New modes are slick, but have few ugly fouls in their game too
The first major slice of NBA 2K13 DLC comes in the form of the all-singing, all-dancing, erm, All-Star Weekend pack. We first thought this should’ve already been included on the disc anyway – after all, what’s an NBA season without the mid-point showcase? However, as soon as you fire it up you realise that 2K Sports has spent a lot of time to make the feel of this DLC unique and worthwhile. Because although the regular on-court action plays the same, the brand-new minigames are a whole different game. And not always for the better.
Firstly, the three-point challenge is overcomplicated. Despite using the same ‘release at the top of your jump’ mechanic, there’s now a horizontal bar that shows a basketball racing along it on every shot. You’re supposed to let go when it hits the sweet spot on the line, but it only serves to distract from what you’ve already learned playing NBA 2K13. Mercifully, you’ll quickly learn to ignore it.
It’s made even more complex by the bizarre decision to include numerous button presses as you go. Press Square to pick up the next sphere and hit X to run to your next basket o’ balls is pointless and infuriating, especially when your player doesn’t respond quickly. It honestly ranks up there with the current Olympic games in terms of overcooking the 100m sprint competition. Just two buttons, that’s all we need.
If the controls of the three-point challenge are causing you to quiver then the All-Star Weekend’s centre piece, the Slam Dunk contest, will have you quaking in your Air Max.
The slam dunk fest is presented in a bemani-style, not too dissimilar from Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Wait, what? No, seriously it’s as far detached from NBA 2K13′s as it could be, but get your head around this change and it’s honestly ace.
You choose your dunk based on a difficulty that ranges from a straightforward, two-hand powerdunk up to stylish through the legs and up the back numbers. You can then chuck in objects like tables, boxes or even a fancy car and then try to impress the judges with your aerial skills by leaping over them. To achieve perfection you have to nail the combo that comes streaming towards you at breakneck speed. Tap out the sequence correctly and you’ll bag a big score and the adoration of the crowd. Mess up and you’ll miss the hoop completely and slam face first into the car. Ouch.
The All-Star Weekend also offers up the annual East vs. West match up featuring the best players from each conference and The Rising Star Challenge, which is a game between the hottest rookie ballers out there. But it’s the moreish, if slightly tricky, minigames that’ll keep you coming back to this bombastic piece of DLC.