Βy Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Thanks to Greek distributor CD media, Eurohoops got in its hands a copy of the NBA 2K14 game one day before its official European release and after a week of testing and playing we are ready to give you our verdict about the first ever inclusion of 14 Euroleague teams in the game. Despite its minor issues, NBA 2K14 is the best hoops game in the market and the Euroleague flavor is making it even tastier in Europe.
Graphics: A job well done
If there is one part of the game in which the developers have paid extreme attention is the likeness of Euroleague players and the results are more than good. Most players included, stars or not, are really similar visually to their real selves and the fact that even the less famous athletes are not based in some generic model is definitely a plus.
However there are mistakes, like the the really slim Sofoklis Shortsanitis, but in general at least 80% of the players are looking like they should be and in some cases the detail is impressive. Νathan Jawai is also a little bit slimmer than he should, so maybe the developers are cutting some slack to large centers. That been said, no Euroleague player has any tattoo, so that has to be fixed (Pero Antic will be added soon in Atlanta and it will be interesting to see if his tattoos are added also).
Same is the case with European gyms. You can chose them and use them, but they are just copies of the NBA gym models with no similarities with the real stadiums. And of course, the coaches are all the same model, a tall gentleman with grey hair and a vague resemblance to Gregg Popovich. However those are details. What is a real problem is the fact that each team has a 10 players roster and in many cases that means good players left out of the game.
The overall ranking of each players is based on the usual general categories of 2K (offensive game close and away from the paint, perimeter and low post defense, IQ) and this system creates some questions and some problems.
We have players that are benefited by this categorization and others that are not. The biggest example is 23 years old Greek point Vaggelis Mantzaris of Olympiacos, who has a bigger rating than his teammate, Acie Law or Real Madrid’s leader Sergi Rodriguez.
Euroleague’s MVP, Vassilis Spanoulis doesn’t have the biggest rating and there are many players, guards and bigs, who have rated better, because of the overall sum of their general categories.
However, that’s a usual problem in the balance of the game even when we are examine in detail NBA players and it was kind of expected specially in Euroleague. Also, many players who in real life are making their leaving in the paint, have better rating in their perimeter offense than inside or the opposite. To be absolutely fair a percentage close to 60% of the players included are behaving like they should be and their game is pretty accurate to the real thing. And 60% is a good number.
One week is not enough, but we can share our first impressions of the game. It’s harder to find defensive balance than offensive and we think that it’s harder to create a successful pick and roll in comparison to previous versions of the game. You have to try really hard in order to be good at it.
A big plus for our tastes is that you have to be really careful in passing the ball – that’s the reality of the game and it makes stealing a valuable asset – and also that if you find the right touch for each player, you can make a tone of threes, even off the dribble.
Ball handling is also a bit different and in order to see that difference you have to use the right analogue stick, specially if you are controlling a player with a high rating in ball handling.
And ok, players like Spanoulis – he is not the only one – don’t dunk like this in real life, but, hey, it’s a video game. If you want absolute realism use the analogue sticks in order to chose the “real” finishing moves.
In total, 2K Sports have put a really good effort in their first – historic you might say – European addition of the game and we are hoping that through the updates we will see the “real” rosters and some improvements in the ratings in order to get things even closer to reality. After all the enemy of good is always the better, but for a first ever try, that’s a damn good Euroleague game.