top of page
  • Writer's pictureJames Stephanie Sterling

Metabombed: NBA 2K19 Is ‘Trash And Predatory’

Updated: Dec 15, 2018

2K Games has made it quite clear by now that it sees videogames not as artistic expressions, but purely as a means to extract as much money from its customers as possible. No purer example exists than the NBA 2K series. Thanks to microtransactions, gambling mechanics, and mobile free-to-play style economies, 2K’s basketball games have been vandalized and mutilated in the quest for extra dollars.

This has not gone unnoticed by the series’ fans, and it should come as no surprise that the latest in the series, NBA 2K19, has been thoroughly metabombed by a dejected populace. As is only right, of course!

User reviews on Metacritic have been about as kind as the game deserves. The most reviewed version, the PlayStation 4 one, sits at an average user score of 2.3, because it turns out not everybody likes being blatantly exploited.

As usual, I’ve compiled the most interesting, pertinent, and downright amusing user reviews for your vile pleasure. Enjoy!

We’ll start with Streety, who keeps their thoughts brief.

Buggy mess full of microtransactions. Every year people blindly pre-order this game and every year they shaft us… (0/10)

I have to feel a bit envious of Truestofreviews, so optimistic they are that they’re surprised anybody defends microtransactions in priced games.

An unnecessary and supidly-long grind fest, coupled with microtransactions the publishers are actually publicly defending (o,O?), ruin any and all possible fun this game might’ve had at inception. (0/10)

Chaaning95 might be trying to tell us something.

microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions microtransactions oh yeah… microtransactions… (0/10)

Kire_92 highlights the impact microtransactions have on a game’s design, pointing out exactly what makes the decent parts of 2K19 work.

A game with great potential which is unfortunately ruined by a predatory use of microtransacitions. Every mode which includes microtransactions feel like a grind and lacks a balanced and natural progression. The game also feels like a big commercial platform for itself that constantly tries to get you to spend more money. The things that’s still good in this game are those modes that’s not affected by microtransactions. Taking control of a team and playing single player is still fun and it’s also great when playing with friends on the couch. This makes it an overall okay game but with very limited content. So in the end the microtransactions ruins what could have been an amazing game and turns it into a less than mediocre experience. (4/10)

I think most of you will have detected a theme with these reviews. Anyway, here’s AmerMK6!

NBA 2K19 provides a basketball simulation that is unfortunately plagued with micro-transactions that ruin the experience for a “casual” gamer. I spent $20 on VC and got to ONLY a 75 overall. Because of this, I called Sony and demanded a refund for the game and the VC I bought. Choosing between 2K and Live, you should choose Live. No $60 dollar game should be based upon the principles of a FREEMIUM game. (1/10)

Zin_Master also points out something we’ve discussed on The Jimquisition – how 2K adds shameless advertising on top of the paid bullshit.

You should not buy this game at all, which is sad if you are a fan of basketball. The use of micro-transactions is egregious; at every corner VC is required to progress your character. This is a “AAA Game” that costs $60 yet it is based on a pay to win platform….this is unacceptable. One cannot play the game without being inundated with commercials either. The announcers literally plug Gatorade for 30 seconds at a time. 2K is trash and predatory. Parents…do not buy your kids VC as this is an unethical scheme (0/10)

Zerblackstar nails the motives behind a game designed the way 2K19 has been designed.

2K are trying to create a basketball themed online theme park/casino rather than a basketball game. They want you to spend hours and hours in the game in the hopes that you’ll eventually buy in game currency. That is the sole purpose of this “game”. Underneath the money grabbing there is a great basketball sim, it’s such a shame that 2K care more about microtransaction revenue than player experience and rewarding players with loyalty to the series. They should make this game a fully fledged subscription MMO however then they couldn’t charge full AAA game price every year for the same game with a few small changes. This is essentially what’s happening, you are paying a yearly subscription to play a pay-to-win microtransaction fest. Instead of spending countless hours a week running around the empty park hoping to play a game, or constantly getting nowhere trying to jump into a rec centre game, just play something else, go read a book, use the money you’ll save to go do something worthwhile rather than pay into the bonus fund for some douche bag executive who ruined your favourite basketball game. (0/10)

Meanwhile, RoyavlDesu has… words?

NBA 2K19 is like the last game. It kinda a “Full Price Free2Play” game and has very cool features like Paywalls, Pay2win… it is almost Pay2Play. It is so frustrating to make VC. Please dont buy, dont support. (0/10)

Some think it’s hyperbolic to liken “AAA” games to casinos. I say, if it walks like a casino, exploits problem gambling like a casino, then SongOfSIckness ain’t wrong!

Ever been charged €50 just to be able to walk in to a casino, then get screamed at to fork over more money? This game is what that’s like.(2/10)

KennyBania has many things to say about VC – the Virtual Currency that 2K Games couldn’t be bothered to give a flashier name.

– VC everywhere – An actual gambling system where you can lose it ALL – “Buy VC” right under the quit button – Need VC to do those dances in the trailer – Need VC to use a skateboard or bike from the trailer – $200 of VC gets your player to level 80 only – Stuttering in 4K on Xbox One X – Horrible stadium lighting – Players warp and ice skate on the court – The biggest name in the world – Lebron – and they get his skin tone wrong (way too dark) – The biggest rookie name – Doncic – and they have his height wrong – After release they made a patch to reduce and nerf XP – 2K are evil scum (0/10)

I’ll admit. I’m posting this article mainly because I despise 2K Games and I get a cheap thrill from watching the company get trashed. Now onto TheFirm34’s review.

