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Platform: Xbox 360
Category: Sports

One of the games which really left a lasting impression with me while at E3 in LA last week was EA Sports NBA Elite 11. After years of disappointing basketball video games, EA Sports has decided to give its NBA franchise a face lift. Not only does their NBA franchise have a new name but the developers have completely overhauled the games controls in favor of a more immersive and intuitive experience. The results thus far are very promising.

Heading up the NBA Elite development team is EA Sports David Littman who deserves some credit for turning EA's NHL franchise into the mega-hit it is today. The development team wanted to change the way gamers play basketball gamers. The best way to do that - revamp the controls and animations.

The demo I had a chance to play involved a simple one-on-one game between Lebraun James and Kevin Durant. From the moment I picked up the controller I felt like I was in complete control of my player. Those canned uncontrollable animations were gone. Instead, I felt in complete control and the responsiveness of my virtual player was fantastic. Granted, I am rookie gamer when it comes to hoop games so I am very curious to see what some of you hardcore b-ball gamers think. That being said, NBA Elite’s controls feel pretty darn good. Even on defence, I felt in complete control and again those predetermined animations that require us to wait while a scenario is played out before making the next move is gone. Everything from driving to the net, dunking, lay-ups, dribbling between your legs, blocks to steals, NBA Elite has a great feel to the game.

Similar to the NHL game, Elite features dual stick controls. The left stick contros your body an dthe right stick controls the ball. Within a mater of minutes I found myself performing slick dunks, fancy dribbling moves and wicked jump shots.

The only question that remains for me, is how does the game play out. NBA Elite looks very promising thus far; however, I guess we will see when the final version hits retail this fall.


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