NBA2K14 review – I wish I was a little bit taller…


By Guest Writer on Tuesday, October 22, 2013
"NBA2K14 has taken it to the next level"

By Nick Reay. Additional coaching by Coach Graeme Essen.

I think the last time I actually devoted time to a sports game that wasn’t an add-on or in-game extra was back sometime in 1995 and it went by the name of Looney Tunes B-Ball. The game was as dope as most of the denizens on lower main road and had me about as hooked. Hooked because the game was fun, hooked because it was fast and fluid and hooked because a great deal of passion went into making it. I am happy to say that those elements that had me addicted to fluffy bunnies slam dunking have manifested themselves in 2K sports’ NBA2K14.

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Showing just how ahead of the pack 2K is in this genre we have a game that boasts some of the tightest controls I’ve had the pleasure of using. The move list is extensive and with the introduction of the right analogue stick as your primary input for shooting and using skills adds a deep element to the speed and fluidity of play. As mentioned earlier I haven’t played the other iterations of the franchise so to give me some background I invited my basketball crazy friend over to act as my coach.

As we discovered, some of the more basic elements have been thoroughly refined. Sprinting will have you run out of stamina much quicker than the previous 2013 or 2012 versions making the game feel more realistic (and harder). Defence play has also been vastly improved upon. This time round reaching in for the ball has a far greater chance of success so you won’t be wincing each time waiting for the dreaded FOUL to push your C grade to the depths of D (yes, the grading system is much the same as last year’s, though far less forgiving). Coach Graeme pointed out though that many things have indeed changed; the right analogue now controls crossovers, quick dodging and spins for example – meaning you have to relearn every damn move. This in itself wasn’t a problem for my fanboy friend, but the lack of a proper, in-depth tutorial most certainly was.

nba_2k14_screen_2

There is an option to learn each move, but there are no options to learn WHEN to use them. This was rather problematic for me as I am new to the franchise so it was like learning the Bulls Triangle offensive for the first time! A very simple 20 minute learning session would have gone a long way to unlocking all the awesome moves the new right analogue stick is now responsible for. Once you have a basic understanding though you are free to feel completely immersed in the game, and what immersion there is!

One thing I loved about UFC 2011 was the commentary; it was quick, witty and never seemed out of touch with what was happening. Whether I was pushing my brother’s face through the mat, or knocking him out after 4 seconds, it seemed real. NBA2K14 has taken it to the next level. Other than a few repeated comments in the rookie tournament I repeated 500 times, the conversation was dynamic, relevant, and at times hysterical.

The usual interviews between games with journalists now give you the option to be a right arsehole, which of course affects the opinion of your teammates, local followers and larger fan base, but you want to experience this because it is so damned funny. The game also delivers a new mode which got a great sigh from my friend as he doesn’t have much love for LeBron James.

nba2k14-screen-1

Last year’s NBA2K13 first offered the My Team mode (which returns this year). Prior to that the 2012 version offered the hugely successful Legends Mode and before even that there was the Jordan Challenge. This year we are treated to LeBron James, Path to Greatness. I have to say that if you are not a huge fan of his then you are kinda screwed. It has some great ideas; playing his games offers not only progression, but access to many different scenarios that play out like a biography.

But I don’t think people are going to find it extremely innovative, more a mix between Single Player and scripted matches. The online element is back again and what fun it is. I think to get the most out of NBA2K14 you need to be online. This year you can finally view where you are on the leaderboards, and with a new bronze silver gold team system will have you up and playing in no time. We didn’t have major lag issues but they were there which led to a bit of frustration (not nearly as frustrating as all the loading/saving screens though. Be prepared to wait, often).

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As someone relatively new to the genre of sports games I really loved enjoyed my time with NBA2K14. It’s a really well polished experience with a very deep system behind it. Creating a new character and watching them grow was extremely satisfying, especially when you finally figure out how the hell to slam dunk (took me 3 hours, Coach Graeme did it in 3 minutes). The music is also great, though why they have Cold Play in is beyond me. Not really a baller track now is it?

NBA-2K13

If you are competitive and have a fast internet connection you will have a great time. Just be prepared to pour hours in learning how to do everything.

NBA2K14 was reviewed by on the 22nd of October , 2013 at 12:30 PM on Xbox 360

GAMEPLAY
8.5
Yes, yes, I know I said it takes longer than Darryn spends cleaning his sweaty Batman suit after rAge to finally get to grips with the controls, but once you do, it is superb. I will say it is worth playing with someone if you are totally new to the franchise as this shaved off hours of frustration and allowed me to own the court, like a BOSS.
DESIGN
8.5
A lot of attention has gone into the look of NBA2K14. The characters move fluidly, the collision detection is top notch and the movement is never clunky. Only issue I had was that it was TOO real. Advertising popping up all over the place made me feel like I was watching real American television!
VALUE
8.5
Much like other games in the series NMB2K14 offers a wide range of modes that will keep you coming back; if you have internet, even more so. Being able to create your own team is very addictive. I think the game lets itself down a little by focusing on LeBron’s career and that by adding in Legends would have worked better.
TOTAL
8.5
I have never bothered with sports games probably because watching men run around chasing a ball seemed too tiring. That being said this game has opened my eyes to the enjoyment offered by a really well put together game. I actually WANT to go home and play this, something I never thought I’d hear myself say!

