October 5, 2010 marked the imminent release of one of the most influential basketball titles of this generation. With Michael Jordan gracing the cover, NBA 2K11 proved to be an unstoppable force at retail and reached astronomical heights never once thought attainable by any sports game. After having sold over 4 million copies strong, the question now is what can 2K sports do for an encore? This article will attempt to elaborate on three ideas that can improve the series moving forward. Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to leave your comments below.
3) Balanced Online Play
One of the single most annoying things about NBA 2K11 is the flawed, wavering online play. The concept of playing up to 5-on-5 basketball with your friends is exactly how I would imagine sports games should be. Unfortunately, problems with lag easily make things less enjoyable. Whether you own either the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version, the online connectivity problem remains an issue on both platforms. Many sources claim that the gameplay experience is often determined by the strength of your network.
However, it’s worth noting that I have been on several occasions where the 2K servers fail halfway through a game. There are literally instances where you’ll be close to completing a game only to lose stats and be disconnected. NBA 2K12 needs to address this issue first and foremost to see how they can account for errors of this multitude. By the same token, people will easily leave your match and affect the outcome of the game. There should be a system in place that either deducts points or gives maybe a 5-minute penalty before the culprit can join another game. During the season mode, team chemistry is a feature that plays an integral part in your success. It would be a welcomed addition if 2K can find a way to add that dynamic to the online arena.
2) Rivalries Mode
The 2010 NBA Finals was the site of an epic 7 game series between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. The intense rivalry between both organizations continues to be a hot topic whenever they play against each other. Wouldn’t it be compelling if you had the power to relive old rivalries? NBA 2K11 showcased this trend through use of the Michael Jordan Challenge mode. Playing as MJ, you had to do things like outscore Dominique Wilkins and beat the Utah Jazz while being sick with the flu. 2K12 can up the ante on this concept by allowing you to rewrite history to favor your team.
In many ways this mode can be similar to the Madden moments feature in Madden NFL 11. 2K sports does a great job of updating rosters and stats regularly, the same effort can be put into updating this mode on a monthly basis. The idea behind the execution would be to create an undeniable replayability factor that’s still strong long after the season ends.
Another direction entirely would be for you to actually create new rivalries among other teams. 2K11 does an exceptional job of monitoring player tendencies already and adjusting this to also compensate for personalities could prove to bring the game to a whole new level. Imagine starting a rivalry between the resurgent Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers that culminates into a Western Finals Showdown. Adding features like this would make the game an instant classic for generations to come.
1) My Player: Behind The Scenes
The My Player mode in 2K11 received a much-needed overhaul in terms of style and substance. The structural framework of following a player from the draft up until the prime years of his NBA career is truly a genuine concept. Adding endorsement deals and press endgame interviews were minimal, but solid points to include within the experience. 2K12 should further emphasize that point by showing the trials and tribulations of life off the court as well.
Living a lavish lifestyle can be a dangerous thing if you don’t have a handle on who you are and where you come from.The dynamic of introducing hardships into the equation is the same bold move that EA Sports is taking with their Fight Night Series. Going this road will not only revolutionize a sports story campaign, but may very well make such concepts more believable to everyday people.
What route can 2K go in their story? An old adage states that money troubles can change you, and the people around you. There are several real life examples of players (retired or active) who can address these topics and setup the perfect catalyst for change. At this point this wouldn’t be just a mere basketball title, but a world account on maintaining strength and optimism in times of uncertainty.