by Victor ‘r0gue’ Vieira
2K Sports deliver some of the best ‘feeling’ sport games available, and NBA2k10 follows in this strong pedigree with their latest NBA game. It will obviously be compared to NBA Live 10 from EA, and where I have not tried the latest EA offering, I have played many before. Why I always opt for the 2K series is that they are just that bit more technical and therefore deliver a more fluid gameplay for me. It does not surprise me that the 2K is the number one selling basketball game.
2k10 uses the same platform as the title before and at first-look, it does not seem too different apart from the stunning new presentation. This will not matter to fans, as we will always want the latest title to have the latest rosters and of course to be able to play online. The NBA has an astonishing change in rosters every year and teams change in strengths dramatically every season and this season is no different. I was stunned to see that ‘Shaq’ has moved yet again to the ‘Cleveland Cavaliers.’ So with the presentation changes, some tweaks in the gameplay making feel even smoother than before and the latest rosters, this is definitely the needed game by basketball fans.
Gameplay and Features
The presentation is better than ever with this one, although there are so many sub-menus that it definitely took me a few hours to get used to, but a big improvement for sure. Graphics have been improved even if not by the biggest margin. The player’s movements, their actions, stances etc. is stunning and it would be easy for someone to walk in the room and mistake it for you watching a game. The only flaw is the close-ups, where the players still look lifeless even though they resemble their real-life counterpart. The sound just adds to the atmosphere and is amongst the best I have seen in a game. The commentary is the usual Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg, who continue to deliver some of the best dialogue around. With them highlighting individual player stories, criticizing mistakes and bestowing accolades on key performers, once again it feels like actual footage. You will notice as you go along that the comments even evolve as the season goes on, so have a good season and prepare for your ego to be blown up. Yes, they do repeat themselves, but this is still a game.
Gameplay is the 2K’s ace though, and it is no surprise that the series is the most popular basketball game because of this. Pick and rolls feel natural, three pointers require input and dunking is awesome while not over-the-top. No, you will not be doing any 720-degree dunks over the entire opposing team. Even on a normal difficulty, it pushes all the technical aspects of the sport and requires quite a bit of input or strategy. You can however put the ‘sliders’ up to make for an easier or more arcade type of gameplay. I occasionally push up all the ‘dunking’ sliders up (dunk ability, vertical, dunking in traffic) and have a good ol’ jam session for example. Sliders can be used for newcomers to the game to just make life a little easier and learn 2K’s stunning style of gameplay. You can push up/down just about every aspect associated with the game, although it does make for easy victories. With the stunning job 2k have done in making the players true to their real-life counterparts, I would rather recommend you take the time to find out the various players strong points. Players even have the same style of play they would in reality. Venturing further into the gameplay requires a bit of learning. So you will need to learn how and when to use the calling time-outs/making substitutions and executing plays, dunks and alley-oops. The ‘fatigue’ aspect of the game has been tweak, so you do not wear out your speed burst as you did in the past. Hold it down too often and your player will tire quicker. You can turn off this option or play around with the sliders; however, these people will not be able to play every minute, so you are forced to use your entire roster. I think they have nailed the ‘fatigue’ thing with this one and nowadays I use more than just my five favorite players do and two or three subs.
With 2K10, the developers kept some of trusty old and added some new features. The ‘Living Rosters’ return, with up-to-date changes on each team so you can keep up with trades and acquisitions. There are the usual online features where you can find and partake in leagues or just find a quick game. There is also a new ‘NBA Today’ mode, letting you play the games on the schedule in real time. My favorite new feature is the ‘My Player’ mode, where you create a player from scratch or port one from the Xbox Live/PlayStation Network, NBA 2K10 Draft Combine. You will participate in drills, work on your skills (speed, shooting, etc.) and enjoy an NBA career. If you do well, you may play alongside NBA superstars. If you do not achieve the tasks you are given, you will find yourself in the lower level D-league as I initially found myself in. You will need to work and persist to get to the NBA and continue to do so if you want to do well. I am loosing hours and hours to this mode and loving it. You can also form ‘crews,’ by choosing pre-existing NBA players or your own creations, team up with others and take on other crews online. I have not played too much online, a game here and there by myself and did not have too much lag to report other than a moment or two. I am sure though, that local games would be the way to go to be safe.
What I loved
- The smooth and realistic feel of the gameplay.
- Stunning gfx and sfx.
- The attention to detail with players actions and movements.
- New ‘My Player’ mode was a brilliant struggle to find the glory days.
- Clippers new roster ROCKS!
What I disliked
- Lifeless close-ups.
- AI seem to be superhuman at times…..”miss already!”
- Unforgiving to newcomers unless you play with the sliders.
NBA 2K10 is the benchmark of basketball games according to me as well as the sales records worldwide. It is just that bit smoother and technical that makes it so rewarding. There are minor glitches, but nothing that will stop you having a great basketball and gaming good time. This is not only a series that I will religiously follow, but it is one of the best sports games period. There is more than enough new features to justify the update on last years title. This is for the biggest of basketball fans like me, for those who just appreciate the show that is basketball or for those just looking for a good sport game. I would not be able to recommend this one to enough people had this been an American site, but let’s face it, we grew up with rugby, football and cricket not basketball as our main sports. So if you like the sport and sport games then don’t hesitate. If the sport does nothing for you, then you might not understand the brilliance of ‘faking a three-point shot, driving to the basket and dunking over Shaq.” For me though, this game does that best! A happy anniversary it is.
NBA 2K10 is available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
For more visit the official site.