First and foremost, I never need to worry about accidentally throwing up a shot when I'm attempting to make a dribble move. Pulling directly back on the NBA 2K21 MT Coins analog stick and holding it there will lead to a shot, while any flicks or alternative quicker motions will end in a rotational movement. The new shot meter opens up the right-stick for use entirely for dribbling moves, which contains the capacity to size-up or use escape dribbles. Everything feels a whole lot cleaner, which is a wonderful change for a series where matters were starting to feel too cluttered to restrain.
The shot-stick mechanic also feels like a direct answer to issues with latency online. Even though the demo doesn't feature the ability to play online games, it's easy to find a future where many online players will be using the aimed shot meter rather than the older timed meter (that remains accessible via the square or X button). Instead of trying to guess how much latency there'll be with every jump shooter, it ought to be a lot more efficient to pull back on the analog stick and aim the shot instead.
Still, aiming shots is unquestionably the harder of the two options as matters now stand. I am excited to have a brand-new skill to learn, but it is good to have both options available.
In only five matches (the maximum the demonstration allows), it is hard to get a feel for exactly how much things have changed. It does seem clear to me that the new aim-meter mechanic is going to be divisive and may potentially alter the online expertise in major ways. Some smaller issues have seen any improvement, but most of the heritage gameplay issues remain present. It is apparent that this is nowhere near the franchise's biggest step ahead, but the shot-stick alone is enough to open the door for tons of possibilities.
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