Review: NBA 2K13


Written by Afroson

As a once supporter and believer in the 2K sports franchise, I had high hopes from NBA 2K13 to build off from last years version to fix heavenly on the gameplay animations and stop with the gimmicks. I remember first playing NBA 2K9 when Kevin Garnett was the cover, the first game of yearly releases and thought this game has potential; just tweak the gameplay. So year after year with 2K10, 2K11 and 2K12 the gameplay has yet be tweaked My frustration just continued to build as I stuck with the sports franchise just hoping the gameplay polish can be fixed. The moment I picked up NBA 2K13 I’m thinking this could be it, the gameplay has to be refined by now, it’s been 4 years playing these series of basketball games. After playing 11 games of online play to see if anything has changed, I put my foot my down and will not play another basketball game made by 2K Sports. My reasons will be justified for someone who’s now a faded optimist.


The controls are complicated. From last year’s installment the option to use to right analog as a ball-dribble feature was perfect. The ball-stick controls for NBA 2K13 is the main stable to the gameplay which for myself felt uncomfortable; memorizing new control commands to produce a bounce pass, pressing two symbol buttons for an alley-oop and the most frustrating was to not hold down the left trigger as I would perform dribble moves. Everytime I performed this motion, the user player would instantly shoot a jumpshot. I was dumbfounded that the controls from a year ago were simplified, smooth and not a pain in the ass.

My last point is a crucial point that 2K Sports will never address. The gameplay involving the AI players has been an issue for the past four games I’ve been playing this basketball franchise. First point, the passing is how I say “matrix passing”. It’s just too slow to deliver passes whether it’s on a fast break, or out of a double team. Just too many moments where the game would cost me a loss due to poor passing functions. Second point, the speed still doesn’t feel realistic. There’ve been times where I put myself with a 3 versus 1 or 3 versus 2 fast-break situations with my point guard Iman Shumpert per se and couldn’t outspeed the defender(s) that were jogging back casually. Lastly the defense is a disaster. There are too many instances where my opponents would penetrate to the lane and gain a free dunk. The AI big men tend to never provide help as soon as my controlled player is beaten off the dribble. This has been a recurring feature in the majority of 2K Sports’ basketball games I’ve played and therefore have quit.

Final Thoughts

With a sports game that gains so much anticipation to succeed previous year’s installment, it has failed my hopes of every reaching the next level. The polishes are there to go back to a simplistic form of controls. The passing mechanism needs to be tuned, a faster projectory from one player to the next keeps opponents gaining the upper hand with steals. The overall gameplay that feels sluggish, like i’m moving through quicksand. Lastly the defense needs to be addressed of how poor an effort that AI defenders are slow to react to potential dunks towards the basket. As I’ve quit from being a competitive online player after 11 games of anger and frustration, I can officially say “I’M DONE” with a sports game that had the potential to exceed greatness and no longer will take my $67 for granted.


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