It’s time to take a look at yet another Basketball game! These really do keep on coming don’t they? Well, I haven’t played a Live title in a little while so it was fun to float back to it. This time I actually ended up preferring it to the 2K counterpart so that was pretty neat. It’s a very fast paced installment and there’s no long tutorial to get in your way so you can dive into the action. I tried facing off against the computer on standard difficulty and then again on the toughest level. Both times the games ended around the same way which is odd, but I did lose so maybe the computer just likes to keep it close.
I’ve already explained the rules of Basketball in my last 10 Basketball game reviews so you may be wondering why I keep on doing it. Well, I figure that every review is potentially someone’s first review so a short recap isn’t a bad idea. I will be keeping this fairly brief though. The goal of the game is to score more points than the other team and the way you score points is by throwing the ball inside the opponent’s hoop. This is tricky since there is always a defender right next to you and their goal is to swipe/block the ball and make some scores of their own. You’ll need teamwork to stop these guys since just taking over a game isn’t a completely viable strategy.
As mentioned earlier one of the biggest reasons why the game is so great is because Live 14 is just really fast paced. It actually felt like I was playing one of the Gamecube installments which was definitely neat. Those were really good times and the players also felt more like pros. I was sinking a ton of 3 point shots and they just weren’t missing. On the other hand, that meant I really couldn’t stop the other team since my best bet was usually to pick up the rebounds. Speaking of which, the rebounds are tough here because it feels like your player completely freezes when the ball is in the air. I’m not sure if that’s a new mechanic or if it’s always been like that, but it definitely did make things pretty tricky.
At one point I even got a 10 point lead against these guys so you know that I was feeling pretty sharp around this point. Then half time occurred and as always the computer started to make a miraculous comeback. I still think that there’s something a little fishy here. They ended up taking a narrow win but it was a very entertaining match. At least since my players weren’t constantly missing the ball it felt like I was actually playing. I didn’t do any fancy ball tricks, but I did do a lot more passing as well. Sometimes I try to play the games fairly realistically since that’s fun in its own way and other times I just charge the ball constantly.l
Then in the super tough difficulty match I never got a huge lead, but I did have a 2 point advantage to start the fourth quarter. It still proved to be futile, but one of these days I will score a definitive win against the A.I. Defense is definitely still holding me back because if I were able to make the occasional stop that would make all the difference. You can’t win on offense alone, you’ve got to dominate on both sides of the ball. It’s absolutely crucial that you do that if you want to rise up the ranks.
The graphics are definitely top notch and after playing this one and 2K back to back you can see the difference. EA spares no expense on the mainline NBA games and it’s always hard to see how the graphics can keep improving. After a while you’ve basically just become as lifelike as you can possibly get. As expected there isn’t really much of a soundtrack to note here. It’s around, but you won’t be on the main menu a whole lot anyway.
There’s a lot of content and replay value here of course. I’m thinking that the servers for this title are probably either gone or empty, but it’s worth checking into if you have PS+. The main draw will likely be the actual games though so that’s where you’ll be putting in a lot of time. It’s always fun to see yourself improving as you play game after game and the Basketball season has a ton of matches per season so you’ll be here a long while. At the end of the day the replay value will depend on how much you like the sport. A game like Madden I could play forever while NBA I would probably clock out after 20-40 hours. Still a great value for 5 bucks though.
Overall, NBA Live 14 is definitely a great title and one of the best NBA Live installments. The gameplay is back to being very fast. It’s definitely going for more of an arcade style than the simulation gameplay that 2K brings. Both have their strengths of course, but sometimes I am just in the mood for a quick arcade bout with lots of points flying across the board. This game delivers on that and is a solid way to end my Basketball run for now. Coming up are a lot of Soccer and Hockey games so stay tuned for those as I continue to dive into my sports backlog. Knocking that down to 0 will definitely be an awesome milestone!
It’s time to look at the next Madden title. I’m really close to being caught up now, but I’ll likely wait a year before getting 19 so it drops down to the 5 dollar bin. The Madden games have historically been great. They’re consistently solid across the board and 18 is naturally no exception. This one even added a story mode of sorts although I didn’t try it this time. Basically you start out as a college kid who gets signed on to a team and during the game you rise up the ranks. It’s a pretty cool concept and while I would mainly be sticking with the tried and true quickplay battles, more options is never a bad thing.
