It has been about three months since the releases of NBA 2K14 and NBA Live 14 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. Now the initial reaction to both games were as different as different can be with NBA 2K14 being praised and applauded. NBA Live 14 however was pretty much spit on and kicked in the groin as fans and gaming media panned the game as one of the worst things to come out in a long time. Here are some examples of the reviews that was released about NBA Live 14.
"NBA Live 14 sinks lower than I ever thought this once-proud series could go. Making the totally fair comparison to NBA 2K14 would be like LeBron James playing a pickup game against an arthritic giraffe. But even taken in isolation, the resurrected NBA Live is a mess of a hoops sim both in your hands and in your eyes that wouldn't even make the D-League All-Star team. In fact, there's only one thing about NBA Live that's better than its competitor: the net. Yes, that one thing is the net, and it is the best net I've ever seen in a basketball game. There, I said something nice."
"NBA Live's flaccid return is made all the more disappointing because we waited three years for it. After all that time, NBA Live 14 in no way advances the basketball sim genre and, worse, leaves little to be optimistic about for next year."
"Live's weaknesses are easy to spot. The on-court gameplay doesn't look very next-gen-like, especially when compared to its NBA 2K14 counterpart. Player models are nicely detailed when viewed up close and during replays; when you're playing the game from standard camera angles, however, the player, coach, and referee faces look as if you're viewing them through smudged glass. The camera struggles when players go up for rebounds, and there are plenty of awkward bounces of the ball coming off the rim and blocked shots. With scattershot animations and regular hiccups, it's an uneven visual experience overall."
"Underneath that rough exterior, however, NBA Live does offer some interesting options for individual and team control in the standard 5-on-5 game modes."
Here's an example of one exemplary review that NBA 2K14 received upon its release.
"NBA 2K14 is really missing something when it comes to customization. With a lack of that, the game modes take a big hit as well. 2K has always known for its fantastic Association Mode, and while MyGM is good, it doesn't adequately replace that mode just yet. It's disappointing more so than gut-wrenching. However, there are two things that make NBA 2K14 a great game: gameplay and graphics."
"These graphics really add to the realism of NBA 2K14. It helps that the main gameplay features real people rather than fictional characters; it gives you a sense of watching TV. But seeing the players move so lifelike, and knowing it's because of you is a feeling you should all experience. This game is beautiful."
"The gameplay, despite those darned glitches, is what we've come to expect out of 2K: nothing but the best. These guys know exactly what they're doing, and have set that foundation they talked about. This game is far from perfect, but it's also the first next-gen iteration. This is a must-buy game for any sports gamer, and a must-buy for any true gamer."
From these reviews, it seemed as if NBA 2K14 was the runaway winner in the battle between next-gen basketball games. But with all the good press that they received from everyone, a funny thing happened after the two games were released. All of a sudden NBA Live 14 took its medicine and admitted that their game was not as good as advertised and promised to do better. NBA 2K14 on the other hand, began falling apart and literally not working for anyone.
The events that led to NBA 2K's 2013 downfall began when the game was first released. While gaming outlets were quick to give praises to the game, users began complaining about important modes such as MyGM and MyCareer not working and simply crashing upon entering them. While it seemed that it was an isolated problem with a few people, the problem was actually an issue that seemed to grow and many more users started to inform 2K and websites about their experiences with the game. In what was supposed to be a flawless game, there was a major problem developing and at the beginning of the issues and 2K said nothing early on.
EA Sports on the flipside, took their beating and ultimately admitted their mistakes. NBA Live Executive Producer Sean O'Brien wrote a detailed blog apologizing to fans of the rebooted series about the game's release. "We hear loud and clear that some of you are disappointed in various aspects of NBA Live 14, and I'm sorry if the game doesn't live up to your expectations," said O'Brien in the blog post. Looking at your feedback, we have laid out a pan to make NBA Live 14 a better game as quickly as we can." He laid out the new plan for NBA Live 14 and how EA Sports plans to make the game better for users right now and not in NBA Live 15. Overall, it was EA Sports admitting a small defeat but also showed their refusal to surrender.
In trying to debate the merits of both NBA Live 14 and NBA 2K14 in October, there was no information to really discuss when it came to NBA Live. 2K continuously released awe-inspiring videos which whet the appetites of sports gamers and blew NBA Live out of the water. The problem with that was that we were distracted but the flashing lights and extras without asking the real question: Does NBA 2K14 actually work? NBA Live held their cards close to their chest because the product was not as good as 2K so in true advertising fashion, they hid the negatives and accented the positives.
So here we are three months after the release of the two of the most anticipated sports games in years and it seems as if they are now on equal footing. 2K has released four title updates since its release with the fourth patch helping the crashing problems that has hampered the game. Needless to say however, the damage has been done with NBA 2K fan who were highly disappointed with this game and the endless issues that came from it. Users from all around has complained on our comments section here on iDigitalTimes and frankly, it will be amazing in 2K could sell any copies of their next year with what happen in almost three months since their release.
As for the NBA Live franchise, it seems that they have realized everything they have done wrong are pro-actively trying to fix it. They are starting to scan more heads of NBA players even after their release to possibly insert into this year's game. Right around Christmas, EA released the first title update for NBA Live 14, which according to EA will set the stage for future updates that are to come for the game. Besides NBA Live 14, this ordeal for the Live team may set the stage for a better NBA Live 15 where they realize their mistakes and shortcomings and release a better game. While they want to fix this year's game, the next installment may make some noise based on this experience.
The battle between the 2K and EA Sports basketball will continue through this year all the way up to their next releases in the fall. What helps both games is that there is so much work to with NBA Live and NBA 2K that this fall should feature some of the best games in the two franchise's history. The advantage may lie in the court of EA Sports due to the fact that they can't do no worse than what they released this past November. It seems as if they are determined not to make the same mistake twice and they will work day and night to put a competent game. 2K has an uphill battle for one reason .... While NBA Live 14 may have played like garbage, at least the game worked. They have to prove themselves to game consumers that their next basketball game will not be an utter disappointment.
At this stage, it seems as if NBA Live may have the brighter future.