NBA 2K11 Creating a Legend Impressions

Posted October 13th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

With the ability to unlock Creating a Legend in NBA 2K11 without having completed all of the Jordan Challenges I have focused my time since on the mode. Creating a Legend is essentially just My Player mode using a rookie Michael Jordan but for several reasons I’m finding this mode much more enjoyable than the latter.

The biggest difference between the two modes is of course that it begins with Michael Jordan being drafted to a team rather than using a created player. Any team can be chosen for him to go to but keep in mind that the number of touches he gets will largely be dependent on the teammates. I placed Jordan on the Warriors and Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis primarily handle the ball and shoot often.

Jordan starts as a 79 and this makes a big difference for anyone who has gone through the My Player mode and had to start in the upper 30s. There is no period of fighting just to up the rating to a respectable level, trudging through the D-League, or being stuck with a guy who can’t dunk or make a mid-range shot.

It also means that most of the time will be spent with Jordan on the floor unlike the created players who are relegated to back-up duty for quite some time. In fact Jordan starts with a 99 rating for both layups and dunks and good ratings in several other categories.

Playing through games and completing drills earns skill points that can be distributed to the different ratings categories. Performance is graded in games based on a number of actions both positive and negative.

The mode includes the ability to request trades, check out the playing time breakdown, see the history in timeline form, practice shooting in the gym, and has the same menu presentation as found in Association mode. Options such as quarter length and simmed quarter length are available.

I’ve been playing with the standard five minute quarters which is affecting scores but allowing me to breeze through games a little quicker with my Warriors now holding a 2-4 record. Based on the minute distribution Jordan remains on the court for the majority of each game, getting subbed out once or twice usually just for a minute or two.

After just four games I was able to get Jordan’s overall rating up to an 81. I suspect progression of the ratings will slow a bit since the cost for each individual rating category goes up as the number rises. Also to this point I have not seen any press conferences or endorsement mentions so it may just be that they aren’t included in Creating a Legend.

The grading this year for the career modes in NBA 2K11 is certainly more forgiving, though there remains some frustrating instances where you get penalized for something that is either out of your control or something that is inevitable. Often that ends up being an opposing player scoring points (sometimes getting hurt when its not even your assignment), bad steal or block attempts, and fouls. One prime example is committing an intentional foul late in the game and taking a hit for doing so.

Being tasked with guarding Kobe Bryant, and getting penalized each time he scores a point, is rough and feels a bit unfair. Kobe is going to score points even on good defenders. I did like that he was noticeably tougher to check, was more active off-the-ball, and that made for a big challenge on defense.

It is difficult to find your defensive assignment because multiple offensive players end up having blue circles under them. Moving around can change who has the blue circle nearby and that makes it confusing. There are arrows to point to the assignment but either they aren’t there all the time or it becomes difficult to distinguish who it is trying to guide you to. An improvement I’d like to see for the patch is a different colored circle under the assignment in man-to-man or players who come into your area while in zone.

Overall Creating a Legend has proven to be very fun and like the Jordan Challenge it has a certain addictive element to it. The Jordan Challenge is so compelling due to history and all the throwback touches. In the case of Creating a Legend it’s really enjoyable because the player being controlled is good enough to compete and make exciting plays while benefiting from heavy playing time. As long as Creating a Legend avoids the freezing issues being experienced in My Player the fun should carry as the years progress and Jordan ages which should be yet another cool thing to witness.