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NBA 2K13 [Xbox 360] Review

Posted on October 8, 2012 AT 08:02pm

The NBA is back with the latest installment of 2K Sports’ NBA 2Kfranchise. The every year product is the premiere basketball game on the market, with thousands of basketball fans clamoring for the newest version of the game every year. This year, the game has really focused on representing itself in a modern way. much more than before, getting hip-hop and media mogul Jay-Z  as executive producer.

While the game hasn’t done more than a few cosmetic and motion changes, the presentation has gone above and beyond. Executive Producer Jay-Z really made a concerted effort to make the game accessible and fun, with a diverse, bombastic soundtrack and vibrant lighting that gives the game a superstar feel.  While the in-game presentation is not much different from the previous installment, the menu system was massively overhauled, and in a terrific way. Adding Jay-Z’s musical presence to the game really paid off.

Like other franchises, NBA 2K13 has also put a focus on social media, allowing the player to view social media messages after games during the myPlayer mode. Fans and press, as well as players of the past and present can chime in on you and your team’s last game, and what the player did right or wrong, gaining fandom to prove that you are on top of the league. While this feature is fun at first, it does tend to get a bit pointless after awhile, with a lot of players more concerned about improving their player than if the local press thinks they shot the ball too often in the last game.

Speaking of the myPlayer mode, aspects of the game have been tweaked, to mixed results. The “Virtual Currency” system is ingrained into every facet of the game now, with players having to purchase accessories for both on and off the court using the currency, which is gained after each completed game. While it knocks down the number as far as purchasing skills goes, it all evens out, ramping the amount needed down for points. Having to buy items such as headbands, sleeves and shoes that were available from the start (or unlockable) is a bit tedious, especially when the points could have a better use. Another addition are the “Legends Training Camps”, special drills that are available at a price that allows the player to train with the best in the game, gaining large boosts in specific areas (dunking with Jordan, passing with Magic, etc.) to really help the player take the next step.

The Association and and Season modes are largely the same, with the added presentation to make it look a bit better. Trades, fantasy drafts and the like are all available to the players content as they run their favorite franchise, turning it into a perennial contender (or into the ground, in some cases). The ability to create online leagues is a nice touch, however, allowing players to run a massive league with their friends, turning it into a truly immersive experience.

One of the biggest tweaks is to the movements, with the ball-handling and shooting motions running a bit smoother than the previous version, allowing for better flow with the game and better timing on the release of shots. Dribble moves are a bit more dynamic, players can cut to the rim with a bit more agility, and a larger repertoire of dunks can create some earth-shattering results (which is especially fun with point guards, who are generally much smaller).

SUMMARY: While making some great changes and tweaks (especially in the presentation), NBA 2K13 is largely the same game as last year, making only the most basic additions in things other than visuals. The social media and online integration is well-done, but aside from a few differences in the myPlayer mode, there isn’t much in the realm of innovation. Everything is done to an impeccable degree, however, taking a tried and beloved formula and making some necessary adjustments. Not the most creative of titles, this is a fun, entertaining sports game that is sure to please fans of the sport.

  • THE GOOD: Stellar presentation, smooth online play
  • THE BAD: Lack of innovation in most areas
  • THE UGLY: The virtual currency system is messy

Score: 8.5

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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