Lace up your boots and lets hit the streets for some 2v2 arcade basketball with the new NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. On a different note from its predecessor, this sequel now under the NBA 2K umbrella, incorporates two new significant modes that improve both the performance but also the multiplayer encounters. The gameplay style feels very similar to NBA Playgrounds which mostly feels as a good thing. NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 discovered its balanced and has its unique take on arcade basketball such as some older classics, the NBA Streets series and the NBA Jam.
This time in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2’s single player there is a season mode instead of the six tournaments we played in its predecessor. The season mode is not an 82 game long like the actual season of an NBA team but instead includes a 14 game season plus a best of three playoff format for the first eight teams. Playing a whole season was really fun and competitive with its four difficulty levels. You can also play this mode with a friend in co-op mode sitting on your couch or even online.
Playing through out the season mode you can gather in-game currency where you can use for getting new players. When you complete a whole season with a team you instantly unlock a legendary player. For example, raising the trophy with the Lakers you get Magic Johnson, while winning with the Cavs you get Mark Price. Legendary players have better stats than most of the other players in the game but also have unique animations that add flair to your in game experience. With the legends reward NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 kept me hooked up and wanting to win the championship with all of the teams so that i can have all the legendary players in my procession. The season mode is also a good way to level up your players and increase their stats.
Like the original Playgrounds game, you need to open card packs to enquire new players. As mentioned above playing through out the game you earn in-game currency which you can exchange for a card pack. This means that when you first start playing NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 most players will be inaccessible till you unlock them. Each pack contains four players and there are 3 type of card packs, the silver, the bronze and the gold pack with the last having the most chances of you to unlock a legendary player.
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has an incredible blend of current NBA players and legends of the past. In my opinion the 2K distribution bargain helped a lot in the legends division with the addition of players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to name a few. Playgrounds have even include Jordan’s legendary free throw line dunk in the game.
The expanded online mode included in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 can give the game an extra notch if the community stays active. You can either play the Championship mode online with a friend or you can just play an exhibition match with a friend online as well or via the matchmaking system the game has. The online ranking system can get you hooked up and playing for days to come till you climb the top of the leaderboard. There is also the three-point contest which can help you a lot to learn how to time your shots.
The shooting concept on Playgrounds 2 has stayed the same where there is a meter on the bottom of the screen and you have to stop the timer in the green zone to have more chances to score your shots. If you land outside of the green zone then that will cause in an automatic miss. It’s a real test to try and land some three-pointers in the game especially with low level players. As easy as it sounds to just pick up your controller and score some hoops if you want to get good at this game and keep a consistent level you have to acquire some skills.
The crossovers, the dunks and the layup animations in the game are just so cool and enjoyable to watch. Seeing a player jump off the rim and perform a backflip before scoring is absolutely amazing. What is more satisfying for me is performing an alley-oop and just slamming that basket. Moving to the defencing moves, in Playgrounds 2 i found it much easier to block a shot or pick up a defensive rebound than in the first game. Shoving the ball on the other hand is effective but does not always promise a turnover except if your teammate is standing right next to you.
When you score a basket or perform a block or even steel the ball from your opponents you pick up energy to fill up the Lottery Picks meter which is at the bottom of your screen. Once you fill the meter up you get a special ability for a short period of time. Multiplier for dunks and three-point shots, unlimited speed, super strength are a few of the abilities which you can enquire. The are two new abilities added in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, the curse which will lower the shooting percentage of your opponents and the ice basket which covers your basket with a sheet of ice and doesn’t allow your opponents to score. Power- ups can change the momentum of the game at any point and that is why you have to take advantage of each and every one of them.
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has made significant improvement from its predecessor both in solo mode but also in the multiplayer mode. You can much easier collect all of the players that are in the game and have a lot of fun while doing it. For those that want a more competitive approach then the introduction of the ranked play is just what they were looking for. On the positive side this game has showed us that classic 2v2 arcade basketball is still out there and much alive. Pick up your copy now at Great Games for your Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switchand PC.