Gaming

NBA 2K18 review: Not a swish, but still a made basket

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The NBA season is right around the corner but for those of us who can’t wait, the next best thing is already here. We got our hands on NBA 2K18 for PS4 and we’ll share with you which changes we think are hits, and which ones are misses.

Shot Meter

One of the first things you’ll notice when you dive right into the game is the shot meter. Previously, it was a circle at the bottom of the player. In 2K18, the shot meter appears right around the shooting arm area when you’re taking a jump shot. 2K says it’s a more natural area for the shot meter to be at and we tend to agree.

Now, the shooting itself takes some getting used to. Other than the shot meter, 2K also shows you the status of the shot. In NBA 2K17 it used to only say if your release is too early, good, excellent, or too late. This time around, it adds if the player you’re shooting with is wide open, lightly contested, or heavily contested. Your timing, the player’s shooting ability, as well as the aforementioned factors, affect the accuracy of the shot.

It seems like it’s a lot to take in but after a few games, you’ll slowly get a feel for how the release works. It’s worth noting too that 2K really did take time to make sure the release of each player is as accurate as possible. If you follow your favorite player closely, chances are the timing and manner by which he takes shots in real life are accurately replicated in the game.

Gameplay

Basketball is a team sport, so for the rest of this piece, I decided to pull in fellow hoop junkies Nico Baguio and Toby Pavon who have had more time playing some of the game modes we’re about to tackle.

The game starts you off at Pro level difficulty (the second to the lowest), and if you’re an NBA 2K veteran, you’ll soon find yourself dominating the AI. Slide up to Superstar or even Hall of Fame and you’ll immediately feel the difference. The opposing team will learn your tendencies and you won’t be able to keep running the same plays to score. You’ll need to make adjustments, just like in a real basketball game.

Prior to the game’s actual release, early reviewers mentioned a noticeable difference in how you can link dribble moves together. You’ll certainly feel this with players that are known ball handlers. Cover athlete Kyrie Irving is an absolute joy to use in isolation situations.

According to Toby, the pick and roll and driving mechanics are a bit more punishing than before but more rewarding when done right. I’m not going to lie: The pick and roll is my go-to play and I have had a harder time executing it, but it does feel more rewarding when you do it right.

That said, it’s not all smooth at the moment. Toby says players seem to phase in and out of having upper-body hit detection, resulting in scenarios where players don’t collide when they’re supposed to. This might be the result of footwork emphasizing design, but it creates a mechanical disconnect in trying to be a simulation game. There are also some forced animations that sometimes break the flow.

We experienced this early on too, but one thing 2K is really good at are the updates. Of course, we would all like the game to feel more complete at launch, but 2K’s history suggests they will be able to iron out these few hiccups here and there.

MyCareer, The Neighborhood

Here we go. This is the game mode that keeps evolving year after year and in 2K18, 2K Sports made some significant changes that have so far gotten mixed reviews.

This year, 2K introduced The Neighborhood, effectively merging the MyCareer and MyPark experiences and putting them in a Massive Multiplayer Online-esque environment. You can tell that’s the direction they’re headed, especially with the growth of eSports — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The biggest issue most players have with 2K18‘s version of my career are the micro transactions. The amount of in-game purchases through the game’s money called VC or virtual currency is insane.

For instance, getting a haircut feels a little too much like real life. Each time you feel like changing your look, you have to pay. And you can’t even preview the look so you’re not sure if you’re getting your VC’s worth. Now we know that’s how it works in real life, but this is still a video game. 2K has to let the players live a little.

The grind can get challenging too. You start off at 60 and have to work your way up to 99, thus the “Road to 99 tag.” If you’re not willing to spend, it might take a while before you actually reach that level. For instance, if I focus on upgrading a single skill for my player, I’ll need around 30,000 VC just to get him from 60 to 61. Wild.

Toby pointed something out that was a surprise to Nico. Games now give out a minimum of 500 VCs which help make the initial grind go faster until you reach the point where your player is getting decent minutes. Another thing: The difficulty multiplier is no more. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing Pro or Hall of Fame, you will get 500 VC. That’s Toby dropping some pro tip right there.

Go around the neighborhood, and you’ll see some mini-games you can play. There’s a three-point shot half court as well as a slam dunk half court. Watch my player struggle in the slam dunk court (P.S. I didn’t start off with the athletic type. Mine’s a three-and-D guy)

 

MyGM, MyTeam

MyGM and MyTeam pretty much follow the same formula from previous iterations. However, there are a few changes in MyGM that rubbed Nico the wrong way.

2K decided to add some backstory to MyGM. In 2K18, you’re a former NBA star who suffered a career-ending injury which is why you were forced to transition into being a GM. Neat, right? Except really early on it feels too much like role-playing games (RPG) from way back. There are too many cut scenes with no audio and you’re forced to read through tons of dialogue.

That said, the best parts are still there. The same trade restrictions apply if you choose to play that way, but you also have the option to turn them off if you just want to build a super team.

Look and style

2K18 is the best-looking 2K game yet. Of course, it has to be. While the current teams and players were well thought out and designed, we can’t say the same for the classic and all-time teams.