Madden 18 has really got everything you can ask for. You can practice, play online, start a franchise, play the story, etc. They even added more options for the gameplay. You can now choose between arcade style, basic, or online for glory mode. I choose the last option of course because I want to be ready to take down an opponent at any time. It was definitely a lot of fun too and they finally brought speed back into the equation. Yes, you can run fast again and that is huge. I’m wondering if Madden 17 might have had some option in the back end where you could have switched the style. Either way, 18 definitely gets credit for showing you how to do it. It makes running the ball a lot more fun when you can just take off like this.
The gameplay is the same as it has been for the last 18 years so there isn’t much to say about it. The goal is to get across the opponent’s end zone to score some points. Score enough and you’re home free. On Offense I really like passing the ball, but it is always a lot riskier. Thanks in part to the whole “aggressive ball” mechanics you never really know if your guy is going to make the pass. There’s an equal chance that the other team’s player is just going to rocket from across the sidelines and knock the wind out of you. If that happens then you’re gonna fumble or you’ll end up throwing a pick 6. You want to only throw bullet passes and you want to do it when your guy is wide open. As a result I have to be really careful about where I throw it. You just can’t toss the ball in the air and make a play anymore.
Fortunately as I mentioned they brought the running game back. My favorite thing to do is pick a Hail Mary play and then run it with my quarterback. Most of the time you can gain an easy 10 yards. I average 10-11 yards per run with the quarterback. He almost always gets 100 yards by the time the game is over. It may feel a little broken at times, but I think a quarterback should be really mobile like that. It really opens up the offense. I get how it makes the defense a lot trickier to control, but I think it’s a fair trade considering how much better the ball covering is now. Running the ball traditionally is also good. You tend to pick up 2-3 yards. Madden continues to feel more and more like the real deal. I even get final scores that are like real games like 10-7.
On defense I’m mostly still at the mercy of the computer. I always pick a guy to try and sack the quarterback, but I only get 1-2 sacks a game. Otherwise I just hope I’m in the right place at the right time to make the stop. Otherwise I just get to watch and weep as the guy shakes a bunch of tackles and breaks an 80 yard run for a touchdown. In my defense, I usually shut the run down pretty well but when it comes time to pass then it’s all up to the luck of the draw. The computer either runs right through me or they throw some terrible passes and punt.
Special Teams is always fun even if it’s very brief. You get to do some free style running and that never gets old. Kicking the field goal and punting are still not my favorite with the new system though. It’s a lot harder since you have to press the X button at just the right time multiple times to launch a kick. It definitely does make kicking a little riskier so if that was the goal then the game succeeded. I just don’t think it was necessary. Ah well, it’s not like that really hurts the game all that much at all. A large part of the Madden experience still comes down to how quickly you can react. On any given play there is always an avenue for success when you’re on the offense. The defense’s job is to give you as little time as possible to make the right call. It’s just really hard to keep track of so many guys running on the field at the same time, but it’s exactly what you’ve got to do if you want to secure the win.
The graphics here definitely look quite amazing as expected. The players are all so lifelike and the presentation is still quite amazing. I enjoy the sound effects and the music doesn’t seem bad. You won’t really notice it aside from the main menu though so unless you stick around there for a while you really won’t notice it. The game has limitless replay value with the online mode and all the other content it has got. It’s always hard to see how you’d be ready to switch up to the next game in the following year. I suppose if you’re playing this full time then maybe you can get through it, but otherwise it probably feels like the next title is right around the corner.
Overall, Madden 18 is definitely an excellent title. Sadly the G.O.A.T. version doesn’t really change anything for me since I don’t have the online and it’s all expired by now, but the vanilla version will do quite fine. For 5 bucks you also can’t go wrong here. It’s a big upgrade over the last Madden I played and this one will rank up there with some of the classics that I’ve played. If you even remotely like Football then you’ll love this game. EA may not have the best rep, but I can say that they’ve never phoned in a Madden title. They give it their all year after year.
