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The title of best basketball video game comes to NBA 2K16

One of the beauties of NBA 2K16 is that it can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. If you simply want to jump into a game, you can go right ahead. If you'd rather set lineups and dictate offensive and defensive plays, you're free to do so. If you want to be a Mr. Fancy Pass, use the L2 modifier with the X, Triangle, or Circle buttons to unleash a bounce, lob, or flashy pass, respectively. The Basic and Advanced controls are responsive, and they give you a good feel for the game. The game shouldn't be like that. It should be about basketball. Not who can buy the most with the most money. Granted, you still need skill for some aspects of the game, but as with most online games, you'll be faced with various cheesers and the fact that some are just willing to spend money while you are tasked with grinding your way along.
 
For many NBA fans, Lance Stephenson’s Instagram post is a pretty accurate projection. NBA 2K16 was released Tuesday, and after many months of hype–probably the most any 2K game has ever received–millions of gamers, including myself, were able to take the new title for a spin. It’s got its strengths and weaknesses, as expected with any new release, but overall, 2K’s developers did a great job. I played for a couple of hours, and gathered what I believe to be a pretty decent analysis of NBA 2K16. "Though one's virtual self won't look exactly like him or her from up close, the resemblance from a distance is uncanny," he said, putting to rest all the pre-release internet concerns that players heads come out of the scan looking like deformed circus freaks or sci-fi creatures.

 
On the other hand, the use of real player voices in the My Career mode serves as a cautionary reminder of why good actors-hell, even bad actors-are paid professionals. Most of the lines regurgitated by the pros are mumbled at best, incoherently voiced at worst, and while I want to lay the blame on the NBA players, they were not given much to work with in terms of dialogue. The NBA pros are like cliché-spouting Disney animatronics, which would be fine if much of what they said made sense or felt in any way conversational, as I imagine two teammates would communicate. I’m sure there are plenty of conversations between NBA teammates about sticking together, playing as a team, giving 110%, how the NBA is a business, about how personal statistics don’t matter, and so on, but there is no way they are as cold, robotic, or lifeless as the penned dialog in NBA 2K16. Then again, maybe the conversation is horrible because your pro, no matter what you do in the game, is an asshole.
 
MyTeam: A fast growing, build your own team, mode with a dedicated fan base. Modeled after the widely successful EA “Ultimate Team” mode, this card collecting game allows players to create teams with players from any era of the NBA. For the first time this year 2K finally introduced a MyTeam Market to buy and sell cards and bringing an extra dimension to the game. Other than that I have very little positive to say about the mode. Limited modes and lack of ways to make in mode currency in MyTeam make it hard to enjoy. “Domination” pits you against every team in the NBA. Once a player beats a team a player from the defeated team is awarded. Domination was the most fun I had playing MyTeam mode but once completed players can not replay it meaning most haven’t touched the mode since completing it within the first weeks of 2Ks release.
 
The online head to head mode, Road to the Playoffs, is the most played mode but once a player reaches the first seed there is little left to do in the mode. The Solo Challenges are laughable with only 46 challenges and most featuring lineup restrictions which force players to spend the in game mode currency, MT, on players to meet restrictions just to be able to participate. I go back and forth on NBA 2K16. As a fan of the series, it still caters to many of my needs. I'm the kind of guy who likes to just pick up the controller up and play a game of basketball. NBA 2K16 nails this. I enjoy seeing my created player perform and improve over time. No problem. But then I see the needlessly boisterous MyPlayer narrative and a bevy of technical issues and wonder why the series has taken a step back. NBA 2K16 retains the title of best basketball video game, but it's a far less impressive title this year.