Friday, January 31, 2014

Game Review - NBA 2K14

Today I am reviewing NBA 2K14 for the PS4, although I'm sure the Xbox One version of the game is very close to the same.

There is plenty of good and bad to go with NBA 2K14:

The Good:
  • The graphics and character models are amazing.
  • The game play is great and fluid.
  • The controls are awesome.
The Bad:
  • VC (virtual currency) is needed for almost every mode.
  • 2K Servers go down and when they are down you can't do a lot (No GM Mode, My Career, or My Team).
  • Where is the Slam Dunk contest?  I'm pretty sure you have to be selected to it in either My Career or My GM while you play through the season, which isn't as much fun as just choosing it as an option.

I'm hooked on the My Career mode, so most of the review will focus on that.  I've played a bunch of games online with my son and that's a blast too.  We've also played a lot of games in the same room, also fun.

My Career is where this game really shines though.  My Career is a mode where you create a player and then play in a showcase game, followed by a draft.  You go up against a fictitious player named Jackson Ellis, he's a real jerk and it would've be a lot more fun to get drafted ahead of him, but I was not.  I suppose if I would have bought VC then I would have been, but I was too cheap.  In an earlier post, I did admit that I spent $10 on VC to upgrade my player, the micro transactions are the only major bummer with the game.  You can earn a lot of VC with the NBA 2K14 app however and it's available on iOS and Android.  You can pick winners in the days NBA games to earn 50 VC for each correct pick.  There is also a random envelope you can click on and earn VC.  I normally get around 1500 VC a day from doing this.  You also earn VC from each game you play.  I'm at the All Star break, and I now earn 500 VC for every game I play and my character is almost maxed out.

In the My Career mode you only control your created player, and the game is only active if your player is one of the players in the game.  This makes the games quicker and easier to make it through a season of basketball.  My Career started on the Atlanta Hawks, the team wasn't doing well so I requested a trade and was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Now being on the Thunder is a lot more fun, but I'm still not a starter.  Being a point guard stuck behind Russel Westbrook isn't easy and I probably would be a starter if I stayed on the Hawks, but it was fun to request a trade and I got a trophy for it, so it was worth it.  I'm really having a lot of fun with this mode, and I can't wait to finish the season.  I wish I would have made the All Star game since there is a trophy for that as well, I guess I will have to play through another season.  There are some cheesey parts in My Career too, the way your character talks can be annoying and when you interact with other players they are mostly text.  Lebron has some recording so he talks, but most of the time it's just text that you have to read.  It doesn't take away from the mode much though, and I still play it all the time.

Playing online is a blast, my son and I play all the time and never have any lag.  This is of course when the NBA 2K servers are up, and they've been pretty good lately.  We usually choose random teams, either current or from the past.  We have nice competitive games that take about 40 minutes.

GM Mode is more of a regular season mode.  You have to work for the owner, make decisions on who you're going to sign, etc.  It's fun, but you also need VC for this mode, and I don't like that.

My Team is a mode where you buy packs of cards with you guessed it, VC.  It's fine, I bought a pack of cards to get a trophy, that's all I've done with that mode.

This game is the one I've played the most on the PS4.  I don't really know how many hours I've put in, but if I had to guess I would say at least 100 hours or so.  It's very fun, and I can live with the VC if there are easy ways to earn it, and there is, but you have to grind and remember to use the app to earn as much as possible for free.  I love playing a quick game in My Carreer, and I love playing online against my son.  I actually get excited when I earn a trophy.  If you have a PS4, it's a very good game to buy.  The game is rated E for Everyone, although there is a fair amount of reading to be done in My Career or the My GM modes.  I figure if you have young children, they wouldn't play those modes anyway.  I give NBA 2K14 a 9 out of 10.

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