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10 Features We Would Have Loved in NBA 2K13

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The NBA 2K franchise has been the perfect supplement to the basketball fandom experience for many people for quite some time now. It’s not always perfect, but we love it nonetheless. It amps us up to see the new crop of rookies and gives us the first shot at dominating with Dwight in a Lakers uniform. This year’s edition, NBA 2K13, looks to be one of the best editions yet. Building on the success of their MyPlayer game mode with a new MyCareer mode, introducing an Ultimate Team style MyTeam mode, and continuing to incorporate basketball legends into this year’s game, is 2K poised to dominate yet another year of sports video gaming. That being said, there are always some things we’d all love to see make it into the game. Some are realistic and some are absurd. Unfortunately, none on this list are in the game. Maybe next year…

1. Technicals and flagrant fouls:
They’re a big part of the real-life game and extremely entertaining, but they’ll never find their way into an edition of NBA 2K. If it were possible, though, this would be the year to do it. It would be simple to implement, have it based on context, with instances like fast breaks and charges/blocks giving the best chance to trigger them. They would also give a more defined use for the emotion rating that doesn’t really seem to affect much right now.

It would be completely and thoroughly abused, of course, but that’s exactly why it would be great. The possibilities are endless and I know that I personally would play it for at least a few months more just to jaw at refs and pants Paul Pierce whenever I felt like it.

2. Agents Mode and Agents for MyPlayer:
The first part of this is probably less feasible than the second, but it would be a great addition to 2k’s game modes. It would function a lot like MyPlayer already does, except you would be in control of multiple players (whoever you managed to sign) and your performance with them in key games over the course of the year would define the success of their, and therefore your, careers. The contract negotiating and player signing could work a lot like NCAA Football’s recruiting system and would give the Association gamers out there a completely different way to micromanage.

Adding an agent to the new MyCareer (formerly MyPlayer) mode would be a lot more simple and would go a long ways towards making the whole experience a lot more realistic. Your player already signs contracts, but it would bring negotiating to the table and give more value to the career earnings aspect implemented in last year’s version of the game.

3. Import your voice into the game:
It may be a lot to ask for, especially because it only covers a small part of the game, but after listening to the same exact voice in press conferences for every single player really tears at the soul. Jason Kidd doesn’t sound like Danilo Gallinari, so Patrick Popadopalous, hailing from Albania, isn’t going to sound like Dwight Howard. We have the technology!

It’s very cool to see your player spout off Allen Iverson‘s practice rant to the press after a game, but it would be infinitely better if you could say it yourself. I wouldn’t even mind prerecording it into the game and hearing it played back later on. At least give us different voices. It’s like wearing the same red shirt, black tie combo before every game. It just doesn’t happen in real life. Now I’m not calling for big frameless hipster glasses and Dwyane Wade-level fashion, but it’s the little things that mean the most to us, 2K.

4. Basketball Wives: This is the La La Vasquez portion of the article. In no way, shape, or form would it hurt sales of this game to include the better (or much, much, worse) halves of NBA players. If your created player wants to get married, or just be an eligible bachelor, he should have the right to. Of course we oversell sexuality in this culture, but it’s hard to deny that moments like Jan Vesely kissing his model girlfriend when he got drafted don’t add a lot to the overall culture of basketball. It would also be an interesting, though rather conventional, way to introduce the female sex into 2K. Maybe it takes off and snowballs into a WNBA mode eventually, or opens the door to a conversation about including WNBA legends into the game. For the time being, though, it would give 2K yet another way to make their game more immersive and detailed, which is never a bad thing.

5. Rap Career:
Another Ron Artest-fueled suggestion makes the list. Or an Allen Iverson, or even Shaq-fueled. Regardless of what player’s name pops up in your head when the words NBA and rap are mentioned in the same sentence, there’s a lot that could be done with this idea. It could function similar to how endorsements function currently. When a player becomes “popular” enough, or accrues enough visibility, he could be invited to be a part of a video. As the game progresses, you could choose to have the player start his own music career, form a record label, or even have a current rapper write a song about you like Kendrick did for Jordan. The songs would just have to be quick snippets and the videos wouldn’t be elaborate by any means, but it would be just as good of a feeling to see your guy on a CD cover as it already is to check him out on the front page of DIME.

