2K Sports had to alter NBA 2K19

NBA 2K19 might play brilliantly, but its off-the-court issues get in the way of its own success. The game delivers a huge simulation of the game, with sparkling presentation to match and also a renewed focus on the inner-city origins that many NBA athletes share with Cheap NBA 2K19 MT. Then developer Visual Concepts requires this otherwise stellar game onto a detour toward microtransactions.

The NBA 2K series was on this path for decades, but its emphasis on microtransactions reaches a new peak in NBA 2K19. It often feels like the better bits of this game -- of which there are plenty -- becoming lost in its own obsession with squeezing more money from its own players.

The growth of microtransactions in the NBA 2K series parallels the increasing tumult of the real-life NBA offseason. This season, 2K Sports had to alter NBA 2K19's cover after having a blockbuster trade put its cover athlete in a different uniform. To better catch that growing disarray from the league's offices, NBA 2K19 presents a narrative to its franchise mode, MyGM. A player -- your established MyPlayer, especially -- suffers a career-ending knee injury and later takes up the reins as general supervisor. Trade Kyrie Irving off or place him in a different place; that is the crux of a team GM gig, with a sign of occasional internal team play involved. It's a stretch to call it a story mode since the menu does, but small expansions to MyGM contain dialogue exchanges and player interactions new to NBA 2K19.

Not only is there a story in MyGM, there is nevertheless a bevy of MyPlayer options. Rather than invite Spike Lee to direct MyCareer (because he did back in NBA 2K16), NBA 2K19's approach settles down, focusing on the tumultuous rookie year of prior road baller DJ. It is mostly satirical toward locker room civilization, a reprieve from the thick drama of Madden NFL 18's Longshot or even previous years of NBA 2K. For example, DJ's representative is not a lot of one, but he does possess a catchphrase: "Eat what you kill." The characters don't appear to comprehend what that means (and they say), but NBA 2K19 runs with it for the humor.

When playing DJ, you'll encounter NBA 2K19's "The Neighborhood." Think about it a hub of activity for DJ's livelihood. In a MMO-lite twist, it's possible to walk around with multiple (hundreds, possibly, if servers fill up) of other player-controlled DJs, playing pickup games, trading scores in minigames or socializing. The existence of different players is generally pointless outside of mild competition, nevertheless; I ended up just ignoring the crowd.

I shortly realized The Neighborhood just replaces NBA 2K19's core menu in nba2king. In that sense, it's merely a clumsy way to browse. Want a haircut? Walk the cube into the barbershop. Want to change clothes? Go home. Need new shoes? Jog down to Foot Locker. Looking to grab a quick pickup game? The courtroom is down the street on the left.