usually I rant on this blog about comics, movies or comics adapted into movies. Not all the time, but sometimes.
Now I want to talk about something which is also dear to my heart: video games. I felt the need to do this since nobody talked about this issue. This article is a translation from the earlier post. It’s not word-by-word, since some of my jokes won’t work in English.
Before I start, I have to explain a couple of things so you understand my frustrations better. I love Basketball and I have been a huge fan for most of my life. I watch every game on TV, read books and magazines about the topic (I even subscribe to magazines from the US) and I follow many basketball related YouTube channels.
But unfortunately, I won’t be able to play this beautiful game myself ever again. Back as a 16 year old, I landed after a rebound and I heard a crack like a dry branch broke. I couldn’t get up anymore. The doctors told me that one of my vertebras wasn’t fully developed and it dislocated. For the next years I had lots of physiotherapy and often had to get the vertebra put back into place.
When I was 21, I had a massively herniated disc which nearly left my paralyzed. My sciatic nerve was nearly completely blocked on the right side and the surgeons told me I was lucky not to end up in a wheelchair.
All this problems led to more issues. I have a permanent nerve damage in my back. I am in constant pain and get cramps during sleep which wake me up. To make it even funnier, from time to time I lose the feeling in my right foot or can’t move the leg at all.
If you want to know how that feels, I recommend the great documentary on Steve Nash by Grantland.com.
So, yeah, I can’t play Basketball anymore. The only thing left for me to do is grab a controller and play from the couch. I used to buy the “NBA live” games by EA Sports until they got canceled for a couple of years and now “NBA 2K” by 2K.
The central mode for a notorious offline gamer like me (even though I live in a big city, I can’t get a fast enough connection) in “NBA 2K15” is the “MyCareer” mode. You create your own player and make him into a superstar. It’s like a rpg, you earn VC (virtual currency) according to your performance in the games and upgrade your player with it. A special incentive are the rival duels in which you either go up against a star player on your position or against a team which is in a rivalry with yours. You earn double VC there, but you have to play those games while you can skip the others by simulating them.
I don’t want to complain here about the huge differences between the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360 version. You get a real story on the newer consoles in which you fight your way into the league through 10-day-contracts. There are intrigues, you have to make business decisions and so on. You should watch Chris Smoove’s YouTube channel for more on that.
The PS3 version is pretty bare bones compared to that. You play the rookie showcase, after that get interviewed by three teams and you end up in the Draft. From here you play the games, improve as a player and become a star.
Now I explained why this mode is so cool, let’s talk about why it (and NBA 2K15 with it) sucks. Short version: It’s broken. It crashes very frequently, freezes your console and you have to do a hard reset to get it going again. Anyone with a PC knows, it’s not a good idea to shut it down by just hitting the power button and the same applies for a console.
Many people have already problems to get past the rookie showcase. In those cases the game freezes during the simulation of the Draft and you have to make a hard reset. This bug is at least so polite to announce itself by messing up the teams during the interviews. You are scheduled to talk to the New York Knicks and the manager talks about how badly they want you to play for the Memphis Grizzlies.
If you are lucky to get past this bug, you run into the next one. After the sixth season game, the game crashes and freezes again. If it’s a normal game, you can bypass that by simulating and playing on. If it’s a rival duel, well, your career is over. You can’t get past that.
While these happen after the games, in the second season you are out of luck. NBA 2K15 now crashes even during games and you can’t do anything anymore.
What makes me angry is the fact that 2k knows about these issues and doesn’t do anything. Their forums are flooded with complains about it, their support has received multiple tickets regarding those issues (I submitted myself tickets for all these bugs) and yet nothing happened. The game hasn’t been patched, it’s still version 1.00.
But hey, we can add to that. Do you all know those running jokes about how sports games never improve from one year to the other and basically stay the same? “NBA 2K15” is a glaring example for that. It is identically with “NBA 2K14”. Same design, same graphics, same animations, same game modes…
Which is not true. Because “NBA 2K14” hat the LeBron mode in which you could play the career as LeBron James. Something comparable is missing in the newer version.
Despite all of that 2K charges full prize. I and others paid 60€ (which is about 68$) for a product that is bug ridden, can potentially damage your system and offers less than its predecessor.
2K gets away with that because of two reasons. Number one is that the press only cares for the PS4 and Xbox One versions. The last gen versions don’t get any coverage at all. Also sports games aren’t pretty interesting for those. So 2K can ignore their forums and the support requests without most people noticing (imagine if EA pulled that on “Sim City”).
Thanks to all that, I not only lost money (which I can shrug off), but a lot of joy in my life. Because now I even lost the ability to play the sport I love virtually.
I really want to thank 2K for making my life a little more crappier than it already is. Thumps up, you are great.
Please, like this post and use Twitter and Facebook to rise awareness about it. Tweet it to @2K and their spokesperson @ronnie2k.