Review by mooocooow02
"I hope you like rap music"
This game is great, all the hype about Jay-Z being an executive producer really made me interested in this game. Let me start out by saying that I don't even consider Jay-Z to be in my top 5 in rappers nor am I a fan of buying sports games, because they are largely unchanged. So allow me to set the tone and alter your perception before you read this review. This game isn't trying to reinvent the wheel, it is just a refinement of the prior game. Some people claim that 2k is like EA because it uses the shot/dribble stick, that couldn't be more false. Most games of the same genre utilize the same controls because they realize that it is easier to have fans REACT rather than think, and eventually you realize there is a more efficient way of doing things, so kudos to 2k, not for being the first to use the shot stick but to perfect it.
And also, I hope you like rap music.
You can't really expect more out of the graphics of this system and game, I feel that the limits have been pushed and nearly reached. When Microsoft released their first NBA game, they were excited to showcase lighting and jerseys flowing off of a players back, which is great, but no one really cares. So the look of this game is as real as ever, some players do not look like their real selves, but there isn't really anything here to improve upon. That is what a 10/10 means, not that it is perfect, but that you can't really add anything to increase the value. I am not trying to brag or say it is something it isn't, but I have had girls come over while I was playing and they thought that a real NBA game was going on, even before the season started. It just looked that real, and they didn't really notice until they saw me pause the game.
While there are some minor clipping issues (things like my arm goes through your body) nothing major to take away from what you see.
Again, this game is designed by Jay-Z, if you go and play any other game, you will be instantly underwhelmed after playing this game. You turn it on, and the title screen itself prepares to blow you away. Then, there are about 12 songs that play during the menu and prior to tip off. So you will get geeked up or relaxed just tweaking game settings. All the menus have now been located to the right stick, taking away a lot of the clutter and giving this game a great look even while doing nothing, without too much going on. Consider it the perfect mix of homescreens. You have all the information of Yahoo.com at your fingertips, while the nothingness of Google.com to look at. Artists such as Nas, Kanye, Big Sean will be here, you will hear some of their most popular songs along with the radio edit version. And while playing the actual game, from time to time the commentators will talk about other games going on in real time. So when you go to halftime, instead of just showing a highlight reel of you jacking up three pointers, they sometimes will cut around the NBA and have you pick who will win all of the games being played today. Or when you are inbounding the ball, talk about the best three point shooters, players with the most blocks, teams with the least amount of turnovers, which in turn makes you more engrossed in the NBA itself.
The gameplay is as solid as ever. I haven't bought a 2k game in a while, but by now you should know how they play. The game is deeper and simpler at the same time. L2 is your defensive modifier, allowing you to box out, close out, square up and steer your man, and generally play solid defense the right way. Instead of just reaching and swatting at the ball constantly, you are rewarded for playing good defense. Sometimes, being a defender like Blake Griffen, and just being in someones way, will force them to throw up an airball or lead into a blocked shot. Whereas, if you played sloppy defense and tried to jump into them with a block, you will most likely miss while they embarrass you.
It also modifies your dribble stick, into the shot stick, with the goal of feeling more realistic. There are simple tutorials to show you how to perform all the moves so I won't get into that, but what I will get into is that each shot makes sense, and you never have to think, you just REACT. If you are in the post and someone is playing tight defense, you can simply tap the shot stick a few times to fake, or pull it away from the defender for a quick hook shot. If you are running down the lane, you can hop step around someone, or do a fadeaway, simply by how you utilize your shot stick, so feel free to try and get your shot off cleanly, instead of just settling for what the defense gives you.
And again on defense they make it easier to move your feet and stay in front of the ball handler, but what really gets this game distinction with honors, are signature skills. Every player is a certain type' athletic, defensive, offensive. And thus, you will find that you have limits when it comes to being the best. Signature skills allow you to take your skill set, and maximize it's usefulness while realizing your weaknesses, thus you can never become an "ultimate" player, with 99's in every category, but you can be the best at what you do.
If you are a defensive player type, your passing attribute ends at around 75, what does that mean? It means you can't become a Steve Nash and make dime passes that give your teammate an easier chance of scoring and throwing the defense off of you. Because to get the signature skill for being a Dimer, you would need around a 95 in your passer rating. But, you can become a Lockdown Defender, which literally locks the Signature Skills from other players away. Or you could become a Chase Down Artist, allowing yourself higher chances of blocking someone from behind on a fast break. There are about 30 skills, from being Dwayne Wade type finisher, Kobe type Court General, or Ray Allen Corner Specialist. You can only equip 5 at a time, so make good use of the ones you have!
Yes, the best part of a sports game, is that you can have a handful of friends playing together on one TV with one system to save money and have a lot of fun. But sometimes, you just want to play by yourself, and 2K doesn't let you down here. You have a single player setting in which you start out getting drafted (remember to put your age as low as possible) and your goal is to become well, a legend. Over time, your role will increase in your team and you will be asked for more or punished more. This is my second season, I already start and I am asked to do things in game such as score 10 in a row or prevent Kevin Durant from making his next shot. My Career mode really makes each and every game feel like yours, and it is all about getting Virtual Currency to spend on your player. Now I don't care to use these points of in game clothes, but instead, on skills for my player, because you will need them. I think there is even an app you can get for your phone, allowing you to gather more points while you do who knows what! There are drills you can do, but they aren't really to make your player better, they are so you understand how to play the game, where you should be on a fast break, what places your character shoots best from, or how to time your dribble moves.
Eventually, when you become good enough you will realize how big you are to your team, and also, it will blur the lines between being a game and becoming personal. You may not like a certain NBA player anymore because he won't pass you the ball, or because he knocked you out of the playoffs! Over time, players will become shells of their former selves, get injured, and retire. You will get endorsements and be put on billboards and magazines, fans will tweet about you after the game and you may want to play better in spite of them or for them! Sometimes your teammates won't pass the ball to you, forcing you to go talk to the GM and trying to get them traded. Or your team could do well and your GM could ask, whom do you want to have traded here to play with?
When you play, remember to listen to the announcers as they will drop various hints for in game, if they say your three point shot hasn't been falling, its almost a clue to stop shooting threes for that half. Similar to how Charles Barkley is on point in his half time coverage of live NBA games. Don't worry though, at first your player will barely be fast enough to get back on defense, so all you can do is set screens and box out, eventually, the ball will be in your hands and it will be up to you how you want to run the game. Don't forget, that your size dictates your position, If you are short and list yourself as a center, your team will put you where they need you, which is a guard. So if you want to be a center, create a big player!
I have only played this game with one other person, so I can't truly comment on how it is with many players but it is fun none the less even going up against one of your buddies. Remember that the average game is decided by only a few possessions so turnovers are crucial to winning. Dunks are worth more than 2 points, what does that mean? Are there hot spots on the court, of course not. But doing things like getting a highlight reel dunk, will pump up your team and increase their stamina for a time being. If you make an emphatic block on a player, his skills will decrease for a while as well as pump up your team. This game is one that is played with emotion son, so whatever you do, do it well.
Overall it is a great basketball game, that gets you pumped to play basketball. Going back and playing any other sports game, will feel boring, so enjoy you some 2K!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/03/12
Game Release: NBA 2K13 (US, 10/02/12)
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