This is The Tuesday Triple, where I attempt to break down random topics into three points, and maybe an “and one” if I need it. Similar to the established Friday Five by Andrew, the topics will be related to basketball video games and their communities as a whole.
I am never going to expect a ‘perfect’ video game from EA or 2K when it comes to the annual NBA games. Looking beyond the relied upon Day 1 patches for all modern video games, and the implied expectation that a game should be bug free across at least 5 different platforms, the real cause of the many issues us early adopters run into year after year is a side effect of the annual release schedule for these games. NBA 2K14 has its fair share of expected minor bugs on current gen and growing pains on next gen, but there are 3 major follies in this year’s game that leave me absolutely dumbfounded.
Free Throw – The Rookie Challenge
That should say “The Rising Stars Challenge” but I am going to go ahead and say that NBA 2K14 is still a few years behind all the changes that came about the annual event. First off, those uniforms. It would be one thing to use the MyCAREER Elites versus Stars uniforms or even the generic NBA 2K uniforms, but instead we get the old Blacktop Mode black and white uniforms that feel like nothing more than placeholders, despite being like this for years. What makes this even sillier is the fact that Blacktop Mode features the player-specific team uniforms that would make this mode visually accurate.
I won’t take everything away from 2K, as they do mix the rookies and sophomores onto the two teams like the real life exhibition, but NBA 2K14 in general is none the wiser. As I played in a recent game during a MyGM All Star Weekend, the announcers talked about the game as if the teams were still split between rookies and sophomores. In comparison to EA’s efforts this year, well, at least this specialty game exists since it is completely absent in NBA Live 14’s Dynasty Mode. This may affect me more than others since I like to play this game as a method to scout for young players that I would want, but there is no doubt that it deserves some attention going forward.
Foot on the Line – Removing Features
Yes, this again. If we could only mash together the many removed features from the last 5 years of NBA 2K games, we would easily have something that would only require roster updates for at least a couple years. Coach mode, situation mode, Reelmaker, exporting teams from Associations, Crew mode, Blacktop features, Creating a Legend, sharing sliders, saving sliders, online leagues that worked, community site integration, player specific challenges (Jordan Challenge), retro presentation, draft class teams, specialty teams, celebrities, the draft combine, NBA D-League, nearly empty arena attendance, and those were only listed off the top of my head; I know there are more that have been removed in recent years. I mean, there is only so much I can say about this, so moving on…
Three, And One – Virtual, Freaking, Currency
I have tried my hardest to see the positives of VC being included in my PlayStation 4 version of NBA 2K14, and it seems like everytime I say something nice about it, I end up regretting it within 12 hours. Whether it be getting 250 VC in the recent “random item” locker code, or the possible controversy that Operation Sports reported on with 2K nerfing the MyGM rewards because they were exploitable, this system is repeatedly providing facepalm moments. I know we’ve discussed time and time again about that moment of WTF when loading NBA 2K14 next gen and realizing that we had to pay VC to manage the rosters in MyGM mode, especially as VC is setup and presented similarly to the pay-to-play in-game currencies seen in mobile and Facebook games. Calling VC a folly is an understatement.
I think I need to cut myself off here, because talking more about VC and removed features is only going frustrate me even more as I lay down the inevitable preorder for NBA 2K15. Hopefully you didn’t take this as seriously as me and enjoyed reading. If you have anything you would like to add, please let me know in the comments below.