All right guys, it’s finally time to take a look at one of the newer Madden titles. Madden is easily still my favorite sports title out of all the big EA games and 17 continues to impress. While this installment isn’t quite as impressive as some of the older ones, it still had all of the positive fundamentals that we have come to expect from the series. It’s certainly a steal considering it was only 3-4 bucks.
The gameplay is the same Football mechanics as the older ones at least in a grand scope kind of view. The goal is to score more points than the other team by getting a player with the football into the opponent’s end zone. Alternatively you can just kick the ball in. You’re really going to need to be able to survey different parts of the screen at once especially when throwing passes. It’s a very intricate game and you do need great reactions to pull this off. Part of why the game is so satisfying is because it needs all of those skills. You can’t pick up the game and suddenly become good, you’re going to need to work on it. There’s definitely a lot to learn too since you’ve also got other sides of the ball like defense, kicking, and running.
While not much has changed since the last Madden they did retool the kicking gameplay once again. Now you’ve got a meter that goes up and down which you have to stop twice. I definitely preferred the old system where you would just flick a lever up and down. I suppose this one is a lot trickier though, but I don’t think you need to over complicate field goals. It also makes the meter pretty crazy when you increase the difficulty. That’s not new, but I still disagree with it since I want a challenge on the field when upping the stakes, not a challenge to fight myself!
Accelerating is a little less obvious here so the game is a little more like a simulation than arcade style. I miss zooming around the field, but I do get the logic and it works well enough. The tackling is still on point and you can see how the game is really well polished in all areas. The gameplay is just a lot of fun provided that you like the sport of Football. It accurately portrays how the game goes down. When you’re playing you feel like you’re in total control so the game succeeds here.
It goes without saying that the graphics are pretty incredible as always. Everything is just so lifelike and while EA may not have the best reputation they do always deliver on this front. As for the soundtrack, it’s less obvious than usual. You’re really not going to be paying it much attention anyway since you’ll be in the game by that point. Now the presentation is where its at and the game is stunning there. It really feels like a real game with how the announcers introduce the teams and we get a nice pre game set up. Likewise you get a good set up for the playoffs and super bowl.
There are a lot of modes beyond the quick games of course. You can practice or jump into the online modes. There are a lot of ranks to go through so if you play online then you’ll probably be around for quite a while. Learning all of the playbooks will take a while and naturally obtaining the Platinum is quite difficult. These games may come out every year, but one title is enough to hold you for several years to be honest since there is just so much to do. There’s also the fact that every game is different so like a fighting game there is basically unlimited replay value here.
Due to the nature of the game there isn’t a whole lot to say but I’ll end off with my tips on how to take the computers down a few pegs. I was able to take them down until All Madden difficulty after all although at that point they cheesed me out. One thing I don’t like about All Madden is that your players start to choke. They begin dropping passes and fumbling all over the place which doesn’t feel like a real difficulty spike. It’s more like your players start breaking down as if they’re 1st year rookies going into their first playoff game. So ignoring that, my strategy for winning was a bland but effective ground game. I’d run it on 1st and 2nd down and then pick up the final 3 yards over the place. Then I’d mix it up with a first yard pass sometimes. I would win in very low scoring games like 17-10 or something like that. The computer has a hard time fully shutting down the run so you’re almost guaranteed to get 2-3 yards up the middle each time.
On the other hand, if you go around then you’re more likely to lose yardage but you have a decent shot of getting a big gain. I prefer consistency so I go up the middle and you’ve also got the shot of making a big gain so the way I see it there isn’t much of a downside to this. Just keep plugging away and eventually you’ll get some kind of win. Defense is also important, but I don’t really have any tips for that. What’ll happen will happen with that one.
Overall, Madden 17 is definitely a game that you’re going to want to jump into. It’s only 2-3 dollars so there is really no downside to making the purchase. By the same token you can also just skip to 18 which is basically the same price and have close to the same experience. It’s really up to you to see what you want to do, but there’s no bad option. While I do think they should speed up the gameplay a bit like in the old days it is still very balanced. I think the problem of the low acceleration is that the running back feels like just an ordinary player as opposed to the speedster. It also gets rid of the quarterback advantage which is too bad because I loved scrambling for every play and getting a bunch of yards. I guess it was pretty broken to be honest though. The quarterback was unbeatable in some of the older games.
