Just like a rubber ball, you come bouncing back to me…
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was reviewing NBA2K14 on the Xbox 360 but now here we have the annual update of the leading basketball game, unsurprisingly called NBA2K15. So what has changed?
Well the fella on the cover is different and, umm, oh, the rosters are updated. But lets face it, fans of the NBA2K franchise accept these annual releases as updates and only want bug fixes, not a complete overhaul of their beloved game. What this means for newcomers is a steep learning curve and enough game options to make your head spin.
Graphically NBA2K15 is not that different to last years release but considering how great that looked, this isn’t a bad thing. There are still little collision problems that are noticeable up close but the overall polish is pretty damn sharp. Just don’t waste your time trying to scan in your face to the custom player builder. I tried many times and the absolute best I could get looked like Sloth out of The Goonies, after he has been hit in the face with a 2×4. The only other gripe I would have with the visuals would be how bland and lifeless your house looks in the Career mode. I know it isn’t gameplay but it just looks so boring.
The music selection was horrendous with only about 3 tracks kept in my playlist. I realise this is a personal thing and Basketball and Hip Hop/Rap are closely connected but some of the music that was drive into my ears doesn’t deserve to be called music. And what is with the inability to play music from your own source? Take the music out of the sound equation and you have some decent effects and ambiance to enjoy, even the commentators are good with repetition kept to a minimum. Shame your Career mode creation has to sound all gangster homeboy though, I’m sure at least some NBA players have a decent grasp of English and are able to hold a conversation with using ‘Yo’ between every second word.
So down to the gameplay. It is as solid as you would expect with the controls easy enough to pick up but extremely hard to master. And if you can get your head around the multitude of game modes, there is so much content to keep you going. I’d imagine though that only hard-core basketball fans are going to get the most out of many of the modes. Me, I struggled with starting at the bottom in Career mode, had no clues as General Manager, and didn’t understand the stats in the Trading Card mode… But playing as a top tier player in quick play I was having a great time.
Basketball fans will be all over this without any question, and I can see why. The core game mechanics are great, it looks fantastic, and has terrible music. Everything a basketball fan wants. And of course fans will get the most out of all the modes and stats that are available. As for me, joe average gamer with no basketball knowledge, well, there is definitely fun to be had in the quick game mode but beyond that, far too much time would have to be invested to learn the intricacies of basketball and the NBA.
Oh, and this year it is Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder on the cover. That’s the same team as our very own Steven Adams!