Gaming

NBA 2K19: A complacent champion

Needs a legit challenger

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NBA 2K has absolutely dominated the NBA simulation video game space for the better part of the decade. It’s been the undisputed champion year after year and the same is true with its latest version — NBA 2K19. As is the case with any multi-year champ, it’s hard to keep the pedal to the metal when you know you’ve basically left your competitors biting your dust.

This is where the NBA 2K franchise is at. If it were an NBA team, it has been a champion for years. Let’s keep things a little interesting by breaking down different sections of the game as if they were players of a champion team.

Face Scan: Last year’s sixth man but fell out of the rotation

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, somewhere between 2K18 and 2K19, the face scan stopped working like it’s supposed to.

This was the result of my face scan back in 2K18, after just a few attempts.

This is my face scan in 2K19 after many, many attempts. And this was the best one.

Here’s me side-by-side with the face scan along with a player I created from scratch.

I think the images speak for themselves, but I’m just going to come out say I don’t know what on earth happened and face scan needs to go back to how it was in 2K18. I ultimately decided to forego face scan altogether and just create a character that looks like he’d fit the story in MyCareer.

MyCareer: X-Factor starter

NBA 2K invests heavily on this mode. It’s understandable because it’s safe to say that anyone who enjoys this game and the game of basketball in general has dreamed of being a star, carrying a team to the promised land, and hitting that game-winning shot.

MyCareer lets players experience all of this. It takes the player into some sort of hero’s journey as a young baller looking to prove that he belongs in the big league. It can get boring, so what 2K has done is to incorporate some kind of story. In 2K19, it looks like they went all out.

In a lot of ways, MyCareer in 2K19 is going back to its roots. In the previous two or three iterations of this game mode, the player was positioned as a star prospect. A good number of my friends who played the game weren’t too happy about it. They loved the idea of being someone unknown taking the league by storm.

This underdog story is flanked by a star-studded cast led by Anthony Mackie (recently appeared on film as Falcon in Avengers: Infinity War). This goes to show that 2K is going all in on the cinematic RPG route in this year’s version of MyCareer. The cutscenes can get pretty long, though. Adding a few more quick time events would have helped with the pacing.

So that’s essentially what MyCareer is to NBA 2K. You never really know what you’re gonna get. However, when it’s on point, it takes the game over the top and makes something good even better.

MyGM: Solid rotation guy

MyGM in 2K19 has also gone the storytelling route. It picks up where 2K18 left off. You’re a player who suffered a career-ending injury and now you’ve built your reputation as a headstrong general manager.

There are a fair number of people who would like to try their hand at running an NBA team’s front office. NBA Twitter talks about trade scenarios all the time and that’s a huge part of what makes this game mode appealing. Being able to build a roster according to your liking and taking it all the way to the championship; that’s a challenge people like taking on.

There aren’t a lot of new things on MyGM. The story has you working with a new team owner while also managing your relationship with the previous one you worked with.

The new story makes it mildly more interesting, but at its core, MyGM is what it has always been: a solid feature on a game that delivers the kind of experience players hope to get.

Gameplay: Star Player

This is what it all comes down to. This is the reason why NBA 2K has been the champ that it is. The gameplay is the undisputed star player of the game. It’s the reason why people continue to play it. It’s the reason why time and time again, people line up for the game.

In 2K19, the gameplay doesn’t feel that much different from 2K18. There’s a huge difference between how both games felt at launch. When 2K18 first came out, the gameplay still seemed a little weird, with players looking like they’re floating on the court as opposed to running on it. There’s none of that in 2K19.

What you’ll experience is a refinement of what was already a good product. Some animations and shots make more sense this time around. The way players transition from dribbling to a shot feel more real, and there are a few subtle improvements here and there that when combined, sum up to a basketball simulation experience that appears to still be ahead of its competition.

As long as NBA 2K keeps this type of gameplay on their side, they will continue to hold the number one spot. However, they can’t rest on their laurels. EA Sports’ NBA Live is creeping on their turf and appear to be a few adjustments away from legitimately contending for the top spot once more.

Some notes from the assistant coach

We still don’t have notable players like Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Rasheed Wallace, and Gilbert Arenas in this game. The 2K community has clamored for their inclusion but this is really more the mentioned players’ willingness to be included in the game more than anything. Here’s to hoping they change their minds soon.

There are a few classic teams I personally want to see. On top of that list is the ‘09-’10 Lakers that beat the Big Three Celtics. While a version of Kobe is already in the game, I badly want to play with Black Mamba #24 when he played with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum as he hunted down his fifth NBA title.

If this is the game that finally makes you want to buy a PlayStation 4, consider getting the NBA 2K19 PS4 bundle. In the Philippines, it retails for PhP 20,490 which will net you the following: One jet black 500GB PS4, one DualShock 4 controller, the NBA 2K19 Blu-ray disc, one premium decal sticker, a badass poster featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo, and a PS4 one-year extended warranty. Not a bad deal!

