As the case has been for several years now, 2K Sports have released their latest iteration of their highly successful basketball franchise. Does this year’s game improve enough on its predecessor to warrant a purchase from fans of the game? Read on to find out.
In terms of play modes, you get the usual suspects with the Season, Association and online modes. One of the new features in NBA 2K10 is the inclusion of the developmental league teams in the Association mode. This allows you to develop and prepare for your team's future with players that you can call up from these squads. However, the Development leagues involvement is mainly to do with the major new feature of NBA 2K10, the My Player mode. In My Player Mode you create a player and participate in various drills and exhibition matches in the summer league and practice squads before potentially joining a team. Your progress is graded after each game. One thing though is that those expecting the detail of the ‘Be A Pro’ mode in FIFA will be disappointed. The reason for this is that there isn’t the detail of how you are going during the game like there is in FIFA. Aside from that, if your skills are found lacking after your game, you are put down into the developmental leagues to build up your skills so you can contribute to your team in your given role.
A great thing for the creative among us is that you can take you’re ‘My Player’ player online, and take part in the new addition to the online modes, ‘online crews’. In this online mode, you can increase your stats by playing various pickup games that won't affect your career game schedule but will provide you with extra points. Of course you don’t have to use your created player in this mode, but it is a good opportunity to boost you player’s skills with your mates.
The other new feature that is definitely worth a mention is the NBA Today feature. The NBA Today feature is one of my favourite new features in NBA 2K10. Every time you turn NBA 2K10 on, it uploads (as long as your connected the internet) the most current real-world matchups, news and stats straight into the game. This enables you to play the days NBA games which makes you feel very involved in the goings on of the real NBA season. The other cool thing about this is that when you play one of the current day’s matchups, the commentators comment on things that are happening in the real NBA season. It really is awesome.
Ever since the launch of the NBA 2K series on the Sega Dreamcast, the series has been known for its supreme gameplay. Fortunately the 10th Anniversary edition is no exception, but only now, not on release.
When NBA 2K10 initially released it was plagued with framerate issues. These framerate issues hurt the experience quite a bit. This resulted in a lot of complaints in forums and so forth. Luckily 2K Games listened to its fans and were quick to release a massive list of things that would be improved upon with an update. The update has since been released and I am pleased to say that it has made a huge difference. The game now plays as you would have expected it to play, as smooth as a baby’s bottom. It now lives up to the supreme gameplay the 2K games have been known for, as I mentioned above. The game is not perfect by any means as there are still niggling issues which hopefully they will fix in future updates. Things like the annoyance of missing too many layups and shots close to the basket and the sometimes dodgy A.I. Situations like leaving the lane wide open without reacting to the ball handler, frequently performing backcourt violations without defenders applying pressure, passing to players that run out of bounds instead of down the court, and errant passes that go wildly out of bounds. While these don’t ruin the game, they are frustrating and can detract from the games quality slightly.
Whilst largely keeping the same great gameplay formula of past years, there have been a few changes to try and improve things. However, those familiar with the series will feel right at home with NBA 2K10.
One of the differences that seasoned 2K players will recognise will be the change to the turbo system. In previous 2K games you just held down the right trigger and had virtually an unlimited turbo boost for your player. This year’s game has a new energy system which is indicated beneath your players. This indicates how long you can use the turbo button. Once you deplete the yellow bar that is under your player, you start to burn off a player's stamina. This brings in more strategy as you have to pick and choose more exactly when you will utilise the turbo button.
NBA 2K games have always looked good and NBA 2K10 is no exception. 2K Sports have raised the bar yet again with some amazing graphics that make the players look very true to life. The animations of the players look very solid and realistic. The crowd reactions are also much better this year as they react better to the on-court action and definitely add to the atmosphere. Couple this with the excellent TV style presentation that include broadcast overlays and if you didn’t have a controller in your hand when a family member was walking past the TV, they’d be forgiven in thinking that you were watching a live game of real NBA. As mentioned above, upon release there were some issues with the framerate of the game which obviously affected how it looked and played, but since the update the game runs as smooth as silk.
The sound in NBA 2K10 is awesome. Everything from the much improved crowd reactions to the excellent commentary really does give you a true-to-life NBA experience. The key improvement to the commentary which really makes you feel involved in the real NBA season is how the commentators comment on what is happening in the real NBA season. With the help of on-screen overlays they comment on things like the current NBA standings, stats leaders and so forth. This addition to the commentator vocabulary is directly due to the new NBA Today feature mentioned above.
NBA 2K10 is great value for money. The normal Season, Association, Slam Dunk, 3 point comps and online modes are all there to provide you endless hours of entertainment. The addition of the My Player, Crew and NBA Today features only enhance the value of the game and will definitely keep this game in your consoles disk trey till NBA 2K11 comes out.
Once the update that was recently released was applied to the game, NBA 2K10 instantly becomes one of, if not the best sports game released in 2009. With great new features and improved Graphics, sound and general game flow, you won’t go wrong picking this game up. I can’t wait to see what NBA 2K11 brings to the table.
AAG SCORE: 9.3/10
- Excellent Graphics
- NBA Today
- My Player
- Great atmosphere
- Great online modes
- Dodgy AI at times
- My Player not as detailed as FIFA’s ‘Be A Pro’
Reviewed & Written By Craig Cirillo