NBA 2K18: Review (Is it Trash?)

Took me a long time but here’s my review for NBA 2K18. NBA 2K18 is the 19th installment of NBA 2K series from 2K Sports. With the last game from 2K, I really hated NBA 2K17. I felt the game was unfinished, defense was unplayable, and had too much micro transactions. Despite the price being raise to $150 for the deluxe edition, I would still confident to get a great 2K since 2K12. However, I feel that this isn’t it. NBA 2K18 is better than NBA 2K17, but that’s nothing because NBA 2K17 was the worst 2k ever created by this team so improvement was guaranteed. Before I talked about the negative criticisms, I will talk about the positive points.

Positives

  • New Classic Teams

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I wrote an article on this feature but here’s a quick summary. NBA 2K18 has 18 new historic teams. Majority are very enjoyable such as ’01 Kings and ’11 Knicks. Some of them were unnecessary such as ’15 Warriors and ’05 Grizzlies. Despite

  • Better Game plan settings

The game plan settings in NBA 2K18 are way better than NBA 2k17. Last year was confusing because the sets and concepts are not explained and didn’t make a difference. This year, they showed which concept is better for what player. In-game adjustments are faster to make and easy to execute.

  • The PlayGround is a cool concept

At first, I was skeptical about the new “PlayGround” mode to replace MyPark. I don’t how the servers were going hold up with multiple people in the same area. Honestly, “The PlayGround” is really fun. I like that you can grind for badges in the practice arena or workout to raise your overall. Also, they have some fun mini-games such as dunk-off and shootout challenge, but I wish that you can earn VC for these challenges.

Negatives

  • Virtual Currency is everywhere again

Microtransactions are still here and they are stronger than ever. It is harder than grind for VC to upgrade your player. They remove daily VC earning for the mobile app and the multiplier for playing on higher difficulty. I’m really angry about that because that takes away for playing on “Hall of Fame” difficulty because the rewards are the same as ‘Pro” difficulty. Also, now you have pay for haircuts for your players. At first, the haircuts cost 1,000 VC. However, after the first patch, they changed it to 100 VC.

  • MyTeam sucks!!!

To be honest, I thought that MyTeam would be good because the addition of Draft mode. However, my thoughts changed because 2k ruined Draft mode. Instead of getting twelve rounds to pick a players from five choices in each round, we have to choose two random players in each other and hope you don’t get a gold player. But that’s not all. Now, they added cap mode in the mode, but it not a separate mode. Now, you are forced to play with restrictions in the game. Last but not least, they added ruby and diamond coaches. This is stupid because now emerald or higher class are no longer guaranteed players and that is annoying.

  • Ball Clipping is atrocious

Even though the animations has improved, the ball physics are horrible. Ball clipping is indecisive whether the ball wants to interact with the body. When you’re dribbling the ball, the computer can knock out the ball easily by bumping you. On the other hand, you can bump the opponent multiple times and they can’t lose the ball or momentum. There are multiple videos on YouTube that shows this. This can make you quit the game. This issue needs to fix for next year to have more replay value.

  • MyCareer storyline is cringe worthy

Speaking of replay value, MyCareer has little replay value because of the storyline. I remember I criticized NBA 2K16’s storyline so being bad. However, this year’s storyline makes it masterpiece compared to each other. In the beginning, it seemed the dialogue is bootleg version of “White Men Can’t Jump” mixed with “Above the Rim”. Then the most annoying thing in the whole story is your best friend “B-Fresh”. My goodness she is so irritating from her voice to her dialogue. Her dialogue consists of unfunny jokes and nonstop random talking. And the worst part is that there is no skip button for any of the cutscenes. So if you want to create another player to play for the PlayGround, you have sit through the annoying cutscenes over and over again. Here’s a video that help my opinion on the story:

Rating: 5/10

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Why the return of NFL 2K won’t work today?

Twelve years ago, EA Sports signed an exclusive deal with the NFL to be the only company to have the exclusive license of NFL players and teams. Even since then, EA Sports has released disappointing Maddens almost every year with one or two decent games. During the tenure, there were only two football games without any NFL teams stood out, All-Pro Football 2K8 and BackBreaker. Today, Madden NFL 18 is getting worse month after month. This would be a great time for the NFL to leave EA Sports and go to 2K Sports to revive NFL 2K. That wouldn’t a great idea. I will explain why.

