NBA 2K12’s ‘Legends Showcase’ Hits Hard With Replay Value

Pistol Pete better be unbeatable. He better be out there throwing in wild hook shots from behind the backboard, and tossing in scoop shots from the three-point line. For all of the eccentric stuff the Pistol did in the NBA, he’ll always be remembered more appropriately for his college theatrics, and the trick shots he mastered so completely (Remember all of those old H-O-R-S-E TV programs). Upon playing the “Legends Showcase” for the first time, and jumping immediately into H-O-R-S-E, I thought Pete Maravich needed to come correct. If the 2K developers didn’t arm him with justice, there would’ve been Hell to pay. Thankfully, the Pistol was at his gun-slinging best.

It’s hard to ever truly get sick of NBA 2K12. With all of the trade speculation and “basketball reasons” being thrown around Chris Paul for the past week, it gave the Association an extra boost (Seriously, if you’re like me at all, this got you back into the game, starting up a new franchise with the Hornets and immediately seeing if you could find a better deal for CP). But just in case you have, they recently dropped the “Legends Showcase,” a downloadable add-on for the holidays revolving around the playground, Times Square, artsy graphics and even more NBA legends. And while we offered a sneak peak at this downloadable content a few weeks back, we’ve gotten a chance now to digest a little bit more of what the mode has to offer.

I’ve heard people complain about the cartoonish presentation – it feels very much like a comic book at times – there’s nothing that I found wrong or absent about the player models, the atmosphere or most importantly, the game. It feels and plays exactly like 2K12 and the details are all there, even if in a slightly altered way.

The atmosphere? Awesome. You can feel it right from the start. You’re in Times Square, and the music is bumping, the lights are strobing and the crowds are flooding the streets. The echo from the night’s MCs and the music puts you right in the moment, almost like you’re shelved up in your office next door with the window open, looking down at the court.

I jumped into the 2v2 Teammate Challenge and went to work with Charlotte: Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson. Besides the awkwardness of these two teammates – seriously, couldn’t you imagine Johnson and ‘Zo negotiating their rights to make sure they never ended up on the same team? “Listen guys, whatever you do, don’t put me on the same f—— team as that dude!” – the introduction was sick. The Bad Boys came walking out (Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer) and Laimbeer did this sort of hip-hop cover-esque arm crossing shot. Swagged out in short shorts.

I literally laughed out loud when the screen switched to ‘Zo and LJ, and Johnson jumped back and starting pointing to their opponents in one of the better WTF video game moments.

The first play resulted in a reverse Grandmama dunk, as smooth and authentic looking as you’d expect out of this game. The rest was the same; I was murdering Thomas in the post, hitting him with drop step spin moves, smooth enough to remind me of the first time I popped in 2K12.

The 2v2 Teammate Challenge is cool. It’s basically king of the court, and you have to take on challenger after challenger, such as Shaq/Penny and Reed/Frazier. Each win gets you closer to the end, and each progressive game gets more difficult. Another cool aspect of it is you can save your progress. On first glance, I assumed you’d have to do it all in one shot. But you can back out at any point and come back to it later.