The Phenomenal AJ Styles is the new cover star of WWE 2K19.
AJ seems happy about being the star too:
As a hardcore gamer and ambassador of everything it means to ‘Never Say Never’ in both my professional and personal life, it is a dream come true to be selected as the WWE 2K19 cover Superstar. From Seth Rollins last year to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar, I am honored to join this incredible list of past WWE 2Kcover Superstars and put my own unique stamp on the franchise. Get ready to join me in the virtual ring, because WWE 2K19 and the WWE 2K19 Million Dollar Challengewill be nothing short of phenomenal!
See? There aren’t too many deatils about the game just yet, however, there will be a new experience in the form of the The Million-Dollar Challenge. Anyone who purchases the game gets the chance to compete online for a chance to challenge Styles one-on-one.
To qualify, you’ll need to:
Beat a to-be-announced new mode in the game;
Submit a winning promotional video that shows why you will beat AJ Styles in WWE 2K19;
Make it to the semi-final round of competition and beat the other three semifinalists in WWE 2K19;
As the finalist, compete one-on-one in WWE 2K19against AJ Styles – and defeat him – to win one million dollars.
2K are back with another version of their visually impressive basketball sim, NBA 2K17, and whilst it doesn’t have any huge additions or new features, the few tweaks here and there help to further embed them as the dominant basketball game.
It’s no surprise at all that 2K17 looks and feels terrifically authentic. Much like it’s last few instalments, ball control is tight and intuitive, shooting and lay-ups are about timing and skill – with a little luck thrown in for good measure – and defending feels superbly balanced against attackers. The courts look real, the character animations are equally life-like, and the character models, well they’re mostly excellent but there’s a few odd-balls out there, including your created character if you use the smart phone app to scan your face.
Indeed, the presentation is still highly impressive. Stats appear throughout play but without being intrusive, and the commentators do a splendid job analysing the court and flow of play. Meanwhile, a talk show while your match is loading is a nice distraction, although the host’s facial animation is a bit hit-and-miss and some peculiar pauses in speech can pull you out of the experience a bit.
The comprehensive tutorial, 2KU, does a great job in teaching you the mechanics and systems at work, and before long you’ll be ready for the flagship mode, MyCareer. Here you create your own character and take him from his high school novice roots to becoming potentially one of the NBA’s best. The new college segment allows for some more personality to be injected into your character, providing a better origin for his career before he’s drafted into the NBA. Meanwhile, shorter load times than in previous titles is a very welcome enhancement, but there’s still a fair bit of waiting around between games.
The storytelling experience of MyCareer is still a bit corny but undeniably clever and immersive. From your house, which acts as a HUD, you have multiple options available, such as playing on your own personal court, deciding your schedule for the day, and conversing with friends, coaches, and your mum. This is of course alongside the mandatory games and training sessions, but you also have the option to attend sponsor events, go out with fellow players, and hit the practice court in order to earn stat boosts. It’s a comprehensive and well-throughout mode that immerses you in your character’s career splendidly.
Taking your created player online is the same as in previous instalments, with MyPark allowing you to play 3-on-3 games with other players. Meanwhile, 2K’s counterpart to FIFA Ultimate Team, MyTeam, is still an excellent fantasy basketball system, allowing you to build your own dream team of players, complete scenarios in order to earn VC, and challenge other players online. Furthermore, separate challenges within MyTeam, such as a mode in which you can draft a team of legends and try and win as many consecutive games as possible to earn rewards, is an excellent addition.
However, whilst the primary modes have been merely tweaked, MyGM and MyLeague have a couple of important new additions. This year both modes are more customisable and vast thanks to the ability to expand your league to 36 teams. These now include EuroLeague teams, classic teams, and even teams that you’ve made yourself, opening up a terrific options to really customise your season. Furthermore, you can choose to start during the offseason, allowing you to trade players before the season gets underway. You can also choose to only paly the Play-Offs, skipping the grind and enjoying the most exciting period of the season.
