In all my years of doing game reviews, I’ve never had to go back and change a score. Now with the advent of DLC and game patches, developers are allowed to release games with bugs. It’s not fair to us gamers that quality assurance has gone from great to deplorable over the years. If you think about it, a game cartridge with 2D sprites had better QA than a newly released PS3 or 360 game.
2K Sports and EA Sports have traditionally released their competing sports titles on the same day. I have no idea why they do this but with EA releasing one of the their best Live versions to date and 2K on their 10th anniversary, they must have felt the pressure. I really don’t think 2K Sports would have lost sales had they waited until most of the bugs were fixed before releasing the game. NBA 2K has a huge fan base and with this version of the game, there are rumblings that it’s their worst outing yet. So after waiting for the first patch to release and playing many games, Matt Jenkins had to lower his NBA 2K10 score. The full addendum to his review is after the jump.
Editor In Chief
After playing NBA 2K10 for a few weeks after my review, I felt compelled to write an update and change my review score. I have never gone back and changed a score in my 10+ years of reviewing games, but there?s a first time for everything. As if it isn?t clear, NBA 2K has been my favorite sports series of all time. It pains me to smash this game, but it must be done.
Slow-down: This has actually not been fixed, at least not properly. I can get slowdown to occur pretty regularly by calling a time-out then quickly pressing the A button through it. The spot lights will often continue rotating around the court indefinitely from this point forward, which brings about the slowdown. It seems the only way to correct this is to call another time-out, though that does not work every time. Why is there ANY slowdown in this game?? Unacceptable.
Online play: I understand (from reading posts on the 2K Sports forums) that there are still issues with online play, such as dropped games, non-working modes, and so on. Why is this not completely addressed by now?
Animations: I?ve noticed more times than I can deny that many animations are simply not possible. I?ve noticed that my ball-handler will make moves that simply defy human capabilities, such as dribbling one direction then suddenly turn in an awkward manner and continue on in a direction that just couldn?t be done. I?ve also noticed that defenders often warp while defending the ball handler. Even if you (as the ball handler) make a good move, the defender somehow manages to warp right in front of your position. This warping seems most noticeable when a defender is guarding the ball handler closely in the high-post/beyond the arc ? perform some type of move around your defender and suddenly he is standing in front of you, having warped to the position without moving his feet much. Another example is with certain ball fakes ? many times the ball fake causes the ball handler to lean back on his heals while faking the shot, which looks very awkward and makes it impossible to quickly recover and dribble around your defender, post fake. All these issues have happened way too frequently to dismiss, so it has to be brought up. While I?m sure there are more, these are the animation issues I?ve noticed first-hand.
Gameplay: The AI attempts alley-oops far too often, for one thing. Most of the time, the ball sails out of bounds. Alley-oops are relatively rare in real NBA games, but I see attempts (some good, most not good) in 2K10 about 5-6 times per game at least. Stamina doesn?t seem to diminish properly either. 2K9 seemed to get it right, while 2K8 was way off. Why does this change? While 2K10 has better stamina management than 2K8, it does seem like players tire entirely too fast (I do recognize there is a different stamina system now, but even without using turbo, stamina just decreases too fast). It?s downright impossible to consider a player staying in for 90% of the game (which is what the top players do) let alone the entire game. Another issue is that the AI ball handler often just stands still holding the ball for 10 or more seconds (usually it?s an AI player standing just outside the key), shooting only 1 second before the shot clock goes off. That has happened in previous NBA 2K games as well, but there?s no reason it shouldn?t be addressed by now. On that same note, how often do shot clock violations happen in real life games? I rarely see this happen, and it generally only occurs when the defending team plays incredible defense, though players do sometimes lose focus. In NBA 2K10, I?ve had games where the AI is called for a shot clock violation 3 or 4 times in a game..even when I?m not playing tight defense. It?s like the players are not programmed to pay attention to the shot clock. I know other gameplay issues exist, but this addendum to my review is already wordy enough.
Commentary: NBA 2K10 is the first game in the series that simply makes the wrong call all too often. Many times, I?ve heard announcers mention something about the end of the 4th quarter while the 2nd or 3rd quarter just ended. Also, when discussing certain players, the commentators will say the same thing each and every game ? playing as the Knicks, I?ve heard about Nate Robinson?s football background EVERY game I?ve played so far. What gives? I?ve heard other miscues as well, but this is the most glaring. Previous NBA 2K games had occasional issues here and there, but not nearly as frequent as 2K10.
2K Sports, why were you so lazy this year? Did you not have game testers or did you not give them time to test properly? It wouldn?t be too hard to find and write a solid handful of bugs on this post-patch ?finished? game. If there wasn?t enough time for testing to occur, then the blame is placed elsewhere. This unpolished, buggy game is not what I?ve come to expect from you. I am extremely disappointed and hope that you will release another patch or provide refunds for gamers who expect more from your games. You can?t do baseball right (MLB 09: The Show is so much better, it?s unfair to compare), so let that exclusivity nonsense go and bring some team members over for help. If you want to compete next year, you need to go back to the drawing board and start fresh. I still have faith in you, but this is ridiculous.
I recently found out that yet another ‘big’ patch is coming for NBA 2K10 some time in January 2010 (http://www.2ksports.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249974). I haven’t found out yet what will be addressed. However, from reading various posts on the 2K Sports forum, it seems like many of those fixes on that huge list (from the previous patch fix list) were not implemented. Along with the game still being buggy, perhaps we’ll see something promising soon. Regardless of what this patch does or does not do, it’s still unforgivable that 2K Sports released an unfinished product. By the time that patch is out, most people will have moved on and/or will have been let down by 2K overall. What a poor way to handle your 10th Year Anniversary Edition, 2K!
New grade ? [Rating:3.5/5]
If the January patch is significant, I’ll have to update this review again!