Sooooo….unless you have been living under a rock or some kind of gigantic island of some sort you know that 2k games has blessed the gaming community with their annualized NBA game, NBA 2K18 which released for all the major platforms including the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and for all my current people that still own the old generation consoles, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. The game came out September 19th, 2017, it had 3 different editions of the game which is similar to the past two years of the NBA 2K series. There was the Standard edition which was $59.99, the Legend Edition which was $99.99 and then you had the Legends Gold Edition which was a whopping $149.99 (WOW!). Now they were all the same game but obviously the higher you pay the more extra content you will receive whether it will be packs of cards for their “MyTeam” mode, more clothes, sneakers and most importantly Virtual Currency (VC) which is the term for money that the game has and has been like that since NBA 2K13. Now where there are some nice strides that the game has taken in this version compared to last years version, there are STILL some technical problems with this game as well as horrible business practices that are in this game now more than there ever were in any iteration of the series. So what do I think of this game you may ask?! Well….let me tell you homie:
Let me start off with the positive side of NBA 2K18, first of all the gameplay is a lot smoother this time around. I don’t know why but last years gameplay was ok but it felt a little stiff and that’s because I think they were trying to fix all the cheese that was in NBA 2K17, the gameplay wasn’t bad just not as smooth as 18. With 18, the shot stick is more responsive when I make a dribble move it will be in a nice animation, when you shoot a jumper it feels like you have a better control over your shot with the shot meter as well, the passing is more crisp this time around and I can tell they spent a little more time on the dunk and layup animations and packages this time around. The dunks don’t get blocked as easily and are a little more realistic because if you’re contested at the rim it is much harder to make a layup or dunk. And THANK YOU 2K for getting rid of that trash layup meter because that was so annoying because last year that made no sense, if you ever played basketball you know you have to time your jumper which is why the shot meter is there in the first place in these basketball games, you don’t spend time worrying about the release of a layup it’s very simple and shouldn’t have to require you holding the ball for very long so I am glad they got rid of that in 2K18. Even online I think they had a little win because in this version of the “MyPark” mode THE SERVERS AREN’T AS BAD lol. Even though they are still sub par they are still a step up from last years game and I guess I can appreciate that. I have heard that some people see it a lot but I haven’t seen it that much so I can’t speak for them. The “Pro-Am” mode which is also apart of 2K’s online experience you can join with friends just like you do in “My Park” and actually play 5 on 5 full court games where you can make a team and go against other people online and each win or loss will show in a record that you all will maintain and you can win VC for each win just like in “MyPark” and if you win player of the game you get bonus VC on top of the VC you already won for winning the game. My time on “Pro-Am” was lot smoother than last year AND the year before that combined, there is a lot of less cheese this time around and it is MUCH EASIER TO FIND A MATCH which was surprising to me. So I can see 2K18 made positive strides this year with the gameplay and online modes and I am happy about that since this is the 18th iteration of the game (damn that’s a lot of iterations).