NFL will never leave EA Sports

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There’s no chance that the National Football League will leave EA Sports exclusive deal to have an open license for both 2K and EA. In 2004, NFL 2K5 was released for $20 instead of $60. Even though it was a smart marketing plan, the NFL didn’t like that idea because they didn’t make a lot of money from it compare to the income from Madden 2005. This made the deal between EA and the NFL a lot of easier because both companies can make a lot of money from each other. Despite Madden is getting more negative reviews every year, either company is still making money due to Madden is one of the best selling games of every year since 2005.

2K Sports will give us the same results

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Going back to 2K Sports won’t be the worst thing for NFL video games. However, I don’t see it being the saving grace based on the current state of 2K Sports video games. Recently, NBA 2K series has been fallen down since 2K13. From focusing more on microtransactions to stale game modes, NBA 2K is getting more criticism every year. Especially with NBA 2K17 and NBA 2K18, which is worst games in the entire series. Even WWE 2K series is also getting panned and criticized by fans when compared THQ version of WWE. Even though Visual Concepts still works with 2K, the majority of developers who had worked on ESPN NFL 2K5 and All-Pro Football 2K8 doesn’t work with them anymore. Which leads to my next topic:

Stop Living in the Past

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ESPN NFL 2K5 and All-Pro Football 2K8 are some of the best football video games of all time. However, that doesn’t mean the results from a new NFL 2K will be the same as those games. As much I love those games, I don’t believe that 2K will the same type of game that I love. As previously stated, the company has become lazy and money-hungry similar to EA Sports and it’s making me lose confidence in them. I mean I don’t have that much confidence in EA either but I don’t trust that 2K can go back into the classic state that was in the mid-2000. I have seen this from a lot of fans that they believe 2K can another classic like ESPN NFL 2K5. I feel like some of these fans don’t remember the negatives in these games such as open-field blocking was bad as Madden, the reach tackling feature was atrocious, and user interceptions were nearly impossible in APF 2K8. Despite the games were great, there were things that were flawed or annoying. Also, fans are not looking at the many flaws that NBA 2K have because of their love of the past games and hatred of the recent Madden games.

Conclusion

The main point is that either company will give us crap. As fans, we should keep voicing your opinion on the problems in the game until the developers listen to us. Whether they work with EA or 2K, we complain about something we don’t like. However, don’t give one company favoritism because you don’t like the opposing company tactics.

Blitz The League: Nostalgia Review

My name is Anthony Payton and here’s my nostalgia review on Midway’s Blitz The League. This game came out in 2005 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox but I’m using the Xbox 360 version that was released a year later. Blitz The League is a spin-off to another Midway franchise NFL Blitz. NFL Blitz ended after EA Sports bought the exclusive NFL license, making them the only video game to have NFL players and teams. For being known for their arcade-style gameplay that This game received a different turn in the series. While keeping the arcade gameplay, Blitz: The League decided to step into Mortal Kombat style of violence. This means the gameplay has gruesome injuries with bones breaking and muscles tearing apart.

Gameplay:

As previously stated, Blitz: The League still kept their arcade style of gameplay from the previous games. The game is fast-paced and easy to understand to control. The feature they added to the game is the Clash Meter. The meter allows the player to do commit charged moves such as spins, jukes, catches, and dirty hits. After six successful moves, the player will be rewarded with an Unleased move, which gives the player an unstoppable move that can cause an easy touchdown or an injury to the opponent.

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Game Modes:

Similar to NFL Blitz Pro, Blitz has multiple mini-games. Mini-games include Big Head mode, Butterfingerz, Hard Hits, All or Nothing and others. The main game mode is Career mode. Career mode is where you take over a Division 3 team and lead them to the Division 1 and win the championship. This mode includes two former NFL stars: Bill Romanowski as Bruno and Lawrence Taylor as Quentin Sands.

In the mode, you can customize the players on your team, train them, and even give them legal and illegal drugs to enhance their attributes. Before every game, you are given objective or choices by gaining over 200 yards for extra money or spend money for escorts to fatigue the other team. Also, the story in Career mode is created by former writers of Playmakers, a football show on ESPN that was canceled because NFL didn’t like the portrayal the show was given about the image of professional football.

