Checking out NBA 2k16

While on vacation, visiting my dad, and away from all reasonably useful internet (he has satellite internet with a 5GB monthly cap, I brought along a prepaid AT&T hotstpot that gets me 8GB 4G connectivity per $75 reload, and my phone which caps out at 10GB) I’ve been diving deeper into games I never really gave a chance before. For the past few days I’ve been spending a lot of time with NBA 2K16, one of many games downloaded to my hard drive that I’ve never played before.

I’m not necessarily a fan of basketball, but I tried to watch some of this year’s NBA finals so I’m at least somewhat familiar with the game. I tend to enjoy sports games, but for some reason never got around to checking out the NBA 2K series. It took some time to get acquainted with the controls and the flow of the game, but once I started getting the hang of it I had a blast. I’ve been playing MyGM mode and have already turned the Philadelphia 76ers into a serious playoff contender (mostly because I’m playing on the lowest difficulty) and have petitioned to move the team to Baltimore (voted against 19-1) just for fun.

The moment to moment gameplay is a thrill, as momentum swings back and forth several times throughout games (I’ve experienced several nail-biting OT affairs already). I’ve had just as much fun losing as I have had winning, as every game produces its own unique moments that add to the overarching story of my inaugural season as the 76er’s GM.

The presentation during the games feels top notch, however the pregame and halftime shows tend to feel awkward, mostly due to the robotic animations and voices of the presenters (Shaq looks downright creepy at times). These seem to work to mask load times, which means that you can’t skip them entirely, but must wait thirty seconds or so to get into the action (the loads are longer before each game). This slows down progress, and makes the game feel sluggish at times compared to the quicker interruptions of a game like Madden.

I’ve tried playing the Spike Lee story mode, however I’ve found that if my internet connection drops just for a moment it’ll kick me back to the main menu and I’ll lose whatever progress I’ve made so far. It’s annoying that this mode requires an internet connection, but I assume it has something to do with the micro-transactions tied to its virtual currency.

So far I’ve enjoyed NBA 2k16 a ton, and I’ve found myself thinking about how I’m going to continue to improve my franchise even when I’m not playing. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of my season will play out as I spend even more time with the game.

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