Ball is Life: A Review of NBA 2K18

A video game makes basketball dreams come true.

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Ada Cheng

A group of Bronx Science students discuss their latest gameplay in 2K18.

As we leap through our school year, Bronx Science students and their MyPlayer make jump shots on NBA 2K18. As the video game was recently released, our students are hyped up to play the latest 2K game. In NBA 2K18, students dive into the world of NBA players, as they make their dreams of becoming a basketball player real.

The first 2K game was released back in 1999, and the graphics just keep getting better in the new iterations.  2k includes players from all thirty teams of the National Basketball Association. As 2K moved from the first generation to the next generation of gaming consoles, the players began to look more and more like their real life counterparts. Players now feel a connection to their characters as they live their lives as an NBA player.

2K18 was released in late September 2017, and many Bronx Science students eagerly turned on their consoles to experience the newest updates the game had in store for them. The latest update includes a setting called “The Neighborhood,” which adds to the story aspect of the game. Players love the update as they are now able to interact more with the environment around them, and make their own choices, like deciding which team to be recruited to, or choosing their agent. “Before, we could only practice balling at home and play on the courts, but now we can do things like go to the barber shop and the tattoo shop, shop at different clothing stores, walk to the park, and after a certain level, we could even start riding bikes,” said Akib Miah’18.

Aside from being able to interact with the environment around them, players get to play online with their friends. With just a mic and a controller, friends can have a great two hour session on the courts and in the neighborhood. The competition becomes intense as they bet their virtual currency in the game. Paul Schaffino ’20 said, “I play with friends who will give me a run for my virtual money. The desire for bragging rights amongst my friends pushes me to give it my best.” The game extends from the virtual world into school as students converse about their MyPlayers and who has the best scores.

“Before, we could only practice balling at home and play on the courts, but now we can do things like go to the barber shop and the tattoo shop, shop at different clothing stores, walk to the park, and after a certain level, we could even start riding bikes.” 

The game never becomes boring, as players are able to set both short-term and long-term goals, and complete them along the way as they work towards becoming the best NBA player on the block. Sujen Sen’17 explains, “The Neighborhood is an open world where you can go to the training facility. There’s also the barber shop, tattoo shop, and the clothes store. A new aspect of 2k18 is the ability to reach a rating of 99. Now, the way that you earn your rank is through your overall score. The higher your overall score is, the more rewards that you can earn. Getting to a 99 in the game is like getting to a Legend in 2k17.” The goals include being inducted into the Hall of Fame, having a perfect 99 score overall, winning the NBA championships, being League MVP, and obtaining all of the badges. These goals motivate the video game players as they earn bragging rights.

However, no game is perfect, as there are some glitches. Thankfully, there are new patches to fix these glitches. “When it comes to trying to cross people up, I feel like it isn’t as controlled as it could be,” Sabrina Raouf ’18 said. “Half of the time it feels like I’m flinging the right stick around randomly to try to get past a defender, and sometimes it makes me shoot the ball. It’s just kind of annoying.” According to students, the game has its faults, but the overall gameplay is amazing.

Many Bronx Science students now find themselves trying to balance both their schoolwork and their virtual NBA career. Rizqallam Rianom’18 said, “It’s hard squeezing in some time to play with college application deadlines looming, but every time that I do have free time, I try to play. It’s kind of bad to start playing, because once you do, you can’t stop.”

Clearly, NBA 2K18 is here to stay.

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