Our very own Marvin Velasco and Alven Villavicencio had issues with how 03-04 Shaq didn’t look as big as they thought he’d be.

The general look of some of the players aren’t that good, either. While this is also true for 2K17, we hope future iterations of the classic teams are designed better.

It’s also worth pointing out that some classic teams don’t have full rosters. At least not of actual players. You get about seven to eight rotation players that were actually part of those teams and then the rest of the bench is filled with what seems like randomly generated players all sporting head bands and arm sleeves.

Shoot or pass?

NBA 2K18 is still hands down one of the best sports simulation games out there. It has some competition this year with NBA Live 18 coming out, but the EA Sports franchise dropped the ball last year and are still in catch-up mode.

If you’re a huge NBA fan, chances are you already have this game or are planning to buy it come holiday season. You’ll find that some of the things you love from 2K17, and previous versions of the game, are still present with a few improvements here and there.

2K is experimenting with the story-telling part for some of the game modes, and while there are growing pains, it’s good to see that they are trying.

SEE ALSO: 8 PS4 multimedia features you must try out

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Gaming

Nintendo planning remasters for Mario’s 35th anniversary

Coming soon to Nintendo Switch

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Who would have guessed that the beloved game character Mario is turning 35 this year? For its 35th anniversary, the company is planning a treat for die-hard Mario fans.

According to IGN, Nintendo is looking to remaster most of the games it released in the past. It is planning to release the remasters to its widely popular Switch gaming console. The remasters will help boost the sales of Nintendo Switch as the company holds off on releasing a new Switch model.

Titles up for remaster include Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario 3D World. A further report by VGC further confirms that all the games except for Super Mario 3D World are part of a special anniversary collection. Meanwhile, Super Mario 3D World will gain new content and levels when ported to Switch later in 2020.

The report also indicates a new entry to the Paper Mario series arriving for the Switch. Nintendo was supposed to announce the massive selection of remasters at E3 2020. With E3 2020 canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company is now reviewing its plans for further announcements.

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Nintendo announces Switch ports for Borderlands, Bioshock, and more

Coming later this year!

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With the world at a standstill, home entertainment is getting a temporary boost in sales and popularity. In the gaming world, the Nintendo Switch has blazed through households across the world, especially following the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Sensing the opportunity, Nintendo has revealed more upcoming blockbuster titles when gamers finally tire of their deserted islands.

In a surprise Nintendo Direct presentation today, Nintendo has announced Switch ports for various games on other consoles.

In particular, a good chunk of the new titles comes from 2K Games. On May 29, 2K Games will release Switch ports for Bioshock: The Collection, the Borderlands Legendary Collection, and the XCOM 2 Collection. Prior to the announcement, 2K has already made a mark by bringing its popular NBA 2K series to the console. With the new titles, all we’re missing is Borderlands 3.

Additionally, Nintendo has announced other titles coming later this year. Burnout Paradise Remastered, a fairly recent remaster of the classic racing game, will launch sometime this year. Catherine: Full Body, a former exclusive to Sony, will launch on July 7. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition will launch on May 29.

Finally, a couple of classic Star Wars games are finally getting Switch ports. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is available already on the Switch store. Meanwhile, Star Wars Episode I: Racer will launch sometime this year.

Besides the new ports, Nintendo has launch a new exclusive game called Good Job! The puzzle game takes players to a virtual office, solving puzzles as you climb the corporate ladder. If you miss your office already, this might be the perfect game for you. The game is already available now.

Rounding out this massive launch event, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is releasing a new fighter this June: the fighters from Arms.

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77-year-old arrested for playing Pokémon Go

77-year-old arrested for playing Pokémon Go

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The Madrid Police in Spain arrested a 77-year-old for roaming in the city. Why was he out on the streets? He wanted to catch all the Pokémons because there are no competing players around. This would have been okay at any other time but we’re all currently dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Risking your life for a virtual game is not only foolish but also ignorant. Global casualty count stands at more than 21,000 and we’ll be reaching half-a-million infected victims in the next 24 hours.

It’s understandable that you’re frustrated being home all the time due to a city-wide lockdown or recommendation from authorities to practice quarantine. Humans are social animals and social distancing is something we’re just not accustomed to. We’ve already recommended some premium games like Alto’s Adventure that are free-to-play now.

However, we urge our readers to refrain from playing games that require you to go outdoors. A classic example would be Pokémon Go. The popular game is known for its sensational launch a couple of years ago and some fans are still stuck to it like adhesive glue. And, I understand the craze and love for the game.

Stay indoors

In times like these, nobody should be venturing out, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Necessary here means grocery and medicine runs. It doesn’t mean you wander the streets to catch a rare Pokemon. You may be successful in catching the Pokemon, but there are fair chances Coronavirus will also excel in infecting you.

Every day we’re covering at least a handful of articles that are at the intersection of technology and Coronavirus pandemic. The virus has spread across the globe and authorities are scrambling to educate people about its risks. Engineers are working round the clock to create awareness websites, chatbots, and even using AI to detect the disease with ease.

Via CNET

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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