It has been one week since NBA 2K13 made its way into our lives, and the early returns are very encouraging. 2K Sports continues to push itself to the limit with this series, yet somehow, someway things keep getting better.
Change is a scary thing, especially in the video game world, but it can be a good thing. 2K has mastered the art with the NBA series and makes the transition into something worth looking forward to.
As we have had time to dissect the features for the latest iteration of the 2K Series, here is how we rate what we have played.
The Control Stick
This is the biggest adjustment that 2K made to the series. Given that it is the key to everything else in the game, if you figure this out, you are going to have success.
It does take some time to get used to the feel of the stick, as you have to learn the subtle nuances of driving to the basket or playing lock-down defense, but it will make the experience that much more immersive when you get a hold of it.
Plus, having a challenge in a video game isn't the worst thing in the world. If you are steamrolling everyone like the 1996 Chicago Bulls, how much enjoyment are you really going to get out of the game?
The defining feature of the series continues to get better and better.
First, the fact that you get the chance to determine your draft stock in the Rookie Challenge is a huge bonus. A lot of games usually just let you create and throw you into a draft, which takes a lot of the authenticity out of the process.
This is where 2K Sports earns the $60 price tag (on PS3 or XBOX 360) attached to the game. We no longer play sports video games for the fun of playing a game; we want to be part of the action, to feel like we are on the same level as LeBron James or Kobe Bryant.
My Career gives you all the experiences of the NBA without the lucrative contract, sadly. You are going to put your player in proper attire before and after games, practice with the team to increase your standing, execute plays in the game to get more playing time, etc.
If you need one reason to buy the game, My Career is the only selling point the game needs.
One new feature that caused quite a stir when it was announced was the inclusion of the 1992 Dream Team. That is hardly the only historic team on the game, as there is an entire section devoted to historic teams.
I'm not usually one for nostalgia. I don't think it's sweet if a player spends his whole career with one team, nor do I yearn for the days that used to be.
However, there is something to be said for looking at a team like the New York Knicks in the late 1960s or the Celtics in the 1980s and being able to control them.
Plus, being able to use them against other historic teams, like the Dream Team or the 72-win Bulls, gives fans something resembling bragging rights if they win.