After a long break it is now time to go back into the world of Need For Speed. Carbon brings in a lot of familiar elements from Underground 2 and Most Wanted while also adding its own spin on things. I would consider this to be the best NFS in a lot of ways with the only thing I don’t like being the whole territory system. On the whole it’s also tough between this one and Most Wanted, but I would probably give this one the slight edge. It definitely does have the best story although the gameplay is naturally the deciding factor.
So you’re playing as an underground racer who was nearly caught by the police but managed to escape. Of course, the issue with this is that he had to desert everyone else to do it. Now the rest of the racers and even his old friend are pretty upset at him. It’s a rough time for our nameless lead and he gets sloppy enough to even let a bounty hunter catch him. Fortunately a “nice” gangster frees the hero and tells him that the only way to restore his rep is to go and take over all the various gangster territories in the city. I don’t know exactly how that makes sense…if anything that would make him seem even more like a jerk right? He comes back just in time to beat everyone up and get the cops back on the trail? Ah well, the hero likes the plan so that’s what we’re going with. As the game goes on it turns out that there may have been something more to this incident. Were the cops really just coincidentally in the area?
I liked the story because there are quite a few cutscenes and I do think it did a pretty good job of setting the stage. Each of the main mob bosses gets a very exaggerated cutscene where they yell a lot with crazy colors in the background. It’s got a very 90’s-early 2000s vibe which works really well with the Need For Speed franchise in general. You really just can’t go wrong with the story here. Most of the levels are at night which is cool, but you will find yourself missing the day time by the end. It’s always good to have a mix of both. When there are only day levels I miss the night themed ones and vice versa. I think the game would have done well to have included a nice mix. As for the soundtrack, you’ve got an array of EA songs as always. They’re pretty fast paced even if the lyrics aren’t anything to write home about.
As for the gameplay it is pretty standard. The driving is pretty good and you’ll get the hang of the turns as the game goes on. Personally I always found it easiest to quickly let go of the pedal and turn before slamming it again. Alternately you’ve got the hand brake by pressing A, but I always found the turns to be a bit too wide using that method. You can also brake to turn which I would use at times if I really had to make a sharp curve in time. They’ve all got pros and cons of course so you’ll just want to try everything and see what sticks. You can also buy turbo which will permanently give you the option to use boosts. One warning for that is once you activate it then the computers will obtain it as well. I’d say that it’s worth it though because the boost really comes in handy.
You start out with a pretty average car, but as the game goes on you will be able to buy new ones. I actually used the same car for most of the game before eventually buying 3 more by the end. It’s worth staying with one car for as long as possible since your new ones will get outdated very quickly and you’ll run out of money. As it stands I only got 3 cars and I was out of money at the end. Of course, the third car I got was the best one money could buy in the game by the end so it was well worth the price. It effectively is impossible to win the last races with a weak car since it is simply too slow. Even if you don’t make any mistakes you simply won’t be able to keep up with the opponent.
Then there are also the cops to worry about. If they catch you too many times then they’ll take your car away for good. If they take all of your cars then you go all the way back to the beginning of the game. I don’t know exactly how that works since I didn’t let them take away 1 car, let alone all of them. Hopefully you’d be able to quickly reset the Gamecube so you wouldn’t actually have to go back. That would be pretty devastating. Speaking of the cops, the game does have an open world as always so you can have fun getting into police chases. I didn’t play around with them much compared to the last games because this time you aren’t forced to stay in the city the whole time. Instead of finding races through free roam you can just warp to them from the safe house. This saves an incredible amount of time and is a great change. You also don’t have to worry about increasing your reputation or anything like that. This game finally gives you the ability to just focus on the races and claim them all.
Now, this wouldn’t be a Need for Speed game without some kind of pointless gimmick though. For Carbon it is the territory system. The way you advance past each world is to win a lot of races and then challenge the boss. When you beat him then you claim the area. The problem here is the fact that other teams can challenge you for the territories you took earlier. If you refuse to fight them then they take your area automatically. So get ready to have to fight these guys quite a bit in races that you’ve already won. I dunno, maybe it’s not all that bad but it felt like a quick way to extend the game a bit. It’s also not needed since the game is actually pretty long I’d say.
