When local game distributor X-Play Online Games officially released Activision Blizzard's Diablo 3 in the country last May, we were all like "Uh-oh. Goodbye social life."
Today, the company continued their emerging tradition of releasing big-name games as they officially launched 2K Games' NBA 2K13. Yup, the newest entry to the critically-acclaimed, chart-topping series is here, much to the chagrin of girlfriends everywhere. With a local distributor, expect a stronger community around the game, with X-Play Marketing VP Miguel Bauza stating that they will be "going around the country to engage the millions of NBA 2K Filipino fans out there with awesome tournaments and raffle prizes."
Now, having been the unquestionable champ in the videogame basketball scene since putting Jordan on the cover in 2K11, 2K13 is all set to take residence in our PS3s, Xbox 360s, and PCs for an amount of time we could only describe as incredibly long.
Gaming site IGN has already called it "possibly the greatest sports game of all-time." And with the amount of gameplay improvements the game promises, and an absurd amount of extra features, we can see where they're coming from. Here's a rundown of those features and improvements:
1) It's "executive produced" by hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z. Now, what can a rapper do to improve a basketball video game? According to what we've heard, he had a hand in choosing the music, and adding bling to the menus and pre-game introductions.
2) The stick previously known as the Shot Stick is now the Control Stick. The right analog stick, which was once used exclusively to take a shot, now controls the dribble moves, post moves, shooting, and passing. The stick alone lets you do crossovers and other fancy maneuvers; pull and hold a trigger button and it becomes the shot stick again.
3) On-the-fly shotmaking. Canned, scripted animations are the bane of sports games everywhere, so 2K13 does away with those and implements a fully dynamic, physics-based system that makes for an incredible variety of finishes.
4) More "Signature" than ever. Signature shots are so last decade. 2K13 takes it up another level by introducing the "Signature Skills" to further differentiate the players. Players will now have their own set of special skills modeled after their real-life abilities. Derrick Rose for instance has the "Floor General" skill set while Kevin Durant is tagged as "The Closer." The only way this can be even more realistic is if there was a "Choker" skill set, which diminishes jump shoot ratings during the last two minutes.
5) You make virtual money as you play. 2K13 is like an RPG in the sense that you earn "experience points" called Virtual Currency as you play along. These points can then be used to deck out your MyPlayer with new equipment, new abilities, and yes, new tuxedos.
6) It's also a shoe design simulator. Think you can do better than those Nike designers? Why not take 2K13's obsessively deep shoe creator for a spin? This feature lets you customize every part of the shoe, determine what material you use, choose which lace, pick whatever shade of pink you fancy, and what abilities it gives you. Heck, you can even have Nike make that horrendous shoe you just designed in real life! And no, we aren't kidding.
7) Barkley has arrived. The Man With The Mouth, The Round Mound of Rebound finally makes his first videogame appearance since the 16-bit's Barkley's Shut Up And Jam era. It has been a long time coming, but not since we saw cover boy Blake Griffin demolishing people around in his rookie season have we been this excited to play as someone.
8) Original Dream Team Vs. Dream Team 2012. Now we'll finally know who the better team is: ODT's Chris Laettner or DT2012's Anthony Davis (aka "The official Unibrow of the NBA")? Game on!
NBA 2K13 is now available for the PS3 for P2,595, Xbox 360 for P2,495, PSP for P1,895, and Windows PC for P1,995. For a complete list of retailers around the Philippines, visit http://www.xplay.ph/retailer/game/?t=NBA+2k13.