I’ll start off by saying this; NBA2K12 is my favorite video game of all time. My roommates and I have spent an embarrassing amount of time playing that game. It’s not just the fact that it is a great basketball game, but it respected the history of the NBA, something I really appreciated.
When 2K Sports announced that it would be adding the 1992 Dream Team to NBA2K13 I was completely on-board. When Allen Iverson was announced, I thought that was cool, too. Little did I know what was being sacrificed. Here is my jump-to-conclusions-after-having-the-game-for-less-than-a-week review:
The Good: There are plenty of things to like in NBA2K13. The most noticeable difference is in the soundtrack. As much as I like Kurtis Blow and Freddie Gibbs, most of the songs in 2K12 were laughable. It’s nice to hear Jay-Z’s voice whenever I boot up the game, and Jigga’s influence is felt throughout the rest of the game.
The most important changes are found in the gameplay. Players have been given some weight, so it doesn’t feel like you’re playing with five Kevin Durants at the same time. The controller gives you a satisfying rumble when there is contact on a play.
There is also a noticeable difference in the speed mechanic. Gone are the days when Eddy Curry can keep up with Rajon Rondo. In fact, Rondo doesn’t even have to hit Curry with a dribble move, you can just turbo your way around larger defenders.
I’ve been told that there are several significant improvements to the My Player mode as well, but honestly, I haven’t played my player in a 2K game. I assume it’s cool if you’re into that sort of thing.
The My Team mode sounds a little more exciting. Players will begin with a lackluster squad of ballers and try to work their way up to getting better players by defeating other users online. This is where I will be spending most of my time, leading my rag-tag squad to some make-believe virtual championship.
The Bad: If you loved 2K12 as much as I did, it might have had something to do with the inclusion of classic teams. Heck, I bought 2K12 for my laptop just so I could download a roster with over 250 teams. Imagine my horror when a few important classic players were missing from 2K13. These are players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dr. J and Chris Webber.
I don’t see the point of keeping the 1984-85 Sixers without Dr. J, Charles Barkley and Andrew Toney. Big Mo (Malone) and Little Mo (Cheeks) are cool, but not that cool. Missing out on these legends of the game might not bother some players, but it definitely bothers me.
My other gripe comes with the All-Star added content. The dunk and three-point contests are too difficult for what should be a fun, casual mode. These are definitely a step down from the Legends Showcase content we got last year.
The Ugly: A.C. Green. Good player, ugly man.
My Verdict: The gameplay in 2K13 is fantastic. I feel like I’m going to be spending a good amount of time in My Team mode, but I’m not ready to retire 2K12 just yet. I’m still holding out for more classic teams.