NBA 2k10: Draft Combine Review
It’s game time now.
The idea is fantastic. Instead of releasing a toned down demo of 5 minutes for free, release a longer version that people actually pay for and get more gameplay time out of! In the best case scenario the basketball hungry fans will eat up the idea and buy the game to see how good NBA 2K10 is going to be. In the worst case scenario though, people would still buy it, be disappointed with the game and stay away from the full version all together. So which scenario really describes our experience with NBA 2K10: Draft Combine? A little bit of both.
To say the least, every summer NBA 2K is one game we cannot wait for. We anticipate any news, announcements, videos and game features. So playing Draft Combine was something special. First off the game showed us a more confusing menu system, a few new gameplay elements but sadly failed in showing off the new innovative commentary system promised this year in NBA 2K10.
Draft Combine puts you in the shoes of an NBA prospect. You start by creating yourself in the game. Once you manage to squeeze yourself in, you then try to input your real life strengths and weaknesses into the game. If you see yourself as a lock down defender you can adjust the stats to apply that. You see yourself as a 3-point specialist? Go ahead and crank up the 3point stats all the way. Of course you will have a limited amount of points to allocate, so spend them wisely.
After creating your character you will have several options to choose from. The game allows you to play a set amount of pickup games, training sessions and full games before uploading your character. That very same character can then be uploaded into 2K10 in the future to be used in the single player career mode.
The games you play will be graded and you will be given a certain list of goals to achieve during each game. You will even have a coach telling you what to do and what exactly you are doing wrong. The grading in the game can be a little misleading however. You will be judged on basically everything you do. From running the lane to making a good pass to a team mate. Ask for the ball too many times and watch as a big minus sign appears next to your name. At times the game managed to award us or even accuse us of actions we did not really take. You might, for example, gain points for making a badly taken shot, and at other times lose points for taking a wide open good shot.
After each game, and based on how well you did, points will be awarded for you to spend on upgrading your character. Based on how you do and how much your player improves the game will predict what position you will go in the NBA 2K10 draft. Unfortunately, we never managed to be highly sought after in the league. Despite leading the team in scoring and rebounding in each and every game, we only managed to achieve a 21st pick in the 2nd round of the draft. With a little bit of luck, we hope we can make Agent Zero proud ripping the league apart after being drafted in the 2nd round.
Other improvements we noticed on the court are the player’s movements and AI. You will notice how the big men will be wrestling inside for position and competing for every rebound. The AI goes after every rebound hard. The AI point guard on your team also plays smart. Despite having to pass you the ball when you press the pass button, the point guard actually does make good decision running the show and feeds you the ball every time you are open. So it could be a wise choice to ease up on the A button and just wait for the pass.
The graphics overall is an improvement compared to earlier instalments in the series. The players look as realistic as ever but the animations are what impressed as the most here. You will notice just how some players are running around tired while other are running the lane anticipating the pass. The posting up and rebounding animations were improved as well. Sadly we couldn’t comment on anything else since all you will see on the screen is 10 players in an empty arena.
All you will get to listen to playing this game is 3 tracks playing over again and again. Decent music but a little more options would have been great. The game is mute thanks to the lack of the commentary system, reminding some of us that this is a demo more than a fully fledged release after all.
Draft Combine is going to cost you 400 MS points on XBLA and about 5 dollars on PSN, so giving it a shot is surely nothing of a major investment. The game overall is a good stepping stone to the full title coming out in less than a month and an idea that we hope other future sport releases will adapt. How good this game can turn up to be also depends on how good the career mode is in 2K10.
|Slight improvements, mainly in the player’s animations.||
|Improved and more details in how the players move around.|
|Just 3 songs and no commentary.||
|A ton of options considering the price tag.|
|We honestly cannot wait to rip the league apart next month.||
|A good demo you might want to say that costs you money and is long and worth your time.|