How to get the right way while playing NBA 2K16

For folks who play “traditional” role playing games, attachment to an NPC is not uncommon at all, and it’s often the marker of good writing or a compelling campaign. It can be hard enough to get athletes or sports fans to talk about certain types of emotions because of the hegemonic notions of masculinity attached to sports performance, but the developers at Virtual Concepts have understood that attachment, commitment, love, and empathy are major parts of the experience of being a sports teammate, even if they are often covered in a hyper-masculine veneer.

In MyGM you take the role of an NBA GM. This mode allows you to have the responsibilities of an NBA GM who can draft, sign, trade and cut players but who also can be fired as GM if his performance isn’t up to the teams standards after which the player is free to sign as GM with any team who wants to offer. I haven’t cried yet in NBA 2K16 winning a championship, or because a teammate retired, and I’ve felt a lot more empathy from other kinds of video game experiences, but this is a major step in the right direction for the convergence of the role-playing and sports video game genres.

Again in this mode I have found it a bit too easy to compile draft picks and sign almost any free agent if the team has the money. In the mode the player has meetings with coaches and players and while this is a cool concept in reality it takes up time with loading screens and sloppy menus. Equally so, the dialogue becomes very influential to player development in MyPlayer as each new milestone is highlighted immediately as it’s met, which creates a connection to the gamer’s involvement in the game itself.

On-court reporters also interact with the major players at quarter breaks, and while the conversations themselves pertain accurately to how the game has been played, mouth movement suffers from the same odd presentation that Ernie and Shaq exhibit. But MyPlayer mode also reeks of terrible voice acting and cringe-worthy dialogue, and numerous binary choices that allow players to be either a nice guy or a jerk, with no real in between. It's a case of style over substance, ambition over execution.

While playing the career player, players need to pay attention to multiple things on and off the court. In addition to personal stats the Teammate grade system returns. I love this mechanic, as it accomplishes to major things. It forces players to play unselfishly, which makes for a more realistic experience. The other major thing it does is it teaches how to play. I found after sinking a ton of hours into MyCareer not only was I getting much better teammate grades, but I was playing better in all the other modes too. NBA 2K16 forced me to not just practice, but practice the right way.

There don't appear to be any similar fixes for the game's network issues, which continue to create problems for the NBA 2K16 community more than a month after the game's debut. Granted, as someone who doesn't particularly enjoy competitive multiplayer, staying offline wasn't exactly a deal-breaker for me. That said, if you prefer online competition, it might be worth waiting until 2K Sports can get control over the servers issues still causing problems for NBA 2K16 players.

It’s hard to put too much weight on your online record when the timing of your shot can be altered by network errors as you’re fighting down the stretch of the fourth quarter. Instead of allowing you to test skills online and invest time into improving pole position, NBA 2K16 too often pits you against its own technical limitations.

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