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There is a very tangible reason to pick up NBA 2K16

The NBA 2K series has become the juggernaut of basketball games for consoles and continues to look like it will hold that top spot. But, as the old saying goes, every good winner needs competition. Looking at this year’s iteration of the title, this rings true as the only motivation pushing this franchise to improve is itself and at times that just isn’t enough. What’s more, 2K Games is also including 10,000 in virtual credit for use in some modes and a MyTeam VIP free of charge. Suddenly, there’s a very tangible reason to pick up NBA 2K16 early, even if you aren’t typically big on pre-orders.
 
A better rating system should be set into place to enable some differentiation between gold and bronze teams. It makes no sense with both teams rated with minute margins. Low rated teams should feature a system that build up rookies from scratch to lend more credibility to the game. Players seem to be getting too many free throws from innumerous foul calls. What constitutes "bigger" is always an argumentative moving target. In physical sales, sure, Madden NFL 15 outsold NBA 2K16 in North America for 2014. Both have large digital revenue profiles, however. NBA 2K has also shown more growth in traditional measures, particularly since 2009, two years after Zelnick led an investor revolt that restored adult supervision to Take-Two.
 
I say this with such reckless fervor because of NBA 2K16. Without context, that might sound insane, but understand what I mean. With NBA 2K16, a game I can say without even the slightest hint of doubt or discomfort is the best basketball simulation I've ever played, I am constantly reminded of the qualities of the sport of basketball that I fell in love with so many years ago. The athleticism, the flair, the sheer thrill of the game is on display in such tightly constructed, beautifully playable form, that in a weird way, I honestly don't care if there even is an NBA season. The sheer volume of content 2K Sports has included, alongside some of the best pure gameplay you're ever going to find in a sports title, make me forget about all the bitching and bickering of the real life NBA, and bring me back to the essence of what makes the sport so great at its core.
 
Building a championship team is one of the most befuddling jobs in professional sports. You can get everything aligned - a collection of star players in their prime surrounded by hardworking secondary players and a motivating head coach - only to watch the season unravel when a critical player goes down to injury, an off-field matter becomes a distraction, or players don't perform up to expectations. NBA 2K16 is like one of these on-the-cusp clubs. It has nearly everything you could ask for from a sports game, but one chronic deficiency it claimed to have overcome - server. One thing I loved about UFC 2011 was the commentary; it was quick, witty and never seemed out of touch with what was happening.
 
One of my favorite things about the MyCareer is that it plays more like a standalone interactive game and less like a basketball simulation game. The cut-scenes this year are not cheesy like last year's version, and the voice acting is actually bearable this time around. Like many narrative driven games nowadays, MyCareer mode has conversations in which you choose the response. Instead of having an effect on the story, the choices you make will impact things such as your team chemistry and fan base. Whether I was pushing my brother’s face through the mat, or knocking him out after 4 seconds, it seemed real. NBA2K16 has taken it to the next level. Other than a few repeated comments in the rookie tournament I repeated 500 times, the conversation was dynamic, relevant, and at times hysterical.
 
You can see the imprint left by the likes of Scott O'Gallagher aka SOG and Nino Samuel aka Da Czar. These two former players and basketball minds lent their expertise to the NBA 2K project, and the results are quite impressive. As your season progresses, you can earn more playing time and more endorsements depending on your skills and reputation. (Those press conference answers are important.)