http://cdn.tss.uproxx.com/TSS/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/nba-2k13-my-career-6.jpg
AdamPFarnsworth gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
AdamPFarnsworth gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
I bought NBA 2K14 during a Steam sale, just on a whim, not sure how it was going to play on a PC. But I’m happy to say that I love this game!

There are a few different modes. There’s the normal mode where you just play a game. This is a lot of fun just on it’s own. The animation looks great (although I wish I had a PS4 to *really* get the full experience) and the AI seems to be actually intelligent. There’s also a mode where you’re in charge of a team, but I’ve not played that much yet.

The mode I LOVE is very much an RPG-type experience, called My Career. You start by creating your character; I made mine to look just like me (extremely handsome, of course), and then chose a position to play. (I’ll try to not delve into too much actual basketball talk here as either you’re a fan and already know what the positions are, or you don’t care that much about basketball and will just be bored with the details) You customize your player’s height and weight and decide your play style (good at defense/offense or balanced, and your preferred method of scoring). You can even pick between dozens of animations for your shooting style (for dozens of shots, i.e. free throw, fade away, post up, etc). Honestly there’s so little difference in the shooting style that I’d recommend just going with the stock animations.

After customizing your player, you play in a rookie showcase game where you’re playing with other potential rookies. As you play, you have a rating at the top of the screen. Good plays/decisions increase your rating and bad plays/decisions decrease your rating.

Since you’re actually playing in a basketball game at this point, I’ll talk more about that now.

I really enjoy how NBA 2K14 plays in your career mode. First, you only control your player. All of the other players are controlled by AI. They all have their own tendencies. Some pass the ball more, some hog it more, some play more defense, etc. When you’re not playing, you can press a button to simulate the game and fast forward to you being subbed back in. The game tells you who your defensive assignment is and gives you a quick rundown on their strengths and weaknesses (I don’t really bother to read that though). As you’re playing, there’s an arrow underneath your player, showing you your spatial relationship to who you’re supposed to be guarding, and there’s a slight, almost magnetic, pull towards him, to help you stay on your man.

I could go into a lot more detail about the game play, but what I really love comes after the rookie showcase is over.

After the game, you are interviewed by 3 teams that are interested in you. You meet with the team General Manager who asks you 2-3 questions, and you have a multiple choice decision on how to answer. Your choices range from humble to egotistical and in between. How you answer affects if that team becomes more or less interested in drafting you.

After the interviews, you watch the NBA draft. Eventually you get picked in the first round. So far the earliest I’ve been drafted is 14th, by the Utah Jazz.

Then the season starts. As you play, you can run drills (or not if you don’t want to), where you earn SP. SP is pretty much the equivalent of XP in RPG games. You can spend your SP to increase your various stats (so many options here, from different specialized shots, to increased specialized defensive skills, to physical attributes (speed, quickness, vertical jump, etc), to emotional skills. You can also use your SP to suck up to your teammates (i.e. paying for a team dinner) or impressing the public (i.e. helping out at a school).

As the season progresses, and your play and stats improve, you earn more playing time, which then gets you more national exposure. One of the measurements of success in this game is how many fans you have. You have a (fictional) twitter account, and fans/sports writers/other players will follow you as you gain a reputation.

There are also marketing campaigns that feature you. To start, your team puts up a billboard in town promoting you. As you increase your fan base in the game, and you become a better player, your team markets you more, and companies want you to endorse them. I’ve signed a shoe deal with Nike. (And the game is linked with NikeID, so some of the shoes you can customize in game, and then order them in real life, which I think is a rad feature. I do have a pair of NikeID shoes ((Christmas gift)), and it’s so cool having my name on them). I’ve also been on the covers of magazines like Sports Illustrated.

After every game, you interact with the media, where they ask you a question, and again, you have the option in how you want to respond. After you respond, you’ll see 3 ratings. 1) How your teammates respond 2) How national fans respond and 3) How local fans respond.

Throughout the season you also can sit down and talk with your General Manager in his office, with a range of preset subjects from “I like/don’t like how coach is doing” to “I want to discuss a contract extension” to “I want to be traded.” Sometimes for fun I’ll demand to be traded, then right as I land on a new team, I’ll demand again lol

There’s probably a ton more I could ramble on about, but this post is long enough. I’m having a great time with it, and recommend you check it out in one of the Steam sales!

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 02/04/2014 at 12:04am

I'm really not much of a sports guy, and the last (and I think only) Basketball game I've ever played was NBA Jam on the SNES, but this actually sounds really cool. I really like the idea of playing as one person on the team and working your way up from a rookie. Then again I'm a sucker for good progression systems.

Actually the way you describe the game sounds exactly like what my dream Wrestling game would be like. I've played a couple WWE games over the years and liked them, but I always felt like the single player campaigns were really lacking, especially if you wanted to go in as a custom wrestler.

jaelte wrote on 02/04/2014 at 04:48am

Huh. That actually sounds rather interesting. I may consider picking it up if I find it cheap.

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