By Gerrel Sayles, Contributor
NBA 2K players can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as NBA 2K19 is an upgrade compared to last year’s 2K18.
2K Sports dropped the ball with the MyCareer experience last year, but the Prelude left a sense of incompleteness. Personally, I played the Prelude and wasn’t hyped to purchase the Special Edition (maybe because it didn’t have Kobe Bryant or LeBron James on the cover, but I digress.)
Still, 2K19 delivers a better MyCareer experience because the Prelude engages the gamer more; you take on the persona of “A.I.,” a former collegiate athlete who declares for the NBA Draft but isn’t selected. This results in him taking his talents overseas to China.
This allows gamers another perspective of how basketball players take different paths to reach the NBA. While in China, the commentators speaking in their native language was one of the little details I like to see as a gamer.
2K19’s Neighborhood is more defined, structured and organized compared to 2K18. The setup is easier to follow with park games at the heart of it all.
Ultimately, while MyCareer mode is very fun, there are drawbacks. To get the best out of this game, you will need to purchase Virtual Currency. I played NBA 2K18 without purchasing any VC and my player was capped at 70 overall. It takes too much time to build up your player and takes away from the enjoyment and the many accessories you can add to your player.
Although the gameplay is similar to last year, there is one huge difference: defense. The CPU’s defense in MyCareer has been tremendously upgraded as there are times when players like Carmelo Anthony (not known to be a defender) seem to have “Kawhi Leonard” defense (an elite defender) on Hall of Fame difficulty, the hardest setting.
The good news: the defense isn't too overwhelming when playing other game modes like MyLeague, MyGM and MyTeam. Also, last year’s shot meter is back, which is horrible as it’s confusing and imprecise.
MyTeam is very interesting this year because there is a new mode, a three-on-three game where the best trios in NBA history go head-to-head. Of course, Domination and Challenges are still present, if the aforementioned mode doesn’t grab your attention.
On the other hand, MyGM seems very tedious, with the amount of reading associated with the mode. In my opinion, this mode can be improved vastly by voicing the characters, though the concept of the story is interesting.
The story is about an owner of an expanded team and from there, you, as the general manager, are tasked with running the team while the owner goes around and does their best to be annoying. Ultimately, MyGM seems to grasp the idea of creating a story and these elements make it an upgrade.
Lastly, MyLeague is back and bigger than before: there is more creation, development and control over the whole league, be it creating a draft class or winning multiple championships.
Speaking of draft classes, 2K has implemented 40 different historical NBA Draft classes from the past to add to the experience. I often personalize each draft class, to better fit players under the current state of the league.
Ultimately, NBA 2K19 is a better experience than its predecessor. The game modes this year are superior in quality and have many different aspects to them that 2K18 didn’t. Overall, NBA 2K19 is a return to form and I highly recommend purchasing the game with VC, so you can experience the game to the fullest.