A Virtual Slam Dunk

andrew lief

“NBA 2K14,” which I play on Xbox 360, is the best basketball video game I’ve ever played.

This year’s version is the most realistic basketball gaming experience in the series’ history.  Last year while playing, my mother asked me if I was watching a real game, so I can’t even imagine what her reaction will be when she sees me playing this year’s edition.

Every player looks identical to how they look in real life.  They also play with the same specific motions and have the same celebrations that they perform  in real life, which makes the game even more realistic.

The “My Player” game mode is essentially identical to how it’s been the last two years. Next year there definitely needs to be an addition to this game mode.  It’s fun at first, but as you keep playing it, it gets repetitive and boring.

While the visuals of the game are incredible, it still possess some flaws.  Players still stand out of bounds when the ball is being passed to them, which is completely unrealistic.  There are far too many kick ball and goaltending violations in the video game, compared to an actual NBA game.

The announcing team of Kevin Harlan, Steve Kerr and Clark Kellogg, with Doris Burke as the sideline reporter, continues to be solid.  The only question I have, which I’ve had for the past few years is, why is Kellogg an announcer for this game? He’s a college basketball announcer and now since Gregg Anthony has replaced him, he’s just a studio analyst.  I know it’s not really a big deal, but as an avid basketball fan, it just bothers me.

The new game mode this year, “Path to Greatness featuring LeBron James,” allows you to control James’ future and either re-sign with the Heat and continue to build a dynasty or have him leave Miami and try to build a legacy elsewhere. This was a brilliant idea on the part of the 2k14 developers because James is playing at an all-time great level and this game mode will only make people more intrigued about what he decides to do with his future this summer.

The soundtrack of this game definitely attracts a larger audience, with a more Top 40 radio-feel as opposed to last year when the game was produced by Jay-Z and featured mostly classic rap songs. I like this year’s soundtrack just as much  just because I’m weird and enjoy the popular music.

Overall, NBA 2K14 is a lot of fun to play and should be purchased by every basketball fan.