Final evaluation

As a team with a solid lineup that’s been winning for years, it feels as though NBA 2K still hasn’t reached its peak. While it has been amazing, there’s another level that it can go to. As it is now, NBA 2K19 is still the basketball video game to beat. I have mixed feelings about both the MyCareer and the MyGM modes, but as long as the gameplay takes over when it needs to and until the competition puts up an actual fight, this game will continue to get an overall grade of A.

SEE ALSO: Marvel’s Spider-Man Review: Spidey in all his glory

Accessories

SteelSeries adds world’s lightest gaming mice to Aerox series

The Aerox 5, Aerox 5 Wireless, and Aerox 9 Wireless
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Aerox

SteelSeries continues to expanded its award-winning Aerox series, adding three new ultra-lightweight gaming mice to the collection.

The new Aerox 5, Aerox 5 Wireless, and Aerox 9 Wireless mice are now available, offering gamers even better precision, speed, and comfort.

Dubbed as the world’s lightest multi-genre and MMO/MOBA gaming mice, the latest peripherals come with customizable features.

Aerox

These include programmable buttons for instant access to a gamer’s preferred shortcuts, as well as syncing RGB lighting for a more personalized gaming experience.

Pricing, availability

The three new Aerox mice are now available at SteelSeries’ official Lazada and Shopee stores, as well as Challenger, Courts, Endless passion, Tec Drome, Xtreme, and other major channels.

Refer to the table below for the prices and specs.

Model Specs Price
Aerox 5
  • 66g
  • 9 programmable buttons
  • TrueMove Air sensor
  • 100 percent Virgin Grade PTFE feet
  • 3 RGB zones with Brilliant PrismSync Lighting
  • Water-resistant AquaBarrier with IP54 safety rating
SG$ 149
Aerox 5 Wireless
  • 74g
  • Up to 180 hours of battery life
  • 40 hours of use on a 15-minute charge
  • TrueMove Air Sensor
  • Quantum 2.0 Wireless and Bluetooth
SG$ 229
Aerox 9 Wireless
  • 89g
  • 12 programmable buttons
  • Up to 180 hours of battery life
  • 40 hours of use on a 15-minute charge
  • Quantum 2.0 Wireless and Bluetooth
  • Golden Micro IP54 Switches
SG$ 249

In addition, any purchase of SteelSeries entitles customers to a free one-month GeForce NOW cloud gaming subscription.

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Gaming

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II release date, official artwork revealed

There’s also a hint for a giveaway contest

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Modern Warfare II

The wait is finally over for gamers as new details for the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II have finally surfaced.

First, the release date of the much-anticipated sequel of the 2019 reboot, Modern Warfare II is on October 28, 2022.

As if that’s not enough to get people excited, Activision also had a massive cargo ship sailing at Port of Long Beach in California for the game’s official artwork reveal, teasing enthusiasts even more.

The ship contained an image of the Operative Ghost, as well as more characters on cargo containers. The entire reveal may be watched here.

New characters, giveaway

Aside from the release date and official artwork, new characters are also expected to join Task Force 141, which includes key members like Captain John Price, Sergeant “Soap” MacTavish, Sergeant Kyle “Gaz” Garrick, Simon “Ghost” Riley, and Colonel Alejandro.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was announced earlier this year, with details for the storyline set to follow, that’s why fans are urged to stay tuned.

Developers have also hinted at a potential giveaway contest, mentioning that soon players will have “a chance to own a piece of this dock-spanning art and be a part of our history”.

Interesting, huh?

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Gaming

Sony’s Days of Play sale for PlayStation peripherals, titles is on

Get up to 80 percent off on gaming titles

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Days of Play

Just in time for mid-year sales, Sony announced the start off its sixth annual global Days of Play sale.

Happening until June 8, 2022, the sale offers special promotions for customers on various PlayStation peripherals like the PlayStation VR and DualSense Wireless Controllers.

Furthermore, selected PS5 and PS4 Blu-ray Disc version titles will sell for up to 80 percent off on the PS Store.

Offers will be available at all PlayStation authorized dealers and Sony stores.

Sales offers

For all Days of Play offers throughout the 15-day sale, refer to the table below.

Product/Title Special Price
PlayStation VR with PlayStation Camera PhP 14,990
DualSense Wireless Controllers

Colors:

  • Original White
  • Midnight Black
  • Cosmic Red
  • Starlight Blue
  • Nova Pink
  • Galactic Purple
PhP 3,490
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game of the Year Edition (PS4) PhP 990
The Last of Us Part II (PS4) PhP 990
God of War PlayStation Hits (PS4) PhP 550
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition

PlayStation Hits (PS4)

PhP 550
Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS4, PS5) PhP 1,490
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5) PhP 1,990
UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection (PS5) PhP 1,490
The Nioh Collection PhP 1,990

 

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