Originally Posted by adamcz
There are lots of things that cannot be fixed with settings. Fludity of animations (not just how good each animation looks, but the flow from one to the next), intelligence of the computer controlled players, atmosphere, depth of features (especially dynasty mode and online leagues).
Also lots of people like to play online against other players - in this setting you can't tweak anything and have to play with the defaults.
The fluidity of animations -can- be fixed with the graphics settings. You can't change how the original animations were programmed, but you can change how your graphics controller interprets them. There are plenty of graphics settings that can make things move more smoothly. For both of these games though, graphics are entirely subjective. Both games look great in their own way, neither stands out in any one area from the other. Players ice skate in both games. When you crank up the graphics settings, everything looks“hyper-realistically” plastic and fake. Some players look spot on perfect, others look nothing like their NBA counterparts. Some dunk, layup and shot animations look good, others look really poor. Neither game has everything right.
AI can definitely be fixed with the settings, excluding any bugs in the programming of course, and every single game has bugs and exploits with their AI, it’s just a matter of which bugs and exploits come with which game. One way I fix the AI in games is by not cranking it up to it’s highest setting. At the highest settings, more bugs and exploits show through from the AI, and the AI seems to cheat or take cheap shots a bit more. I take it one notch back, and increase the difficulty via the other settings (shooting, defense, etc). The AI isn’t any less intelligent, just a little bit less likely to try and scream in for the dunk from the free throw line with Earl Boykins. A good example involving NBA Live is how the point guards tended to dominate play. Set the primacy slider correctly for each player and suddenly the teams start playing correctly. When you make a trade, make sure you adjust the primacy to reflect who is going to get the ball more often. One major AI complaint easily solved.
Depth of features comes down to subjectivity. Both NBA Live and NBA 2K have lots of features, each has something the other does not, and over the years each has “borrowed” from the other as they’ve added new things. Some features you will like, others you will not like, and some you could care less about. All-Star game, shot stick, crossover stick, Dynasty, etc., these come down to what you want out of the game. If all you care about is quick little 2 minute quarter games, does that mean the other game sucks because it has a season or multiple-season mode? No, it means one is more geared towards your tastes, not “that one sucks”. I -hate- the shot stick, and I think the crossover stick is mind-intuitive and really makes ball handling more realistic. Does this mean 2K sucks and NBA Live is the greatest game on the planet? No, it just means that I prefer the way Live did this one particular feature. However, go look back through the billions of 2K vs. Live threads and look at how many people have said Live sucks because it doesn’t have the shot stick.
As far as playing online against other players, first I’d simply consider this under “depth of features”. Second, I’d rather pull my fingernails and toenails out with a pair of vice grips, peel my **** like a banana and soak in a tub filled with rubbing alcohol than play with some random ****ing retard gamer. Too many kids, too many retards, too many hackers, and just too many people just trying to cheat and exploit the game in any way possible. I’d rather play with someone that’s going to -actually- play the game of basketball. I’d rather play with someone that I know will result in a fun game, and I’d rather do it in person. If anyone wants to play with little random net kiddies, with the default rosters from a bygone era, more power to ‘em. But since -neither- game comes with good default settings because they’re designed with the lowest common denominator in mind, this one pretty much balances out between them.
It’s really simple: The games are essentially identical. Neither one is ahead of the other by any great length until you weigh the highly subjective features of each against each other, and your preferences are what skew the results in the favor of one or the other. One does not “suck” compared to the other just because you do not like it.