NBA 2K20 Review | Forum

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xysoom Sep 30 '19
On the court, NBA 2K20 is a dazzling experience that matches the energy and presentation of its real-life counterpart. Enhanced footwork, dribbling, and player spacing help improve an already sturdy foundation. However, outside of the surprisingly well-written story mode, NBA 2K20 loses its focus off of the court. NBA 2K20 excels at recreating the pro game, but opportunities to purchase microtransactions exist at nearly every corner, and complex modes like MyLeague are given far too little mt

The first thing I noticed about NBA 2K20 is that everything feels more intuitive. The learning curve is still immense, but learning the basics is now a lot smoother than it used to be. A redesigned “2KU”, NBA 2K20’s optional tutorial mode, is particularly helpful and doesn’t require more than an hour to get through. Thoughtfully, an on-screen controller mimics the movement of the desired skill, making it plenty easy to imitate. Once I successfully learned a skill, like eurostepping toward the basket, I could move on at whatever pace I felt comfortable. This allowed for the remastering of skills I forgot about since last year, and trying out some moves I hadn’t been able to pull off previously at all.

NBA 2K20 upholds the recent franchise tradition of having top-notch presentation. Players are expertly crafted to mirror their real-life selves and a bevvy of apparel options have been added to help match the NBA’s sense of style. Both players and announcers will flash a lifeless gaze every now and again, but it wouldn’t be so noticeable if everything from the player’s shoes to the court floors weren’t so meticulously crafted. I also noticed some awkward pauses between David Aldridge and players during interviews, which is a stark contrast to the effortless flow of commentary from the likes of Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony, Chris Webber, Doris Burke and more. NBA 2K20’s stellar A/V package is rapidly approaching what can be seen on television, and that really is a remarkable accomplishment.

While the NBA 2K franchise has always done an excellent job making each player feel unique, having a renewed sense of mastery over the controls brings out the best in each player. Pulling off step-back jumpers with James Harden or blow-bys with Eric Bledsoe is really satisfying, and with improved defensive A.I., more important than it has been in the past. Defenders are better equipped to deal with speedy players, especially in transition, where tactics like “walling up” (a defense strategy used to forced contested shots near the rim) are employed against drive-heavy players like LeBron James. Learning when to pull up for a jumper and when to drive it right to the basket provides a welcomed new layer of frantic strategy.

A lot of this is amplified by the badge system, which attaches unique abilities to players that are less tangible than something like the speed or strength attribute. Take the “Pogo Stick” badge, for instance. This allows for players like Anthony Davis to quickly regroup after a blocked shot, making it easier to block several shots in a row. Another interesting badge is “Worm”, which is attached to players who are better at slipping through box-outs when rebounding. The total badge count is about 80, and it really can’t be overstated how much they can be felt while playing. NBA 2K20 goes above and beyond to make every player feel and play unique.

The best gameplay addition to NBA 2K20, however, is the upgraded ball-handling system. Instead of canned animations taking over mid-dribble, every success and failure I had with the ball in my hands felt earned. Even flipping the basketball from one hand to another feels satisfying, especially when you follow it up with a ankle-breaking crossover from someone like Kyrie Irving. Given how much time is spent looking at players with the ball, the newly added dribbling animations help things look different, too. Watching Giannis barrel down the court with long strides is just as majestic as you would expect. The pursuit of mastery is NBA 2K20’s best hook, and the ball-handling mechanics are the best example of that.Click to Buy