NBA 2K16 Highlights How to Improve Themselves

It's a review of NBA 2K16. This latest effort from Visual Concepts is the gaming equivalent of a buzzer-beating three-pointer to win a championship. Despite this shot coming against mediocre opposition - the current basketball gaming matchup isn't exactly 90s Bulls vs 60s Celtics - 2K16 has raised the bar again.
 
A note before we continue: For the past several years, 2K has hired big names - LeBron, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, Pharrell - to attach their names to "2K" games, mostly by having them curate the soundtrack. Following this trend, "2K16" got Spike Lee, the guy who made "Do The Right Thing," to write a plot for MyCareer. Last year, I felt the lack of competition in the sub-genre was beginning to hurt the NBA 2K series, with a case of complacency being inevitable. I've been proven completely wrong this time, as the overall package is outstanding.
 
It doesn't just look pretty however, as the team have made efforts to ensure the action performs accurately, too. A seemingly minor tweak to the engine to accommodate and account for the contact between the players' feet and the hardwood actually makes a world of difference, as players now have momentum accurately factored in their movements. I can no longer stop on a dime to shoot the ball; instead, I have to allow my player time to adjust their balance in order to shoot a straight shot. Setting a screen or running off a screen matters now, too, as your movements can affect its effectiveness.
 
I can respect what 2K was trying to do here, but I would suggest next year if they want to do something similar that they split it up. Have a story mode if you want, but also have a standalone My Career that allows players to play through college games and their entire rookie season. Also, they really should copy MLB's model for carrying over career progress from one season to another. My attachment to last year's My Player is so strong I’m contemplating going back to that game just so I can continue that player's progress.
 
After the main story's finished, that's where the My Career mode gets back to more of what made it fun. You get to manage more than just your attributes of your player as you'll get opportunities to expand on your brand. Brand seems to be a big thing for NBA superstar these days and the My Career mode does a good job in emulating that. Other aspects of the game can be tailored such as your court. It's too bad you are forced to go through the story portion to get there.
 
Every year, NBA 2K does its best to improve various aspects of its game, and it's both a blessing and a curse to have such a quick turnaround for the next game. In 2K15, they took advantage of the current generation of consoles and improved the visual fidelity. For 2K16, they focused on the MyPlayer mode and made the MyCareer mode much more fun and unique. This year, the best feature is easily the gameplay: for the first time in a long time, I've noticed the game actually feels and plays like an NBA game, and the AI actually has intelligence this season.
 
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