The main story should take you around 10 hours or more. For replay value you can go around and beat all of the levels that you had not conquered yet. Since you’re able to skip about 1/3 of the levels that should add on another 3-4 hours under your belt. In general free roam is also limitless fun as long as you just like driving which is the whole point anyway. I can’t say that I’ll be sticking around with this game, but maybe some day I’ll come back to do those extra races. I basically skipped all of the drift challenges since the controls for those are pretty wonky.
Finally, I should mention that in the story mode there are a few different kinds of events. The general gameplay is the same of course, but the objectives are different. First you’ve got normal races which are self explanatory. Then you’ve got Canyon Races which are usually 1 vs 1 races (it can be 4 way though) and they take place at night on a canyon. In these stages you can actually fall off the track which is an instant loss. I really liked how they handled these levels. You’ve also got check points where you’re doing a time trial, speed bumps where you want to go your fastest as the scanner steps in, etc. The only pretty iffy one is Drift and I avoided every single one of those. By the end of the game I hadn’t completed any of them and I’m glad that I didn’t. It would have taken forever for me to force myself to learn the controls which wouldn’t have been super efficient.
Also, you’ve got a partner for some of these races and he really comes in handy. There are a few different kinds of helpers like people who show you short cuts, help you boost, etc. I went for a guy who can ram into other cars to help you get a lead. It went over really well since the guy was great at his job. It’s part of why I got away with using a terrible car for so long. The blocker could buy you up to 20 seconds at a time which is huge in a race. I owe him a lot.
Overall, Need For Speed Carbon is definitely a solid title. The story ends a little too abruptly if you ask me. There’s really no payoff to the long detective journey and by the end you will definitely wonder what the point of the villain’s plan was. He would have been doing good if he didn’t bring the hero in to mess things up. I suppose it’ll just be a mystery. I actually don’t have the next Need For Speed so that’ll probably be a while, but in the meanwhile I do have another video game review coming out so keep an eye out for it. Meanwhile you should definitely check this title out. You’ll have a hard time trying to find a better racing game than this one.
It’s time to look at one of the oldest 2K games out there. It’s certainly the oldest one that I’ve got. Right away you can see how retro the game is and it’s actually quite a lot of fun. It makes for a good change of pace and feels a lot more like the classic arcade style or NBA titles. Of course that doesn’t stop the computer from basically making every shot as expected. It really does feel like they are all stars while you’re playing as the normal joes.
Naturally I went into a quick match to gauge just how good of a fight I could put up. Turns out that I wasn’t quite ready for these guys. I kept it close for the first 3 quarters but eventually their slight lead got larger and ultimately it was a decisive loss for me. My guys would just miss easy shots and gradually that would cost me since the computer seems unable to miss unless they are going for a 3 point shot. The computer was even able to save for the ball many times to scoop up the rebound while my guys would hang back.
Still, I think they did a good job of adding a lot of cool animations and mechanics in this game. For one, being able to literally dive into the ground to grab the basketball is pretty cool. That’s not really something you see very often but in the 2 games I played I got to see it numerous times. Then you’ve got the “assists” where you’ll shoot the ball and another player will try to help by getting a hand on it and pushing the ball through the hoop. I remember seeing that quite a bit when I was watching the NBA Finals so that’s a nice touch.
In general the game is just a lot smoother than the newer ones. You can just run up and down the court without worrying about all of the extra mechanics. On the other hand, the gameplay is a lot more slippery as you lose the ball quite easily. I probably knocked the ball away 30 times, even if the computer was always quick to grab it back. Playing defense is more fun here than in later games so that’s definitely a plus. Defense will never be as fun as offense, but the closer you get the better.
In the second round I managed to keep it close for a bit, but then they started steamrolling me again. This time I wasn’t able to last til the third quarter, I’d say that after the first half it was already out of control. One thing about basketball is that it’s very hard to make a comeback. Once you see that the team has a considerable advantage in the score you start trying riskier techniques which makes the gap grow more and more. There are people who say that there is no sport more boring than Basketball when it turns into a blowout. That’s definitely a little exaggerated but I will admit that it isn’t nearly as fun once it is so one sided.
