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OS Roundtable: Where does NBA 2K13 Stand?

NBA 2K13 has received some complaints in some areas, but generally it's clear the game is still quite good. If you are an online player, the server issues are probably driving you batty but if you play offline you might be enjoying one of the better playing games on the hardwood ever.

So simply put, to you at this point: where does NBA 2K13 stand?


The Dream Team vs. Dream Team matchup isn't the only thing 2K13 has going for it.

 

Matthew Coe: For me, NBA 2K13 stands alone right now. It's at the pinnacle of the sports gaming mountain looking down upon all of it's fallen competition. If you're a basketball fan it doesn't get any better than this year's iteration. NBA 2K13's gameplay is an even bigger upgrade on the floor than I expected, and it's subtle tweaks and fixes that have made all the difference.

I honestly haven't had this much fun with a sports game out of the box in this entire console generation. Sure I've made a couple of slider tweaks to fit my play style, but I've mostly just set it to simulation and played. I know there is room for improvement in the plays and playcalling among other areas, and some bugs are still in need of a patch, but this game truly feels like a game that's worth $60 unlike two recent sports games; NCAA Football 13 and Madden 13. I may come off sounding like a raving "fan boy", but NBA 2K13 just nails it.

Bishop Tart: As a person who enjoys playing offline Association more than online, NBA 2K13 stands as one of the best sports games this generation -- which is something we seem to say every year with this franchise. I do wish offline association got more time and love, but I'm still enjoying every game I play.

Although it's something some people seem to be complaining about, I really like the new controls featured. Yes, some of them will take some practice before you get the handle of them, but they really increase the fun factor by 10. The new animations are also outstanding and they make NBA 2K13 much more fluid. The improvements they made to certain modes might not be for everybody, but Visual Concepts made some significant gameplay and design changes. Simply put, those changes are phenomenal.

When it comes down to it, the NBA 2K series is always in the discussion for sports game of the year (even though I wasn't a fan of NBA 2K12 last year). Despite the fact that it may be a bit early, I'm just going to go ahead and say it -- NBA 2K13 is the best sports game to release in 2012.


A lot of the changes in this years edition make the game feel more 'right'.

Steve McPherson: At this point into its life, the NBA 2K series and every new iteration of it are a little like the blind men and the elephant. When it started, there was just the game of basketball as played in the NBA and your only options were basically exhibition or season. Then they added franchises. Then 24/7 mode. Then online. Then My Player. And now MyCAREER, weird capitalization and all. In essence, this means you can immerse yourself in one corner of the game now and never touch areas that don't appeal to you.

I myself have only begun to explore NBA2K13, but what I can definitively say is that judging by the most basic yardstick for any sports game—how it renders the sport on the field of play—it's much better than NBA2K12. For lack of something more precise, things just feel more ... possible than last year. The first Rubio bounce pass I threw to Love for an open baseline shot; the first time I drove past a defender with Derrick Rose; the first self-alley-oop from Gerald Green off the glass: these things made me jump out of my seat a little bit, and that's at least half of what I play the game for in the first place. I could go through and list the little things: the more realistic way balls get poked loose, the way the Signature Skills make the game quirkier and more realistic, the way the ballhandling feels more true-to-life. But the main thing is that the aggregate has a sort of "feel" that was lacking in the at least the last two versions of the game, in my opinion.

Of course, there are problems. Rebounding is sneakily weird, as when Kirk Heinrich managed to outduel Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic directly under the board. And some of the choices in MyCAREER are hardly transparent. Separating the MyPLAYER stuff out meant that I played a half-dozen games before realizing I could change the height of my socks. (For the record, I just dislike medium height socks.) Additionally, one of the things that has kept me coming back again and again to every NBA2K since they introduced My Player was making new My Players and trying out different positions and styles of play, so this anchoring of the game type to just one MyPLAYER may end up limiting the replay value of the mode down the line.

But looking at NBA2K13 as a part of the entire NBA2K series means trying to figure out how it fits into that lineage. For a couple years, between 2002 and 2006 or so, the series hit a kind of sweet spot where the basketball just felt right. Not arcade-y, but not arcane. I feel reasonably assured in saying that if you went back now, though, and played any of those games you'd find them noticeably lacking. And yet in the past couple years, perhaps without the competition from NBA Live, things have gotten complicated. IsoMotion was dialed back, almost to the point of uselessness. Passing got harder, but so much so that basic pick and roll gameplay felt like a chore, not a joy. It may have been more realistic, but it was also too complicated. It's too early to make a definitive statement on NBA2K13, but there are signs in the new Control Stick and in things like Signature Skills that realism may once again be dovetailing with fun the way it felt a half decade ago.


Fear the beard? NBA 2K13 says yes, moreso like real life than ever.

Keni Glover: NBA 2K13 is not without its flaws, but all in all is the best basketball game ever created. I would go as far as to say that the NBA 2K series in general is inching closer and closer to perhaps being the best sports franchise on the market.

