NBA 2K16 is arguably the best Basketball video game out there. The game is so good that it dethroned the former king of Basketball video game, NBA Live series and put it to semi-retirement, semi-broke stage wherein it came to the point that every gamer or Basketball fan doesn’t want to risk their hard earned money to buy NBA Live games.
NBA 2K series is a phenomenal Basketball video game. It revolutionized basketball video game genre and it is so innovative that fans are eager to see what the game has in store for them every year, and this year’s installment is something unique as legendary American film director and producer Spike Lee came into the scene to make the My Career mode of NBA 2K16.
My Career mode is one of my favorite gameplay modes of the game, or should I say, my most favorite part of the game. Every Basketball fan’s dream is to make it to the big league, if not in the NBA, in any pro league your country has to offer and for someone like me who loves Basketball so much but doesn’t have the talent like this freak of nature pro hoopsters have, NBA 2K16’s My Career mode is the next best thing for me to reach the NBA, even it is just imaginary. Speaking of imagination, I love how my imagination works everytime I play this mode. How I imagine myself to be the first Philippine-born player to play in the NBA. How I imagine myself to play with my favorite team – Chicago Bulls or play with the Lakers because my setting would always be in L.A. as most of my relatives are there and there are a big Filipino community in L.A. so I love playing with the crowd. How I imagine getting that million-dollar contract, buying those fancy cars, having a big mansion, and helping my countrymen in the Philippines.
Bottomline, and I will say it again, I love My Career mode.
So when the news swirled that Spike Lee made a major revision on the My Career mode which is really good. Spike Lee, the person who is behind critically-acclaimed Basketball films like “Do The Right Thing” and “He Got Game”. Spike Lee, the person who always see wearing a New York jersey apparel and Jordan Brand sneakers while seating in the courtside of Madison Square Garden cheering for the Knicks. Spike Lee, the person who had a heated argument with Reggie Miller during the 90’s. Spike Lee, the person behind the character of Mars Blackmon – so it is safe to say that Spike Lee is synonymous to Basketball, to NBA Basketball, at least, that is why I am so pumped up to get my hands on NBA 2K16 and be part of another Spike Lee’s masterpiece.
Then NBA 2K16 came, Spike Lee’s joint “Livin’ Da Dream” flashed into my TV screen, yes, that is the title of My Career’s mini-movie mode of NBA 2K16. You’ll start the game with your created player named Freq, short for his nickname Frequency Vibrations. No matter what name you put into your player, whatever race you are, they will still call you “Freq”. So Freq is a typical hoopster living in a projects in Harlem, New York. He has a twin sister named Cee-Cee who taught him to play Basketball and later on became his manager. They both live with their below-average earning parents and Basketball is their only way to escape poverty. Freq also has a friend named Vic Van Lier aka F.O.F. or Friend of Freq.
The settings of My Career mode is something that really interests me because for the first time ever, it will feature your High School career then college scouts will go after you to play for the University they represent and eventually, play for the NCAA College Basketball then turn pro. In the middle of that illustrious basketball career are melo-dramatic scenes that are really irritating and will get you off your groove. For some instances like the team owner wants to get rid of you because of your relationship with your childhood friend, Vic. Your relationship with your irritating American-Italian agent, Dom Pagnotti. Your out-of-the-blue girlfriend who you think at first was a gold digger character and later on in the story, she was a successful business person and Cee-Cee, your twin sister/manager who can’t control his twin brother and only client. The story of this is more like a Basketball version of Entourage.
The story is also so stereotype, a typical Basketball movie set-up. The main character came from poverty and became successful because of Basketball. The only thing missing with the storyline to make more stereotype-ish are the gangsters blocking your way to stardom and killing someone close to your life. I don’t want to give any spoilers there’s a tragic part in this story.
Overall, the My Career that I knew, the My Career I loved and the My Career that I spent a lot of time playing with is ruined, all thanks to Spike Lee. I know that it is his first time to do a video game project but I am hoping that this will be his last. Please, stay with the field you are good at – the films, and let the gaming people do their stuff to make this game good once again. Less storyline, more basketball because in reality, this is a sports game, not a role playing game.