Indeed, NBA 2K17 makes smart, minor adjustments to the winning formula of MyCareer and MyPark, maintaining the former’s immersive story and the latter’s compelling collection mechanics, and it enhances MyGM and MyLeague to breathe new life into the modes. And whilst overall there isn’t much new, the NBA 2K series doesn’t need any big changes yet, as its pretty excellent as it is.
After the last instalment in the WWE2K series, which was quite the disappointment for fans, 2K Sports have turned things around and put a lot of work into making this year’s title the best it could be. They’ve brought to the table a wealth of options, unlockables, customisation and the largest roster ever featured in a wrestling game, ever! Things are certainly looking up for the series.
Greeted with a whole load of game options and modes I firstly delved into the My Career mode, where you start off as a self-created Superstar – or a downloaded popular community created Superstars – to take on the WWE with their roster of wrestlers. When creating your perfect wrestler you can upload photos of your face to the 2K website and then receive them on your console via the community communications page – there is also aface scan appwhich is coming soon. You can also upload logos and other images to use almost anywhere on your ring attire, you can even select the types of signs your fans hold. There’s a massive range of options for creating precisely the look you want, allowing you to modify and tweak body parts to be proportionate or go crazy and create an utterly ridiculous Superstar with a massive upper body, the smallest of legs and a head shaped like a watermelon; it provides brilliant scope.
Once you’ve gone through all of the customisation lists and set up your Superstar it’s time to get to training. You’ll be able to access your calendar to manage and join different shows so you can eventually compete for the different belts available: NXT, US Champ, Intercontinental, Tag Team and World Heavyweight. This year Albert will be your trainer and he’ll be showing you the ropes before you go in to any serious matches. You start off learning about Rest Holds, which helps to balance the pace of the match and to wear down your opponents, it also stops the game from being a full-on brawler so you need to think about your attacks more cerebrally. This mini-game is about grappling and works on the premise of rock, paper, scissors, where the winner will drain their opponents stamina whilst slowly regenerating their own. Next up you will learn about the new Submissions mini game, where the attacker will have to overlap the defenders blue bar with their red bar in order to make them tap out – it’s harder than it sounds – and then reversals.
Playing matches will earn you points which you are able to spend on anything from abilities and skills to gaining the support of a manager who can aid by cheering you on or distracting the referee to help you win matches. Matches are ranked on a five-star basis where variety, memorable moments and skills involved relay to a higher score, using the same move repeatedly will lose you points so finding a way to keep the show entertaining for the audience is key while still laying the smack-down on your opponent. After a match you will notice that other Superstar’s characteristics will change and they will either like or dislike you allowing for rivalries or potential tag team partners in the future. When another Superstar’s bar fills all the way up with red they will form a rivalry with you and potentially interfere in some of your matches and try to cost you victories, meanwhile having someone’s bar filled up in blue means a partnership can be formed and they can come to your aid, and visa versa when they are in trouble, or if you just feel like running in to their match and double teaming someone then that works too. You can now interfere with a rivals match with the ‘Run In’ feature, this lets you plan your attack quite specifically with different timings such as the entrance, beginning or end of a match as well as locations such as the stage, ramp, ring, etc.
Backstage interviews are also available in My Career which will give you the chance to respond to multiple choice questions, with each different answer given shaping the way your character is portrayed. Your answer will have an impact on whether you will be seen as a face or a heel and whether a rivalry or alliance will be created. It’s possible to get inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in this mode by completing long-term career goals such as holding any title for one whole year, being a ten time title holder, or completing some of the easier sub-goal achievements.
There are so many unlockables to get in this game, 270 to be exact. They are broken down into 40 Superstars, 28 different arenas, seven Championship belts, 45 different ring attires and 150 extra bits from move-sets to showcases. There are so many options to create things, you can create your own arena, events, belts, characters, shows, experiences, the possibilities are bountiful. If you’re one of those people who prefers everything to be unlocked from the get go you can grab theAccelerator off the store for cheap, it’s also part of the Season Pass.
