Gaming

NBA 2K23 review: A certified All-Star

One of the best in recent years

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NBA 2K23

It’s been roughly about a month since NBA 2K23 was unleashed to the world. So, how has it been so far? Is it really just the same game? Here’s our review. Quick Note: We’re reviewing the Next-Gen version of the game both on the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. 

Slightly improving the core gameplay mechanics

NBA 2K23

Gab: Like what they say, if it ain’t that broke, don’t fix it; for the most part, NBA 2K23 doesn’t do anything over the top with the core gameplay. It’s still that same NBA basketball simulator which relies on precise user timing for both offense and defense, with some minor improvements. For starters, the shot meter feels more manageable in terms of user shot timing vis-a-vis the NBA player’s release.

With enough tinkering, you can adjust how you want the shot meter to look like when taking shots in-game. To be fair, it’s a minor detail but if you were used to seeing your shot meter a certain way, this is a good change. Also, I felt that movement and dribble moves feel a bit smoother to execute.

Rodneil: I agree with Gab that the core gameplay doesn’t feel drastically different from previous years. The shot meter definitely received tweaks. And you’re gonna want to go into settings right away to figure out the release timing that best works for you. 

I also felt that the overall pace of the game is more simulation and less arcade-ish. What I mean by that is that it’s not as fast as 2K22. And you also have to be more adept in running plays to find a good shot. Shot control is much more precise, blocking shots is a little more difficult, and stealing and stripping the ball away is much more challenging. 

MyCareer and The W made simpler and more robust

NBA 2K23

Gab: The first thing that came to my mind before playing MyCareer was “how will they make this any different across the board?” Honestly, I’ve seen 2K Sports throw out all kinds of storylines and gimmicks that I’m not so sure what else they could do to provide a different experience. All of a sudden, I boot up MyCareer and to my surprise: no elaborate backstory, no college leagues or trying out in the G-League.

MyCareer literally throws you right into things as a promising rookie drafted by your team of choice. No more pre-draft interviews, no more stat-padding in college – you pick the team that drafts you and work your way up. All this while everyone in your management team is trying to help you manage your brand, especially when fans were initially disappointed that they picked you.

NBA 2K23

Crossing over to the other side, The W is designed in such a similar way but simpler. As this is the WNBA’s version of MyCareer (a first for NBA 2K, as well), it’s not surprising that it’s this straightforward. You build your MyWNBA Player, accomplish a few tasks, play the games, earn badges – as standard as it could get. 

The now robust MyPlayer Builder

NBA 2K23

Gab: At the start of every MyCareer, you’re greeted with the MyPlayer Builder which essentially helps you create the best version of your player. Much like the last two iterations of NBA 2K, this feature comes with a full belt of attributes, badge forecast, and Takeovers to choose from. For NBA 2K23, however, they really pulled out all the stops with the whole experience.

One key adjustment was in the amount of badges you can earn depending on how you shape your attributes. Compared to NBA 2K22, my 3-Level Scorer has a significantly beefed up amount of badges for Finishing, Playmaking, and Rebounding – unlike last year where Rebounding, in particular, was one badge, at most.

Of course, the more major changes revolve around adding in Leadership Skills and Core Badges to your MyPlayer. Although you get access to these after building your MyPlayer, it gives you a great incentive to play harder and better. Now, if only they could indicate what the actual challenges are for the Core Badges on the Badges screen, that’d be pretty great.

Replica Builds

Rodneil: The biggest addition this year is the Replica Build. If you get the stats just right, including the height, weight, and jersey number, you’ll get Replica Builds of actual NBA Players. The first one to pop-up online was The Joker which is a replica of reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.

There are plenty more builds featuring Black Mamba (Kobe Bryant), Half-Man, Half-Amazing (Vince Carter), The Glove (Gary Payton), The Big Fundamental (Tim Duncan), and many more. 

For the full list, as well as the stats, check out this post from Game Skinny

Unfortunately, these Replica Builds aren’t exactly the best for Park. Sure, you can mess around with them in MyCareer but you might feel they are lacking in Park Play. 

