In this edition of ‘News that emerged during Gamescom but slipped through the net’, let us discuss baskets and the balls that so neatly pass through them. NBA 2K15’s PC release will be equivalent to the PS4 and XB1 versions, which is good news. When a sporting console release straddles the past and the present, the PC has often found itself relegated to the past, presumably to maximise the number of possible players. Not so with NBA though and that’s cause for celebration – 2K’s basketball series has the greatest career mode in any sports game franchise. It’s sport as RPG and I find it enormously compelling, despite knowing next to nothing about point guards and low posts.
The squeak of a sneaker on hard, polished gymnasium maple wood, the slap of synthetic skin against the curve of a palm, the flutter of the net, the light fractured through the jersey’s material and a romantic cry of…’YAKKEM’?
Scrape away the sweat and the financial corruption, and there’s a Romance to be found in sport. Whether it’s the perfect angles of a baseball diamond, static behind occasional geometric flurries of activity, or the collective intake of breath as ninety minutes of floodlit stalemate tremble and threaten to break. I think the periods of inaction and preparation are necessary – they allow the singular moments of brilliance to shock and delight. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always found basketball’s constant back-and-forth to be at war with its own Romance.
What is the most Romantic sport? Is it DOTA 2? Is that the grim promise of this 21st century?