For some reason, all I could think about when I first launched My NBA 2K15 was the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials: “You got basketball in my collectible card game! No, you got cards in my basketball game!” Do they taste great together? Kind of, and there’s an added bonus if you play the NBA 2K15 console game, but the end result is something that is going to appeal mostly to hardcore hoops fans as it’s just not deep enough to hook anyone else.
As I hinted at, My NBA 2K15 is really two things in one. It’s a companion app to the console game that allows you to stay connected to it on the go. For our purposes, we’re more interested in the My Team Mobile mode, which is a standalone card game — though it also allows you to win virtual credits for use in NBA 2K15.
Like most games of this nature, the idea is that you start with a team of relatively weak players (you do get a loyalty bonus in the form of an Ultra Rare player card if you played last year’s game) and build it into a team full of superstars. Cards come in seven different rarity levels ranging from Common to Legendary, with each tier promising better starting numbers across the five different attributes all players share. In the classic CCG tradition, you can sacrifice unwanted cards to level up your better ones and also combine two identical cards together to form one Pro version that has more “upside,” as basketball announcers would say.
There are two game modes, one of which can be played at any time and takes only a few minutes and the other that is almost literally a round-the-clock simulation. The former is Quick Game, where you take your five best players and pit them against another user-constructed team. Each game consists of a decision for each quarter, where you pick the player with the best stat or stats and compare them against one picked by the computer AI. The match-ups are logical (like Offense and Playmaking compared to Defense and Athleticism), but once you make your decision and see an animation play out, that’s all there is to it.
Winning three of the four quarters wins you the game and lets you pick two rewards from a board full of cards. Losing still gets you one prize, so there’s not a whole lot at stake. Once you’ve seen all of the animations, you’ll probably find yourself hurrying through Quick Game matches so you can get to the prizes as quickly as possible.
That’s because you’ll need the Energy cards from that mode for use in the Season mode. This might interest basektball sim fans as it requires you to pick a full team of 15 players and manage their energy to ensure they’re at peak performance through a full NBA season. But there’s even less to do here and no animations to see, with the games simply playing out in the background. Season games also run all day long, so unless you have an incredibly deep team or need very little sleep, there’s always going to be a time when your team is competing with exhausted players.
And … that’s about it. In very similar fashion to 2K’s WWE SuperCard, there just isn’t all that much to do here. Big NBA fans will enjoy the presentation, graphics and real players — you can even snag cards of icons and Hall of Famers like Michael Jordan himself — but it’s not much of a draw for people who are just looking for another card game to play. Hardwood enthusiasts should take a look, but everyone else can safely give My NBA 2K15 a pass.