NBA 2K19 Review — Best NBA Game So Far
+ Gameplay is more balanced in both offence and defense
+ MyStory mode is engaging
+ Takeover meter
+ AI is believable (how they perform)
+ Classic teams are available
- Virtual currency is still there
- Occasions of weird ball trajectory
- Some players look different from real-life
- Not for those who dislike grinding for credits
NBA 2K19 Review
What is NBA 2K19 About?
NBA 2K19 is the latest addition to the NBA 2K series of basketball simulators where it comes with newer gameplay mechanics as well as more playable teams right off the bat. It is the 20th installment in the NBA 2K franchise and the successor to last year’s NBA 2K18 game.
Interestingly, there are a number of athletes gracing the cover of the game depending on which region as well as what version you’re getting. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo is the cover athlete for the standard edition, while LeBron James of the LA Lakers is the cover athlete for the 20th Anniversary Edition. For Australia and New Zealand, NBA Rookie of the Year Award winner Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers is featured on the cover.
For this review, we’ve got our hands on the NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition for the PC, where it comes with the following bonuses;
- 100,000 Virtual Currency
- 50,000 MyTEAM points
- 20 MyTEAM League Packs (delivered one a week).
- 10 MyTEAM Heat Check Packs (delivered one a week beginning at the start of the NBA season)
- Sapphire LeBron James and Sapphire Giannis Antetokounmpo MyTEAM cards
- 5 LeBron-themed murals for MyCOURT
- LeBron MyCOURT design
- King’s Collection – Nike LeBron apparel & footwear
Better Gameplay Mechanics
If you want to experience real NBA games with the up-to-date lineups, there’s the NBA Today mode along with a couple of others including MyLeague and MyGM to enjoy.
The gameplay for this year has been slightly different from its predecessor. The pace of the game has been taken down by a notch, in my opinion. Despite that, I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad thing. The AI in the game seems to be smarter than before and if you’re thinking that you can simply drive and attack the paint, well think again. The opposing team’s defense will be breathing around your neck more so than before.
Besides that, the game rewards players with skills and punishes you when you make questionable decisions such as passing the ball to your team mate from across the line when there’s barriers between.
Despite the authentic basketball experience that they’re trying to push with the game, there were moments that caught my eye which weren’t exactly good, especially on ball trajectory.
There has been several occasions that the ball seemed weird in terms of physics. For instance, I was running down the paint and was already prepared for a dunk but the ball apparently hit the ring and it went to a direction that completely defied all logic.
In terms of pacing, the game does indeed feel a bit slow, especially when you are on the fast-break. For me, that takes out a bit of the fun especially when you know how fast real-life NBA is.
While most of the characters in the game looked okay, there are some that don’t and look just downright… weird. Sure, it still looked like their real-life counterpart. somewhat, but something still feels off about the character model.
Road to NBA stardom
In this review, we’ll be focusing more on the MyCareer mode. Personally, the mode is a breath of fresh air. I’ve been playing the NBA 2K series ever since 2K14 and with this year’s addition, I felt that the story was more realistic. You start off by creating a player, where you get to pick his physique, primary skill, and secondary skill. Obviously at the beginning, you start off with a very weak player.
Without spoiling too much on the story, you start off in the far east and gradually make your way to the big boy’s league. You’ll have several decisions to make in between games that will shape up how the game progresses for your character.
Not virtual credits again?
Here we come to the topic that puts off most of us, regardless of any game, virtual credits. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the 20th Anniversary edition of the game, where it let me off to a head start with me being able to boost my player’s ability. I think that I’d be a little bit lazy to play the game (I’m just lazy to grind for that matter) to farm over and over again.
Well thankfully, this year’s game offers more ways to grind for VC points to upgrade your player. There’s the gym for instance where you can boost your stats, The Cage, and a couple other areas to boost yourself.
Some people might feel that they don’t mind on farming to be the perfect player, while some do, but for that matter, grinding your way for better stats in a sense does add a replayability factor for the game. It’s just a matter of whether you enjoy it or not.
NBA 2K19 Verdict
NBA 2K19 has been the most authentic basketball game to date, giving a refined tweak to the gameplay. The MyCareer mode offers an engaging storyline, where it will get you hooked to find out more on what happens next and aim to be the best player around.
Once you’re feeling done with the career mode, there’s also the other modes that’ll fill in your time. In terms of gameplay hours, rest assured, there’s plenty of things to enjoy with the game so you’ll be playing it for a while. For the price of RM175 (Standard Edition on Steam), it definitely offers value for what you’re paying.
While farming for VC points isn’t as bad as the previous NBA 2K series, it still could put you off. If you don’t mind that and you pretty much love basketball, then this is the game for you. For that, I award NBA 2K19 with our Silver Pokdeward.
This review was based on a copy of NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition.