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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Entertainment

BLACKPINK on PUBG in-game event will let you cheer for the members!

It’s happening from Sept 24 to Oct 8

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So both the official social media accounts of BLACKPINK and PUBG Mobile shared this:

A report on Sports.V.Daum details that starting September 24, “How You Like That” by BLACKPINK will play on PUBG’s lobby music. It will then be replaced by the title track that will be released in October as the popular K-Pop girl group releases their first full album.

PUBG and BLACKPINK will also release a video and an in-game event to mark the collaboration. In addition, starting September 24 at 3PM (KST) to October 8, players will be able to watch BLACKPINK videos on the in-game event page. Whether your bias is Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa, or Rosé, you’ll be able to cheer for and send My Room gifts to them.

Missions during the in-game event will earn you cheer points. There are six level rewards on cheering missions. Rewards include Bi-ping-bong — BLACKPINK’s official lightstick. Many more items and gifts will be able during the duration of the event.

Dowload PUBG now and don’t forget to stream “Ice Cream” for clear skin.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 17, 2020 but has been updated since to reflect new information.

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Gaming

Metal Gear Solid Remake possibly coming to the PS5 and PC

If confirmed, this is already on top of the next-gen console’s insane lineup of games

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Metal Gear Solid

A Metal Gear Solid Remake might be upon us! According to several sources, it’s possible that we will be getting a full remake of the PlayStation classic for both the PS5 and PC.

YouTube creator RedGamingTech touched on this in his recent video, confirming from his numerous sources. Essentially, it suggests that the remake will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive with an available PC version.

The same YouTube creator also mentions that Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and 4 are reportedly getting PC ports — or remasters. Whether or not all of these are true remains to be seen. But, if it is true, this will definitely bolster the amount of titles that will be available to the PS5, whether that’s upon launch or within the first year of its release.

Metal Gear Solid was first released in September 1998 for the PlayStation and PC. It’s a stealth game that follows Solid Snake — a soldier tasked to neutralize the terror threat FOXHOUND. The game was well-received by fans and critics. It sold over six million copies.

Within weeks since the price and release date reveal, people went crazy over Sony’s PlayStation 5. Apart from this, several game developers announced that they already have titles ready for the next-gen console.

Are you excited for this possible remake? What PS5 game are you most looking forward to?

SEE ALSO:
PS5 official pricing
Sony unveils more games coming to PS5

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Gaming

Globe, AcadArena launch Esports merit scholarship

Who knew playing video games has its benefits to your education?

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esports

By this time, some students are already having online classes as a result of the pandemic. Even so, the younger generation still finds time to play video games to their hearts content. For others, while school hasn’t started yet, they use this time to hone their skills in otherwise competitive titles. Now, Globe and AcadArena have something very special planned that will provide more opportunities to college students.

As part of their student organization support system Alliance, Esports AcadArena is launching its first Esports merit scholarship. In partnership with Globe, this scholarship hopes to provide financial assistance through active participation in Esports activities. Essentially, student organizations from member universities may avail of this scholarship for select students.

The scholarships offers three types of merit depending on the student’s activities within their organization. There is the Family Good Game Grant which offers financial assistance to the student’s family provided he qualifies in AcadArena’s tournaments. Also, there are Competitve and Leadership Merits granted onto individuals with good chararcter and performance.

To know more about the Alliance Program or if your organization is interested in applying, visit AcadArena’s webiste.

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