The gameplay and controls of the game really shine this year. Perhaps my favorite implementation the dynamic shot creator, allows for what seems to be limitless scenarios/animations when attacking the basket. This introduces an organic element never before truly present in a basketball game. The control stick is a long overdo addition which along with improved on the ball defense creates a true-to-life cat and mouse dynamic between the offensive and defensive player. What really amazed me this year though is the unique feel that virtually every player in this game possesses. This can be partially attributed to my other favorite addition to 2K13, Signature Skills. Never before in a 2K basketball game have guys like Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant truly felt like themselves on the court as they do in this rendition in my opinion. Basketball is a sport in which each individual player is a brand and a style, and NBA 2K13 captured this well.

Though spectacular in many ways, NBA 2K13 does have some flaws. As a heavy offline gamer there are a few issues with the AI in this years rendition. I applauded NBA 2K12 for having one of the best AI's in any sports game but the AI in NBA 2K13 seems to play in a less than simulation fashion even when on my preferred setting, Superstar/Sim. The computer fast-breaks nearly every play even when defenders are in the vicinity, and rarely calls plays. The real culprit however seems to be your still flawed AI teammates, who arbitrarily leave assignments or sit around and watch as the game is happening around them. This is a frustrating problem which artificially creates opportunities for the computer and makes gameplay balance very difficult, even with slider adjustments. Generally, defensive reactions are just a bit slow, and most players feel Kobe-like with their ability to drain shot after shot irrespective of defensive challenge. Offensive rebounding, which was my major complaint in 2K12, is still severely skewed in favor of the CPU. As a guy who plays 12 minutes, these issues make it difficult to achieve realistic results at the end of games. These issues along with many graphical inaccuracies, outdated courts, limitations with accessories and some questionable player appearances sap some of the excitement out of the game.

Nevertheless, it seems that annually we don't get the full or final NBA 2K experience until at least the first gameplay patch is released, and these issues seem very fixable. What 2K does have with NBA 2K13 is a rock solid foundation from which to build upon for future iterations. It is scary to think what the 2K team can achieve with NBA 2K14, if they build upon what 2K13 started.

 

What about you OS? Where do you feel 2K13 fits in this season? Is it the greatest of all time?


NBA 2K13 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 JasonMartin @ 10/15/12 05:33 PM
Wait what, can we even play """"offline"""". We have to be connected to the servers at all time to even enjoy this game.
 
# 2 kjjnesb @ 10/15/12 05:47 PM
Some of the design decisions specifically the always online and the "VC/Jay Z domination" really keep it from being the best ever in my eyes imo.

The game being centered so much around myplayer when modes like Legends and Offline Association took a back seat leaves a bad taste in my mouth but overall its a great game.
 
# 3 kjjnesb @ 10/15/12 05:49 PM
Oh god and the terribleness surrounding roster updates. Hopefully with 2k14 they revamp the ratings scale and get us more timely updates.
 
# 4 bumpyface @ 10/15/12 05:50 PM
I pretty much have given up playing this game online. While the game is good, certain things just destroy the fun factor. The lack of fluidity on defense,and the rediculous offensive rebounding are just a couple things that make this game extremely frustrating. I want to give 2k credit for trying to stay consistent but I would like to see some patching of the some of these gameplay issues. I wouldn't even complain if I knew that technology wouldn't allow gameplay improvement but we have seen better gameplay before. I give 2k13 8/10.
 
# 5 eaterofworlds888 @ 10/15/12 06:07 PM
The gameplay is top notch. A lot are complaining about certain aspects of the gameplay but I think the defense and shooting in particular are better than ever and the controls are also better than ever. I really hope they keep shooting and defense where they are. I really would like them to add the missing players as quickly as possible as I still haven't started an association yet. My Player is top notch, the only complaint I have so far are me being forced to play Power Forward at times when I'm a 3pt specialist Point Guard, as well as the freezing issues. I"m on PS3 and really haven't expierienced any freezing issues yet but I still hope they get it worked out soon before I run into any.

Pros:
Top Notch gamplay and controls are better than ever
Menus are a lot more crisp this year.
Commentary is better than ever
My Career is significantly better this year.

Cons
Missing Players
Slight step backwards in presentation (very slight)
Freezing issues
small bugs that are annoying (such as being forced to play a different position than what you are)
 
# 6 VDusen04 @ 10/15/12 06:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjjnesb
Some of the design decisions specifically the always online and the "VC/Jay Z domination" really keep it from being the best ever in my eyes imo.

The game being centered so much around myplayer when modes like Legends and Offline Association took a back seat leaves a bad taste in my mouth but overall its a great game.
I think we're just about on the same wavelength. And to be completely certain, by no means do I believe my squabbles with VC/Jay-Z and constantly having to be online ruin the game by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, I think they provided just enough annoyance to prevent me from attaining that feeling of, "Ah yes, video game perfection!"

