Glitches and a chopped down frame rate take some spring out of this superstar's step.
Every year, 2K Sports dominates the paint with its NBA basketball simulation. Considering it's all it really has left these days (NHL 2K has been discontinued and Major League Baseball is looking to go that way as well), it might as well be definitive, right? This year's version is no exception, executive produced by rap superstar Jay-Z and featuring the prominent return of many legends, including the entire 1992 Olympic basketball team and Charles Barkley. It was a big hit for other consoles when it came out in October, and now it's making its debut on the Wii U. Does the basketball madness still hold up? Well, yes, but this superstar's lost just a hint of spring in its step.
For the most part, NBA 2K13 grasps many of the excellent features that made it such a prime performer on other systems. MyCareer continues to be the best mode in the business when it comes to creating your own basketball mega-star and living the dream life, whether you decide how he dresses while cruising towards the court or deciding how he performs on it, whether he takes a lot of clutch shots to prove his own worth or plays well with his team, while discussing tactics and decisions with his coach. Its RPG-style approach is second-to-none, as you boost your stats and eventually work your way towards becoming a basketball legend.
And we can't dare leave out the Olympic angle that the game has taken, not only including the entire 1992 Olympic line-up (including Barkley, making his first in-game appearance since Shut Up and Jam! 2 on the Sega Genesis) but also the 2012 squad, which makes for some interesting match-ups. We only wish there was a mode that would pit them against one another and see how things fare – but we'll take playing as them any day. Also, if you're one of those people who just can't live without Justin Bieber – and why is beyond us – he's in the game as well.
NBA 2K13 also manages to include the online integration that worked so well in other games, though, with the Nintendo Network, things can take a bit longer since, well, the service itself is still in its youth. Regardless, it's fun to hop online and challenge friends, and see how the NBA Today schedule holds up in terms of key match-ups and what's coming up. You can even make picks on upcoming games and get rewarded by choosing accurately – it's a nice little bonus if you think you know your NBA. (And, hey, last night I was 6 for 8. Woot!)