Of course the graphics are pretty solid as always. The screens are very clear and there is a lot of attention to detail here. The colors are pretty sharp and the character models are detailed enough where you can really see the resemblance to the real players. The soundtrack is less impressive though and basically just serves as background noise. Finally the presentation overall is definitely impressive. It feels looks like you’re watching a real game and simulates that pretty well.
In terms of replay value this game is basically limitless as always. You can have a good time for as long as you want since each game is different and doing a franchise will give you access to an incredible amount of matches. There are also other modes like practicing so you can improve your fundamentals. No online of course but if you’re buying a 2007 title that almost goes without saying. You’re likely just buying this game to see what it used to be like so you won’t be disappointed. The 2K series has come a long way. It may have traded in fun for realism, but at the end of the day only marginally so as I have enjoyed all of the 2K titles quite a lot.
Overall, NBA 2K7 is definitely a great game to check out. It’s got a lot of hype basketball action in it along with solid graphics and good fundamentals. It’s a game that has really withstood the test of time and ages incredibly well. It’s just as fun as it was when the game first came out and if anything you may enjoy it even more now after playing the newer titles. It’s quite different and reminds us that Basketball can always be presented in a new way.
1/50 PS3 Trophies
It’s time to look at another NBA 2K title. This one is a lot older than the others so was it as good? Honestly, this is the best NBA 2K game yet and I’m not just saying that because it’s the first one where I was finally able to take it to the computer. Not only did I win, but I won by 20 points. It felt pretty good to actually be in the lead for a change. Don’t get me wrong, losing is good sometimes and it definitely does build character, but I was definitely ready to be in the driver’s seat for a change. It’s a lot of fun and while the gameplay isn’t quite as deep as some of the newer games, it is deep enough for me.
I jumped right into the play now mode and I knew things would go my way when I was able to stop them from scoring 3 times in a row. I was quickly up to a 5-2 lead and from there the gap kept widening. It felt like everything was working this time. I would go for the 2 point shots or I would quickly pass it to my guy on the outside and he would hit the 3 point shot. It may just be some placebo on my end, but it seems like you have a better chance of making the shot if you take it right away. If you walk around for a bit before trying the 3 pointer it just won’t work. Of course I still did miss a lot of the 3 point shots, but I got the ones that counter. My strategy was to just run in and score and it worked pretty well. I was scoring at will and while they would stop me from time to time I was able to stop them more.
One gameplay mechanic that I still don’t understand is why my guy will randomly fire a shot at times. I’m just trying to hold R2 and accelerate, but my guy will throw the ball and naturally since I’m nowhere near the hoop then it basically gives the other team a free turnover. It just seems to happen randomly. I doubt it’s a glitch so it’s just something that I’m not doing right. Then you’ve also got players running out of bounds sometimes. That happened to me at least 3 times and it never occurred in the other games. I guess parts of the gameplay are a little unrefined, but all in all it still feels natural.
The biggest change which helped me win here was that my defense was finally going good. A good chunk of this is due to the fact that the A.I. seemed to be really good. Players would stick their hands up and stop balls from getting past them. I think my team got well over 10 turnovers in the game. I also got my share of steals (and fouls) which definitely helped out a lot. I’d then transition into my fast break offense and from there the sky was the limits. Nobody was going to stop me from making the basket and I don’t think any of them wanted to. Whenever they would jump in front I would still make the basket only now they had a foul so I was able to go for the third point. All in all, it was a pretty good deal.
There are the usual assortment of modes here so even if you get bored you can quickly try to spice up the gameplay. You can go through the franchise option or make your own player. Naturally there is also the option to just practice for a while or turn up the difficulty. After the win I did get a bit greedy so I tried another match only this time I intentionally chose a team with a very low rating to see how different it would be. I was losing this match by a few points so it was definitely different. It felt more like the other 2K games as I wasn’t getting any backup and the other team was stopping me more. I think the overall score seems to have a pretty big impact across the board with the various players. I didn’t actually get to finish the second game as I exited in the 4th quarter, but I wasn’t going to make it back at that point. Of course you also have the local multiplayer option at your disposal which is sure to add even more replay value to the mix.
