I really dig the work 2K has done with the NBA2K series and it seems to make some nice progressions each and every year it is released. It’s about that time of the year where we start hearing rumblings of new features to be included in the new game, screen shots and even maybe a trailer.
What drives me absolutely nuts is the ridiculousness of passing in the NBA2K games. It’s a problem that has carried over annually with each release.
I will never understand how the passing feature hasn’t evolved considering how big of a part of the game of basketball passing is. But here are a few things that drive me absolutely bonkers with the passing
- How my player, a point guard, can call a play for a specific teammate (example: Player A cut to hoop), have that player cut to the hoop, execute a pass command, but the pass goes to another player that often times is in a crowd of defenders resulting in a turnover.
- The unbalanced A.I in passing is frustrating. If the computer passes to a guarded player, my defender barely reacts letting an easy score whizz right by him. On the flip side, If i pass to a streaking center on the fast break, the defending center (computer) consistently breaks the play up for a steal.
- A ball is loose on the court, computer players make acrobatic plays to chase the ball down, dive out of bounds, jump into the crowd, etc. My team stands around doing nothing, nothing at all.
- If my PG with a 95 pass can’t execute a simply crisp pass to an open teammate, no Center or Power Forward not named Lebron James should easily be chucking full-court passes with Peyton Manning-like precision
- During aforementioned acrobatic loose ball saves the computer executes perfect circus passes to a teammate, regardless if he is looking at him or not. My players?….no chance in hell
Several Years ago 2K had an awesome multi-player option. In fact it was one of my favorite parts of the game. My friend and i would create our own players and put them on the same team for an 82-game season. Then during the Association mode, we would be able to connect online and continue to play with our team.
Then one day, poof, 2K took the feature out.
Now that they have really kicked up My Career and My Player it should be a no-brainer to re-introduce this multi-player feature again. Imagine exporting your My Player to play against or with a friend’s very own My Player? Better yet, imagine constructing a league of My Players with a bunch of your friends and battling it out?
What is really fun about Madden is being able to choose to be a player or coach/GM. This would work wonders in NBA2K14. Controlling contract negotiations, free agent negotiations, getting into bidding wars and having to really manage a team would be a natural fit for NBA2K14
Regardless if NBA2K works on any of the above i will be purchasing the game. It really is one of the most entertaining sports games to play. Fast paced, good graphics and always seems to add a little something to the game each and every year
Under a Cloud, British Dominance of Tour De France Continues
Even if you are not an avid cycling fan, reading back over the results of the 2005 Tour de France is an interesting, almost educating, experience. The first thing that becomes apparent is the strikes through the names of the top competitors: Lance Armstrong (winner), Jan Ulrich (3 rd ) and Levi Leipheimer (6 th ) were all retrospectively stripped of their accolades due to, somewhat infamous, doping violations.
There is no rewriting of history with the strikethroughs though. They act as a monument to cycling’s difficult recent history.
For the modern cycling fan, the other, arguably more interesting, aspect of those tainted 2005 results is the fact that there is not one British cyclist listed 154 competitors. In the 102-year history of the Tour de France before 2005, there had been no British winners. In the last six years, British cyclists have won five Tour De France titles.
Froome chasing history
This is not an anomaly either. Sure, Chris Froome (four titles) is on his way to equaling the all-time record (five titles), and he may one day equal Armstrong’s tainted record of seven, but he is by no means the only British cyclist pitching in with their fair share of history-making. Bradley Wiggins.
In fact, got the ball rolling with a first ever British win in 2012. Indeed, at the time of writing we are around three quarters of the way through the 2018 Tour.
The leaders at stage 17 are two Brits – the aforementioned Chris Froome and Welshman Geraint Thomas. The latter is leading the betting odds for Tour De France 2018 right now, coming in at 17/20 with William Hill.
Froome, so desperate for that fifth title, is priced at 7/4. At this stage, if there is to be a non-British winner, Tom Domoulin looks the most likely, with the Dutch cyclist coming in at 12/1.
Team Sky dominance remarkable
Of course, if, as seems likely, Thomas or Froome win out in the end, much of the credit will go to the brains behind the operation – Team Sky. Froome, Thomas and, the now retired, Wiggins have all been members of the ultra-dominant Team Sky, which was launched in 2010.
