It’s too much in NBA 2K19
However, The Neighborhood can be sullied by corporate patrons. A little gentrification in the older neighborhood? Maybe. Nevertheless, it’s not just a Foot Locker location sitting on a corner or Gatorade-sponsored gyms. The owners of the barbershop present DJ using a present, JBL cans, of which DJ chimes in NBA 2K MT, “Are the newest JBLs?” Gatorade is a fundamental piece of the narrative, called out by the broadcast team during games as much as it is promoted during gym coaching sessions (buying virtual containers of Gatorade for stamina includes a spiel about electrolytes).
Selling a bit of advertisement space — even overdone advertisement space — is not inherently problematic. It’s emblematic of an online-connected era. There’s an authenticity in rotating courtside banner ads and between-play chatter by the announcers, shifting as the year moves on with new sponsors cycling in. The insistence on using Virtual Money (VC) for all of compounds the issue, however. NBA 2K19 wants you to drink Gatorade, but it’s also considering getting you to spend more real cash in the sport.
VC has exploded into an infestation over the years, and it’s a potent lure. Buying special editions of NBA 2K19 grants bonus VC, an appealing proposition considering that participant upgrades, new hairstyles, clothes and shoes require currency. Spending VC on shoes signifies less VC to update DJ, and less chance to maintain your own in pickup or Pro-Am modes against real-world competition.
The slog to bring in currency without having to spend real money is inexcusable; sneakers run 1,500 VC and one player category upgrade asks for 1,200 VC, but you only earn about 600 VC in the average game. The poking and prodding from VC-related pop-up offers when booting up a new 2K18 session irritates further. The microtransactions can be ignored, at least, when in business mode, one of those few parts of NBA 2K19 in which VC isn’t offered.
On the court, various tweaks continue to improve NBA 2K’s simulation of basketball. Shots utilize a sharp new time meter, also in NBA 2K19, the difference between open and contested shots is suitably significant. Any defender’s hand in the vicinity is very likely to ship a jumper off course.
At default settings, fresh AI tweaks enable the opposing offense to maintain possession organically, utilizing the shot clock to work the ball around. Not only does this look natural, but the times of playing only six-minute quarters for sensible results have passed. I stuck to nine to 10 minutes per quarter to produce realistic scores at default settings, inching closer to the entire 12 minutes of a true game.
To further add to the sense of realism, NBA 2K19 is absolutely gorgeous in motion. Even excluding the stellar HDR service, tweaks to character models and textures bring out myriad small details. Beards look better than anywhere else. Plus, a brand new production package is in place this season, from pregame national anthems to hilarious pieces from the studio group of Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The group’s personality models need a do-over, but their interactions remain natural. Game commentary brings over some familiar lines (Kevin Harlan yields) yet continues to progress with guest commentators (from Kobe Bryant to ’96 dunk contest champ Brent Barry).
Of course, it is not surprising that NBA 2K19 looks great; the show has looked the role because its advent on the Dreamcast, staying applicable visually and staking out its own part of basketball culture. NBA 2K19 continues the trend, capturing the feel of basketball’s metropolitan centers from The Neighborhood.
It’s too bad, then, that The Neighborhood is covered in advertisements and persistent microtransaction begging. The growing push to invest real dollars on reddit game discuss impacts those looking to construct even the most fundamental of player avatars. It’s too much in NBA 2K19, holding back nearly every mode and customization alternative. VC is an inescapable fact. However, on the court — particularly in the excellent franchise manner, free from the grasp of microtransactions — NBA 2K19 lives up to its predecessors and at times even bests them.