Now that the positives are out of the way, I think it’s time for those negatives, and trust me when I say that there are a lot more negatives in other articles that I’ve seen around the internet but I’m just going to stick with what I know. FIRST OF ALL, remember when 2K revealed the whole “neighborhood” world they were going to have in this years game and it basically looked like GTA but in an NBA sense?!.....Yeah so do I. The first thing that came to my mind was damn this year they just trying to blow NBA Live 18 out the water for real, but after that I thought to myself, ain’t this going to mess around with the online aspect of the game like “MyPark” and “Pro-Am” whose servers are basically being held together by peanut butter as it is?! But like I said in my positives it wasn’t a big effect so I digress, but while the neighborhood is creative and innovative to the game this year...it’s feels very empty. I mean yeah you can run around and go to sneaker stores and the barber shop around the corner, getting tatted up, go to foot locker or to the recording studio with Dame D.O.L.L.A., or work out at the training facility and such but you can’t interact with people on the street or anything so I honestly think it’s just there for a show like “Hey look what we can do with this world?!”. Also, the story is TRASH, BASURA, PUT IT IN A COFFIN LOL. Ok, I know a lot of people gave the story from NBA 2K16 story a lot of trash reviews but at least they tried with that story even though the main character’s name was Frequency Vibrations (-___- YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!), but with 2K18 man the fact your favorite teams scout “happens” to be at a tournament you are playing at and asks you to tryout for the team whether you do good or bad doesn’t make sense. The protagonist (DJ, who is literally a former DJ -___-, COME OOOONN 2K) was a former basketball player that had buzz in the AAU circuit in HS until he decided to pursue Dj’ing and music and then later on wants to get back into basketball and it all of a sudden nice enough to get this buzz back, stupid. The characters in the mode are trash too lol, and the cutscenes are unskippable and that wouldn’t be a big problem if the writing wasn’t so BAD. The story went down in my opinion, only thing that is better is that you can check your phone and such all the time, before a game after a game in or in “MyPark” or “Pro-Am”. Other than that, go back to the drawing board 2K. But the meat n potatoes of the negatives of THIS GAME though is…...yeah you guessed it the infamous VC fiasco. This year the VC is out of control, this game has a free to play mentality but it’s still full price at $59.99 or at whatever price you choose to get it. The grind is so real in this game which I wouldn’t mind if they gave you more VC after each game you play and everything didn’t cost so damn much! When I first got this game and went to get a haircut, first of all with a haircut you can’t even preview what you’re going to get you have to first spend the VC and then you can looks after you purchase the haircut, SO TRASH, but like I was saying haircuts used to cost….wait for it….1,000 VC AND UP! LIKE WTF 2K, now they released a patch like a week later to lower them to 100 vc which was better but it’s like why were they that high in the first place and why can’t you preview a haircut before you buy it?! Hmmm, looks like 2k had a hidden agenda while making this game dog smh. Not to mention, I pre-ordered the game so I got 5,000 VC when I started the game usually I don’t pre-order like that anymore but I wanted to get a head start on the game and I used the VC, I went from a 60 to a whopping 63. Son why am I only getting raised two to three points with that much VC, that really amazes me how little I went up, and I have friends who got the legend edition and legend gold edition and they straight up said “I’m not grinding this year, I’m just going to buy VC and get my rating up to a 85 the first day”, but they said that last year and I got where they were coming from but still didn’t support that. But this year though, maaaaaaaannnn the fact that I am considering buying VC speaks to how much the game wants you to spend on it. I played about 33 games so far in the “MyCareer” mode and I am only a 71 rating, like why?! Oh I know why, because after every game the VC I do get is never enough to spend on attributes like that because they cost more and even when you do have enough they don’t help that much anyway. I know somebody that looked these two facts up and I kid you not, they said that they looked up a study that somebody else made that said that in order to get to a 87 rating without buying VC you would have to play….200 GAMES! Bro, if that doesn’t scream “we want you to pay for VC” I don’t know what will, and the other study he looked up is that in the previous fiscal year 2k made $526.7 MILLION off microtransactions alone, YOU KNOW WHAT I CAN DO WITH THAT MONEY SHEEEEEESSSH! Everything costs so much this year, from the sneakers to the clothes, why does a plain t-shirt cost 600 VC???! HOW SWAY!? Let’s not forget that while the park and pro-am made some little changes, I still get hiccups when playing in the park and still see the lagging and the servers are still being held by peanut butter half the time so they didn’t do a lot to help out with that.
Look, NBA 2K18 made a good amount of positive strides with the gameplay, but they also had many setback with the super microtransactions in the games as well as the constant “MyPark” hiccups and server issues they still haven’t fixed. If it wasn’t for me being a big basketball fan and me wanting to see DJ be the very best that no one ever was I probably wouldn’t play this game as much, I am not going to buy VC though because I feel like that is cheating but, if you enjoy a little more grind as usual or you just ballin out of control, or just like smoother gameplay from a basketball game standpoint I think you will like this game, just know that you will have microtransactions thrown in your face all throughout the game but it’s up to you what you’re going to do with it. I saw in a review yesterday that is the the best and the worst 2K that we have seen yet…. And for the most part I agree with that statement.
FINAL SCORE 6.5/10