MyTeam and MyNBA Eras

Rodneil: I only really started playing MyTeam after I’ve done everything I thought I could do in MyCareer for NBA 2K22. Part of me wishes now that I didn’t enjoy this mode as much because it has now become an addiction. Collecting Player Cards and using them in the many game types in MyTeam is such a treat. What really drew me in is how it has a set of Agendas – a task list of sorts. You cross off agendas, you get rewards. And rewards come in EXP, MyTeam Points, Player Cards, Card boosts, etc. It’s super addicting, especially for someone like myself who likes crossing off lists. 

My only gripe is that you’re really gonna have to spend if you want to reach Level 40 each Season. And I really have to squeeze every ounce of self-discipline and restraint to not spend too much on the game. 

MyNBA Eras is a nice touch. The vintage filter is present in other game modes, but to really experience its full effect, you have to play the MyNBA mode where you take control of a franchise or two during a certain NBA era. It’s a good experience overall and you get to live what-if moments like what if Detroit drafted Carmelo Anthony instead of Darko Millicic. 

Of course, it isn’t perfect. The draft classes and rosters aren’t complete. This is primarily due to licensing issues with players but 2K really needs to try harder. I’m pretty sure they earn a good amount from all the microtransactions in the game to be able to pay what some of the retired athletes are demanding. 

The Jordan Challenge

NBA 2K23

Rodneil: This is everything I want and more. I have been begging 2K to bring this back and now they have. The Jordan Challenge is a great way to relive the historic career of the best to lace it up. It adds a couple of college games to the mix to keep things interesting. 

So, where do we go from here? How about the Kobe Challenge next for NBA 2K24?

Turnovers

The game suffers even more with microtransactions. As some 2K Content Creators have noted, you’ll likely have to spend another $100 to max out your MyCareer player. And that’s just one player. Sure, you can grind your way through it but that takes so much longer.

Same is true for the MyTeam mode which also demands plenty of Virtual Currency from you. Sure, you can enjoy these modes on your own without shelling out much. But if you want to play competitively, you’re gonna have to drop some dough. It’s literally pay-to-win. 

Definitely an All-Star

nba 2k23 booker

NBA 2K23 is easily one of the franchise’s better releases in recent years. There are no massive bugs at launch. Gameplay has been steady and poses an enough challenge. And there are plenty of game modes to keep you busy for possibly its entire life cycle. 

NBA 2K is fantastic to play, especially if you’re into basketball and the NBA. The additions are great but not revolutionary and the microtransactions hold it back from being a true superstar. That said, it’s not bad at all. NBA 2K23 is an All-Star of a game through and through.

Gaming

ROG Phone 6 gets limited-edition Diablo Immortal design

Available by mid-December

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ROG Phone 6 Diablo

ASUS ROG is officially capping 2022 on a great note as it introduces the ROG Phone 6 Diablo Immortal Edition.

This limited-edition iteration of the gaming smartphone dubbed as the “King of Gaming Smartphones” was done in collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment, and is a surefire must-have for gamers.

The phone features a Hellfire Red colorway wherein a unique flame effect design is embellished onto the phone. This finish also changes luminance at different viewing angles.

The Diablo Immortal theme also extends to the user interface which comes with an exclusive animated theme pack that includes a live Diablo wallpaper and redesigned app icon frame.

When the phone is charging, an exclusive sound and animation containing Diablo-themed elements will also be experienced.

Hellfire-raising accessories

Complementing the device is a set of accessories that is part of the package. It starts with the box itself, whose design is inspired by the in-game Horadric Cube, while the phone is also stored in a box modeled after the Worldstone.

A special protective Shield Blessing Aero case and Map of Sanctuary scroll that reveal hidden marks for those playing the game are also included.

Even the phone’s SIM ejector pin gets a Diablo treatment, coming with a Diablo emblem design.

Demon-slaying ready smartphone

More than its appearance, the ROG Phone 6 boasts of the best specs that deliver extreme mobile gaming performance.

It is powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. The phone has 16GB of DDR5 RAM, 512 of UFS3.1 storage, and a 6,000mAh battery.

The display is a 6.78-inch 165Hz AMOLED screen that supports HDR10+ visuals.

And with GameCool 6 cooling system and AirTrigger 6 technology, one’s gaming experience will definitely be seamless.