The graphics are definitely as sharp as ever. They may not be as flashy as some of the newer games, but they do get the job done. You’ll be able to easily see the field and understand the situation at all times. Surprisingly the main menu didn’t really have a flashy theme this time, but I assume that the usual assortment of musical themes can be found somewhere in the game. At least the loading screens are also faster than the other 2K games I played so if you don’t like the presentation then you can skip to the game. Otherwise I do think the presentation was handled really well so you’ll probably enjoy it for the first few times at least.
Overall, NBA 2K10 holds up as well as the others. If anything it is currently my favorite NBA 2K game although I admit that it had the advantage of letting me win this time. It does feel pretty good to be holding the W instead of the L this time. On the other hand, the fundamentals are all on point as they are in the newer ones so it is basically like you’re playing the same game. If you liked the newer ones then I don’t really see any reason why you wouldn’t like this one. At the end of the day it’s all Basketball and the gameplay can only change so much. Considering that this game is only about a dollar I would definitely recommend snagging it.
The NBA2K series continues! I’ve actually been pretty fortunate so far as the games have been working. While I’d say that 9/10 of the games I buy tend to work there are always some that do not and the chance of this happening increases when it’s a sport game. 2K12 is the first casualty as it does freeze quite a bit. Fortunately I was still able to get a game in and so this couldn’t deter me from getting in this next experience.
As always I jumped into the quick play option and I have to admit that I felt pretty goo about my chances. This was my 3rd to 4th 2K in a row so by now I was a bit more used to the controls and knowing how to go in and claim the win. The game didn’t start out quite as I had planned though. The computer jumped to a quick 14-4 lead so I knew that I had to do something and fast. I started playing tighter defense and actually got some good blocks and steals which was pretty cool. On the offensive side of the ball I went for more 3s and they were connecting enough. It was fun seeing the score gap shrink as each quarter ended. By the third I had gotten it down to 2 points, but unfortunately after that they widened it back up to 6 and that was basically game over. Still, it was a nice back and forth game.
Even though the normal NBA games are my favorite Basketball titles I do see more of the appeal on why people like 2K so much. I am starting to get into the controls and it does feel pretty realistic. I saw my first two NBA games last week (Had to watch the end of the Finals) and 2K does mirror what a real game is like pretty well. I think once you start playing it more like a simulation and less like an arcade title then you will just have more success. For example, I played defense a little less aggressively and let my opponents try to get their shots in. It’s better than constantly fouling them and then letting them make the free throws. I still did go for steals of course and did actually force some turnovers. It’s part of how I started my comeback. On defense by the end of the game I felt like I was actually getting some work done. It still does depend on how many shots the opponent was missing, but I was scooping up those rebounds. That in itself is an improvement from the last game.
As for my offense, I’d say that it is still a work in progress. I can hit a decent amount of 3 point shots and I think my timing there is better. Likewise, my free throws are on point, I don’t miss those anymore. The problem is when I get into the paint and want to score what should be an easy 2 point shot. They just aren’t that easy here. If someone’s in your face then odds are that you’re gonna miss the shot. I still don’t really know how to consistently score the point anyway. It seems to me like no matter what I do the player ends up making the ball hit the rim and missing anyway. There’s gotta be a way around that, but I’m running out of 2K games to try it with.
As always the graphics are definitely on point here. The team uniforms look good and the character models are nice. The 2K games never really seem to age and I think that does speak to the quality of the game overall. I definitely don’t think it is easy to do this by any means. It’s always clear what is happening on the court and a lot of effort went into the presentation. There’s a pretty expansive soundtrack here although you probably won’t really notice it while you’re playing. That makes sense though and really mirrors the actual court experience.
There is also the usual amount of replay value and extra content that you would expect. You can start a new franchise or pick a player and go through all of the games as one person. You can play a lot of multiplayer battles or just hone your skills in general through practice. No matter what option you choose you will definitely have quite a lot to do here. As the going price for the game is only a dollar, it’s really not a bad investment. Another reason to get this game would be to see if you actually like the 2K series a lot. It’s way better to try one out for a dollar and know for sure compared to spending 60 on the new one and then discovering that you don’t like it right?
