NBA 2K13

Lace up your Nikes, the NBA is on its way.

Lace up your Nikes, the NBA is on its way.

The Pitch: Refocusing on the biggest ballers today, NBA 2K13 brings with it the improvements you’d expect of the premiere NBA video game franchise.

What It Really Is: 2K Sports used two years of EA’s NBA Live’s absence to dig into B-ball history with MJ and other legends but ‘13 brings back two things: laserbeam focus on the league’s current superstars and the 2K vs EA debate because NBA Live 13 is launching the same day. We have to applaud Visual Concepts for putting together an NBA experience that, at a glance, is indistinguishable from watching a live game on ESPN. The bird’s eye view of the court is excellent, graphics are smooth, animations are unique and, overall, the game looks better than before but the old adage of “the bigger the player the more accurate his 3D model” is definitely still in play. 2K has also made the wise decision to abandon the default thumbstick-for-shooting scheme (it’s still there, you have to switch it in the menus) and have mapped ball-handling to the right thumbstick instead with buttons used for shots. This immediately made a difference in our game and NBA 2K13 benefits as a result. Teams have been updated, players are where they belong (Dwight Howard to the Lakers?!) and, barring another lockout, this year’s NBA 2K is poised to be the best one yet. Ready-Made Press Blurb: “NBA 2K13 is a slam dunk and it’s also our ATM password. Don’t tell!”

Fun Fact: Not only is Jay-Z executive producing the game, he’s also making several contributions to the soundtrack. Expect some bleeping to keep it friendly for the kiddies.

Who’s It For: Just because your vertical leap is a staggeringly pathetic nine inches doesn’t mean you can’t break ankles as Lebron and the Heat in NBA 2K13… but do us a favor and quit it with the powder clap; it was funny the first time, now you’re just making a mess.