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NBA 2K20 Review

A carbon copy of 2K19 with minimal improvements

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It’s 2K Season yet again! NBA 2K20 is back and better than ever… but is it really better though?

2K Sports has released their NBA 2K20 Standard Edition featuring Anthony Davis and their Legend Edition were recently retired Dwyane Wade graces the cover last September 6, 2019.

It took me a while to write this review as I was trying to play all of the game modes, hoping to provide you the best possible review of the game. I’ll be going through the new features and positive changes along with the negatives and the missed opportunities with the game.

As always, let’s start with the positives first.

Gameplay

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Being a sports game that gets released every year, it might be hard to find ways to innovate the gameplay experience that players were accustomed to. But it looks like 2K was able to improve on that aspect in NBA 2K20.

Unlike last year, where it was very difficult to drive past your defender, this year’s version makes it a bit easier and realistic. It’s now easier for faster and stronger players to blow by their defenders this year. In NBA 2K19, slow defenders were capable of defending quicker players like they were stuck together by some weird animation.

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Along with this, other notable improvements such as play-calling were also noticeable. You can now use different kinds of defensive sets while playing. Say, if you’re playing the Rockets, you’ll now be able to use the Switching defensive scheme they run in real life on the game, although it’s a bit harder to implement.

After all of the positives, the gameplay is not all good though. I’ll delve into it more on my Negatives section further down in the article.

Graphics

Visually, NBA 2K20 is better than 2K19. In fact, it’s the best game in the entire franchise when talking about the graphics. There are a lot of improvements with regards to the animations, MyCareer and MyGM cutscenes, court designs, jerseys, renders and more.

But I think the most important visual improvement they made is the player designs. It seems like every player has an accurate hairstyle and tattoo design now. Some are even rocking the Ninja style headbands in-game! Which the NBA has decided to ban right now.

Signature player animations such as Russell Westbrook’s “Rock-A-Bye Baby” move and Damian Lillard’s “Bye Bye” celebration are also a sight to see.

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MyCareer actors such as Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson were incredibly rendered in the game. The cutscenes in MyCareer tend to look like an animated movie with its story as well.

The Neighborhood also had a few visual improvements. New theme for courts can now be used. Aside from that, they’ve also teased about the seasons changing in NBA 2K20. In fact, in their the Neighborhood trailer, they’ve showcased trees moving and even changing as the seasons change.

MyCAREER

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In my opinion, This year’s story is arguably the best work 2K has ever done. Usually, MyCareer stories are not really considered positive when reviewing the game. It tends to be very boring and annoying in past installments. This time around, it doesn’t seem forced.

The actors they’ve hired here might’ve been the key difference compared to past games. Idris Elba, Rosario Dawson and the other actor’s voice acting were very commendable.

Don’t forget the insane graphics that make the cutscenes look like a movie. Although, the ending seems to be very anticlimactic.

WNBA

Women’s basketball has finally made it into the 2K Franchise. Although, this isn’t the first time the WNBA has been featured in a basketball game. Recently, the WNBA was a part of EA and the NBA Live franchise.

The gameplay is pretty much the same with the NBA Gameplay. The main difference for me is the height of the players. They feel and look small when playing with them. On the other hand, I appreciate 2K’s effort in order to introduce a WNBA presentation style. The dedicated WNBA announcers provide authenticity to the WNBA games as well.

As with every game, nothing is perfect. In fact, here are some the features I think 2K dropped the ball on.

MyTEAM

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Along with MyCareer, MyTeam has always been very popular for players. However, this year is no different from last year’s game mode.

Even though 2K will say that they’ve limited the role of microtransactions in the game, their actions seem to speak otherwise. In fact, their MyTeam mode incorporates slot machines and roulette wheels in their games. I mean, have they even considered the backlash their UI design would cause?

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The only positive I can think of is the Position Locking lineups. This means you can’t start Lebron James on Point Guard or even Giannis Antetokounmpo at Center. This will give all players a balanced chance in order to win games. Obviously, this small positive is not enough to outweigh the negative.

MyLEAGUE

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Where should I even start? I’ve been a solid MyLeague fan ever since 2K16. I was happy about the constant improvements they did on the game mode ever since.

Well, until now. It seems like they never even gave it a look. All they did was include a new texture pack and called it a day. They missed an opportunity to add in some Sign and Trade features, G League call ups and even the entire scouting and drafting process as well to make it realistic.

It looks like all they did was to add the Force Win function while simulating, which is a good addition I guess? Overall, MyLeague is a game mode that they could’ve improved on but chose not to.

Gameplay

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Didn’t I say the gameplay improved a while ago? Well, yes, you are correct, but not everything is perfect and here’s my reason why I believe some parts are bad.

For example, playing fast guards like Russell Westbrook, John Wall, and De’Aaron Fox is really playing like a cheat code. They move so fast and have elite ball-handling abilities which they can use to navigate through the defense on a fast break. This is especially cheesy when you play as Westbrook as he has elite athleticism which he can use to dunk on the opposing big man.

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Defending the perimeter is hard as well. Even if you predict the next move your opponent is doing, your player’s movement will not be on par to your reflexes. I had this issue while defending the 3 point area.

I was able to bypass the hard screen set by the opposing big man while I was defending Stephen Curry. I knew I hit the triangle button as soon as he shoots the ball but my player’s actions were delayed for 1 second I think. I wish they could fix that aspect of the game.

See also: Xbox One X gets a Limited Edition Gears 5 bundle

Verdict

Overall, this game is simply NBA 2K19 with a 20GB patch. Aside from the slight improvement in Graphics and MyCareer, the game is pretty much the same with the later version. If you’re thinking of buying the game, I would suggest waiting until the game is on sale or until 2K fixes their issues. It’s not a game worth P3,190.00.

I’ll give this game a 6/10.

How about you? What do you think of the game? Let us know down in the comments section!

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