Monday, 30 October 2017 09:06

REVIEW: NBA2K18 (Nintendo Switch)

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The NBA2K franchise has always been the “goto” game for the most realistic look and feel of basketball in recent times. Graphically it has come a long way due to the better and better hardware associated with each new generation of gaming console. Enter the Nintendo Switch. Everything else aside for the moment, lets talk graphics.


With the Switch being so underpowered compared to X1 and PS4, you could be forgiven for assuming that NBA2K18 would just look nothing like its other console counterparts. In fact, you would not expect the Switch to even come close graphically. I guess if you got down to a pixel-by-pixel comparison, it wouldn’t. To the average player thought, you won’t notice a whole lot of difference. The crowd animation is limited and sometimes non-existent and there is a lack of advanced lighting, but hell, it is not really noticeable while playing.

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What has been done graphically with NBA2K18 and other Switch ports thus far is nothing short of magic. These games should not look this good on this hardware but they do.

NBA2K18 is locked to a 30fps framerate to help with the fluidity of the gameplay and once again, it is barely noticeable. I am sure if you put it next to a PS4PRO running 1080p60 it would be, but seriously, why bother.

Now to the game itself... There are a number of game modes to choose from;

My Player Mode:
This mode will have you shooting it out in a story-based career. I personally don’t mind story modes in sports games, of course it is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it does add that little extra to the game rather than just jumping in and playing game after game.

GM Mode:
Here you focus on slight story elements, but it is based on all court related things.

Blacktop Mode:
3 on 3. Simples.

Online Mode:
You play online here clearly.

2K University:
Learn how to play the game.

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The basketball portion of the game, the part that kinda matters the most, is as good as it has ever been. Playing docked or undocked, with the standard joycon’s or pro controller, it was all fluid and responsive. All though, I did have problems with the AI being a little too hard to beat at times, even with the difficulty set at the lowest. This just led me to frustration. Maybe I am just useless, I don’t know, but it did detract from the enjoyment of the game.

That said, the gameplay has been refined from the previous iterations of the series and has certainly taken a step forward. Whilst there is a learning curve with NBA2K18, seasoned players should pick it up quite easily. Newbies should perhaps attend the in-game 2KU to brush up on movements and controls.

Playing online is a bit of a mixed bag at the time of my review. Playing a wireless connection on semi-slow internet showed zero lag in-game. That’s great however, I think there needs to be some rules when it comes to picking teams. Basically, you can pick any team to go up against any team. There is no match-making feature that keeps teams even.

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If you get a skilled player with an all-star team, they can almost decimate any team they go up against.

Also, there does not seem to be any way to play against a friend online. You just get put with some random player each time.

These things are nothing that a future patch can’t fix, so it certainly doesn’t break the game. But a fix sooner rather than later would be very much appreciated.

Please also note that you NEED a Micro-SD to play it. I understand why it needs the SD card, but maybe do something similar to other switch games like putting the single player on the Switch Cart and online modes via a data download. This way you can play without requiring a 19GB download.
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NBA2K18 is a fantastic addition to the Switch catalogue of games. It is surely worth adding to your library if you are a fan of previous NBA2K games. Also note that all of our images in this review are screenshots from our switch.


Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: September 15 2017
  • Platform: Playstation 3, XBOX 360, PC, iOS, PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch
  • Age Rating: ESRB E10+
  • Content: Crude Humor, Mild Lyrics
  • Developer: Visual Concepts
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Genre: Sports