NBA Fantasy 5 «

Though I’m a devout stat-head, I’ve never gotten into fantasy basketball. It just seemed like too much legwork. THQ Wireless feels my pain, and the pain of other lazy so-and-sos like me, because we’re who it made NBA Fantasy 5 for. It delivers fantasy basketball in a clear, concise form — doing all the work for you and making it accessible wherever you go.

As graphically stunning as a textbook

Every day, go into the game and pick your lineup for the night. You have 90 points with which to snag your superstars. Someone like LeBron James runs about 28 points, while the newly-Knicked Malik Rose only costs 8. These points correspond with the players’ efficiency average. What’s that, you ask? Well, it takes all statistical categories into effect (shooting percentage, turnovers, rebounds, etc.) to see just how helpful a baller has been to his team. The efficiency per game average is equal to the cost of purchasing that player’s services for that night.

Using the efficiency average allows the astute students of the game to get a jump on the competition. For example, if Shaq’s sitting out a game, Dwyane Wade will probably step it up. However, you also have to be wary of people being on the list who shouldn’t be. Karl Malone is still listed as the Lakers’ top power forward (may he retire in peace).

You can pick your lineup up until five minutes before the night’s first tip-off. Results are updated every 15 minutes. When the fans have gone home and the players are nestled snug in the beds/hotels with their wives/groupies, you’ll see how you did overall. The same efficiency scale comes into play, and you can also see the exact stat line for each player. Then, choose the next day’s team and start all over again.

There’s a ranking system to compare your jock-centric brain with the rest of the fantasy GMs. It’s a little understated in my opinion, and doesn’t seem to work as smoothly as the actual scoring interface. I think a bigger deal should be made about which user is doing the best, but I understand THQ’s decision to keep the spotlight on the millionaires.

Perhaps the most aggravating thing about NBA Fantasy 5 is that you can only do so much with it at one time. Sports gamers are used to just simulating games/seasons/careers, and here you’re obviously tied to real life. However, when you do get to pick your team or check your results, it’s a very rewarding, satisfying experience. Get in on it before basketball season is over. Mobile fantasy basketball is a great idea, and THQ did as well as anyone could hope for a first effort. Next year, I hope to see more user stat rankings and perhaps pictures of the players.


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