Basketball is my favorite sport. I like it when when they move the left stick to dribble up the court.
I must admit, I am a fair weather NBA fan. I do not watch the games regularly. If it’s on, I will sit back and watch and surprise myself when I realize someone I thought was on one team is actually on another. That being said, I absolutely love the NBA 2k series, and the “Early Tip-Off Edition” is really good.
Let’s start with Gameplay. I’ve always loved the 2k series for how simulated the games feel. You’re not going to put up 60 points with 15 assists and 12 rebounds, at least not on any level of actual difficulty. However, you can go LeBron and have a 25, 8, and 7 night if you’re going H.A.M. and you’re timing all your shots great and you’re seeing the floor well. Much like an actual NBA superstar. One of my biggest flaps with the NBA Live series was the accountability of actually being good at the game.
And just like the NBA, the abilities between players varies drastically. A quick speedy PG isn’t going to start posterizing 7 footers simply because it’s a video game. I got drafted to the Bulls (more on that below) and Rajon Rondo has yet to dunk in the game, just like in real life where he rarely dunks. He can do it, but it’s not what he’s known for. Plus those animations of the signature shots? Still there. Kevin Durant with the quick flick of the wrist to drain the step back? You can make that happen in your career!
One of my favorite modes in any sports game is where I get to create myself and become a pro athlete. My Career is DEEP. I’ve already burned at least 10 hours in this game mode alone because I just love going through it. And 2k started the whole thing off before the game was released by giving access to “The Prelude.” I was able to create “Austin Brunner” the college athlete, and take him through the NCAA life and tournament before being drafted. So I was playing the game, before even buying it. I don’t know if that’s something other sports games will do as well, but they should. My guy was created, loaded, and ready to go into the NBA when I popped in the game.
From there, I was drafted #14 by the Chicago Bulls. My number is 14, so it worked out well. You meet up with Michael B. Jordan, who explains with Kobe Bryant what My Career is all about. Think the company shelled out some dough to get the stars in the game? Yeah, me too. “Justice Young” (Michael B. Jordan) is drafted with you, and you two are essentially best friends. Can this be real life? Once you two connect a few times, you realize you’ve got that real life NBA connection. Michael B. Jordan and I are tag team basketball pals, and we connect on the court as “Orange Juice,” delivering the squeeze anytime we dish to each other. This game is epic for that reason alone!
Meanwhile, you’ve got to worry about endorsements, keeping in touch with your mother, high school coach, and other NBA stars, team practices, and then sleeping. It’s not an easy life of an NBA Star, and this game mode ensures you realize that as a gamer.
Once you realize the wear and tear of an NBA schedule, you can take a break and take your talents to the park. My Park returns as a favorite for me when I’m heading online to play with friends. 2-on-2 or 3-on-3, this is the place to back up your trash talk. It’s impossibly hard to consistently win in this game mode, and that’s partially why I love it. Just like in the NHL when there is a 3-on-3 scenario, there is a lot of open space, and that means a lot of open looks, and a lot of fast breaks. There’s a shot clock, but the whole point is to be first to reach 15 and win by 2. There’s no real time management other than the shot clock. It’s all about possession.
Frankly, those are the only 2 games modes I’ve dug into. Sorry, I stick with my game modes until I see them out. However, I took a glance at the rest of the game (told you it was deep. I’m a working man, don’t hate!) and here’s what I can summarize.
- MyTeam – Much like Ultimate Team in Madden or NHL, you open playing cards and build your team. You then play to win games and get upgrades in your deck, AKA team. I spent a majority of my time in this mode in Madden thus far, and it’s absolutely addicting. I just opened a LeBron James in my starter pack. There goes 6 hours of my life.
- MyGM/MyLeague – Much like GM modes in other sports games, you control the destiny of the team. You can do so as the GM, player, coach, or owner! Or all of the above! You can also do so online against friends and foes. In NBA, you can play along with your favorite team (Detroit Pistons, Bad Boys 4 Lyfe) in real life settings. So if the Pistons play the Knicks that day, you do too, with real life updates on rosters, injuries, stats, and ratings. How do I get the job where that’s what I do?
- 2kTV – Simply the weekly TV show for NBA 2k. Once again, how do I produce for this show?
Am I ranking this too high? Personally, I don’t think so. I’ve played this for a week and I don’t think I’ve tapped into half of what’s available to me in this game. It’s got a lot to offer, the game play is solid, and the presentation is great.
+ Solid gameplay that supports realistic NBA experience
+ Deep game overall with lots of game modes to offer any level player.
+NBA 2k17 App and “The Prelude” allow you to start the game before the game came out.
– The graphics have improved, but sometimes look too “boxey.”
Brunner 1.0 is a Bad Boy 4 Lyfe and loves taking the Detroit Pistons to the Promise Land in NBA 2k. Challenge him on Xbox Live at r3dbooger14.
NBA 2k17 was reviewed on the Xbox One. It is also available for PS4 and PC.
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