NBA 2K’s future

Not to knock the game but…

Okay, we get it Lebron. The game you are on the cover of has the best graphics of all basketball games. Well, it is the only basketball game, and I think that is the problem.

The first NBA 2K game I picked up was 2K5 with Ben Wallace on the cover after the Detroit Pistons won the NBA Championship that year. It was generally a difficult game with blacktop and drills mode to get stats up and camera angles as well as not being able to play every minute of the game. That same year NBA Live 2005 came out with Carmelo Anthony on the cover and a game mode never seen before… All Star weekend.

At that point I became hooked on NBA Live’s gaming structure, being that it was more ‘arcadey’ and fun, where as 2K was more simulated. At the time I felt like simulated games had not caught on yet with the better graphics yet to come. I digress, so I listened to all the hype surrounding NBA 2K11 with Jordan and I picked it up some time later… didn’t like it so much. I thought the Jordan mode forced you to play it versus just picking and choosing what you want to play, which every gamer should have. Then I waited a couple years and gave it another shot. NBA 2K13 was in my opinion was one of the best basketball games ever made. They remained true to their craft in the modes available but really gave the impression that your character is really in the Association. Here’s the problem…

To get the most out of my character I did pay some real money for their ‘VC’ (Virtual Currency) to provide my character’s stats quicker. I also paid the $4.99 for the All Star Weekend pack. Turns out there were a few bugs with the ASW pack which glitched ‘MyCareer’ out during season 3 when I was signing my extension with my team. After that happening three times I emailed 2K about the tech issue, to this day I have not received a response.

Months later with a hopeful attitude I picked up a copy of NBA 2K14. Almost as soon as the main menu appeared on my screen I was convinced this was the exact same game as the last. The Lebron mode is pretty cool but nothing like the Jordan mode. The ‘MyCareer’ mode is the exact same with different backdrops and almost worse graphics. I did as I did in 2K13 with purchasing VC. My player was as good as any can be but, the mechanics of the game caused the player to not be as good as the one before. So how could a developer keep a game mode the exact same but change the mechanics of the game? That is a good question Josh, thanks Josh.

Every simulated move to make the gameplay more realistic actually reduces your quickness and speed. These moves are automatic and you have no control over them. The fatigue of your player will be worse than what your bar shows, I couldn’t even get 50% of speed in the second quarter and I wasn’t using Iso or the quick bar for the majority of the game. Lastly, there were several times that the server would not save the game I had just completed and the VC that I had earned would disappear, again I have contacted 2k’s tech support and again no response.

My point is this, NBA 2K pushed the envelope when they had competition. Since NBA Live was on the fritz for so many years it has seemed as if they have lacked the heart they had shown when they signed Jordan to their franchise for the first time. Only November 19th will tell NBA gamers what is the best game when NBA Live will make its return.