Personally, I really like NCAA a bit more. However, it’s definately a lot more like NCAA basketball. To score, you need to make a lot of passes and such, and there’s a LOT of teamwork.
NBA is a lot more “new-user-friendly”. You can get one good guy and just whoop ass. Basically, teamwork is less important if you play the game well, but if you get some good teamwork going it never hurts. I find it to be easier to play (and win) than NCAA.

I whole-heartedly encourage you to pick up one of the NCAA level games so you can teach your other “friend” who was watching Supertanker get all gangsta how to play it.

“Basketball is like poetry in motion. Cross a guy to the left, take him back to the right, he’s fallin’ back, then just ‘J’ right in his face. Then you look at him and say, ‘What?’”

-Amanpour

ESPN College Hoops 2K5 on Xbox

If you want a fantasy basketball game, I still recommend NBA Street Vol. 2. I much prefer its light-hearted Harlem Globetrotters vibe to Vol. 3’s gloomy CB4 vibe.

Like to eat it
Like to suck it,
Take a shit
in a bucket.

My favorite basketball game ever is Jammit!, specifically the Genesis version. It’s worth tracking down.