Friday, November 2

First Impressions of NBA 2K13 (Xbox 360): Art Imitates Life

In a nutshell, I'm a pretty dodgy basketballer, both in the real world and the virtual. One would think with the assistance of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade I could successfully pull off a layup - even a spectacular backboard breaking dunk - but alas, no. 

Thanks for nothing, LeBron
In the hope of inspiring confidence in my abilities, I recently downloaded the demo of NBA 2K13, the latest basketball release from 2K Sports and the gaming world's most popular basketball series. While my sessions were brief, I liked what I saw.

In the real world I am well aware my significant lack of sporting confidence and spacial awareness are part of the reason for poor on-court performance, however this is not the reason why I suck at 2K13.

It has nothing to do with poor controls or a steep learning curve; NBA 2K13 is actually easier to pick up than its predecessor. This iteration has a new feature that utilizes the right stick to initiate advanced dribbling and, in conjunction with the left trigger, can be used for fine tuning your shot.

Previously the right stick was only used for adjusting your shot, however, in my opinion, this change has helped the controls become easier to grasp. To be honest there were times when I found it to be an inconvenience when shooting and often resorted to mashing buttons but I found myself drawn back to using the new style, even if it was just to play.

As with the real world, my inability to sink baskets comes down to me having no clue. Sports games are not my forte (just ask anyone who's played FIFA with me) and for me to get my head back in the genre, I'll need to bank a few hours of game time.

I actually find the whole concept confusing - marking players, initiating plays; as a button masher I lack the finesse, maybe even cognitive capacity, to make the most of my team. Once I know what makes my player run, I'll just hold that button down the entire time and wonder why the team is tired by the end of the first quarter. Then other questions arise such as why am I pivoting when I want to shoot? Oh because I'm also holding down some other button with my gorilla sized hand while simultaneously hitting the wrong button.

Despite this lack of experience holding back my high score, I did enjoy what I saw of the game and am keen to explore it further in the full release. Produced by Jay Z, NBA 2K13 has a fresh slickness to it, boasting an eclectic soundtrack and an enjoyable NBA experience.

The full version includes all 30 teams along with the 1992 USA Dream Team (with Scottie Pippen) and the 2012 US Mens National team to settle the vigorously debated question of which generation is the better baller. My money's on the Dream Team...unless I'm holding the controller...

Have you played 2K13? What are your thoughts and would you prefer EA's NBA Live series over the 2K offer?


  1. Scottie Pippen. Glorious!

    I want to play 2K13, but I haven't spent enough time with my copy of 2K11 to justify the upgrade.

  2. It's a pretty sweet deal to have the entire dream team present. It wouldn't be the same without Bull #2! If you're dubious just do what mr tight arse did and download the demo