As the NBA playoffs have just started, it is time to prepare for the games that will follow. It was announced earlier this year that EA would be getting rid of the name NBA Elite and going back to its original name NBA Live. Does this mean a return to former glory for the former king of the court? We really couldn’t tell you at this point. What we do know however is that NBA 2K13 is coming off back-to-back championships of being the #1 rated basketball game. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I suggest you check out a review I wrote a few months back for it.
This brings us to our topic today. 2K13 VS Live13, which will succeed this fall? Let’s begin with 2K13, year after year 2K sports have found ways to make this title the most authentic basketball simulator the world has ever seen. The only way that they could go any further is if they were to allow you to control the real life players themselves. That being said though, having realistic movements and actions in the game are fun and make it feel real but is that what gamers really want year in and year out?
To some extent yes, gamers do and to others no, they do not. That is why 2K games are constantly updating their formula always looking to improve the presentation in the game to make it almost look real to life. It is not just the realism though that has improved dramatically. It is also the gameplay, new ways to control your offense and my player modes, which make it, feel as if you have more control over your CPU’s. Where it is going to need to improve on is its presentation which has always been the best, but what it needs to excel on is its gameplay and control structure to be successful. It can be done, but this can only be achieved through pure innovation.
NBA Elite was canceled last year and for good reason. The game apparently could not perform at the level that NBA stars are accustomed to day in and day out. What does this mean for the next title from EA Sports? Many things actually, since there is no new information except for the fact that its name has been changed to NBA live which fans will recognize, it shows that EA may be going back its roots. What made fans love live was the flashy gameplay, high scoring contest, and quick paced gameplay. Can this work in this day and age where realism has taken over the sports genre? The answer to this is Yes and No. It can’t work if that is what is emphasized from the very beginning of the game. People for the most part like playing defense and being able to shut down key players. If you can score on a defense with ease, than there is no challenge. Gamers need a challenge to feel rewarded for victory.
The second aspect EA Sports needs to focus on with this title is the overall presentation and gameplay. Live always irked my attention because you had two different buttons to shoot and dunk. I really never understood that. In real life, you do not just wait for your brain to pick a motion you just react. Work off of your instincts to score a basket. The gameplay can be free flowing, but it also has to be realistic to what fans want. We do not want a game where you can do a dribble move to the right, break into the lane for an easy layup (or maybe we do) it has to be something that is tasteful and acceptable to being considered real.
In end of this discussion, I truly believe that Live 13 is primed to have more success than 2K13. You might be scratching your head as to how I came to this assumption but the answer is easy. Expectations, many or some people expect Live to crumble and flop (basketball pun intended) under the pressure that is NBA 2K13. I honestly don’t feel that is the case. The pressure is on 2K to live up to the greatness that they themselves have created and if they are unable to do so, it could lead to a downfall. In essence, you could say this debate is at a stalemate right now. One has to succeed or the other one does not and the alternative is that they both succeed or fail and nothing changes. In the end however this relies on gamers and consumers alike. Well what are your thoughts, NBA Live or NBA 2k which one will have more success?