I've been playing basketball video games for about 20 years (Lakers vs Celtics was the first one I owned on PC!), and through the years I've always thought there were basic things they could do to make it better. I'm glad to see NBA2K15 is the closest I've seen yet to the ideal BB video game. However, I have a few personal suggestions for future releases I'd like to share. Sorry in advance for the long first post - I'm just passionate about the game. 1. realistic body shapes (especially for created players)
. For some odd reason it seems that in 2K15, you have the ability to tweak tiny details like facial symmetry, but still
(and this has been an issue in virtually every bball game I can remember), you have little to zero choice for their body, which is the most important thing! (for 95% of the game, you're looking at their entire body from a distance, not a close up of their slightly-asymmetrical nose or whatever).
For a created player their body shape does not reflect the BMI (relative height to weight ratio). A 6'10 player who weighs 220lbs should be quite lean, but a 5'11 player who weighs 220lbs should be built like a tank. Not only is this still a problem in 2K15, but you don't seem to be able to modify body shape at all
apart from shoulder-width, and the default body type your MyPlayer gets is rather scrawny (especially in the arms).
This is even more baffling due to the fact that the AI players have relatively realistic body shapes (just look at Shaq or Karl Malone). Why can't the player select his body shape from one of the pre-made ones in the game, just like we can select our animations, etc.?2. Player weight (and height) should be taken into account AND effect their attributes
. Another problem in every basketball game I can remember.
If you have a guy who has a high BMI (weight to height ratio), they should have their stats capped
. So they can never
get 99 for speed, quickness or vertical. Likewise, a player who is built like a whisp should never be able to achieve 99 for strength. Same, to a lesser extent goes for height. A guy who is 7'2 should never be able to move the court like Isiah Thomas. Of course, you could get 7 footers who are exceptionally fast and agile, but in their case that would be a 70 or 75 rating, not 98.This is also a great and realistic way to stop 'player players' creating unrealistic super-humans
. Even if you reach your full potential, sacrifices have to made somewhere
. If you're 7'0 tall, that maybe speed and agility. If you're 6'1 and 170lbs it's obviously reach and strength. A 6'6, 6'7, 200lbs player could get very high in almost everything, but still not as nippy and coordinated as a Isiah Thomas and still not as strong as Big Baby Davis (and definitely not carry his momentum into contact/driving!)
In my career, height and weight should also effect how difficult it is to upgrade some statistics. If you're a lightweight, it should cost more to upgrade your strength and be cheaper to upgrade your quickness - and visa-versa for heavyweights. For very tall players, it should cost more to upgrade their free throws, ball skills, etc.3. My Career mode is way too scripted
. For my 2c, it would be far better to have much more variety and options in the MyCareer story even if that meant
using only still images and subtitle text. Of course it would be great if they were all cut-scenes and voice overs, but I imagine if you're going to add a heap of variety and options that would just be far too much to include. Cut scenes add virtually nothing to gameplay. They're a "nice to have" and that's it. And gameplay is what makes a really great and immersive game, not 3D rendered cut scenes that most people skip through anyway
, especially if you already saw it once. For me, a more realistic career mode, with more options, more variety, and more realistic "world reactions" to your court performances and decisions beats cut scenes and player voices by a billion miles.
Also, at the moment, it seems every off-court decision comes down to two options: a) act like an arrogant douche-bag OR b) act like an arrogant douche-bag with a touch of false modesty.
What if you want to play the role of a quiet, lead-by-example type role model player, instead of an arrogant know-all? What if your player is a low-scoring, board-crashing power forward getting the un-glamorous hard work done? Why do you have to act like such a douche to Dante Exum? Why can't you just be modest and/or friendly? It seems at the moment MyCareer is tailored expecting every MyPlayer to be a cocky, high-scoring guard.
And while I'm at it, not every basketball player/fan speaks using ghetto slang. Can we at least have the option to talk like a normal person?
Regardless, it seems whatever you do, the MyCareer "story" pans out exactly the same way. A 10 day contract, another 10-day contract, a one year contract. Half way through the season, no matter what you do, everyone starts treating you like a star player and so on. This should all be variable based upon on court performance and off court decisions. This brings me to my next point...4. Way too easy to become "the star" in MyCareer
. Personally, what I like about NBA2K15 is it seems much more of a simulation
than an arcade basketball game. This is great, but the MyCareer story should pan out the same way. If, like most of us, you're not freakishly good at the game (yet), you should be struggling to make the starting line up, even struggling to get a spot on the bench. Especially at the beginning of the game when you have very low statistics. This can be the challenge in itself ... just establishing yourself as a credible player. As it is, it seems you're fast-tracked into the team-leading super-star role by the end of your first season.
Of course, the opposite is also true. If you do happen to be freakishly good at the game (or you play in a easy mode or just start the game with lots of points to spend on upgrades from day 1), then
you should be able to play the role of the undiscovered basketball hotshot. But that story line shouldn't be forced. That's what I mean when it comes to variety and options.
I'm guessing the game designers are worried it will be too difficult or no fun for players who don't care about career development and just want to play the role of a star. Well, they can just achieve that just by playing on an easy difficulty level or buying/saving up upgrade money before they start their career. The career mode shouldn't be tailored for players who want to be an instant success on the highest difficulty without putting in the practice.5. More intelligent coaching directives
. For example, you're a board-crashing power forward or center with low play-making skills that happens to pick up a few consecutive offensive boards and put backs resulting in some fast points. Suddenly the coach decides to "Direct the offence through you" ... that's not a very smart coaching decision (and pretty tough on the player when they inevitably fail). Instead, he should just say, "Great work on the boards, keep it up", not ask you to become the play maker all of a sudden.6. Other minor points
- Dante Exum speaks with a London accent. I thought they used real player voices, but this really stood out to me (especially as an Australian myself). I checked on YouTube to make sure he really doesn't have that accent for some reason (maybe he lived there for a long time) and he doesn't. It's just weird. It would be like if some non-American made a game with a character from Texas who spoke with a Scottish accent. Probably isn't noticeable much to anyone who is not Australian, but just saying... made me snort.
- Rebounding seems way too easy. I'm coming to the close of the first season, and although I did concentrate on creating a rebounding beast, my stats are not yet very good and I'm averaging about 20 rebounds a game.
- Put backs are too difficult. Never managed to even do one. While the A.I. seems to be able to do highlight-reel putback dunks over my head while I'm boxing out.
- Free throws are too difficult ... then too easy. At the start, with no free throw upgrades, it seems extremely difficult to make free throws. I was averaging about 25%. As soon as I upgraded my free throw stat to about 60 it became so easy I'm all of a sudden hitting 90%. It should be easier to start with, then have a much slower improvement curve.
Lastly, this is an idea, rather than an improvement:Option to start drafted or undrafted
. I like the current MyCareer story. However, if for some reason you start the MyCareer mode with lots of "money" or attributes through in-game purchases, earning them in MyPark, or a previous career (I noticed if you play a career and earn money, then start a new MyCareer, you start with all your money from the last one, so can upgrade your player nicely from the first day), then there should be the option of actually getting drafted. This would be really fun.