Overall, there isn’t a whole lot to say about 2K that I haven’t already. It’s a very fun Basketball series that has stayed very consistent over the years. If you like 1 2K then you’ll probably like them all. As long as you enjoy the sport of Basketball then I think you’ll definitely like this game quite a lot. You just can’t go wrong here. 2K12 still seems pretty recent though so we’ll see if this is still the case when I get to the even older ones. Usually those do tend to be good though. After all, NBA Live 03 is still my absolute favorite Basketball game and that one is extremely old by this point.
It’s time to look at another basketball game. This one takes us to the college level of the sport rather than the NBA. Maybe this was intentional although I’m not sure, but the pace of the game is a lot slower. The players don’t move as quickly and you won’t be nailing the 3 point shots with ease. I’m guessing a whole lot of this is just placebo, but it’s definitely something that I felt like I noticed. I didn’t like it as much as the NBA games, but it’s still Basketball so you really can’t go wrong here.
There are the usual assortment of modes here, but you’ll probably want to get right into the matches. A new gimmick here is that before the game starts you can play a minigame where you try to score as many points as possible on your own and see if you can pass the total that the other team got. I was able to win the first minigame but then when trying to top the score from the final difficulty I couldn’t even get all that close. You need a lot of crazy skills to really go that far. It’s a fun little thing to make the game more unique.
Then we’ve got the actual basketball gameplay which is basically what you would expect from the others. You run up and down the field and try to make as many baskets as possible. Whoever scores the most wins. Passing and shooting is pretty basic and there are no meters so you just have to try and get the timing done. I really do prefer it that way so no meter is definitely fine by me. As I mentioned the speed is a bit slower so you’re going to want to do more passing here. Just running up the middle is definitely not going to cut it here. They’ll steal the ball like it’s nobody’s business.
Defense definitely feels extremely important here. I had a hard time stealing the ball, but the other team was definitely really good at it. There’s also a new technique you can do where you just lunge for the opponent’s ball. 9/10 times this will just result in a foul, but otherwise it is a guaranteed steal. Seems way too risky to be reliable, but maybe there’s actually a way to do it safely. If so, then that’s definitely a game changing move and you’re gonna want to have that one when you face off against real opponents.
This is usually where I’d throw in a tip but I basically got steamrolled when I fought the computer on the hardest difficulty. I won on the weaker one no prob, but on this mode I just couldn’t stop them and they would stop me about half the time. As a result the gap in the score just kept on growing. I guess your best bet is to try and anticipate who the computer is going to pass it to and make the steal that way. Otherwise they definitely aren’t going to miss many shots and even when they do their guy is always ready on the rebound. Stealing is always a tempting option of course, but foul them too many times and you’re going to see their free throws going up. Just as you won’t miss those (because they’re easy) the computer won’t either. Winning in a full on shootout like that is probably not going to work.
The graphics here are definitely pretty good. I’d say that they hold up pretty well personally. You won’t be distracted during the game or anything like that. If anything it’ll just hone your focus even more and make you ready for the sport. The songs aren’t memorable or catchy though so there’s not much to say on the soundtrack. This is par for the course with basketball games in general though. You’re not exactly buying a game like this to listen to the soundtrack.
As far as replay value goes there is a lot to do here. You can play basketball games for hours and starting a franchise is definitely not something that will end over night. That being said, as long as NBA exists there isn’t a whole lot of reason to play this one. I suppose if you’re just really into College Basketball in particular then it makes sense to get this one. Otherwise I just don’t imagine there will be a large audience for these games over the NBA ones. While it’s a minor point, I also like the NBA’s faster pace for the gameplay.
Overall, This was a fun game. It’s not exactly a game changer, but it’s always fun to have another sport title. I don’t really see this series around anymore so I get the feeling that it probably ended. I definitely have at least one more college basketball game coming up though so we’ll see how it stacks up to this one. It may feel like the sport games never end, but I only have around 30 left. Once Basketball ends it’ll probably slow down quite a bit though as I just don’t enjoy the other sports quite as well. All in all, I recommend this game, but you’re better off just sticking to NBA for the definitive basketball experience. That or 2K, that one is also supposed to be really good although I’ll find out for myself soon.