I hate this game. I hate this game so much. I haven’t gotten this mad at a video game since playing SSBM and failing the 15 minute marathon match with 10 seconds to go. NBA2K16 has so many flaws, but for some reason I can’t put it down. I don’t know if that’s a sign of a good game or if I’m just stupid for keeping it up, but at this point, I’m a little too deep in it to back out now.
So lets break my hate down a little bit here. The biggest flaw of this game is the fluff. There is literally so much shit going on other than the gameplay itself that you feel like you’re just sitting there spending more time waiting through the fluff than actually playing any basketball itself. Lets put this into perspective. You go to start a game, and you have to sit and button mash your way through their “pregame show” with Ernie/Kenny/Shaq that always takes way too long to skip through. Then again, this plays while the game loads so that’s some slightly excusable fluff there. Afterwards, you gotta button mash through the starting lineups, and wait for the ref to toss the ball up which takes forever. Then you’re finally in the game and it actually seems like a basketball game. Then, someone gets fouled and you have to sit through their free throws which takes absolutely forever. Or, one of the coaches will call a timeout and you just sit there yet again waiting until you can skip through it. Then, they like to toss in random player interviews that you again end up button mash skipping your way through because who cares, I’m playing a video game I don’t want to hear about how much Tony Parker admires Tim Duncan. You finally get through the game and finish it, and then you have to sit through the mandatory post game show and find out who the star of the game is. At the end of it all, you end up spending more time sitting around waiting for all the mini cut scenes to finish up rather than playing the actual game itself.
As for the gameplay itself, it’s not much better. I absolutely hate playing defense. Like, I’ll admit, I suck at playing defense, but the mechanics of the game don’t help at all. First off, the person you’re supposed to be guarding changes so quickly that at times you’re just immediately lost on the court because you’ve got 2 arrows pointing in different directions. Then if you don’t get back to the player you’re supposed to be guarding in time you’ll get hit with a negative grade because you left your assignment. Or they’ll be wide open and you’ll get downgraded for a defensive breakdown once they hit their wide open shot. And speaking of those defensive breakdowns, they come without warning. I’ve played amazing defense and gotten my opponent to do something like miss a layup, then it’ll be pure chaos grabbing the rebound. They’ll get an offensive rebound and immediately put it back up for a score, and I’ll end up with a defensive breakdown because of that. Like what the hell, at least give me a chance to defend instead of handicapping me with your shitty gameplay.
If the story mode was actually good, it might save this game a little bit, but oh my god the entire story arc was the most boring thing I’v ever seen in my life. I had certain expectations for it, especially since it was directed by Spike Lee. Instead, I just a bunch of characters I absolutely didn’t care about making decisions that I didn’t care about either. It also probably didn’t help that even though my character is about as light skinned and white as possible, he’s stuck with this heavy ghetto speak mannerism. It got to a point where I genuinely skipped through every cut scene because the characters annoyed me so much. I couldn’t even get behind my own character for heavens sake and it’s supposed to be me. Like, if I can’t like myself then why would I like the story mode to the game? Freqin terrible. To this day, I still don’t know the story to the game. Like, I was so glad my first season ended and I was able to get directly to just playing games without having to worry about a shitty cut scene that I’m gonna have to spend a couple seconds skipping.
The game does have a few redeeming qualities though. The gameplay itself, while sporadically there, is actually really fun. I fucking love being able to set a hard screen and pop off it for an open three shot and knocking it home. Or actually running a play successfully and ending up with a wide open lane to the hoop and yamming it home. I was also very pleasantly surprised by the amount of teams in the game from the Euroleague and the classic teams. The Run TMC Warriors are there, Iverson’s Sixers, the original Big Three Celtics, etc etc. Like it’s nice seeing these throwback teams actually there and being able to choose them if you want.
In all, it’s an extremely flawed game that leaves me basically yelling at my computer to HURRY THE FUCK UP. I guess I’m just used to the NBA games of the past. This is my first basketball game pick up since one of the NBA Live’s on N64. I knew there’d be a little fluff, but I just wasn’t expecting having to basically sit through it taking about as long as an actual basketball game. Anyways, I’ll probably keep playing this game, but it’s just a 6/10 for me.