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Don't stop now.... you're having a good time

  • Admiral Chief Ninja

    GG Nick. Also who would have thought NBA would score so well?

    • NecroRince

      I actually really enjoyed this, so did OVG!

      • Admiral Chief Ninja

        Thought so, you didn’t have to REVIVE HIM

        • NecroRince

          0-O You went there, you fiend!

      • Spathi

        You mean OVG enjoyed a game made after 1989?!!

        Great write up!

        • NecroRince

          Thanks! Was a great deal of fun, will carry on with it as I am totally crap, like, really…

    • Glenda S. Currier

      Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.=====

      http://www.blue76.c?m

  • Umar heartless

    Rince playing sports game…wow…also, nice review

  • oVg

    Awesome review. I am not just saying that because you are my punching bag either, but doing a review for a game you would never normally play takes BALLS. Nice round fluid balls with super high ploy count.

    I think the game is designed to be REAL. The moment you turn it on it is searching the NBA data base to see what games are being played on that day and what players are injured and so on.

    REAL players, REAL roster, REAL advertising.

    I loved it. Even if I do not know the first thing about the NBA. The Americans have it lucky.

    Imagine a rugby game sponsored by the Currie Cup, with live updates and rosters?

    Can this game be played off-line? considering it was like registering for loan the when turned on for the first time.

    • NecroRince

      1. “I am not just saying that because you are my punching bag either” Thanks, I think? 2. Considering it was like registering for loan the when turned on for the first time. HAHAHA I have to agree, the loading screens are crazy, but that’s because my connection sucks. Will try tonight, not sure about playing offline, I would think so, though it would be like playing 30% of the potential game.

  • TiMsTeR1033

    Well Done Nick! Very nicely put together man! The visuals are superb to say the least, I haven’t played a decent NBA game since ps2 days , but seems i may pick this gem up sometime.. I must say doing a slam dunk is always an amazing experience. Looking forward to more reviews in the future.

  • Aussious

    Basketball game ever made…Double Dribble

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      I remember this game… I remember this game! :o It’s all coming back to me now!

      • NecroRince

        Gods, that was an amazeballs game!

      • Aussious

        Best part was the animated dunking!

    • Admiral Chief Ninja

      WOOOOOOOOOOT

  • John’s digital rights

    Guest writer? Terribly done, I must say

    • NecroRince

      You can leave, NOW…

      • John’s digital rights

        Oh dear. Master Rince, was it you? I had no idea!

        • Admiral Chief Ninja

          Off to the corner you go!

          • John’s digital rights

            Now that I know it was Master Rince…it’s really good. I thought he was writing all his comments with a controller all this time, if you, this is just amazingly done.

          • NecroRince

            We said CORNER!

          • John’s digital rights

            Dammit

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Hahaha that was a pleasure to read, Mr Reay!

  • Lardus-Resident Perve

    My game was just delivered (with some King James bonus pack). Time to take NHL out of the console for a few days so I can dribble and play ball!

    • NecroRince

      You got internet?

      • Lardus-Resident Perve

        Yes I do. I got this game for the single player career it apparently has. I hope I am not disappointed!

      • Lardus-Resident Perve

        Wow – they want to connect to the webz for EVERY LITTLE THING I do!! Can make my career “offline” but then I can’t earn/spend their silly virtual currency? No wonder there are loading times LoL!

        • NecroRince

          I told you! Really! Every thing you do! Ahh, so that is how the offline works, thanks for clearing that up.

          • Lardus-Resident Perve

            Oh, apparently you can earn “skill points” in an offline career. Will create a new one next week to test exactly how that will work.

          • NecroRince

            Let me know. I’ve gone back to GTAV for the moment, but will return for some hoops soon. Just need to learn how to,well, PLAY :)

      • Lardus-Resident Perve

        PS, King James pack added 10000 VC to go with the default 1000. First learning the game before I spend them on my career though. Gonna dunk ‘em all!

        • NecroRince

          How are you finding the right analogue stick thing?

          • Lardus-Resident Perve

            Since I have never played NBA before, it is quite tricky. Like the review says – they teach you the moves but not when/where to use it! I do like the little circle that fills up when you are in a good shooting range. My biggest issue is that I don’t know the rules and keep getting some 3 second foul?

          • NecroRince

            Can’t stand still for 3 seconds with the ball, need to move or pass. Yes, it is annoying that there is no tutorial, really I was very very frustrated at first. Then I asked G to come over (he has played each 2k game for the past few years) and taught me.

  • Rock789

    Nice review boet! :) Very well done. Makes me wanna give it a spin (even though I ain’t played a basketball game since… Well, probably since around the 8 or 16 bit age!). :) And the visuals look amazeballs!

  • Nathan

    Can anyone tell me what the load time for a game is though? thats the thing that always gets me bored

    • NecroRince

      It is pretty long, I suppose it depends whether you are online though.

  • Pierce

    For the record, Looney Tunes B-Ball was amazing!

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