October 2, 2019 at 1:18 AM #1366
Rating: 4.0 – Great
Another great installation to the franchise, with some minor flaws to be fixed.
The NBA 2k series has had the luxury of being the only real NBA game out for the past few years. 2k11 is what really cemented it as the best NBA experience on any system. So much so that NBA Live was put on hold. It has become apparent that without competition it has yet to truly improve and reach its full potential.
What 2k14 lacks in true innovation it makes up for with polished (mostly) gameplay. One could argue there is only so much creative content a sports game can hold and that may be true, however, the core modes have gotten a bit stale. With 2k14 on the Xbox One and PS4 is an entirely new product compared to what you get on the previous gen consoles. With a revamped MyPlayer mode and a new MyGM mode there are some new elements to the game. These new modes do have plenty of flaws.
In MyPlayer you make your own unique character and take on the path of an up and coming rookie who gets a big break and has the chance to play with some hot college prospects. There are a few problems right of the start, one of which is the inability to change your own voice. Regardless of what your created player looks like they will all sound the same. Once you get drafted your player will be mentored by one of the veteran players, also depending on your position the starter above you will have some tasks for you. The Timberwolves drafted me so Kevin Martin asked me to carry his luggage and wear a clown nose everywhere; I said yes which boosted team mate chemistry. The player who was mentoring was Kevin Love. It is a bit awkward as these characters are supposed to be important to the story yet they do not have voice overs, its all subtitles. As you play a few games the real problems of the new MyPlayer experience come to light. There are scripted moments in the game that affect your actual play. These are things that everyone will go through at roughly the same time regardless of what team you play for. An example is a situation where your player will miss perfectly timed free throws just so that your mentor can have you practice them. You will often find your team down big late in the game only so your coach can tell you to go win it for your team to show him you’re a valued player. These scripted moments would not be problems if they only occurred if your play allowed them to. The issue arises when the scripted elements dictate your ability to win a game and not the other way around. Combine that with being forced to play every game of your first season and it becomes a bit of a chore. Once the second season starts you can choose to play only key games. Although the new MyPlayer System has a fresh coat of paint on it there are still plenty of aspects that need polishing.
The other new mode is MyGM, this allows you to become the general manager for a team of your choice, and each team has a unique owner with certain priorities. The owner of the Lakers will spend whatever it takes to win whereas the owner of the Bucks is tighter with his wallet. When you first start you get to pick what your GM specialty is, it could be coaching, business, scouting, or a few other choices. You can still upgrade the other areas but you first pick gets a bit of a head start. To upgrade it takes the games Virtual Currency, this is gained by playing any of the different modes. My main issue with the MyGM is that it forces you to play the games to be able to upgrade anything. A GM mode should focus more on team building and finance and less on playing all the games. The next gen 2k14 lost its true association mode and tried to tie it all in to one new mode. I disagree with the decision 2k made to have their in game currency be required to purchase upgrades in MyGM. Something like upgrading the weight room costs around 2,500 VC. For a true GM experience you should have to budget for an expense like that out of your projected yearly revenue, not points from playing games. I believe this has to do with 2k trying to encourage people to purchase packs of VC.
The actual gameplay plays as well as it looks, fantastic. With new animations and lighting effects it truly is a wonderful experience. The new dunk animations really make you feel like you are one of the best in the league. There are the occasional glitched jersey moments and getting a technical for bad language when you aren’t even talking. However the Kinect options can be turned off in game to rid yourself of that problem. Every once in a while the AI will stop running as you pass and the ball will sail out of bounds. So like any game, there are some kinks that need to be worked out. However it feels much better than 2k13 and it is leaps and bound above its “competition”.
2k14 stands alone as one of the best sports games in recent memory. If the problems with the newer game modes can be fixed then I see only great things coming from the 2k series; maybe enough so to get the NBA Live series to get scrapped for good. Lets not forget that competition is good for us, the consumers, because it gives these developers a reason to really give us the best product they can.
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