It’s time to dribble the ball and shoot for some hoops with the NBA2K23 Arcade Edition developed by Visual Concepts and here’s our review of the game.
For those who may be unfamiliar with this title, NBA2K23 Arcade Edition is the newest installment to the NBA2K Arcade series where it essentially have players play as their favourite basketball stars or teams.
This Apple Exclusive version however comes with its very own game made “The Greatest” where it pits the players with the star studded roster of NBA pros like Michael Jordan and Kevin Garnett.
Rules of the Court
Right off the court, NBA2K23 has four different modes that players get access to, where three of the modes already available in the standard version and the newest mode being the aforementioned “The Greatest” mode.
“Play Now” is your go-to mode if you want to have a match against either a computer controlled AI or against another player. You could also warm yourself up in 2KU, which is a tutorial mode that runs you through the basics of the game while the Backtop mode lets you play basketball on the streets.
“MyCareer” as the name suggests, will have players create their own avatar and experience the journey to be the best NBA player from the ground up. There’s also this grading system that will judge your overall performance in a match where you can gain credits which can be exchanged for upgrading your stats or even buying cosmetics.
“The Association” is a simulation mode where you go through the seasons of the NBA with your selected team from the team drafting, training camp and playoffs to see if your ragtag team of NBA stars have what it takes to make it to the Finals.
This mode is more features a more Football Manager type of gameplay where you can select a specific training regime for your team to go for.
“The Greatest” plays out like how a normal match of basketball does; however this time, you’ll get to pick one of the top players in the NBA and square off against other top players to be the best of the bests.
NBA2K23 plays out like your usual basketball match, having 5 players of your own while you duke it out against 5 other players from the opposing team. The main objective of the game is very straight forward, to score more points than the opposing team within the allocated time limit for each match. One basketball match would last around four quarters where the length of the quarter can be adjusted to fit your own preferences.
The game offers two different controller types being Casual and Pro. Casual controls keeps it simple by having buttons that offers simple commands like shoot, pass and defend. On top of an AI assist button that lets the AI control your character for you when you hold down the button. Whereas with Pro controls, there are more detailed controls like Set Pick, Lob Pass and Box Out.
As someone who isn’t big into sports game, I find that the Casual controls are up my alley it acts for a perfect crutch for me who has fat fingers when playing on a phone since the controls are as simple as it gets.
I tried out the Pro controls and the moment when I tried doing a Lob Pass, it led to an awkward moment of me committing a foul, which lead to the opposing team getting in a free shoot at the basket.
In short, the game gives off the same experience as you would get in the console version, only that with the Arcade Edition, it feels much more simple especially with how the controls of the game are designed.
The graphics for NBA2K23 is relatively decent, it’s nothing much to write home about since it’s not as high quality as the standard version that you’d get from the console version. But if anything, I would still say it’s got better graphics than some of the other mobile games out there.
Although, my one main gripe with the graphics is that the facial expressions of the players when the camera zooms in leaves much to be desired. Other than that, I don’t have much complaints about the 3D models where it barely looks jagged and the colours do mesh in quite nicely. Which makes the scenery look very much what you would expect being inside an NBA match.
The UI of the game looks very sleek and it also runs smoothly. The buttons when playing a match don’t take up too much space and are spread out enough that you won’t fumble around the controls which is great since you’ll be able to get a good grasp on which buttons to press.
Exclusive to the Arcade edition would be The Greatest mode where you’re able to pick on the top players in the NBA league to square off against other top players. This mode also spices up your usual gameplay with some roguelike elements being thrown into the mix.
Every time you would win a match, you get to choose between cards that will net you a random bonus from increasing your player’s durability, to an increase hold on the ball, and other passive buffs.
You can even adjust a match’s difficulty to fit personal preferences. It’s more like a risk and reward system where the more you put yourself at a disadvantage, the more bonuses you’d get.
From my review of the NBA2K23 Arcade Edition, the game offers basketball fans a more accessible game for a more simplified gameplay, making it easier for more first-time players to enjoy, as well as having a pro-option to scratch the itch for veteran players.
One of the highlights from my time playing through the game would be the character-building aspect in the MyCareer Mode. You’re given the freedom to build up all these stats to raise and choose from. But if it ever gets too overwhelming, you can pretty much opt for an all-rounder build since you can never go wrong with that.
Players who are interested in the management side of sports would definitely find that The Association mode would be up their alley. It makes you feel like you’re managing your own professional team of players as you go through the statistics and intricacies.
NBA2K23 Arcade Edition Review
|Deep customisation in MyCareer||Difficult controls for players who aren't familiar with basketball|
|The Greatest Mode feels refreshing|
NBA2K23 Arcade Edition is reviewed on an iPhone 14 Pro Max.