Monday , Sep , 22 , 2008 J.N.


NBA 2K vs NBA LIVEWhere are the fanboys? Where’s your allegiance? Live or 2K?

Despite being the Videogame King of the Hardwood for the past few years, 2K cannot be resting on their laurels taking for granted that their game will reign like EA has done with Madden. They didn’t want it with the NFL 2K series, which is why they bought a monopoly over NFL videogames. Anyway, with the recent innovations game-play wise and major graphical overhauls, Live is slowly creeping up.

2K has done some catching up to mimic Live’s features this season. Hands down, Live kills it in that department, but to be fair, 2K Sports can hold their own, too. EA’s Dynamic DNA system is mind blowing, the improved pick and roll control, advancements in signature play calling, the inclusion of FIBA, and play rewind. The addition of FIBA and play rewind is like adding another game within the game. This year’s version definitely looks better than previous years, hands down.

Oh, so where’s 2K?

There has been some noise from 2K’s camp, but if you’re a lurker for Operation Sports forum then you were not out of the loop. It’s usually like this every season. EA makes more noise and 2K trickles things slowly, but surely. That’s understandable since they want things to be a surprise. I’m viewing all of the gameplay vids and it’s not a monumental step like we saw from 2K5 to 2K6. It’s essentially the same game play from the year before, but with some improvements and tweaks as expected such as splitting the defense, more post play, taking out automatic block on lock down D, Living Rosters, improvisation in mid-air, and true player to player defensive assignments (e.g. whatever position Kobe is playing, Bowen will always shadow him no matter what). Enthusiasts have made wish lists for 2K to consider and while many can’t be added because of time, some do see the light of day.

I haven’t touched Live since 2004, but I’ve played the recent demo; many improvements make it playable. It’s not bad. Previous gens were unplayable trash. Some people had to catch the NBA Street series for fulfilling ball. Even with that said, 2K offers the best dynasty experience with scouting, players opting out of contracts, negotiations, and off season training. Those things were primitive in 2K8 and this is still going through an evolution phase.

They finally added Bird Rights and “ambition.” Ambition is what the player wants to accomplish. For instance depending on age of said player, let’s say Elton Brand, he can listen to your offer of “You, Me, and BD” but turn the other cheek and take another offer back East because it’s easier to make the playoffs and All Star games. Ok…maybe it’s not that sophisticated.

It’s obvious. I’m a 2K supporter yet I leave my mind open returning to Live whenever they become good again. For now, I’ll give the title to 2K again. Here are some things that do annoy me:

1) Get rid of the T-Mobile Sidekick. That shit is annoying to check every time. Get rid of the emails, too. It’s stupid.

2) After winning a title, on opening night, show the banner raising. Also depending where you are in Association mode, what happened to great players after they retire? Can’t they have their jersey retired? They should add a section with your player’s accomplishments and stats and see how it stacks up against past greats.

3) Stat tracking needs a total revision. They need to keep track of double doubles, triple doubles, and even quadruple doubles. I hate to say this but 2K needs the addition of the PER stat (which I think they did this year) and highlight certain trends such as a player going off on a consecutive game streak of hitting 50+ points or 20 points, 20 assists…something like that.

4) Make the individual awards more prestigious. When I win the MVP award, where’s the MVP presentation? They barely mention any award and don’t make any hoopla. It’s sad and meaningless. To fix this, just bring over NFL 2K’s trophy case and overhaul it to the NBA series. Simple. Easy. I’m not sure why they haven’t done this.

5) The post game still needs major work. Despite more tweaks made in 2K9, I bet it’s limited and probably needs another 2 years of experimenting to get really good.

6) If a player, such as Chris Quinn or DeAndre Jordan trains to be a 90 rated player, he shouldn’t be asking for $25 million per when he’s not getting monster stats or anything else notable such as making an All Star team. I hope they fixed this.

7) So they have a create-a-player mode for people online to make their best versions of a certain player such as Michael Jordan, but why stop there? Have a create-a-shoe mode online so I can get my Air Jordans or memorable Nikes from yesteryear. I suck at creating those things so I’ll outsource that to a dedicated fan in North Haverbrook.

8) What is Clark Kellogg doing there? Stop messing around. Get Charles Barkley to do commentary complete with insults. A player makes a stupid decision, Charles chimes in, “Oh he’s just stupid” or “Get this fool off the court. Don’t give him his paycheck.” What entertainment value!

9) Have a trash talk button. You take a risk getting a technical foul or getting the opposing AI to play better or get him to take a hit in self esteem/psyche so he wouldn’t play so well for the rest of the game. Risk and reward.

10) Make draft night special. I want to see my player walk up the podium with his cap. What happened to blockbuster deals made on draft night? Have some announcement on a ticker or pop up or something. I should also be able to entertain offers for my pick or a certain player on my roster as well during that night. Also have a rumor mill.

11) Incorporate Olympic bball games or FIBA.

12) What the hell happened to fake passes?

Both games come out October 7, 2008. So which game is better? Where’s your allegiance and why?