So, with the new season underway, I have to admit, Durant joining the superteam that is the Golden State Warriors had made me fall out of love with the roundball game a bit, but it didn’t take long before fantastic finishes and great team play brought me back.
In this case, it makes me doubly glad to get my hands on a game that doesn’t just hinge on raw numbers, but how those numbers work together and blend.
We’ve all heard the lines before.
“oh, in (Sports Game X) get the fastest receiver you can, he may not catch them all, but just throw the long bomb every play. He may not catch the ball often but when he does, it’s automatically six points”. Or… “The power stat in (Baseball Game X) is way out of whack. Get a bunch of power hitters, and you can’t lose”.
Basketball is different. They have a nickname for teams that play a lot of one on one, everyone else get out of the way type basketball.. “Heroball”. They also call them “Lottery Teams” in the NBA. Sure, in the age of the Superteam, you can put together a collection of awesome players, but if you look carefully at the Super Teams, Lebron’s Heat (and now the Cavaliers), or Curry’s Golden State Warriors (especially now with Kevin Durant), it’s not just having the big guns that makes a team great, it’s the role players who FUFILL their role in an offense. And there’s no basketball series that is better at making you feel what it’s like to build a TEAM then Wolverine Studio’s Draft Day Sports Pro Basketball Series, and this year’s version adds new features to the mix that makes it even better.
Here’s an example. They’ve added historical teams and leagues to the game, and the second I got my review code and installed the game, I installed the game, I decided to run a test game between the last two Celtics champions, 1986 and 2008. Now, the games were very different eras, 1986 was a lot more offensively open (hand checking was not allowed, no zone defense), then 2008, but I looked over the rosters, and I said “The rest of the rosters are roughly the same, in that any night, both teams have a bunch of players who can go for 20-30 points or 8-12 rebounds/assists in a game, but the difference is that the 2008 version of the Celtics do not have anyone who can explode for 40 points and just plain destroy a game like Larry Bird.
Guess what? I simmed that game, and it pretty much went that way, Pierce, Garnett and Allen all had solid games, but Larry Legend went for 43 points and the 1986 Celtics won by 12.
I like this game. And considering this is a sport that relies on “The Secret” (tm Isiah Thomas, the Pistons one, not the Celtics one, and Bill Simmons), I could see it completely turn out that way, that the Chief, Ainge, DJ, Kevin, the whole crew, just said “We’ll take what comes are way, but if we get in a pickle, we’ll get it to Larry Legend, because he’ll have snuck himself into a position to score.” Meanwhile, Ray Ray, KG and the Truth would still be at “Take what comes our way.”.. so if nothing pops up, they have to take a covered shot anyway.
Still playing out the league to test long term viability and testing out the long term historical play before I do a full on review.. but I loved watching the game play, and could see it all turnout just the way I imagined it.
If you’re a fan of basketball, and especially of the days of Bird, Magic, Kareem, Jordan, Shaq, or the Iceman, Pistol Pete, the Hawk.. if you recognized those last few names, this is like the gaming version of Field of Dreams, except it’s not a cornfield in Iowa, it’s a old high school gymnasium somewhere in Indiana (probably where they filmed Hoosiers), and yes, it’s heaven.