A win in 2018 will mean six of its nine years in existence have resulted in Tour de France glory. To put it into perspective, imagine the uproar if an NHL expansion team won six Stanley Cups in its first nine seasons?
However, it must be said that the shadow of Armstrong and cycling’s past still hangover the sport.
These successful British cyclists and Team Sky are not immune to criticism and rumors about doping. Froome, for example, got urine thrown at him by protesters in France a few years ago and pepper spray this year, incidents that have made security a massive part of the Tour.
In Britain, Bradly Wiggins, who was knighted after his 2012 win and subsequent Olympic glory, also faces allegations about potential past doping.
Anti-doping authorities rigorous in their testing
There is nothing concrete to suggest that Team Sky, or any of its riders, are doing anything wrong. In fact, most of the current cyclists will say they are being punished because of the misdemeanors of past cyclists.
One must also remember that successful individuals like Froome are under even more scrutiny by UCI, simply because they do now want to see another Lance Armstrong situation.
Until otherwise informed, we should look on with respect at the men who brought British cycling from nothing to the dominant global force in a few short years.
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Borderlands the Pre Sequel: Off to the Moon
For those of you clamoring for more Borderlands, get ready for an exciting 2014 that is poised to deliver in spades. This past weekend at PAX East 2014 the public had it’s first in-depth look at the latest edition to the Borderlands franchise, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel takes place between the stories of Borderlands and Borderlands 2 and introduces four new playable characters including Athena, Wilhelm, Claptrap, and Nisha. All of these characters will be very familiar to fans of the franchise, including Clap Trap who has been a staple in the series and one of the main characters.
The story will follow Handsome Jack’s transition from being a beloved hero to a hated, evil villain. Handsome Jack has crashed the Hyperion space station into the moon and as his employee, you’re helping Jack fix it. The story will also explain why Elpis, Pandora’s Moon, looked significantly different in Borderlands 2 than in the first Borderlands. To top things off, the game with take place on the moon complete with low-gravity, new moves, guns, elementals, oxygen kits and lasers.
Athena, the Gladiator is one of the newly introduced playable characters. Athena’s ability is the kinetic aspis which she can pull out, like a force field, to absorb damage and then throw her magnetic shield at enemies (think Captain America) to discharge the absorbed damage. What about when she’s in multi-player mode? Friends can unload damage upon her before a fight, arming her with like a nuke ready for battle.
Nisha is expected to be a melee-centric character.
Although Wilheim’s ability was not described in-depth but apparently players will see his transformation from human to a robotic version of himself.
Claptrap is the character you either love or hate. I found him wildly entertaining in Borderlands 2, but would a playable ClapTrap be annoying? Gearbox and 2K Australia are aware of this concer and judging from their comments they seem to embrace it; “Some people will love Claptrap. Some people will hate Claptrap, as it’s always been,” says Armstrong. “We would not be surprised to see – not to get too deep into what Claptrap is or how he works – but we fully expect to see servers that are called ‘No Claptraps Allowed,’ where if you join as a Claptrap, you get kicked. We’re okay with that.”
According to Matt Armstrong, Borderlands franchise director at Gearbox, part of the reason is that Borderlands 2 just can’t accommodate any more DLC. “Every time you make a new content or DLC for a game, it takes up more memory than the original game,” he says. “So every new weapon, every new gear, every new class, all that stuff takes up memory. We simply ran out.” As for why Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel won’t be appearing on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Armstrong says the Borderlands audience is still on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. “The install base [on Xbox One and PS4] isn’t quite there yet,” he says. “They’re doing fantastically well, and it’s going to be great in the next couple years, but I think we’re going to go where our fans are.”
One exciting new element in play for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is the use of the low-gravity. Using the moon’s gravity players can jump higher and together with a jetpack, ice weapons and a newly introduced ground pound attack, this game plans to not only provide Boderlands fans with something exciting but also give a fresh take on the franchise.
Characters and saves from Borderlands and Borderlands 2 will not carry over into The Pre-Sequel, which is set for a fall 2014 release
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