A nice addition is the commentary trio, adding JBL brings another dimension to the show with solid commentary skills. The roster for WWE2K16 is truly impressive, featuring over 120 Superstars and Divas not including the WWE era costumes. NXT has a small segment on the game which is sure to expand with future DLC, arenas, belts and great entrances are all represented by the few that are in 2K16. Community downloads are available for characters that are missing in action from throughout the WWE universe, whilst these aren’t official character releases they are definitely welcome. There are also some fantastic community creations to be found, with 100 save slots you are never short on space for character, although there is a daily download limit of 20. I found some real gems online, one of the greatest of all time the late Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Taz, Kurt Angle and more, so many great memories.
With the WWE Showcase mode you follow the wrestling career of Stone Cold Steve Austin. From his debut in 1989 you follow in his footsteps and quickly become the anger fuelled rattlesnake we know today as he becomes one of the most recognised names in WWE history. This mode pits you with challenges and QTEs to complete within your matches, these include causing damage to your opponent in certain places in and around the ring. Well-made film grain filtered cut scenes will paint you a picture of what happened while being commentated by good old Jim Ross and Jerry ‘King’ Lawler. Additionally, before and after the matches you will see actual footage to show off Stone Cold Steve Austin’s life and what was happening at that very moment.
As always WWE games have a diversesoundtrack, this time only featuring 12 songs but when you can add any Superstars music to the list that bumps it up considerably. 2K16 runs and plays well, the animations are a lot smoother and cleaner than anything I’ve ever seen in a WWE game previously, especially during the entrance sequences and the replays, the character models also seem to have had an overhaul from last year.
WWE 2K16 is the best wrestling game to hit the market for a long while. Turning into a simulation has shaken things up a bit and breathed new life into the genre, the slower pace and balances force you to think about your attacks and defences more rather than an all-out five minute brawl. My Career and WWE Showcase both offer an insane amount of unlockables, characters, community supported downloads, story and experiences that you can relive again and again.
Thanks to 2K Sports for supplying TiX with a download code
WWE2K16 is here and sporting the largest WWE roster ever in video game history which can only get bigger with character creation and potential future DLC. Create and define your very own WWE career in the my career mode, create and manage your own WWE universe, create your own championship belts, divas, superstars, shows and arenas! WWE2K16 is available to purchase now in the Xbox Store for $59.99 and a slew of add-ons has followed in suit,
Arnie is back in the WWE universe this time as a playable character. Pre ordering your copy will land you two exclusive T-800s played by Arnold himself, one from Terminator the original movie and the second from Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015 earlier this year.
When 2K first started their sports section and targeted the Basketball market you got the feeling they had something up their sleeves, the 2013 was ok but when NBA 2K14 came out last year on the Xbox One we got one of the best NBA games you were likely to play. It wasn’t perfect, which at least have 2K the chance to improve on them for the latest release. Was the 46gb download going to impress me more than last year? Only time would tell…
Things get off to a bit of a shaky start as you create your in game persona for the MyCareer mode. You can make the usual sorts of edits to your future NBA star but this year you are able to scan your face into the game using Kinect. The best time to attempt this is during the day, with as much natural light as possible, once you align your face where the game asks you to it will ask you to slowly move your face left and right for about a minute. Once you have been captured you’ll see quite a cool image of the your face being built, as well as how many markers Kinect has picked up to help create the image, you’ll be informed on how good your scan was before see the final result. Unfortunately it rarely came out well for me, there were glimpses of my face but it also looked like I’d lost a 12 round boxing match badly. Once you have ironed out all the usual details you’ll be wicked off to the main menu.
Over the past couple of years The game has visually got bet and better, but totally let down by the UI, finally they have addressed this in 2K15, the first thing you’ll notice is that they have set up a TV show for you to watch, the first one had the host sit with the Cover star, Kevin Durant to discuss the game, it’s worth checking out if you are interested in the behind the scenes action. In general they have made lots for improvements to the UI so it’s no longer an issue with me.
