NBA 2K24 | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

NBA 2K24 | Review | Switch

2K hasn’t skipped a beat on releasing their marquee basketball title on the Nintendo Switch over the years. Of course, there are some caveats, particularly in the graphics department. Regardless, 2K has been pretty good about offering solid basketball experiences on Nintendo’s console. With NBA 2K24, there still are quite a few modes to play through, including the newly added Kobe Bryant themed Mamba Moments, but there are some definite setbacks and a real feeling of a copy and paste kind of job. Let’s get into it. 

Gameplay & Modes
As with last year, current generation platforms (PS5 and Xbox Series S | X) are getting most of the attention for NBA 2K24. While some of the modes and features are locked away to those platforms (The City, MyNBA, Eras, The W, crossplay) there still are a healthy amount of modes available on the Switch version of the game. Here you have MyCareer, MyTeam, Mamba Moments, Play Now and MyLeague. Just as with past games, you can play WNBA players, classic teams and/or current teams. The Neighborhood aspect of the game is still here, too, serving as an online hub to take on other players and take on various quests from NPCs. I’m not a huge fan of this aspect of the game myself, but it’s there for those who are interested. Even without the new additions found on PS5 and the Xbox Series systems, there is still dozens of hours of content on offer. 
Gameplay feels almost unchanged from last year. The shot meter seems mostly the same and I think that’s a good thing. It is relatively easy to make shots, passing is great and the overall movement feels on point. Defense is also responsive and solid. Again, changes here are minimal, but 2K24 feels good to play on the Nintendo Switch. 

Mamba Moments
Following up the awesome Jordan Challenges from last year, Mamba Moments takes players through some of the greatest moments of the career of Kobe Bryant. There are a total of seven to play through, each with three challenges per moment. These have task players with scoring a set amount of points, getting a certain number of rebounds, steals and more. Video clips from the actual games are thrown in at the beginning of the moment, too, which is a nice touch. The on-court logos, uniforms and rosters are also era specific making for a high level of realism. 
I do like the fact that this mode has returned and is featuring a bonafide legend like Kobe. I just wish there were more moments to play through. Don’t get me wrong - what’s on offer is really cool, but compared to the Jordan Challenges from last year, this feels a bit like a step back in terms of content. If you’re a fan of Kobe or NBA history, you’ll enjoy this mode. You just might be wanting more by the time it’s over.

For years, My Career mode in NBA 2K offered an engaging story coupled with your journey to or through the NBA. This is no longer the case here. The story elements from the mode are gone. Love it or hate it, I always felt that these were some of the coolest aspects that 2K offered in their games. Were the stories always great? No, not really. But they were always something that set the series apart from other sports series. The loss almost feels like 2K simply didn’t have the time or just didn’t care to take the time to implement this into the game. That’s a bit of an assumption on my part, but that’s what it feels like. 
Of course, taking a scrubby player and trying to make them an NBA legend is still the main goal in MyCareer. While this is usually a complete slog early on, I was finding the controls to make even the early part of my career fun. Usually, I would always find myself making mistakes based on the sluggish speed of my player or horrible stats, but for some reason, my passes were on point. Shots would go in more often and my defense was fine. It still can be a bit of a grind to level up your player, but it feels fine overall.  
MyCareer focuses pretty much exclusively on the NBA. There’s no pizzaz or anything with the draft or cutscenes. You just pick your team and go. Not only that, but you’re also thrown into the starting lineup of your team of choice. Players looking for a pure experience without any of the fluff associated with past titles might be happy about this, but again, I think this coupled with the removal of the story elements is a step back for the series. 2K should reconsider this in future entries in the series.

Visual, Audio & Performance
As a surprise to absolutely no one, NBA 2K24 looks and performs almost exactly like all of the previous entries on the Switch. Despite being super cool, the opening cinematic for the game sets some pretty horrible expectations as it is a sluggish, choppy mess. Rest assured, once you are actually playing a game of basketball, things run just as they have in the past. Just in case you weren’t keeping track, things on the Switch run at 30 frames per second in 1080p in TV Mode. In handheld, things don’t skip a beat either as the performance is consistent across both forms of play. I did run into a few instances of choppiness, typically while playing MyCareer, when certain stat graphics popped on to the screen. These were still minimal and rarely had an effect on gameplay. In terms of sound, the audio is also great, with spot on commentary, crowd reactions, familiar jingles and a robust soundtrack.
It is clear that the 2K team has gotten about everything that they can out of Nintendo’s platform. Things here are fine, but I can understand fans wanting to play their handheld basketball simulation with a bit more visual flair. We’ll just have to wait and see what Nintendo will do over the next year or so when it comes to their inevitable successor to the Switch. 

NBA 2K24 is a solid game when it comes to gameplay and performance. Despite this, everything else in the package is a bit underwhelming. The Mamba Moments are cool, but don’t feel nearly as fleshed out as the Jordan Challenges from last year. Not only this, but MyCareer’s lack of a story mode is also a step back for the series. If you’re itching to play an NBA game on the Switch, I’d still recommend NBA 2K23 over this as it feels like more of a complete game. 2K24 is a good option only for those looking to to have the latest rosters and Mamba Moments.

originally posted on Monday, September 11, 11:49 p.m.

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