It’s that time of year where we inevitably start speculating about next season – both in NBA 2k16 and the real life league. As amazing as 2k15 is, there are a few things we want to see addressed in the follow-up.
1 Better online matchmaking system
Vanilla one-on-one quick matches online are great in NBA 2k15. Anything else, though, is a little more difficult. One of our favourite game modes this year is MyTeam, 2k’s answer to FIFA’s Ultimate team. You spend hours, days – weeks even building your perfect team, toiling over coaching details and stat boosts, shrewdly managing contracts all for what? To play against the computer for virtual currency? Unacceptable! We want to take our team out to the cloud and kick some online ass. The only obvious option in the game is to play against someone on your friends list – fun, but clearly missing a trick or two.
In fact – the entire online menu system can be a bit confusing. Since each game mode has different online functionality – some have matchmaking while others don’t, some don’t allow it at all – looking for the option you want can get confusing.
2 Fix the issue with shot-meter lag online
Keeping up with the online theme, in this age of high-speed everything we feel that the rather obvious lag on the shot-meter while playing online is…well, a bit rubbish.
There’s a noticeable delay between hitting the right stick and the shot meter beginning to fill. But more worryingly, there’s the same lag between when you take your finger off vs when the meter stops filling. If you’ve been playing lag-free single player mode and make a switch for a quick online match, expect to brick a lot of shots in the first quarter as you adjust to the very obvious difference.
We want 2k to use their technical wizardry to improve this issue ahead of the next game.
3 More replay commentary
The commentary in the NBA2k series is some of the best you’ll find in any sports sim. From accurate play-by-play calls to plausible conversation tangents, you can really immerse yourself in a game listening to the back-and-forth. But in this industry complacency is a crime carrying capital punishment, so we’d like to see it taken to the next level. The most obvious place to do this would be during the replays. Granted it’s not every time, but sometimes you’ll sit in silence during a pretty awesome replay as the auto-commentary track happened to run short. It’s jarring because – if the replay is awesome – you know a real commentator would be waxing lyrical about it. So let’s get some more wax! (Does that even make se….ah, forget it.)
4 Add Chuck and Kenny to the mix
We love seeing Ernie and Shaq during the opening loading sequence. It never gets old. Not only do we want to keep this feature in the game, but – you guessed it – we want the full crew! Bring on Chuck and Kenny, and let’s get some more mo-capped shenanigans recorded.
We’d love to see the usual set up of Mr Barkley slowly rambling through his analysis of a rather simple topic, before Shaq tells him why he’s wrong with a single word.
5 Improve the quality of RealVoice
The first time the camera cut to Doris Burke interviewing Kobe courtside, I did a double take. I had no idea they’d introduced this, and after hearing Doris in the series for a while now it was great to finally see her. However, the player audio is terrible. Let’s all admit it – you can barely hear what the players and managers are saying. Great idea, poor execution.
In NBA 2k16 we’d expect some players to record specific dialogue, or at the very least get a sound engineer to clean up the audio pulled directly from real NBA games so that we can make out what’s being said.
6 Bring back the NBA Draft Day in MyPlayer
I’ve spent far less time with MyPlayer this year. Partly because I played it to death in 2k14, but mostly because I was so incensed by the omission of Draft Day that I refuse to build a career in that universe. Childish, I know, but Draft Day is such a magical time that whatever they replaced it with need to be special. And, well…it just wasn’t.
7 Improve front-row crowd animations
While the crowd animations we’re impressive on the last generation, playing 2k15 on a big TV from a PS4 really puts the spotlight on the crowd. It’s partly because basketball as a sport has the crowd sat much closer than most other sports, so you notice how lifeless they can be a little more.
We’d love it if the first few rows had a little more animation – turning and talking to each other, sipping from cups, one of them randomly getting up and walking to the stairs – the usual stuff. It’s a small touch that could make a huge difference to the immersion and spectacle of the game.
8 Better loose-ball reactions
Nothing is more frustrating than a loose ball trickling past you player and straight to the opposition, and while we’re not asking for god-like reflexes we would like to see a little more effort from players to grab the turnover.
9 Better double-team player switch logic
Pick and roll plays can be a little too effective in NBA 2k15. You try to switch to the obvious player in the open lane and instead are stuck with a guy on the perimeter, leaving the opposition to dunk on you. It’s a minor qualm, but we’d like to see it fixed in NBA 2k16.
10 Fire Mike D’Antoni
This last one is a joke, but the writer is a Lakers fan and still hasn’t forgiven him for pushing Pau away. I know he’s currently unemployed, but can we please still find a way to fire him in 2k16? Fuck you, Mr Pringles.
NBA 2k16 will be released in October 2015, and will probably have a really good soundtrack.