by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad

Before the year is up, 2K Sports will be releasing its “Legends Showcase” downloadable add-on for NBA 2K12. For $9.99, gamers can play brand new game modes including 21, H-O-R-S-E, and other unique modes of gameplay that promise to entertain and keep players engaged with a high fun factor.

Along with all of the legends included in the normal gameplay, 2K added a whole new list of legendary players to its downloadable content. Gamers now have the ability to pair up Bob Cousy with Bernard King for a devastating backcourt, or have a frontcourt of Gheorge Muresan and Shawn Bradley and see who can get dunked on more. With the amount of legendary players added, gamers will have endless amounts of choices to make on who to pair up to go head to head while bridging generational gaps and putting those dream match ups into virtual reality.

After getting the chance to play the new downloadable content last week, I can say that 2K did a great job in providing a fun, unique way to further enjoy their tremendous product. At first I was a bit skeptical of the new cell-shaded art style (as seen in the pictures above), it initially felt like the designers of the game mailed it in on the graphics in order to get the package out in time for the holiday season. But as I continued to play, I realized that this new graphic design matched the arcade feel of the game perfectly. While taking cartoonish shots in the ultra fun and creative H-O-R-S-E mode, I realized that it would have been impossible to take this feature seriously in traditional gameplay, but with the cell-shaded art style it only added to the fun of the game.

While the new art design may be a bit goofy, the gameplay remains traditional, a feature that any basketball traditionalist will enjoy. While playing a three-on-three game smack in the middle of an imaginary venue located in Times Square, where each new game mode is stationed, I was amazed at the accuracy of which the virtual players seemed to mimic their actual counterparts. It was incredible seeing Thunder Dan Majerle knock down deep threes just as he had done for the Suns for so many years, and having the ability to throw a beautiful behind the back pass with Chris Webber to set up a cutting teammate just as he had done with the Kings during the early ’00s.

Although I did not get the chance to play the 2-on-2 Teammate Challenge, it was definitely the new game mode that I was most intrigued by. From the looks of it, it seemed like NBA Jam on steroids. In the Teammate Challenge, you have the ability to play as two teammates from a team just like in NBA Jam, however in 2K’s version you get to play as teammates from legendary teams from different decades. You could be playing as Magic and Kareem squaring off against Cousy and Russell in an epic battle. As players continue to climb up the ladder and take on other teams, they unlock current players to be used in the mode to create interesting matchups of legends and present NBA stars.

With a plethora of other features, 2K has enabled its gamers to enjoy hours of fun with new gameplay experiences. 2K really did their homework and added an interesting and unique group of legendary players that will leave both true students of the game and novice fans happy.