6. Commissioner Mode:
This could also be called “Veto Mode” or “Laugh Off Draft Day Booing Mode,” but there’s no doubt in my mind that it would be a huge success with players. It could be added in to the association mode, or framed as a game mode of its own. Players, acting as David Stern himself, could dole out fines, suspend players, and implement rule changes as they saw fit. Really miss the old hand-check rules from the pre-Nash era? Just change it back and get as physical as you want. Have a personal vendetta against Carmelo Anthony? When you read about what he said in his SportsCenter interview yesterday while you have your morning coffee (or whatever advanced medical technology Stern uses to keep himself running) go ahead and hand him a 10-game suspension. Dealing with lockout issues and lording over all things collective bargaining would be a little slow for some, but there are definitely people out there who would love the chance to spend some time in the most powerful man in all of basketball’s shoes.

7. International Play:
Fresh off the Olympic hype, this addition could even exist as a standalone game and it would do well. There would be two major tournaments, the FIBA world championships and of course, the Summer Olympics. Throw in a randomly generated slew of qualifiers, create some new teams, and it’s all good to go. Making the international teams usable in all modes and possibly even online would take this idea even further. Players like JC Navarro could be brought stateside by the fans who always wished he would cross over. If you wanted to see how young studs like Karl Towns would do stacked up against the Kevin Durants of whom he is so reminiscent would be an incredible experience. Of course the work required to put all of the licensing together would be absurd, which is why we’ll probably never see this in the game. We can always dream, though.

8. Interactive Draft Classes:
Because of licensing rights surrounding the college game, it’s never been possible for 2K to officially release draft classes for their Association Mode. Thanks to 2K share, dedicated individuals can manually edit the entire draft class to resemble the real and upcoming year’s. Those people and the people who use their work would surely appreciate the ability to interact more with their creations. Currently, we can schedule some bland drills leading up to the draft for prospects we’re most interested in. But there’s no real definitive way to tell what players will be the best other than to rely on real-life draft projections and hope the creator of your draft class ranked the players similarly. By adding a version of the rookie showcase similar to what is present in MyCareer and a larger host of player-controlled drills, scouting could really be brought to the next level. If gamers want to get their Presti on and spend hours fully scouting each class, they should be allowed to. The current state of the league has elevated scouting to a level of incredibly high importance, so it would be great if 2K changed to reflect that same reality.

9. More Detailed Player Progression :
In the past, there was only seemingly random player progression at the end of the season. As time went on, the ability to earn a form of reward points throughout the season that could be spent, in the offseason, on training camps to improve certain attributes. It’s time to add more to that system. The necessity of developing and retaining stars is now the only way to stay relevant in the NBA. You have to grow your own talent, especially if you’re in a smaller media market. Implementing a simplified form of the MyCareer progression system into all relevant game modes would be a quick fix to make development a real and important part of the video game. Accumulating stats and having monster games with players on your roster would allow you to accrue points that could be spent on both temporary and permanent skill boosts. The temporary could help you win an important playoff game and would be much more effective than the temporary ones. Obviously, everyone on your roster can’t advance as much as a created player would, so the permanent rewards would have to be dramatically scaled back. They would still be enticing and help draw people back into association-style modes, however.

10. Let us Sim Everything:
This is primarily another MyCareer frustration that could easily be corrected, but it has applications in other areas of the game. Currently, you have the option to skip over most games, and only play the “key” ones, like rivalries and matchups against the superstars of your position. Very fun, but say I just really want to play the Hornets to see how my rookie stacks up against Anthony Davis. I can’t do it. Let me do it! The concern is that it will make beefing your character up far too easy, but there could be a severely reduced, or completely absent skill point reward. Just give us access to the calendar. This could also be implemented for regular games, sort of like the SuperSim feature in the Madden franchise. If your team is up 20 at half, you may want to sim ahead to the end of the game. That is, until you check the box score and see that your team lost. Allowing us to sim until the end of a specific quarter or until a large lead has been dangerously reduced would allow those who live for the pressure situations to thrive.

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