So it's post all-star game season for my shooting guard's 4th year, and my coach decided to bench me for the time being until playoffs (I think!) Just to prove a point, I decided to show him what he'd be missing. What follows is probably my most efficient game yet :D.
Skyrim has this amazing ability to immerse me in an environment that feels so real that sometimes the emotional stories I happen to run into - apparently by accident - make me do things that seem silly... mostly because I know it's just a game... and nobody really got hurt. For some reason though, I'm compelled to "right" the wrongs that have happened.
There are numerous examples of this, but the most poignant for me so far (spoilers ahead) is when I was running around in the wild just minding my own business; I was checking out various locations that popped up on my radar that I have yet to have discovered. On the way, I helped myself to hunting the various game and fauna I ran into, along with the alchemical ingredients I required for my potions. Out of nowhere, I find a dead young Breton woman... with a single arrow near her body. I thought to myself, "Damn... another random NPC hit the dust before I could even get there." I went to check her body.. and found a single note.
"If you are reading this letter, I'm probably already dead..." She tells a sad and inspiring story about how her house was looted recently by a gang of bandits. She didn't care much about the stuff they took, save for one thing: her family heirloom pendant. Almost all of her family was dead already; that was the last thing she had of theirs. Feeling like she had nothing left to live for, no memory to hang onto, she says she's going to go after the gang of bandits and try to get her family pendant back, even if it takes her last breath.
Seeing the way how she died... and that she died alone... in the cold, harsh climate, and knowing what transpired to lead her up to that point... feeling how helpless a person in that situation would be... I couldn't help but feel really sorry for her. She was only an NPC character, yes, but I can't help it. I couldn't be there to save her from the bandits, but there was one thing I could do for her: I carried her body with me all the way back to Largashbur, an Orc village that I recently helped defend giants from. There was a shrine there, for their deity, but it seemed like it would be a good memorial site for her.
I debated whether I should've posted this, but it has been on my mind ever since that night.. so there it is.
PS: I go there once in a while. Her body is still where I left it, lying on top of the shrine.
So far I have only played the My Player mode of the game. While I am enjoying it for the most part, there are a few things that bug me:
Your teammates are generally shit for defense (they leave their man way too open/rotate too much or rotate for no good reason)
Your teammates are generally shit when you pass them the ball on a fastbreak
Even with a supremely high rating for pull-up jumpers, shooting in traffic, 3pt shooting, clutch offense, etc., you will STILL miss on WIDE OPEN 3s and mid-range shots
Coach gets replaced every year, even if the team does really well/wins championships
Off-ball defense is a little touch-and-go... sometimes I can deny my man the ball/path pretty well.. other times he's able to just blaze past me without any effort... even with my guy having capped quickness/speed/defense
Dribbling moves getting streamlined can be a little annoying, as I can't really have the same kind of dribbling control as I did last year
Collision detection for players can get a little too much sometimes - a little bump and your guy is taken completely off defense
Teammates get in the way a lot as well... on both offense and defense
Buzz rating is a little sketchy - sometimes even after winning a lot of games or doing really well (and getting lots of highlight plays), as well as scoring points on all 3 categories in the press conference interviews, the buzz ratings won't go up
Statistics can get messed up at times - I was shooting 60% for the season in one year, then out of the blue, it listed my FG% as 1% in the game... and stayed low until the next year... in the menu options though, my FG percentage was correct
Graphics aren't as good as they seem like they should be, or they're on par/worse than last year's version. There are various glitches too, where you or your teammate's jerseys are really messed up in the match-up logos. Also, I seem to remember my player getting more sweaty as the game progressed. It doesn't seem to be the case this year... he starts the game already sweaty and doesn't change for the better or worse.
All that said, however, there are some things I still like about this game:
Replays and animations are done a lot better this year, and are quite enjoyable to watch. I like how they slow down the time at various points, highlighting the dramatic effect a particular play has
Dunks look extremely awesome this year.. especially those supremely clutch ones
Taking charges and pulling the chair out from guys is a lot more easier this year
The importance of making plays makes the game a lot more enjoyable than the gameplay that we had last year (could almost single-handedly score all the baskets last year... you still sorta can this year, but you gotta make good plays)
A lot of cool pump-fake and other fake-shot animation chaining makes things look very smooth
Various things are streamlined effectively, like fake moves and spin dunks, etc.