All the same games modes are back from last year, if you are here to play the online modes you are going to find yourself disappointed though, I’ve tried my best to take on other players thorough MyPark but frankly the experience has been pretty awful, if I’m lucky enough to get a game it’s crippled with lag making it almost impossible to play, which is a shame. Unfortunately my experience of MyTeam isn’t much better; there is plenty of more content as well this year with a whole host of new challenges for the single players. As much as I had been complimenting the UI, in MyTeam it’s a bit of a mess and ruins the experience by making things overly complicated. MyGM mode returns although apart from some small tweaks you can attempt to take over a franchise and either select a fantasy draft or use the current roster as you attempt to win championships.
Thankfully things in MyCareer have improved, there is some way to go but 2K have at least taken on feedback and tried to improve the experience for fans. As it stands your character miss out at the NBA draft but gets a chance to earn a 10-day contract with a team later on in the season, if you perform well you may bag yourself another contract, and then possibly a proper one after that. It’s a shame there is no option to start the game in similar fashion to last year, where you played in the game before the draft to show off your skills in front of the scouts. Either way it’s a little bit frustrating at first as you don’t get much game time but if you are patient it becomes really good fun.
On court it’s clear 2K have made a big effort to try and make the game a little more accessible to players less familiar to the sport, the biggest thing you will notice is a little shot meter around the players, release the shot within the sweet spot and there is a good chance that you’ll score. For more established players of the game you’ll more than like know your players and can base your judgement on the animations but for people like me it’s a welcome addition. Players feel weightier this year, which is great when defending and as ever the presentation is simply brilliant. They have thrown in cheerleaders during breaks in play as well as mascot diving onto the floor. I’ve noticed a few glitches such as the mid game interviews sometimes have the players missing despite being able to hear their true voices. Thankfully there is more player audio throughout the game, in MyCareer for example your player gets taken under the wing of one of the senior players and actually has some dialogue recorded, giving the game a bit more atmosphere.
In short this year’s effort builds on what was already the best basketball game about, I’m pleased they have addressed some issues that really annoyed me from 2K14 and if only they can improve the online service this game will become unstoppable. If you are fan then you probably already have the game, and if you are on the fence I encourage you to jump off and start shooting some hoops.
When I was a younger, fitter more idealistic teenager I watched an episode of the hit American TV Show One Tree Hill and decided I would have liked to have played basketball and even fooled myself into thinking I might have been good at it. If my performance in NBA 2K14 from developer Visual Concepts and publisher 2K Sports is anything to go by, I couldn’t have been more wrong. But even though the jury is out on whether my personal performance in the NBA is one to be proud of, the courtroom have agreed 2K14 is a smash hit.
Another franchise under the 2K Sports umbrella and one that stands out for quality and putting fans right where they want to be, in the middle of the action. It seems however that for next-generation 2K have hit the reset button and gone at it from scratch. You’d forgive the team behind them game to have simply given the next-generation title a visual upgrade from its 360/PS3 version, but they have gone all out in creating what is still a tightly finished and complex game, yet something all together different. For NBA 2K14, 2K have ripped back the skin on several of its biggest modes. In some cases, this has resulted in considerable improvement, but not in all.
Let’s get started with the visuals. 2K have gone all out for Xbox One and NBA 2K14. Body models are extremely detailed and realistic and more so than any other sports title I have played to date. It’s been reported that 2K scanned 80% of all the players faces in the NBA to achieve an incredible level of detail. I did notice a distinct difference in the quality between the popular and less popular players, the latter seeming that little more robotic and less emotive. In fact the further down the NBA you go, the more recycled and uncanny the faces become. That said, the vast majority of the players you will encounter will undoubtedly look excellent. The animate fantastically, too. The truth is, if you were to catch the game from the corner of your eye, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a real broadcast. The arena’s are detailed, the crowds react wonderfully, the graphics of both are mind blowing. Pause the game, hit replay and suddenly even more minute detail comes alive, as you spot the glistening sweat dropping from the player to court.
