GameSpot today posted the first two videos featuring gameplay from NBA 2K11's upcoming "Jordan Challenge," featuring Michael Jordan versus the Portland Trail Blazers in the first game of the 1992 NBA Finals.
What's intriguing to me - beyond Horace Grant's and Buck Williams' rec specs - is the commentary. Kevin Harlan, Clark Kellogg and Doris Burke are a modern-day team, but they still came back to read dialogue specific to the plot lines of this game (and the Jordan Challenge's nine others). I'm sure some of the remarks might get a little old after the third or fourth try - and for "The Shrug," you'll need 35 points and six three pointers in the first half, while holding Clyde Drexler under 20 for the game, making it one of the more difficult games to win.
But it shows that bringing Michael Jordan into this game involved more than just player models, animations and rosters; the rest of the production had to respond to him as if he was an active superstar, too.
I will say it's a thrill seeing not Just Jordan and Pippen, but Grant, John Paxson and Medical Bill Cartwright walking up to the circle for the opening tip-off, with Drexler, Williams, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter and Cliff Robinson, headband and all, on the other side. It really underlines how "The Jordan Challenge" is, fundamentally, a game mode about Jordan, but it derives its authenticity from those he played with and against.