King of the Hardcourt? – NBA 2K13 Review ( XBOX 360 )

Early in the week I posted preview of NBA 2k12. I talked about what happened the first time that I booted up the game and what my initial thoughts of the game were. Now that i have had two weeks to play this game, the question I ask Is NBA 2K13 still King of the Hardcourt?

I’ll start off with the menus. As I’ve previously said, the menu’s are slick and are very simple to use. The only gripe that I have with the menus is that some of them could of been bundled together instead of making different menus. The sub menu’s do appear clustered compared to the main menu but as soon as you’ve had enough playing time, you will be able to get over this small inconvenience.

The graphics and the mechanics of NBA 2K13 can not be faulted. Comparing to previous games, the animations and gameplay don’t appear clunky and the players move with fluidity. Rondo’s cut to the basket or Kobe Bryant’s three point animations look as real life as you could hope for and it really immerses you in the game. 2K have not only modified the way the players move, it has improved it vastly and should now be built on in future games rather than changing it.

The main new feature that has been added to NBA 2K13 is Virtual Currency, and is the new driving force in how you play the game When playing in any game mode, your play is monitored by the game and depending on how well you play ( shot accuracy, turnovers ) . The amount of virtual currency you receive varies on your performance in-game. After earning so much virtual currency, you are able to spend it in different areas in the game such as attire ( which now gives your player added attributes such as +3 dunk, depending on what attire is being worn), jump shots, celebrations, pre game rituals and to boost your attributes. Virtual Currency changes the way you play the game because you have to watch how you play and change up your game if it’s not going so well to get the maximum amount of virtual currency you can possibly get.

Accompanying the menus, Jay Z has selected a very unique sound track for the game and it doesn’t disappoint. Of course they are tracks from Jay Z such as ” Run This Town ” and some from his close friend, Kanye. The majority of the soundtrack consists of hip hop / rap tracks but does have a tiny of variety in that selection. U2 also make an appearance in the soundtrack with “Elevation”. Overall, the soundtrack is a great selection of tracks but could of had a bit more genre variety.

myCAREER has now replaced myPLAYER mode and is a welcome change. You still have to go through the creation of your character, Rookie Showcase, NBA Draft and so on but now you’re character is created and can be edited for the main menu. This means you will only be able to change it from the main menu and changes that have been made, will affect your player throughout the game modes.

A new feature that has been added to NBA 2K13 is the social intergration feature. First seen in this years release of Madden, the social intergration features means that a social network ( Tweet Tweet  ) notifies you after a game or an important event with views of famous players, reporters or just normal fans. If your previous games you only manage one rebound, you will hear about it in the social intergration feature and if you continue such a display in an aspect of your game, the fan’s won’t give up heckling you. You can also take  part in activities or events that will make you gain more fans but cost’s you the virtual currency that you have earned. A very nice new feature that motivates you to get better and think more when playing.

Another new feature that was added to the new myCAREER mode is “Sit down with GM” This allows you to have a sit down with the general manager of the team you are playing for and you are able to voice your opinions and thoughts. If you feel that has a starting spot and you deserve it, you can tell the GM and he may or may not take action. If you want think the coach is doing a terrible job, tell the GM and if you mean a lot to the club, action may be taken ( In what I call: “The Kobe Talk” ). This is a brilliant new feature to the game and add’s new actions but also hides the ones from previous games ( Asking for a trade ).

When I played 2K12 for the PC, the rosters were barely updated and you were always playing with an out of date roster or attires that didn’t look like they should. Fortunately, NBA 2K13 updates your rosters as soon as you load up the game so you can play with the most recent players, attires, arena’s, which add’s another layer of depth to an already stacked game. The welcome addition of both the 1992 USA and 2012 Basketball is brilliant and can finally allow you to play and decide which “Dream Team” is the greatest.

Other game modes include the regular bunch; Season Mode, Association and a return of Blacktop Mode with upcoming DLC which I shall review when released.

The only gripes that I really have with the gameplay is the ill advised shots that some of the CPU players take. Bynum was in the paint with three defenders,with a player wide open for a three and decided to take the shot himself. Plays like this can really aggravate you when playing the game. Another glitch I came across was when I was playing my tenth game, and the pre game video showed me talking as if it was my first game and announcers followed that by saying it was. A small glitch but one that does affect the realism of the game.

Overall, NBA 2K13 is the greatest NBA game to be released to date. With updated rosters, fluid animation, a large amount of game modes and some new and welcome features, the game will be the new benchmark for basketball games for a long time.

9.5 / 10

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