Game commentary brings over some familiar lines

If it ain't Spades...
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VC has burst into an infestation over time, and it is a potent lure. Buying special editions of NBA 2K19 grants bonus VC, an appealing proposition considering that participant updates, new hairstyles, clothes and sneakers require currency. Spending VC on sneakers signifies less NBA 2K MT to upgrade DJ, and less opportunity to maintain your own in pickup or Pro-Am manners against real-world contest.

The slog to earn money without having to spend real money is money; sneakers run 1,500 VC and a single player category upgrade asks for 1,200 VC, but you just earn about 600 VC in the average game. The poking and prodding from VC-related pop-up offers when booting up a brand new 2K18 session irritates additional. The microtransactions could be ignored, at least, when in franchise mode, one of those few components of NBA 2K19 in which VC isn't offered.

On the court, various tweaks are still enhance 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 appropriately significant. Any guardian's hand in the vicinity is very likely to send a jumper off path.

At default settings, new AI tweaks allow the opposing offense to maintain possession organically, using the shot clock to work the ball around. Not only does this seem natural, however, the days of playing just six-minute quarters for sensible results have passed. I adhered to nine to 10 minutes per quarter to generate realistic scores at default configurations, inching closer to the full 12 minutes of a true game.

To further add to the feeling of realism, NBA 2K19 is totally gorgeous in movement. Despite the stellar HDR service, tweaks to character models and textures bring out myriad small details. Beards look better than anywhere else. Additionally, a new production package is in place this year, 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 require a do-over, but their interactions stay natural. Game commentary brings over some familiar lines (Kevin Harlan returns) yet has been advance with guest commentators (from Kobe Bryant into ’96 dunk contest champ Brent Barry).

Of course, it's no surprise that NBA 2K19 looks great; the show has looked the role since its advent on the Dreamcast, staying applicable visually and staking out its own portion of basketball culture. NBA 2K19 continues the trend, capturing the sense of basketball's urban centers in The Neighborhood.

It's too bad, then, that The Neighborhood is covered in ads and persistent microtransaction begging. The growing push to spend real dollars on VC affects those seeking to build even the most basic of player avatars. It's too much in NBA 2K19, holding back nearly every mode and customization option. VC is an inescapable fact. However, on the court -- particularly in the excellent franchise mode, free of the grasp of microtransactions -- MT NBA 2K19 lives up to its predecessors and at times even bests them.
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