27 September 2012
Last Thursday, myself and Craig Gonzalez were fortunate enough to be on the NBA 2K13 developer call. ¬†On the call were Erick Boenisch, producer of NBA 2K13, and Mike Wang, senior gameplay designer. ¬†As is the case with most 2K Sports developer calls, it was very informative and they take alot of questions and answer them for us fans.
However, I'm going to selfishly cut right to the chase...
For the first time in the history of sports video games on consoles, NBA 2K13 has classic teams included , and for the first time ever..THEY CAN BE USED HEAD TO HEAD ONLINE! ¬†Yes! I can finally take my 1986 Boston Celtics against my cousin's 1991 Detroit Pistons (aka "Bad Boys") and settle some old debates. ¬†Wanna take a classic Jordan Bulls team against a Magic Johnson led Lakers team? Sure thing. ¬†Do it up. ¬†I'm gonna give some serious credit to 2K for this one because during last year's call for NBA 2K12, myself and others kept pressing on them on "Why have all these classic teams and players, yet not allow them to be used online?" ¬†Well, they heard our voices, and to their credit, they put it in there. Thank you 2K Sports. ¬†This is huge. ¬†And yes, the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team" can be used online too.
Oh wait, I guess there was other news on the call too. ¬†The devs also said this game represents NBA 2K's "biggest incremental upgrade ever." ¬†More on that in a bit.
One of the things that was interesting about the upcoming NBA 2K13 is that rapper JayZ was named executive producer. ¬†Everyone, including myself, thought this was a gimmick. ¬†I do realize that JayZ is quite a businessman, but still, including a rapper as your E.P. on a sports video game just sounds kind of silly. ¬† However, his role, according to 2K Sports, went well beyond being a celebrity figurehead. ¬†As can be expected, he handpicked the game's soundtrack, but we are told his involvement went way deeper. ¬†According to producer Erick Boenisch, Jay Z gave some quality feedback about NBA sytle presentation and how to further make it authentic. ¬†Jay Z also gave constructive game feedback. ¬†Interestingly, Jay Z also chaffed at the idea that Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen weren't giving their rights to the game to use them in the appropriate classic teams and US Olympic Dream Team '92. ¬†Jay Z was able to interface with both Pippen and Barkley and get them signed for the game. ¬†Nice job, Jay Z. ¬† And, as only he can, Craig Gonzalez asked the question "Because Jay Z is executive producer, will Jay Z's Nets get a big team ratings boost?"- ¬†to which the producers responded "No.".. and laughed. ¬†
Here's some other bullet points from the call
- All classic teams available at start. ¬†No need for "unlocks" like last year to be able to use them.
- New improvements to Association Mode. ¬†All rosters are CBA complaint (apparently a huge undertaking).
- New season feature called "Play Today", where you can take over your team on a real world date (into the real NBA season) and have your team's current record/roster to start with, as will the rest of the league.
- Total Sim Control
- In season "GM Sit Down" feature in career mode. ¬†Your player can demand a trade, urge to fire a coach, complain. ¬†GM will respond based on your stature and clout within the team and league.
- Flopping is now included in the game. (For better or worse! ¬†But it is a real dynamic in the real NBA, so I guess why not?)
- Better artificial Intelligence all around. Aggressive players play that way. ¬†Passive ones play passive. ¬†Defenders play better lanes. ¬†Better matchup recognition.
- Lead passing now helps the fast break. ¬†Kind of a big deal, since in previous iterations of NBA 2K, players would tend to stop to catch a pass, often killing the fast break.
-Online tuning. ¬†Online ball stealing (to an unrealistic degree) has been tweaked from last year's game.
- Presentation improvements.
- More historical/classic teams than last year.
-iOS and web apps that let you interface with your team management remotely when you aren't even at your game console.
-Too many tweaks and realism adjustments to name..
In short, it sounds like there's much in store for the NBA 2K13 release. ¬†Gotta say, I can't wait for October 2nd to get here. ¬†Since NBA 2K11, the series has basically been on a level no other sports video games have touched. ¬†2K12 carried that tradition on. ¬†It looks like NBA 2K13 will add to that.. and then some.
Oh, and did I mention that classic teams can be used online?