The latest game in the NBA 2K series is frustrating to play if you donít want to spend any additional money on top of the $60 you have to shell out to get the game.
Technically, you donít ever need to buy anything in NBA 2K18. Itís just much, much easier if you do. Virtual Currency is the only currency in the game, and was introduced in the 2012 installment (NBA 2K13). Itís something youíll use across game modes in 2K18, but itís especially prevalent in the single-player myCareer mode, where you use it both for upgrading characters and customizing them.
In 2K18, like other installments, youíre able to earn Virtual Currency after every game, and youíll start off with 6,000 VC. That seems generous until you actually start having to use your VC, where youíll find that things are pretty expensive.]
When I spent the entirety of my 6,000 VC on my character, Xavier World Peace, he went from an overall rating of 60 to 62. You can still earn VC by playing games and it will scale with how well you play during the game, as it has in previous games in the series. But still, playing a game with my modest skill only netted me around 500 VC. Once Iíd accrued another 1,000 VC, I tried to upgrade World Peace again. Fooling around with different stats, I realized that Iíd be able to raise his overall rating one point if I spend about 4,000 VC.
I was thinking about this the other night, how 2K doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves for it's most prominent game mode essentially being pay to win. Pretty disgusting honestly. I haven't purchased a 2K game in 2 years but it seems to be being built more and more for the purchase of VC to become necessary. This is the kind of shit you could expect from a free to play game.
If youíd like to customize your character in any way, Virtual Currency becomes even more precious. In particular, if you want to change your characterís hair, you have to purchase a haircut before you see it on the character itself.
You also wonít be able to see the price until you put it in the cartóthis particular haircut costs 1,500 VC.
Not all haircuts are this expensive, but this is just a small part of character customization. What if you want a tattoo? Well, all tattoos other than the 2K logo are locked until you reach an overall rating of 70, and then actually adding the tattoo to your character costs an additional 1,000 VC.
This is the same for clothes, shoes and player animationsóyou have to raise your overall rating to unlock the good stuff, and then you still have to pay VC to actually purchase it. Want Michael Jordanís signature dunk? Well, first you have to to unlock it, and then you can still have to pay for the animation.
That means you have to play hours of games to earn VCÖ or buy 75,000 of VC for $20. In general, playing myCareer mode is a constant reminder of how much VC you donít have, as the game will frequently present you with the option to purchase more.
Fans of the NBA2K series arenít wholly opposed to the idea of buying a currency, but the overall sentiment online appears to be that 2K18 feels more predatory than previous games in the series. One fan estimated that in order to get to an overall rating of 86 and not spend any money, youíd have to play over 200 games.
2K has not responded to requests for comment on NBA 2K18ís VC system.
Microtransactions like these are never popular with players, and for good reason. Who wants to spend another $20 when theyíve already spent $60 on the game itself? Itís disheartening to see a basketball series Iíve enjoyed in the past feel so sleazy in its latest installment. At least let me preview the hair, NBA 2K18. Not everyone looks good with dreads.
Also there's a bug that's been erasing these characters. Imagine spending dozens of dollars on progress for your character and losing it.
Blow a 3-1 lead if old