"NBA 2K13" was lauded as one of the most realistic sports games to date. But what if you want to that action on the go? The developers at 2K Sports have released "NBA 2K13" for iOS and Android. But does the mobile version retain the level of authenticity the console versions have attained?
The biggest differences from the console versions is the control scheme. If you are a veteran to mobile gaming then you are probably adept to using onscreen controls. If so, this title should be a breeze to handle. Player movement is controlled on the lower left side of the screen while jumping, shooting, passing and switching between players is mapped to the right side. It's a natural layout that tries to recreate the feel on the consoles. But for those used to playing with a controller, the learning curve probably will be steep. If so, you could opt to use the one-finger control setup, which allows you to dictate player movement using single taps and gestures.
The on-court action is solid when you consider this is something you're playing on your phone or tablet. Player movement can be hit or miss. Your AI-controlled teammates will use screens to get open and really make an attempt to replicate how an NBA offense should look. Where it falls short is with the player you control. There were times it felt like the player I was controlling wasn't quickly responding to my commands. This delay didn't occur all every time, but it was jarring when it did. The frame rate also dipped during cutscenes.
The mobile version takes the Jay-Z influenced soundtrack from the console version, providing a hip-hop heavy feel while navigating the menus. There are few modes to choose from -- Quick Game, Greatest Games, Multiplayer, Multiseason and Practice. Quick Game gets you right into the action, allowing you to pit any current NBA team against another.
The Greatest Games mode allows you to relive some of the memorable performances from past and current stars. There are five stars available -- Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Dirk Nowitzki, Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant. Each star has multiple performances to recreate, from Kobe's 81-point outburst to Jordan's 63-point playoff classic. It's a solid mode that provides a bite-sized challenge perfect for on-the-go action.
Multiseason mode gives you the chance to control a team for multiple seasons. You can adjust the number of games per season (29, 58, 82) and also the quarter length for those who want to pack in more seasons in less time.
Multiplayer allows to challenge others. The connection was solid in my experiences using Wifi, but did not get a chance to get a feel for the 3G connection since I reviewed the game on my Wifi iPad.
Overall, "NBA 2K13" will satisfy your basketball fix if you are a veteran to mobile controls. The Greatest Game mode supplies a challenging, objective-based option for those who want to play a single game. For others who want a more involved experience, the ability to play multiple seasons is a viable change of pace. "NBA 2K13" is available now for Android and IOS for $7.99.