Review: NBA 2k10

We’ve always been strong fans of the basketball franchises over the years. For almost the past decade, NBA 2k10 has been able to outsell, outperform and outlast it’s rival NBA Live. While this is mostly attributed to gameplay, there are other factors involved. This year, for its 10th Anniversary, NBA 2k10 is selling an ‘Anniversary Edition’ package which includes lots of cool extras. We aren’t usually fans of special edition packages of video games, as they are often a waste of money. Most of the time they come with a CD or an extra controller you don’t need (Halo), but as big fans of the NBA 2k franchise, we had to buy it. We must say that we were overly excited upon opening the huge box. A very neat locker was included, all individually numbered. We received # 14,595 out of 30,000, a cool memento. Additionally we also received a Kobe Bryan figurine, a Kobe Bryant poster, a CD, an Xbox Live Certificate, and obviously a copy of the game. All in all we must say the extra $40 for this package ($99) was well worth the buy. The locker itself, which stores and stacks 20 of your favorite games is a must buy for any NBA fan, or a gamer in need of a game rack.

Although many can argue that EA Sports has held the crown for most of the other sports franchises, 2k definitely takes the crown in regards to basketball. With its almost-perfect in game simulation, plethora of options, and many old-school easter eggs, NBA 2k10 is the best basketball video game out to date. For veterans of the franchise who’ve been playing 2k8 and 2k9, you will definitely notice a few subtle differences in gameplay. The on court action is still pretty fast paced as you would expect from all the NBA greats. The face models, moves and shakes, and even tattoos, are all copied in such great detail it is often outstanding the craftsmanship that goes into these games. The arena’s as well are lined up to the realest touch – seating, signs and posters, and of course the wood court and leather ball.

A couple well-noted additions, include the offensive play-calling system, enhanced turbo mode, and a little more realism to the gameplay. The offensive play-calling system allows you to call moves and sets which allow for much greater expansion on offense play. Just imagine being Kobe Bryant at the top of the key, waving your finger around to call Derek Fisher or Lamar Odom, or of course Pau Gasol to set up a pick-and-roll or alley hoop play. In this game, the impossible is now possible. The turbo for your players is also a little different, as there is a new system incorporated for the use of turbo and sprinting your player. Each player has a certain amount of ‘sprint’ they could use. The better and more athletic the player, the more they have to use. You must be careful not to use all your ‘sprint’, as indicated by your player’s action bar. Once that goes it starts to deplete your players stamina, which will result in overall careless play and missed shots and passes. Even more so, this new element in gameplay as well as other factors make it harder to drive to the hoop and dunk on every single player. Although I know some will feel this takes a lot of the wham-bam out of the gameplay and some fun, this obviously adds more realism and respect to the game of basketball. More play calling and more skills will get you to win the game.

Overall there are a few nice touches that have been added to the game for its 10th anniversary year special. Lockdown defensive has returned to the game, with some improvements from the past. this allows you to play heavy defense on the person you are controlling, and can often lead to increased steals and blocked shots. This may take a little momentum out of the game, as we have also noticed that our players are missing more open jump shots than in previous installments of the NBA 2k franchises. I used to play daily with my friends at college, and they would often pick Kobe Bryan, LeBron James or Dwyane Wade and literally sink jumper after jumper after jumper. As long as you were open, you would pretty much hit the shot, especially with the momentum rolling in your direction. This seems to be a little decreased in this year’s version of the game, which once again, make take out a little of the fun, but definitely adds more realism to the gameplay.

The My Player feature also offers a big new addition for this years installment. You can create your own player, have him drafted, and have him rise to be a big star in the NBA. This is definitely a great touch to the game, and will allow for much more interaction, fun, and many more hours to spend checking out all the new features. The menu systems have also been refined and allow you to easily access all the modes, including online play. On a little down note, we still see some sloppyness from the computers AI and partial slowdowns in gameplay. This is a little disturbing at times, especially when you’re in the heat of battle and a small computer glitch may take some of the poppyness out of the game.

On a closing note, NBA 2k10 includes an amazing experience for all NBA fans, all 2k fans, and all those just trying to get as close to Kobe Bryan as they possibly could. The gameplay is definitely revived, and sucks you in to get all the experience it’s worth. Even when the game gets down to the wire, you even see the fans getting out of their seats, and the noise level is noticeably louder. The soundtrack as well provides a grateful experience, with some greats beats to play basketball to. With a few small quirks, this game is not perfect, but overall a defienite buy, especially with the cool extra’s included for the Anniverary Edition package. Who knows, maybe we’ll see you in the Gold Room someday – if you got an invite!

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