Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Join the Elite (NBA Elite 11)

Usually, the sweet spot for app pricing is around .99 cents.  Once you start going above that price, app sales tend to dip a bit.  Once you get up to around five bucks, as is the price with NBA Elite 11, you hit a really dicey area that forces the person in question to really consider whether or not they want the app.  NBA Elite 11 is, in a way, the spiritual successor to the console games that never were released.  The app has all of the official licensing that goes with being an NBA game, so no half-brick players are present.  Is it really worth the money, though?


NBA Elite 11 is the only true basketball game in the app store that I could find.  Every mode that you'd expect in an NBA title is present, from quick exhibition matches to a full season.  A 3-PT shooting contest is added in for fun.  Games usually last around twelve minutes and can be paused at any time, which is perfect for a pick-up and play type of experience.  If you really want a mobile NBA title, NBA Elite 11 is probably the closest thing you're going to get.

While I like NBA Elite 11 for the aforementioned reasons, there are a few problems that need to be mentioned.  Firstly, the "Retina graphics" that the game promises aren't really retina quality at all, looking more like jagged bricks at points.  It's not enough to dissuade someone from buying the title, but I definitely wouldn't consider it a selling point like the developers are trying to push.  Secondly, the game is heavily reliant on dunks.  Almost no skill is needed to simply walk up to the basket and lay one down, as your CPU opponent will surely show you as you start playing games.  There is simply no way to stop an opponent from dunking on you.  Thirdly, in the time that this app has been fooled around with, there have been two or three crashes that randomly occurred while the game was loading.  For five bucks, I don't like the idea of an app crashing randomly.

Problems aside, NBA Elite 11 is probably the closest thing you're going to get to an NBA experience in the app store.  If you have to have a mobile NBA, you really only have this to fool around with.  For those of you who can wait to simply play it on a console, I'd do yourself a favor and stay far away from this app.  It's good, but not five buck good.  Ninety-nine cents would have been perfect for this app, so if you do see it on sale in the future, I can definitely recommend it for that price.  Anything higher though is a red flay to stay far away.


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