Jun 7, 2013
While the NBA season is winding down with the NBA Finals (Editor’s Note: That will hopefully end with the San Antonio Spurs crushing the Miami Heat), with basketball simulations, the season does not ever have to end. This is why NBA 2K13, the port of the ever-popular console basketball game for Android devices, is potentially such a breath of fresh air.
The actual graphics are, in a word, fantastic. The definition is superb, and there is a clear flair added. Movements are fairly realistic, with special care given to adequately replicate basketball movements. The background scenery was impressive, with exacting care seemingly paid to different NBA arenas. The animations are good as well; I especially like the little things, such as the ubiquitous daps given between free throws. The replay sequences are nice, and even the entertainment/timeout clips looked believable.
It was also nice to see the players look like their real life counterparts. Players were pared down to scale, so it was clear who say, Tony Parker is when compared to Tim Duncan.
The game comes in three play modes: Practice, Multiseason and Practice, all fairly self-explanatory. Outside of that, there are also some cool challenges in the name of Greatest Games, where you play as an NBA legend and try to match stats from an iconic game he played in, like Shaq’s 63-pointer against the Celtics, or Iverson’s first triple double against the Clippers. This section is adding more legendary players, which is great.
The gameplay itself is extremely fun, with a fun game engine and intuitive optional controls (either virtual d-pad or gestures). The d-pad came with buttons on the right to control offensive and defensive actions. Difficulty is based on level chosen; there are five levels to pick from, ranging from Rookie to Hall of Fame. I didn’t get an opportunity to try the bluetooth multiplayer, but it is a great feature on paper.
I thought that the practice mode could have been significantly better refined; it is a bit bare with regards to learning defensive sets. Also, cool as the graphics were, there were a circulated frame or two. I also hope to controller support down the line.
I think it is an incredibly exciting game that wonderfully brings console-level gameplay to mobile devices.