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VC has burst into an infestation through the years, and it's a powerful lure. Buying special editions of NBA 2K19 grants bonus VC, an attractive proposition considering that participant updates, new hairstyles, clothing and sneakers need money. Spending VC on shoes means less VC to upgrade DJ, and less opportunity to hold your own in pickup or Pro-Am modes against real-world contest.
The slog to bring in money without having to spend real money is inexcusable; sneakers operate 1,500 VC and one player category update asks for 1,200 VC, but you just earn about 600 VC in the typical game. The poking and prodding from VC-related pop-up offers when booting up a brand new 2K18 session irritates further. The microtransactions can be ignored, at least, when in franchise mode, one of those few parts of NBA 2K19 in which VC is not offered.
On the court, various tweaks are still 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 appropriately significant. Any defender's hand in the vicinity is likely to ship a jumper off course.
At default settings, fresh AI tweaks enable the opposing offense to maintain possession, using the shot clock to operate the ball around. Not only does this seem natural, but the days of playing just six-minute quarters for realistic results have passed. I adhered to nine to 10 minutes each quarter to generate realistic scores at default configurations, inching closer to the full 12 minutes of a true game.
To further increase the sense of realism, NBA 2K19 is absolutely gorgeous in motion. Despite the stellar HDR support, tweaks to character models and textures bring out myriad smallish details. Beards look better than anyplace else. Plus, a new production package is set up this season, from pregame national anthems to humorous bits 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 returns) yet continues to progress with guest commentators (from Kobe Bryant into ’96 dunk contest champ Brent Barry).
Obviously, it is no surprise that NBA 2K19 looks great; the series has looked the part since its debut on the Dreamcast, remaining applicable visually and staking out its portion of basketball civilization. NBA 2K19 continues the trend, capturing the feel of basketball's metropolitan centers in The Neighborhood.
It is too bad, then, that The Neighborhood is covered in advertisements and persistent microtransaction begging. The growing drive to invest real dollars on VC affects those seeking to build even the most fundamental of participant avatars. It is too much in NBA 2K19, holding back almost every style and customization option. VC is an inescapable fact. However, on the court -- particularly in the excellent franchise mode, free from the grasp of microtransactions -- NBA 2K19 lives up to its predecessors and occasionally even bests them.
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