Kenny Smith joins NBA 2K16

NBA 2K16's in-studio show adds Kenny Smith.

The immersiveness of NBA 2K16 continues to grow with further details of its in-game studio show. In addition to Ernie Johnson and Shaw, Kenny Smith is joining the program this year, leaving Charles Barkley as the odd man out. He'll still be missed (there's always hope for next year), but it's another nice step toward bridging the gap between video game and TV broadcast.

Part of what makes TNT's team the best sports studio show is the chemistry that the broadcasters have with each other. It's a very lighthearted set, with a lot of ribbing, practical joking, and sometimes very little sense being made. The preview video that was just released seems to show that most of this chemistry made the transition. 

While the generic statements present in all sports video games are there, the banter around it seems much more genuine and off-the-cuff. This (potentially) unscripted commentary is where the true charm of the show lies, and its abundance will really determine how successful the interludes are, or if players will be left wanting to skip them. So far, they seem entertaining.

If only the same amount of effort had gone into the graphics, which look straight out of 2007. You know it's Kenny, Ernie, and Shaq, but boy, it could use some work. 

Overall, the nature of the show itself seems to have been captured, which is more important. We'll have to wait until the game's release on September 29th to see if it's more than just a cute novelty.

Published Sep. 12th 2015
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