Isn’t It just fabulous when there is no competition? (Plus 2 points if you got that). For those that are fans of the NBA and gaming you understand exactly what I mean. It has been a little over ten years since we have had to wonder whether we were going to pick up NBA Live or NBA 2K. The 2K franchise has gone full force with its flagship game, while EA has shifted efforts into other titles. 2K is here to stay even though that wasn’t always felt to be the case. It took time to become the number 1 selling NBA game of all time.
NBA 2K’s evolutions is one of true persistence and innovation. When they first arrived on the scene in the days with the Hall of Famer Allen Iverson as their cover player the game was the best kept secret for the Sega Dreamcast. It became an easy staple for the system while also driving reason for many to purchase the game console. After that it left the dying system to be available to a broader market while losing it’s name for a few series, eventually becoming ESPN Basketball. The thing about it’ brief time as ESPN Basketball was it actually was the first to sport many features we love today in 2K. It had the pregame and postgame results via TV broadcaster and also contained 24/7 mode which eventually became MyCareer. It was definitely well before it’s time but not as well received due to the title change. If I am not mistaken one of the year’s release was for only $19.99 (as opposed to the general $49.99+ sticker price for most games) in attempts to get a larger audience back to the title. This was due to many not being aware that it was actually the same game.
Once the brand recovered it’s title, the return to prominence and dominance was almost immediate. NBA 2K became known for always pushing the envelope with creating not only a more realistic looking NBA game, but one with a much more fluid and lifelike gameplay. That would be just one of the first steps. They would continue to add new features, greater interactivity, and also provide cinematic story modes that were completely uncharted areas for a sports franchise. The series has become a worldwide and pop phenomenon bridging a gap between age groups, eras, celebrities and fans honestly. They also were the first game in a long time to get MJ to greenlight the use of him as a player on the game. This was adapted into the game in a much worthy fashion by recreating some of his greatest moments as a player and putting it into the hands of the people.
This year is no different, with a much improved MyCareer mode featuring fellow Jersey native Michael B. Jordan; some of the realest graphics to date of any game, and a remarkably smooth AI. The servers seem to be much improved in comparison to the launch last year, with the online serving as an upgraded yet familiar mode that will definitely receive devoted hours from users. If you are just considering buying 2K this year, I suggest you stop waiting because you have honestly missed out on one of the greatest gaming experiences of the year. Get it this holiday season!