Pricing, availability

The ROG Phone 6 Diablo Immortal Edition will retail for PhP 68,995 by mid-December in all ASUS and ROG concept stores and multi-brand dealers.

For more details, click here for the product’s page on ASUS-ROG’s official website.

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Gaming

Marvel’s Midnight Suns now available worldwide

On PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC

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Marvel's Midnight Suns

Tactical action RPG Marvel’s Midnight Suns is now officially available worldwide. It is playable on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Midnight Suns is created by Firaxis Games — the studio behind the critically-acclaimed, world-renowned XCOM and Civilization franchises. The game promises a rich story, character relationships, customization and progression of an RPG. And combines these with tactical strategy and combat mechanics of a card-based tactics game.

What to expect on gameplay?

Midnight Suns

Your Marvel Adventure. You are the Hunter, the first customizable original hero in the Marvel Universe. Lead a legendary collection of heroes that span across the Avengers, X-Men, Runaways, and more as you customize your team, tailor your selection of abilities to suit your playstyle and unlock iconic outfits that will delight any Marvel fan.

Explore the Darker Side of Marvel. Rise up against the demonic forces of Lilith and experience an immersive personal story that brings familiar heroes to an unfamiliar world, filled with the supernatural and the mystical. The stakes are higher than ever as you face-off against fallen versions of iconic Marvel characters and attempt to stop Lilith from reviving her evil master, Chthon.

Live Among the Legends. See heroes in a new light and unlock additional abilities as you develop relationships and strengthen personal bonds outside the field of battle with some of your favorite Marvel Super Heroes such as Iron Man, Wolverine and Captain Marvel. Dive deep and explore the Abbey – your very own mystical secret base – as you explore the grounds and uncover its hidden mysteries.

Fight and Think like a Super Hero. From the creators of the critically-acclaimed tactical XCOM series comes a new engaging and deeply customizable card-based battle system that rewards clever thinking with Super Hero flair. Team up with your fellow heroes, assess the battlefield and launch devastating iconic attacks against the forces of darkness.

Different Editions

Midnight Suns

Legendary Edition

Marvel’s Midnight Suns will be available in four editions: Standard Edition, Enhanced Edition, Digital+ Edition, and Legendary Edition:

Standard Edition (US$ 59.99) on Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. It includes the base game.

Enhanced Edition (US$ 69.99) on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. It includes a next-gen optimized version of the game for next-gen consoles and five premium cosmetic skins.

The Digital+ Edition (US$ 79.99) on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. It includes 11 premium cosmetic skins. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S SKUs include the next-gen optimized version of the game for next-gen consoles.

The Legendary Edition (US$ 99.99) on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. It includes the Marvel’s Midnight Suns Season Pass. The pass contains 23 premium cosmetic skins for the base game. It also has 4 post-launch DLC packs, each featuring a new playable character, new missions, new enemies, and additional character skins.

These are all based on 2K’s suggested retail pricing. You may check with your local stores and your region’s digital stores for local pricing.

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Gran Turismo 7 might get a PC port

According to the creator

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Between last year’s Forza Horizon 5 and the upcoming Need for Speed Unbound, it’s a great time to be a racing gamer. Now, if you prefer playing on the PC, you’re likely getting another title to fuel your racing ambitions. According to the creator himself, Gran Turismo 7 might make a pitstop for PC.

Speaking to GTPlanet, Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi is “looking into” a PC port for the latest entry to the series. Released back in March, Gran Turismo 7 became the quintessential racing simulator for the PlayStation 5 (and the PlayStation 4, too).

That’s no surprise, though. If the “7” in the name of its latest entry hasn’t given it away, the Gran Turismo series has (usually) wowed gamers for years using the top-of-the-line hardware packed inside the most recent PlayStation console. It highlights and underlines the “simulator” in the car simulator genre.

However, amid all the hype, the series had a major flaw: You need a PlayStation. Now, as more former exclusives are making their way to the PC, the racing simulator might join in, adding another playable title for PC gamers. If the title makes the jump, it will join illustrious names like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Days Gone, and Uncharted. In fact, more are likely on the way. Sony is now fine with exclusive titles making the jump.

SEE ALSO: Gran Turismo 7: For car enthusiasts

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