My Player mode still is fun to play - getting your guy up from the lowly rookie to a superstar status is pretty awesome, especially now that money plays a role in the game
Teams do more trades now - it's great to see your team making changes - makes it more interesting
An actual Hall of Fame "ending" (as far as I can tell - haven't retired yet)
Commentary is still pretty good - it does eventually get boring (same phrases and such), but it's still good. They keep track of stats from previous games and years too... better than last year
Actual basketball physics ie. the ball isn't actually linked to a player anymore - it seems like it's a seperate entity on its own - this leads to some interesting moments where balls are blocked with elbows, arms, and yes, even FACES.
Overall, I think this is a pretty good basketball game. It's a lot more sim-y than last year's version, but it's still a lot of fun. I'm just hoping that playing the Legends will be awesome as well.
Has anyone seen the latest Castle episode? I love this show; I haven't seen a more emotionally charged and well-written scene in the series before this one. The acting is top notch, also. The subtle music in the background pulls you in, too.
Esposito: Like every other bad guy, he's damaged goods.
Beckett: So am I.
Esposito: That's right... and that's OK. You think it's a weakness? Make it strength. It's a part of you, so use it.
Anyone have any other examples of seemingly flawed/weak characters who find it within themselves to use that trait as a strength to overcome obstacles? It can be from any media you can think of: video games, movies, books, tv shows. Video clips/excerpts would be appreciated :D.
I love these kinds characters; just like anti-heroes and anti-villains, they're complex.
There's something funny going on with this year's my player trade system. At the beginning of my player's career in the NBA, the moment he joined the Toronto Raptors, a slew of trades went into affect and almost all of the original team was traded away, bringing in other talents.
Now into my 2nd-3rd season, something funny has happened: a previous Raptors star (hated by some; loved by others) has returned: Vince Carter! I'm not quite sure if I'm entirely happy about that trade - he's getting a lot older now and has lost a bit of his touch, but he's still a pretty good 3pt shooter.
I just found it was kinda funny that the computer would make him return to where he got his teeth cut :). Has anyone else had any funny experiences with the trade system in My Player mode?
After two seasons of playing my My Player shooting guard for the Toronto Raptors, I've finally managed to bring my team from the bottom of the pack to the top team to beat =) (Even despite getting injured an alarming 4 times in a season). Most of the original team got traded around with other franchises the moment I joined, but a couple of the original players remained or got traded back (Bayless and Kleiza).
Winning the championship was fun! They even added in a presentation of the trophy for you when you win this year. The White HouseObama thing is back again also... yes, it still looks awkward. Getting the game to work properly after winning the championship, however, was another matter. Following the victory, before the press conference, the game hangs up on loading... at first I was scared that my game got messed up. After I disabled the autosave feature in the options though, everything worked right again. I had to repeat the last playoff game, though (missed out on my double-double performance too =/ ); so make sure you disable the autosave option before you play a potential series ending game!
After playing 2k11 so much, it was hard to get into this version of the game because its predecessor was so arcade-y, even though it was awesome. This one is more sim-y and is therefore more challenging... at the same time though, it's very rewarding when you pull things off. Plays and getting open looks are very important in 2k12. Don't push your shots/plays and take it cool, and you'll do fine. Don't be afraid to call a time-out when you're getting destroyed, if your teammates aren't defending well, or if momentum is shifting.
There will be moments where you'll be left scratching your head though, like when you miss open threes and the like when there is no one around you. I think part of why this happens mostly has to do with the course of the game, ie. whether you were actually ready to take that three, even if no one is covering you, or even if you pulled the shot off perfectly :/. I've been playing My Player mode mostly, and as my ability in shooting improved, I'm finding myself getting a lot more successful shots when I'm open now.
I'm just kinda bummed that Dominique Wilkins wasn't one of the Legends you can play as in the challenges.
PS: I wasn't a huge follower of basketball before (mostly because my local team sucks :(... and I don't have cable - not many over-the-air games), and after playing 2K11, I learnt a bit more and appreciated the sport better... with 2K12 now.. I'm learning tons more because of the importance of plays (and learning a few of these as well) and getting open. The off-ball offense gameplay is fun for me :).
PPS: Don't even try to play this on your keyboard xD. In 2K11 it was doable, but this year, they streamlined dribbling moves, hop-steps, and spins so much that it's almost a must to play this game with a controller =). Lucky for me I have my Razer Onza =D.