It'll sound so nitpicky and minor, but if manual save still existed, if the presentation remained cleaner, if my MyPlayer wasn't being paid in bushels of coins (that necessitate 10 times my rookie salary to buy a shirt), if shoes weren't so difficult to edit for home and away colors, and if I didn't have to be connected online at all times in order to fully experience offline modes, I'd probably call this game close to perfect. I suppose the good news is I don't have a ton of gameplay issues.

Overall, I've had issues with non gameplay aspects of 2K in the past, but I'm not sure they directly impacted me as much as they do this year (aside from not being able to trade legends until buying DLC last year, that was pretty rough for me).
 
# 7 magic247 @ 10/15/12 06:39 PM
I'll comment after they add defense into the game...
 
# 8 baygamer707 @ 10/15/12 06:49 PM
Please quit hating on EA, thought this was a sports gaming site all i ever read madden this madden that. People lie the numbers won't. Sound kinda salty EA did'nt send u guys a free copy like ronnie
 
# 9 youvalss @ 10/15/12 06:59 PM
"The question is, where will 2K13 stand after the patch".

- A wise man from OS.



For me, 2K13 is right there at the top. When I first played 2K3 (that was the first 2K I played...later also played 2K2), I was amazed! It was the most amazing basketball game I had ever played back then. I got the same feeling when I played 2K13 (the full product. The demo was fun, but not even close to playing the real thing) for the first time.

Sure there are issues, but every other 2K (or basketball title) had/has/will have issues. The game is amazing, either way.
 
# 10 baygamer707 @ 10/15/12 07:00 PM
Keni Glover: I applauded NBA 2K12 for having one of the best AI's in any sports game. Funny in my player i was the pg and couldn't get cpu teammate tyson chandler to pass me the ball as he sat at the top of the key. Where's kush when u need them.
 
# 11 kjjnesb @ 10/15/12 07:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by VDusen04
I think we're just about on the same wavelength. And to be completely certain, by no means do I believe my squabbles with VC/Jay-Z and constantly having to be online ruin the game by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, I think they provided just enough annoyance to prevent me from attaining that feeling of, "Ah yes, video game perfection!"

It'll sound so nitpicky and minor, but if manual save still existed, if the presentation remained cleaner, if my MyPlayer wasn't being paid in bushels of coins (that necessitate 10 times my rookie salary to buy a shirt), if shoes weren't so difficult to edit for home and away colors, and if I didn't have to be connected online at all times in order to fully experience offline modes, I'd probably call this game close to perfect. I suppose the good news is I don't have a ton of gameplay issues.

Overall, I've had issues with non gameplay aspects of 2K in the past, but I'm not sure they directly impacted me as much as they do this year (aside from not being able to trade legends until buying DLC last year, that was pretty rough for me).
Yep I think we're on the same wave length as well. And to be honest Jay Z doesn't bother me as much I thought it would its just the pregame intros featuring footage from his videos that really bug me.
 
# 12 BlackRome @ 10/15/12 07:13 PM
Way to early to tell. You have to wait until at least the all star break to judge an NBA 2k game.

This is silly.
 
# 13 kjjnesb @ 10/15/12 07:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRome
Way to early to tell. You have to wait until at least the all star break to judge an NBA 2k game.

This is silly.
Why wait all the way till then? I'm thinking most of these comments are based on the product we have now in front of us. I'd also say most likely Dec would be the best time to give them game a final look over seeing as it'd be all patched up by then.
 
# 14 SkillzKillz719 @ 10/15/12 07:20 PM
For some reason I have found myself playing a lot of MyTEAM!
 
# 15 nyj721 @ 10/15/12 07:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRome
Way to early to tell. You have to wait until at least the all star break to judge an NBA 2k game.

This is silly.
So we have to wait until February to judge a game that came out in October? Word?
 
# 16 The 24th Letter @ 10/15/12 07:25 PM
As long as a rap battle doesnt begin when I press start, I couldn't care less of Jay-Z (or anyone else for that matter) ex produced the game.
 
# 17 erickonasis @ 10/15/12 07:25 PM
Greatest 2K EVER



FOR CASUALS
 
# 18 baygamer707 @ 10/15/12 07:34 PM
http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250472/ea-founder-consoles-to-become-niche/
 
# 19 JasonMartin @ 10/15/12 07:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by youvalss
Sure there are issues, but every other 2K (or basketball title) had/has/will have issues. The game is amazing, either way.
The thing is, 2K could have avoided a lot of these issues/bugs (seriously, do they test this game?) and it would have been a homerun.
 
# 20 actuallybrown @ 10/15/12 07:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkillzKillz719
For some reason I have found myself playing a lot of MyTEAM!
Same here, but really just to see what happens, and also to earn VC for MyPlayer.
 

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