If you buy this game, you cannot really play it unless you spend at least an additional $100 more on micro-transactions. You can play it, but you will not have a fun time doing it, unless you pay-to-win. Also the developer has urged Belgian players to “fight” their government to allow micro-transactions to be activated. Ain’t that just insane? This SHOULD be the death of NBA2K, the greed is just too strong with this one. (0/10)

Seriously, 2K Games is as cynical as cynical gets, and they often fly under the radar because EA or Activision typically act out on a much larger stage. Oh right, this one’s written by Kronka.

Although the game is better than last year, let’s not act like 2k is doing us a favor. The game still revolves around micro-transactions like a **** F2P mobile game. I’m Canadian so I already pay $80 + tax for the game to still be basically forced to pay an additional $60 to actually make the game playable. They still deserve the hate until they fix it. One of their executives in an interview said, “Users expect everything for Free and that’s not reasonable”. Well you dumbass, users expect that because they already paid full price for your stupid game, did you forget that part? (1/10)

I usually don’t dunk on professional reviews because taste is subjective, but it does concern me that so many critics actively ignore microtransactions these days, especially when they’ve demonstrably made a game grindier and less fun. On a related note, barren_sky speaks!

Shame on these ‘professional’ reviewers for not condemning this game for it’s terribly implemented micro-transactions. NBA 2k19 is completely designed around holding back your progression to entice you to spend real money on it’s virtual currency. This is a free-to-play phone game choking out what used to be a wonderful basketball series. Have principles. Don’t be the sucker 2K thinks you are. Don’t buy this game. (0/10)

Then again, some people can take the outrage to hyperbole territory. I wouldn’t call 2K’s behavior criminal, but I’m not Dee_Cartler.

Another crash grab. As long as fools keep handing over money to these criminals they will continue doing this. I’m not buying this game or will ever again buy any game from these crooks. (0/10)

Getting less attention is the fact that, economy aside, 2K19 is also a fairly buggy and broken piece of crap. Deadheadbill has noticed.

Buggy with multiple crashes in just a few hours, reprehensible micro-transaction policy and online matchmaking issues make this game complete crap. Not recommended. (0/10)

Ghoster, meanwhile, doesn’t care about the money-grubbing but still thinks the game’s rubbish.

I’m really not bothered with microtransactions like everybody else because they are optional and does not affect gameplay. But… I preordered game because I really liked 2K18. Seems they changed everything to worse. Shooting mechanic is totally changed, specially layup. I constantly get lost game in online play because of “too many penalties” mad by my NPC players!!!!! Hope they will fix something in updates, but for now game is broken, annoying and unplayable! (0/10)

Giantteeth6666 could be describing one of dozens of “AAA” games.

Yet another disgraceful annual product generated by greed instead of passion and creativity. (0/10)

We have VallejoMach, who minces no words.

MTX infested dross. Don’t buy this horrific scam of a game. Reasonable gameplay crippled once more with unnecessary and overly long tedious grind (Unless you want to take 2k’s benevolently offered opportunity to ‘choose’ to pay your way through the game faster…so kind of them) Avoid like the plague. It’s worse than you could ever possibly imagine. (0/10)

Here’s LuigiBergo. I hate 2K Games with a passion.

Probably the worst 2K game to date. Been playing for a few hours now, and not a single aspect of the game excites me, It is like they took a fairly 2K18 and just made it worse (0/10)

As ever, there are reviewers on the opposite end of the spectrum. JeepDaddyMac46 thinks everyone criticizing the game is lying.

First of all, stop lying on your User Revuews. Most of you probably don’t even have the game. If you did, you would know just what an amazing game 2K19 truly is. Stellar gameplay, improved menus, best graphics in the series to date. There are tons of gameplay options and so many customization options. Outside of the core game, there are Premium modes, MyCareer and MyTeam that will require “grinding” or you can optionally buy VC to progress faster. There are a few miscues in the launch software; controller vibration doesn’t work, speed is a tad bit slow and the soundtrack is laughably horrible. Despite that, this game is a blast to play and MyCareer is fantastic. (10/10)

LetsGoBucs09 is slightly alarming, admitting the negative reviews are correct, but going all Stockholm on us anyway.

I think there may be a little bit of an exaggeration factor going on here. Yes, it is pay to play, but what did you expect? The graphics are 9/10 good and the AI is a lot better overall. This game is solid, but 2K needs to realize that they are losing their fanbase due to micro-transactions. (8/10)

I think we’ll end on this positive block of text from zabian. Screw 2K Games though.

Haters are already hating I disagree with the “bad” gameplay its a improvement from last year in every single way with the new dribble moves and layups the shot meter though the same the basket feels way more realistic defense has also become easier to play as unlike last year where everyone ran circles on you even if you had a 99 on ball iq you can stop them on the perimeter like Andre Robinson or Russell Westbrook also It is the perfect simulator’s game you can make your bench, quick, tall and defense along with mentoring young players to upgrade overall for awesome rebuilds and the player DNA makes it much easier to create another player +awesome soundtrack +awesome graphics + great gameplay +awesome sim + improved myteam – microtransactions (8/10)


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page