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MyPlayer is the beating heart of the NBA 2K experience

I wish I had more space in this review to discuss all the aspects of the gameplay I enjoy, but I don’t want to make my editor too sad, and I do have the next 12 months to write to my heart's content. Fellow OS writer Ben Vollmer wrote recently about how he thinks NBA 2K15’s presentation is still the best. I respectfully disagree, though I appreciate 2K’s effort. Let me explain. Furthermore, in-game statistical overlays - such as standings, league leaders, etc. - don’t seem to display regularly. At times during stoppages, the broadcasters reference information as if it is displayed on the screen, but no such overlay appears. Similar issues exist with the post-game Player of the Game, at least on PS4. Maybe it’s a bug that will be patched?
 
In my opinion, MyPlayer is the beating heart of the NBA 2K experience. It's quicker and more satisfying than the somewhat ponderous MyGM mode, fostering the sort of desire to play just one more game that has made FIFA so successful. It also benefits heavily from NBA 2K's outstanding presentation, featuring a variety of intros, customizable introduction music (I picked "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt, because why not?), and of course, voice-acting by the aforementioned NBA players. Unlike other superstar modes, it rarely becomes repetitive, throwing a variety of storylines, cutscenes, and scenarios at you from game-to-game. One moment your teammates might be pissed at you because you're contemplating signing with another team; the next, you're riding high from a winning streak and collecting endorsements.

 
The commentary is solid as ever, although I did find myself using the 2K beats audio option after a while, purely because the music selection contains some absolute gems. Knocking down three-pointers while Personal Jesus from Depeche Mode (or Spiderwebs from No Doubt) is playing only increases the fun. Pharrell Williams has done a great job on the soundtrack selection. The TV style presentation is as good as ever and the long loading screens now feature pre-match analysis from Ernie Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal, which makes them less tedious, even with Shaq’s awful jokes. You can also purchase game boosts for each attribute, and how long they’ll last depends on how much VC you are willing and able to spend. 200VC will give you a one game boost but 7,000VC will give you a 50 game boost. That could be the difference between the playoffs or the couch for your team, so don’t hesitate to spend if you have the chance to help out your team down the stretch.
 
For my trek into the MyGM mode, I took the Philadelphia 76ers and decided to join the rebuilding process already in painful progress. Right away, I was hit with a world in which Sam Hinkie can't even imagine right now. The owner said he didn't want more than 42 losses. I looked at the roster and knew I had to get to work right away. The mode will hit you with everything you can possibly think of for running a team and it's up to you to deal with or delegate as much as you want. It's an impacted mode but for the basketball nerd, it's perfect. The other option for franchise fans is MyLeague, which strips the role-playing elements from the mode experience in favor of giving players total control of the settings. With fantasy drafts, the ability to control as many teams as you'd like, and tweakable sliders for everything from player morale to trade difficulty, MyLeague is a great option for control freaks. It's a shame this mode doesn't include the option to play with friends online.
 
So what can we do as fans? Do we boycott the game? Well, I can't do that. I love it too much and, as mentioned, it's the only real basketball game that us b-ball junkies can call worth playing. And really, gamers need to keep these things in mind for nearly all franchises that have seen their decline. Stop buying into the hype. Stop pre-ordering based on hyperbolic previews. Do the right thing, be a smart consumer that expects a quality product for the $60+ you happen to be plopping down. Do this, and maybe, just maybe we can actually get the games we not only deserve, but the games we know the creators can make.