Jonas Spencer ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It’s been exactly nineteen days since the release of 2K Sports’s flagship game, NBA 2K17. Perhaps the juggernaut of the basketball gaming world since the infamous fallout of EA Sports basketball games, we’ve seen this game take the world by storm. Although this game itself is quite popular (unlike its first release in 1999), there’s one game mode in particular that everyone looks forward to each year: MyCareer. Here’s a look into this innovative story of the next superstar—Pres.
The game starts off with your player, nicknamed Pres (the President of Basketball), showing his old high school coach his “mixtape” of highlights. This year, you don’t get to play any games in high school. That’s no biggie though, because you didn’t gain VC (Virtual Currency) from these games anyways. Instead, your player is thrust into the fire when you make your decision for college basketball. Some of the schools from NBA 2K16 remain, such as Kansas, Georgetown, Louisville, UConn, and Arizona. The five new schools are Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Michigan State, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Following your choice, you get to play the annual team color vs. white game (even though it’s only just a quarter). Of course, your play in college dictates where you go in the draft, so watch out for turnovers, poor defensive play, and your overall efficiency. Furthermore, you can track how you’re doing between loading screens as you can read analysts’ remarks about your player, followed by the rise or fall of your draft stock.
After your college hoops are over, you get a phone call from none other than Coach K. For the first time ever, the 2K community gets the opportunity to don the red, white and blue and represent the United States alongside fellow athletes Paul George (the 2K cover athlete for NBA 2K17) and Kevin Durant. Even though you only get to play just one game vs. Australia, it’s another opportunity to gain VC and show you belong on the big stage.
After all of this, you make it to the day that most athletes dream of: the draft. No, you don’t get to see your player walk on the stage or shake NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand or even get to hold a jersey up. Instead, this year you get to see how the 2K analysts grade your player’s overall ability and what they think your career will turn out to be.
When you reach the NBA, this is when your true story begins. From the very beginning, you meet fellow rookie/teammate Justice Young, who is played by none other than Michael B. Jordan. Although their relationship starts off rough, it’s the work ethic and determination to succeed to manifests itself in the new duo “Orange Juice” (remember this duo’s name.) Through this dynamic duo, you take the league by storm, as well as fend off the infamous rumors that come along with the game and fame.
Perhaps the newest features that shook the 2K world were the caps on your player creations. Unlike the past few years, you aren’t able to max out numerous attributes. Each styled player has a set of strengths and weaknesses based on the playing style. So if your player is a defender, there’s a strong chance your scoring ability is going to be minimal at the most. Adding on to that, your wingspan and weight are critical as well. The longer your wingspan, the better your blocking ability will be. However, your shooting ability will be at stake with that increased wingspan. As for weight, this determines your strength/speed ability. The more you weigh, the stronger you will be, even though you will be slower. So make your player wisely, as this will dictate your success.
Let’s not forget to mention the upgrading on this game. Compared to any other version of the NBA 2K series, this game appears to be the most expensive when it comes to upgrade your attributes. This year, shooting off the dribble has its own separate category, as well as layups and dunks. As stated earlier, your player’s play style will affect what your max will be for each category, so be sure to choose wisely. Looking further in the upgrading feature of this game mode, you will learn that practice makes perfect, literally. Players can gain upgrades by participating in drills and filling up the “Doin’ Work” meter. Once this meter is completely filled up, you gain another upgrade. Practice is also the only way that you can upgrade your free throws and stamina. So no, don’t be like Allen Iverson. You actually must practice.
As far as gameplay goes, there’s a new shot meter (just like every year), as well as a few new animations. For once, you have the ability to choose your contact dunk animations. Oh, and remember “Orange Juice”? Yea, that comes to your advantage in the game too. After three assists to Justice Young (or vice-versa), the connection arises. With this gameplay ability, you have the chance to switch between Pres and Justice, depending on who you want to control at the time. You can also celebrate after scoring now and then, which makes the game seem more realistic. The only thing that’s missing now is getting techs for celebrating too much, or the ability to stare someone down (which would inevitably be a tech as well).
All in all, this game sits at the top of the sports gaming community, as it does each and every year. This doesn’t even bring attention to the new features in MyPark and the Pro-Am gameplay. So kick back, relax, and do what Uncle Drew told us to do: get buckets.