The release of NBA2k20 is right around the corner, and from my polling via Twitter and NBA2k game chats, this year’s edition has receive overwhelmingly positive reviews for several reasons. Now of course the player ratings upheld their tradition of causing discord between players and fans alike. Aside from said tradition, NBA2k seems to have delivered starting with the NBA2k20 demo now available on all gaming consoles.
Unlike past demos from the NBA2k series, which mostly rely on the MyCareer storyline and gameplay, this year’s demo allows you to not only get an early start on your next MyCareer player, but also allows you to try out up to six different builds.
With each build, one is allowed to create the player starting with the player’s name, handiness, size and measurements. Each position has a cap on height, weight, and wingspan. For instance, a point guard is allowed a maximum height of 6’6, and each player’s size plays a factor into their attributes. As the wingspan increases, a player will have lower shooting and ball-handling attribute caps. The flip side is, it will increase said-player’s ability to contest shots on defense. Another dose of iron is, increasing the height of your player will lower his speed and agility. However, the irony in that is the additional height will increase one’s ability finish around the rim as well.
Some of the NBA2k purists I’ve spoken with feel this shouldn’t be the case. Reason being is because players like Kevin Durant not only have one of the NBA’s largest wingspans, but is also easily one of the best shooters in NBA history. Jonathan Issac is one of the NBA’s taller wing players, but he’s also one of the fastest players down the court. A different angle may argue that is what MyCareer player development is for, which is also a good point as well.
There have clearly been lots of changes with NBA2k20, starting with the demo. As mentioned earlier, one can now try out different builds as opposed to the past editions which made you commit to the first build you made. This gives gamers a chance to try out different player positions, as well as the ability to customize all of your player’s attributes to your liking. Another change in the demo is that you can choose your Takeover badges according to the build you create. Builds are much more personable this year, and I would argue that every build will be different this year, which furthers the individuality and makes every match up that much more unique.
This year’s edition also allows you to play against the Golden State Warriors to audition your new build creation, all the way up to a 99 rating. This allows players to truly get a feel of their build at any point in the player’s development in full 5v5 game action. So basically you can play with that build as a scrub, moderate level, or at it’s full maxed out 99 rating potential down to the very random rating you choose to audition the build at.
Another addition to the demo is the game generates fairly accurate NBA player comparisons for your player build, which simplifies your understanding of the player you create. For instance, the first NBA2k20 build I created was a 6’7” 220 pound small forward with a “slasher” build that NBA2k compares to Julius Erving, LeBron James, and Jimmy Butler.
My second build was a 6’6” 210 pound all-around point guard that NBA2k20 compares to Penny Hardaway, John Wall & Russell Westbrook. The consistent pattern in my builds thus far is an all-around playmaker who isn’t selfish, if nothing else.
Like most folks, I also prefer variety.
Another change is the fact NBA2K20 has lowered the maximum height on certain positions versus last year’s edition. An example is the small forward position, which used to allow you to create a small forward up to 6’10 in height. However, 2K20 has lowered the maximum height at small forward to 6’9” — according to the demo. This wasn’t ideal for the “2k comp” guys like myself who create “lock down defenders” and utilize the speed and size of 6’10” small forwards to defend positions 1-5.
Another addition to the demo is the ability to customize player badges to your liking even down to the level of the badges, and you can change out badges on players if you feel the need to adjust. So a “Lock Down,” which is usually a limited shooter, can be a great shooter if you choose the badges accordingly.
In 2k19 I like to think I created a build that is extremely Kyle Anderson, like even though most compare my 2k19 build more so to Lamar Odom. I plan to make a Marc Gasol type of build, which will likely be an all-around big. I also will likely create a Jaren Jackson Jr., build which would be an elite 3&D player.
This will be a series, so I will continue to not only create other builds & follow up on the results and which ones work best and worst. I will also add to this series as time goes on.
The Neighborhood aka “The Park”
The Park has become a sensation of its own, and has become my personal favorite mode of the NBA2K game series. The park not only offers 3v3 and games of 21, but also 2v2 & on certain days they offer 1v1 park games as well as 4v4. All of these games, except for 2v2 & 1v1 games, run full-court.
The park also allows one to shop for all different kinds of MyPlayer gear and even offers different games like Dodge ball, Catch Football, and “Red Ball, Blue Ball” versus other live multiplayer action in the park. Other multiplayer additions to the park are Disc Golf, Bobble-Head park play, and — yes — park badges have returned with even more badges as well as more detailed rep progression. Gold Rush and Big Top challenges have also been confirmed.
The parks will now be themed according to the seasons, such as winter giving you snow and winter holiday decor, and all seasons will be determined by the all new “tree of life” —which lives according to real life seasons. So expect leaves falling and birds flying accordingly.
Elite 3 ranked park players are the only mascots this year. Elite 2 ranked players get to design their own shirts and even wear suits to look like elite players. They also get to set up a DJ booth in the park and play beats, so I may create a beat from NBA2k and use it on the next EdMemphis album or mixtape. If not, I will at least use the beat to create a song for the park.
All of this is good and dandy, but the fact that they added Park Leagues, like Park ProAm, is not only going to be fun play for, but it’ll generate an entirely new stream of revenue for content opportunists like myself. People will create cash prize leagues, “winner takes all” tournaments, and everything else down to graphic design artist who will charge $10-$15 to design team apparel.
MyLeague & MyGm
These two modes have often been confused for being one in the same modes for years now and rightfully so. They basically offer the exact same experience with the exception of the storyline drama MyGM offers, and maybe the gameplay options for stuff like trades and signings. This year is much more detailed and supposedly makes the two modes totally different experiences.
One example, the new Action Points system not only structure your GM abilities and skill, but also help count for every decision you make, determining how well your decision-making truly lines up versus others playing the game around the world. Score and Leaderboards were also added to MyLeague to rank and analyze your skills as GM, so now you get to see how you rank as a GM versus others around the world and determine if you are as smart as you think you are. This is huge, and as a lifelong Franchise mode fanatic, I will certainly spend countless hours away from my family for the sole purpose of MyLeague and MyGM.
There’s also revised morale and team chemistry formulas to make them more dynamic and realistic according to each individual player, which will make it a more difficult, engaging play. These new additions also include improved DNA and many other factors we will cover once the game is released, and we can truly endow.
This year’s edition is approaching “Grand Theft Auto” levels of being an entirely different world, and thus impossible to cover entirely in one article, especially before the release of the game.
So, I will reserve my breakdown of MyTeam for the release week if I get to it by then. However, I must say that in the MyTeam mode trailer there was a slot machine which furthers the gambling theme around the MyTeam mode — which makes it so appealing, such as the eBay-like, real-time MyTeam auction mode for the player cards. The slot machine has caused some backlash, but I’m all for it, being it makes the game that much more detailed and engaging. However, maybe that raises the parental control level to put parents on notice and watch their debit cards.
We’re really excited for this 2k edition and will be making ample content from the game to share it with the GBB community. Until then, work on your 2k builds, and let the force be with you.
Feel free to comment below, share your builds, plans, and let me know what all I didn’t cover, or get at me on Twitter or my Xbox Live gamertag, which is EdMemphis.