Throughout college, one of the best escapes between and after classes has been the NBA 2K franchise, and specifically, the career mode. I’ve spent hours on every iteration of the game for a number of years, whether it’s as a Heat headguard or Lakers Or somewhere else in the league.
Over the years, my time playing 2K has diminished significantly, in part because I enjoyed playing other games and because of the repetitive nature of the 2K series. In fact, it’s been nearly half a dozen years since I last seriously played NBA 2K.
Going back to the last version of 2K23, it brought with it some pleasant surprises and some frustrating discoveries as well. Some changes have been made to improve the game – such as in MyTEAM – along with some aspects that seem to be missing the point.
The first thing I did once the game was launched was immediately head into career mode and start creating players. Aspects of this process have changed and for the better, such as limiting the maximum potential for skill points and comparing the type of player you have created.
Unlike the last time you played, you can choose which team to go to. to force Anthony Davis as a midfielder, you’ve created an athletic power forward that can submerge everything, snatch the boards, defend the edge and join the Lakers. Your first game comes in the World Cup Finals Las Vegas Summer League And how well you do there goes some way to determining your initial role in the regular season.
Kendrick Nunn played in the summer league alongside me, which is only unreal because he never actually played for the Lakers and for no other reason. I won the match and got a place in the rotation going forward.
However, here is where things start to get weird. There is a limit to being a 6th guy out of this game, which means you can score 70 points in the game and you won’t be a mains player. This game also serves as a starting point for your “Shep” rivalry, as the player has taken one point below you in the draft.
There is a story included in the career mode that drives a lot of what you can and cannot do. You can still get an average of 70 game points to start the season, but Kendrick Perkins will call you hot trash, literally. That’s what the problem lies in the career mode. I wanted to get involved and play games and had to talk to JJ Redick and Perkins or learn how I’m going to win the city no matter what I do on the field.
However, I didn’t get an average of 70 and was pretty awful in my first game. The Twitter Lakers had completely gutted me. So I did What Damien Lillard is afraid to doRun from the grind and use the VC to improve the player. Playing games just got more fun….between meeting Ronnie 2K and rapping on randomizers.
The integration of the city and career mode was a great move, simplifying multiple modes and creating a fun open world aspect of the game as well.
MyTEAM has some new changes, especially in the new Clutch Time mode. It feels like a compromise between the speed of Triple Threat mode and the full Domination game, for example. It’s a quarter one in game mode that also features a 4-point streak. Did I almost lose multiple games because I’m trying to shoot 4 heads? No comment.
As someone who enjoys grinding through game modes, MyTEAM always has a lot of content in this regard. Two of their first special cards include 91st-ranked Pau Gasol and 93rd-ranked Lamar Odom, which look like decisions were made to quickly tempt Lakers fans to buy the game.
Jordan Challenges is another aspect that has been present in 2K franchises at times in the past and is always fun to play. While I haven’t gone through them all yet, here’s a screenshot of Kobe Bryant and Jordan from their encounter in the late ’90s, and it’s an interesting enough teaser.
Ultimately, among the positive changes there are nice steps in the right direction, but still they seem to miss the point about the important things. While the story can have fun moments in Career Mode, being forced to do so many side quests that aren’t in the game can be useless and frustrating for many, including me at times. There are still fun aspects to the game, but they keep doing some pretty meaningless, silly things that get in the way.