NBA 2K13: Beware the.. Bieber!?!

Yes. You read that correctly.

Justin just clipped a team I was commanding with Bron Bron, Melo, Deron and the Durantula for 26, all the while calmly fading bankshots past a quartet of guys names Sir Charles, Jordan, Magic, and Bird for another deuce-deuce.

Ahh..the life of celebrity. Welcome to NBA 2K13, the world’s greatest sports game.

And, worry not.. watching Sean Kingston throw down like Shaq in his prime, Bow Wow cross up Stockton like a Spidey villain, or Pauly D pulling the up-and-under on Paul all day.. is just the beginning of the fun, for there’s never been a basketball game — ahem, sports game — with a deeper simulation.

NBA 2K13: Beware the.. Bieber!?!
Finally — no more yearning for “Bulls vs. Blazers” on Super Nintendo.

Unlike Madden 13, you won’t need any bulletin warnings from 2K Sports to find The Association. Why, the Association mode is easily the finest “season” mode in games, allowing you to take control of all 32 teams in case you need to make realistic roster changes involving all the teams. In fact, this year, Association will actually update the rosters for you. So, die-hard sim heads, such as the Rev ova-hea, won’t have to spend all their time making sure Brian Scalabrine stays retired and not signed up with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

As usual, The Association has all the usual flair and depth longtime ballers are accustomed to, and yes, the custom stadium music is still alive and well. In fact, there’s even options to put your own mp3’s for motivational crowd timeouts, the NBA Finals, and, finally, in between quarters (hello ESPN).

But why, with Jay-Z as the now executive producer of the series, would anyone want to put in their own music? Because, as outstanding as Jigga Man’s soundtrack goes (“Public Announcement,” “I Ain’t No Joke,” among a slew of other great cuts), it’s just that — a soundtrack. Terrific Hova-inspired game intros aside (and hey, this man had Barkley finally put his skinny non-Krispy Kreme-eating behind in a next-gen video game), with custom music you have the chance to hook every stadium up with countless tunes, including each park’s signature likenesses; although, 2K13 certainly does a better job differentiating the stadium’s tunes right out the box.

NBA 2K13: Beware the.. Bieber!?!
The Biebs has a “no sitting next to me” contract clause.

Actually, the game plays a lot better than it did in years past right out of the box, as well. What made a 2K player such as myself enjoy last year’s game perhaps a little better than most, was the website any hardcore sports video game fan should browse — Operation Sports. The mecca of 2K forums contains longtime players who lay out the most realistic game sliders (i.e. ratings for human 3-point shooting, computer-controlled offensive rebounding, etc.) that ensure your game feels like the real thing. Dudes at the OS will also hook you up with the right music, the right rosters (in case 2K slips on a transaction, or two), and the right settings.

Alongside feeling realistic, 2K13 just flat-out looks realistic. Even my roommate who complained about some of last year’s retro-looking ballers commented on how fluid and digitally amazing this year’s looks. I honestly had no expectations of 2K making as many physical changes as they did, but all were for the better. Hell, this reviewer would have been happy just the same with a slight roster update and the addition of Bow Wow.

But, no really, the game looks fan-tastic, has the feel of a true NBA broadcast (with the greatest announcers in video games sports history — Kevin Harlan, Steve Kerr, and Clark Kellogg — who add even more depth to their dialogue), and flat out just plays better. Thank the new controls, where bounce passing the basketball is no longer an issue (hold LT and press pass), posting up is more fluid than year’s past (Duncan’s statue of liberty hook is flawless), players will no longer perform dunks they never/can’t do, and the new right stick “Isomotion” dribbling system allows for far easier stutter-step hesitations, inside/outside dribbles and your usual playground through-the-legs, behind-the-back flair. John Stockton even gave your favorite rev a 1-on-1 tutoring on the basics on pounding the rock during one of the Legends Training Camps, which also garners players some more doe once completed.

And, in 2K13, that VC coin is ultimately what matters.

You see, your created player can now be trained by Hall-of-Famers in the new MyCareer mode, which is the most thrilling sports simulation mode I’ve ever played. These drills, along with player performances will give you enough XP to purchase some fly gear, fresh Jordans, and, obviously, that bling. As you grow in the league you can also gain Signature Skills from other players, right down Lebron’s one-footed fadeaways to Manu Ginobili’s flops. Shame UF’s Bradley Beals cut me up in both the Rookie Prospect game (which sort of determines where you’re drafted before you make a fool out of yourself during interviews) and, then, as a drafted guard on the Wiz, exposing Moody for who he really is: a 3-point marksmen with absolutely no other game.

NBA 2K13: Beware the.. Bieber!?!
Drafted by Cleveland. Oh shucks.

Even the MyCareer Twitter “fans” will let you know it! It was nice to get a compliment from Kerr when the kid was en fuego from 3-point land, all the while a wonder as to why my dude went from playing point guard to center in the same game.

Oh yeah, @TravMoody: #Cleveland Rocks.

Hey, for all this extra stuff I’m yapping about, this reviewer will admit that he never once — in a tremendously lengthy sports game playing career — cared for any other modes but a seasonal one; but talking crap to pursuing General Managers, douching out on twitter, and being given the opportunity to learn shot-blocking from Bill Russell is too damn good to pass up.

Aside from obvious height (now 6’5″), age (now 22) and vision (no glasses; sorry, accessories have to be accumulated…) differential, MyMoody was a dick, and probably the most urban white player of all time sans “White Chocolate”. For those who know the real me won’t see this as much as a stretch, but it would have been nice for 2K to install a few more voice actors to cover all the bases. Not sure you’d ever hear Kevin Love use the word “swagger” with an Alabamian accent.

Now, if only you were able to receive lip-syncing lessons, too…

NBA 2K13: Beware the.. Bieber!?!
5 (out of 5) Bibles. Perfection. Until the bugs come out. I’m sure there’ll be thousands of them but after messing around with every mode in 2K for numerous hours, there was only 1 freeze. Full customized, greater graphics, superb control, both Dream Teams, a slew of classic rosters, Fantasy Draft, local season, hot hip-hop soundtrack, customized stadium music, enthralling MyCareer mode (All-Star Weekend shouldn’t be DLC, but whatever). So good it canceled NBA Live…hopefully forever.

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8 Replies to “NBA 2K13: Beware the.. Bieber!?!”

  1. Lovely piece, buddy. Game is tough and yet fun to play. Going with the Rockets this year. Harden and Lin all day.

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