NBA 2K (video game)
Cover art featuring Allen Iverson
NBA 2K is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by Sega Sports. The first installment of the NBA 2K series, it was initially released for Dreamcast in 1999. Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers is featured as the cover athlete. The game is based on the National Basketball Association and, as such, allows the player to compete in basketball games with the current NBA season's players and teams. Several game modes are present, including one in which the player can create customizable players. NBA 2K was well-received by critics, who praised it for setting the standard for basketball video games. The original NBA 2K spawned numerous successors, the first being NBA 2K1, which was released in October 2000.
NBA 2K, along with the series as a whole, strives to emulate the sport of basketball, more specifically, the National Basketball Association. It features the current players and teams from the 1999–2000 NBA season, and players may use them in several modes. Additionally, the player can create their own players and compile their own teams. The game features commentary from fictional announcers Bob Steele and Rod West, who are portrayed by Bob Fitzgerald and Rod Brooks respectively.
Development and release
Developed by Visual Concepts and published by Sega Sports, NBA 2K was released for Dreamcast on November 10, 1999 in North American and March 3, 2000 in European regions, and on March 23, 2000 in Japan. Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers serves as the cover athlete. Iverson also serves as cover athlete of four further installments in the series.
NBA 2K received positive reviews from video game publications. On GameRankings, a review aggregation website, the game holds a score of 88% out of a possible 100%. Praise was directed towards the visuals and controls in particular, while criticism was aimed at the lack of all-around polish. Comparisons were made with developer Visual Concepts' work on the NFL 2K series, in that both series' initial installments were considered to have set the bar for their respective sports' depiction in video games.
Scott Alan Marriott for AllGame scored the game a 4.5 out of 5, particularly praising the overall visuals and presentation. He called NBA 2K "a sports title that offers the graphics, playability, and artificial intelligence (AI) to convert nearly anyone who remotely enjoys the game of basketball into a hardcore fanatic".
Game Informer's review, which is credited to Andrew Reiner, Andy McNamara, and Paul Anderson, gives the game a score of 9 out of 10. They mostly praise the realistic visuals and presentation. Reiner summarized his thoughts with, "The only complaint I have is the lame free-throw system. The rest of the game is oh so sweet." McNamara stated, "NBA 2K is a solid game with some great play mechanics. I like the play of NBA Live 2000 [...] better, but for graphics alone, I'll probably put more time in on NBA 2K." Lastly, Anderson wrote, "Even though you may initially find a few quirks in the game, the entire package is rock solid."
Ryan MacDonald gave the game a score of 8.8 out of 10, writing: "In the end, NBA 2K's dazzling graphics, superb control, and strong AI make it the most dynamic basketball video game ever. However, Visual Concepts fell just short of delivering the same seamless gameplay of NFL 2K. The game's visuals and control, while both outstanding, just don't have the same cohesion that made NFL 2K so flawless. But even with these few problems, playing NBA 2K will just about ruin you for all other basketball games."
Brandon Justice of IGN gave the game a score of 9.2 out of 10, writing: "[W]hile the game has issues, it is easily worlds beyond anything else on the market, and truly raises the bar for video game basketball. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it has done so in such a manner that even the high-jumping designers at Visual Concepts have difficulty clearing their own newfound level of excellence. Many aspects of this game are unbelievable, but it is the type of game that does just as much to open your eyes to the possibilities as it does to blow you away. In the end, we've got one hell of a basketball game, but a game that is far from perfect. While not quite as polished as NFL2K, NBA2K is most certainly a must have title for any sport fan, and is one of the most compelling reasons to own a Dreamcast to date."
- Marriott, Scott Alan. "NBA 2K - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- McNamara, Andy; Anderson, Paul; Reiner, Andrew (January 24, 2000). "NBA 2K". Game Informer. Archived from the original on July 11, 2000. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- MacDonald, Ryan (November 8, 1999). "NBA 2K Review". GameSpot. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Justice, Brandon (November 24, 1999). "NBA2K". IGN. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "NBA 2K for Dreamcast". GameRankings. Retrieved May 8, 2015.