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Conclusion:

All in all, Blitz: The League is good game and I would recommend to try it out. The game goes around for $15 on Amazon.

Rating: 8/10

Five Things that EA Sports need to do for Madden 19

In my opinion, Madden NFL 18 need serious improvement for next year. Madden 18 is a good game but there is a lot of problems in the game that prevent from becoming a classic. In order Madden NFL 19 to be better than 18, there have to be five changes in the game.

1. Add penalties for online games

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I understand that players don’t want random penalties in the game but it needs to come back. Penalties such as Pass Interference, Holding, and Late Hit need to be added to Madden. I keep seeing animations when defensive backs are taking receivers down before the pass reach to them.

2. Put an Unranked MUT Draft in the game

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This year’s MUT Draft is an improvement from last year. With five extra rounds and guaranteed specific positions, MUT Draft is pretty. However, the problem is that only ranked mode that cost tickets. This is not new but the tickets are harder compared to last year where the only way to earn tickets is to pay it with coins instead of earning it based on how many wins you get during the game mode.

3. Get rid of automated jukes and spins

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In Madden 17, jukes and spins was really bad to the point where elusive running backs were useless. In Madden 18, elusiveness was improved but perhaps too improved where a simple juke can make three defenders miss a tackle. It’s really annoying when you try to make a tackle and you have a great angle but you missed the tackle because of the automatic jukes. Madden 19 elusive should be tuned to the point where it based on the player’s skill level.

4. Add new Presentation styles

 

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Madden 17 added a new commentary team to the game with Brandon Graudin and Charles Davis. While that was exciting, Madden needs an upgrade for presentation. Right now, EA SPorts need to take a page from 2K Sports by adding a pre-game show, a halftime show, and post-game show. I think they should add NFL GameDay Morning and Prime casts to order to get an authentic broadcast feel.

5. Add a MyCareer game mode

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After getting a story mode in Madden, which was pretty good, it’s now time to move on a MyCareer type of game mode. After playing Longshot, I wanted to play more of it because it was fun. I liked the drills throughout the competition. The Connected Franchise mode is pretty much stale because I want to do more than play a regular season. I want to experience an NFL career by making endorsement deals, compete in the NFL Draft Combine, and practice multiple times during off-days. For an example, look at Madden NFL 07 Superstar mode where it had those things and it was a fun experience.

THE WORST MADDEN EVER!!!

Hello, my name is Anthony Payton. If you have seen my articles, then you know that I am huge Madden fan. I basically grew up with the franchise by Madden 99 being the first Madden I played. Even thought I love the series, I admit there are bad Madden games since EA Sports won the exclusive rights from the NFL, making them the only video game to have NFL players and teams. Since that, Madden has been getting the image as lazy, greedy, and non innovated. Even now, Madden is still getting negative criticisms but I think the new Madden games are better now than they were ten years ago. The game that has started this trend is Madden NFL 06 on the Xbox 360.

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I know that this game got positive reviews when it first came out, but trust me it’s far from great or even good. The Xbox 360 version of this game was released two months after the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Gamecube versions. The reason  I mention those versions because I’m going to compare them to each other.

Graphics:

The graphics on the Xbox 360 is pretty interesting at first compared to the last generation versions. However, the visuals are not that impressive because every player looked like they on steroids. Seriously every quarterback and kicker is greatly buffed  with their shoulders.

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Gameplay:

The gameplay is not good compared to the PlayStation 2 version. The movement feels stiff, pre-play adjustments takes longer and confusing to execute. Passing game is atrocious because receivers can’t do diving catches or pass their defender after a deep throw. Dropping catches almost never happen. Even using the hit stick after a catch doesn’t affect the outcome.

Game Modes:

Madden NFL 06  is really lackluster on the  game modes on the Xbox 360 version. The only game mode that is available other than play now is franchise mode. It doesn’t even have a practice mode. That sucks because the game gets easily boring after the first couple of games. Where the other versions have mini-camp, two-minute drill, and the new superstar mode. It’s just terrible that they didn’t even try to give their customers a game that is worth sixty dollars.

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Conclusion:

Madden NFL 06 on the Xbox 360 is a really bad game that started the trend of Madden seems to be lazy to developing a game. After 06, EA Sports released multiple mediocre games. I think that if Madden 06 got more of a honest review, the Madden series would have been more successful in the late 2000s.

Rating: 4/10

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