The games on the court mechanics revolve around using the right-stick to control the ball, similar to the other platforms. The AI is strong, clever and quick to ever change and adapt to your game-play style, keeping you thinking fast on your feet. The only real on the court issues I noticed were a few ball-oriented physics glitches. Specifically, every now and again, a shot will hit the rim and continue spinning around it for several seconds while every player just kind of stands around. You’ll also periodically see passes or blocked shots bounce off players and go flying off in some bizarre, unnatural direction. The commentary from trio of Kevin Harlan, Steve Kerr, and Clark Kellogg is as good as it’s ever been–if perhaps a bit more repetitive than usual–adding to an already stellar broadcast presentation.
MyGM is comparable to Manager Mode in FIFA. It’s an attempt to personalise the experience of being a General Manager in the NBA. So instead of being sat behind a desk, clicking through menus and completing the most boring of tasks, MyGM adds a bit of personality to the role. You’ll be able to interact with the franchise’s owner, other General Managers, staff and of course players as you deal with their over bloated egos whilst managing every aspect of your team. You’ll be delving deep, yet not quite micro-managing your team as you juggle contracts, set instructions for coaching staff, set prices on the games, merchandise and food for fans whilst in the arena. You’ll need to do all this whilst maintaining a balance between building trust with the team owner and also building trust with the players, coaches, media and of course fans. Unfortunately an overwhelming amount of this is handled via dialogue which reads pretty badly. It’s stiff, robotic stuff that has no place in anything resembling a conversation between humans. That said, if you can deal with the sterile feel of the mode, you’ll find quite a lot to play around with. Keeping everyone happy is a pretty intense process that requires some smart thinking, and while the UI is a little ugly, it’s easy enough to do what you need to do in the mode without getting lost or wondering why the hell anything is happening.
So you’ve tried managing an entire team, what’s next? MyPlayer mode has been of the best features in the 2K franchise of NBA games, and for Xbox One it has been given a massive overhaul in terms of features, mechanics and the way it plays through. Your next-generation NBA career includes numerous cut scenes, a storyline with branching paths, and in-game challenges that provide you objectives to hit as you play. The storyline itself however isn’t anything spectacular. You open up events by heading off to the Rookie Showcase in NYC with your agent and long time best friend, from there, regardless of your performance which in my case was horrific, it is off to the NBA 2014 Draft. Here at the Draft there is a couple of cut scenes designed to develop a rivalry with a fellow rookie which will undoubtedly continue as your career progresses. During your career you’ll be able to react to situations which will dictate the direction you go. Be a princess and only care about minutes on the court or touches of the ball, or become a real team player. This are basic choices and options and are binary in outcome, there is very little nuance to it.
There are a few bugs and things that should have been ironed before release. For instance during one cut scene in MyPlayer I was presented with one particular player who was acting the role of 3 different players. There he was talking to me, whilst also leaning against a locker in the background and also walking past down the corridor. There are a few issues with the in-game objectives too. Most of them are great, and make total situational sense. But sometimes it’ll ask your player to take over a game and score ten straight points, even if up to this point you’ve just been a selfless, pass-happy point guard who assists more than he scores. These problems aside, the mode was great fun and feels more like a framework for something much better and fleshed out in titles to come.
You can also take the action on and off the court in online modes. Head-to-head battles are back but also a new mode, The Park, which features street games in 2-v-2, 3-v-3 and 5-v-5. There is also MyTeam which is 2K’s equivalent of EA’s Ultimate Team mode in FIFA. Collectible player cards including rare player and a special mode only found on next-generation consoles, Domination, where you play matches against real life NBA teams and all-star squads.
NBA 2K14 is a great sports title and made even better through exquisite graphics and fantastic game modes. It’s a solid roster of features and helps make the game an easy recommendation for all new console owners. NBA 2K14 not only signals great things to come from 2K on the Xbox One but it also blurs the line and makes it difficult to distinguish video games from reality it terms of features, news reports and content. This is an exciting prospect.
With James’ first ever video game cover appearance and the exclusive King James pre-order package, 2K Sports’ legendary NBA franchise continues its domination on both current and next-generation console platforms
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