NBA 2K19 might play brightly, but its off-the-court problems get in the way of its own success. The game provides a tremendous simulation of the game, with sparkling presentation to match and a renewed attention on the inner-city origins that lots of NBA 2K MT Coins athletes discuss. Then developer Visual Concepts requires this otherwise stellar game on a detour toward microtransactions.
The NBA 2K series was on this route for decades, but its emphasis on microtransactions reaches a new peak in NBA 2K19. It often feels like the better pieces of this game — of which there are lots — get lost in its own obsession with squeezing more money from its players.
The growth of microtransactions in the NBA 2K series parallels the increasing tumult of this real-life NBA offseason. This year, 2K Sports needed to alter NBA 2K19’s cover after having a blockbuster trade place its cover athlete in another uniform. To better capture that growing disarray from the league’s offices, NBA 2K19 presents a narrative to its franchise mode, MyGM. A player — your created MyPlayer, especially — suffers a career-ending knee injury and later takes up the reins as overall supervisor. Trade Kyrie Irving off or put him in a different position; that’s the crux of a group GM gig, with a sign of occasional internal team play involved. It’s a stretch to call it a story mode as the menu does, but minor expansions to MyGM include dialogue exchanges and participant interactions new to NBA 2K19.
Not only is there a story in MyGM, there’s still a bevy of MyPlayer options. Rather than invite Spike Lee to guide MyCareer (as he did back in NBA 2K16), NBA 2K19’s approach settles down, focusing on the tumultuous rookie year of former street baller DJ. It is largely satirical toward locker room civilization, a reprieve in the thick drama of Madden NFL 18’s Longshot as well as previous years old NBA 2K. For instance, DJ’s agent is not a lot of one, however, he does possess a catchphrase: “Eat what you kill” The characters do not seem to comprehend what that means (and they say), but NBA 2K19 runs with it for the comedy.
When playing DJ, you are going to encounter NBA 2K19’s “The Neighborhood.” Consider it a hub of activity for DJ’s career. In a MMO-lite twist, it’s possible to walk around with numerous (hundreds, possibly, if servers fill up) of additional player-controlled DJs, playing pickup games, trading scores in minigames or interacting. The existence of other players is normally pointless outside of light competition, however; I ended up just ignoring the crowd.
I shortly realized The Neighborhood just replaces Cheap 2K19 MT‘s core menu. In that sense, it’s merely a clumsy method to browse. Desire a haircut? Walk the block to the barbershop. Want to change clothing? Go home first. Need new shoes? Jog down to Foot Locker. Looking to catch a quick pickup game? The courtroom is down the road on the left.