Having previously reviewed the Xbox 360 version of NBA 2K13, I was interested to see how Visual Concepts would translate the game over to the Nintendo Wii U. Fortunately what we have is a fine adaptation of the game that includes a couple of extra features that make for a solid NBA experience on Nintendo’s new console.
Just like the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game, players will find all the snazzy production values, courtesy of one JAY-Z. Video packages setup each match-up, the soundtrack showcases some fantastic hip hop music and visually speaking, the game looks amazing.
We already know about the game’s new Control Stick, which gives you full control of how you dribble the ball with the right analog stick, a smarter passing system and the game’s Signature Skills, which gives players on each team special abilities or perks, if you will, to enhance their game or those around them. Needless to say, NBA 2K13 is the best basketball game to date. So what makes the Wii U version any different? Should you snatch up the game again, if you already have it on another console? If you don’t have it yet, should this be the one to get? Read on.
For those of you wondering right off the bat, yes, you can in fact play the game right on the Gamepad’s screen, which works quite well and plays pretty smoothly. Some of the extra features aren’t really game changing, but they’re cool to have. For starters, you can tilt up the Gamepad towards your TV to activate what 2K Sports calls “Gatorade Biometric Scan”, which brings up a sort of heat vision that gives you some info on your players. While looking at your team, the redder they are in color, the hotter they are offensively, while the cooler they look, the more fatigued they are. This neat little feature actually proved to be quite helpful as it gave me an on-the-fly ability to determine if I should sub any of my players out, or to continue feeding them the ball. You can even tap on a particular player to get more information on their state.
You can also tap on the top right corner of the Gamepad’s screen to get some coaching options, which worked OK, but wasn’t a feature that was too much better than simply using the D-pad. However, when I was playing on the Gamepad, it obviously helped.
Outside of these two main features, there isn’t really much to differentiate the Wii U version from the 360 or PS3 versions. That being said, I really enjoyed the game a lot and though I also have the 360 version, I have found myself playing it on the Wii U a bit more often now. Maybe it’s the idea of having an exceptional sports game on the Wii U, or perhaps I dig the biometric scanner feature a little more than I thought I would, but Wii U owners need to give this game a shot, stat.
If you already own a copy of the game on another console, you’re probably fine just sticking to what you have but if you don’t have the game just yet, the Wii U version should be the first one you look at. The Wii U has a only a few sports games at this point in time, but NBA 2K13 is without a doubt its finest.