NBA 2K18 has been out for a month now. What’s the verdict? Critics gave positive reviews but there’s a lot of hate from players. If you’ve bought NBA 2K18, it’s hard to not notice how much bad feedback the game is getting since release. From Steam to Reddit the complaints don’t just stop there. Every new post from social media has people instantly replying “Fix your game”. People have already named NBA 2K18 the worst 2K in recent years.
The 2K series has been the best basketball simulation video game for almost two decades. We have seen in recent years 2K taking two steps forward but one step back. There hasn’t been any 2K that’s getting the backlash that 2K18 is getting. Every day consists a constant flow of negativity and a lot of complaints from the community. However if there’s an uproar in the community then there has to be some merit in their argument.
NBA 2K18 Steam Reviews
User reviews are important in any game because it allows input from other players as long as they’re objective. It’s an interesting case when there’s a mass wave of unsatisfied customers. There are over 4,000 negative reviews on Steam and counting. Any positive review gets downvoted from being helpful. Let’s take a glimpse at a few of the ‘Most Helpful Reviews’:
“Disguisting p2w model in a full priced AAA game, broken and unfair rubberbanding gameplay and a bunch of technical issues. Frustrating on every level. DON’T BUY IT”
“AAA price tag for a game that has more pay-to-win microtransactions than 99% of mobile games. They’re probably going to charge you VC to be able to skip cutscenes in an upcoming patch too. ♥♥♥♥ you and this trash”
“What happened in My Carreer? This game is so expensive already and my career needs to pay to win! My career getting trash and trash every year!”
“Pay-to-win in a full price game”
“Pay to win. Enough said.”
What is VC?
The core of the hate comes from VC in MyCareer. VC stands for Virtual Currency and you can earn it in almost every game mode in 2K18. In MyCareer, you can buy attributes, animations, clothes and basically everything for your character with VC. There’s a VC store that’s a built-in menu screen for that convenience if and when you need more. You can buy your way from a 60 to a 86 overall right from the very beginning. Upgrading your character comes with the price of time, money, or both. MyCareer is the only game mode where VC directly affects your progress. Their marketing campaign pushes MyCareer more than any other game mode.
YouTubers such as Boogie2988 has made a video about the microtransactions in 2K18. Boogie2988 said “I will spend money on microtransactions on those games. The reason being is because they charged me nothing to play the game. The barrier of entry was $0 and because I’ve enjoyed the game and continued to play it for years.” Those games being League of Legends and Hearthstone, for example, are free-to-play that have made microtransactions optional and balanced because there isn’t a price on the game to start with. NBA 2K18 is a $60 game that includes microtransactions that are enticing and unbalanced.
Usually games that are free or have a low barrier of entry tend to have microtransactions by default. A problem with NBA 2K18 is that it’s a AAA title that have microtransactions that cost more than the game itself. You’re already paying for a $60 game that should be complete. The VC store has microtransactions purchasable for up to $100 in a menu that you can find similar on any mobile game. For example you can spend $160 total on a game that will become obsolete around September 2018 when 2K19 is released. That’s an expensive yearly subscription if want to look at it that way if you’re an avid 2K fan.
Players who spent VC also have an advantage with attributes and their overall rating. You’re essentially paying to be better and rewards those who spend money. It has been noted that you would have to play over 200 season games to earn enough VC to get from 60 to 86. Another important factor is that if you made a new MyCareer character, you would have no VC or items carried over and basically start all over again. It discourages the freedom to create and experiment with different archetypes because you would’ve already invested a lot of hours already on your first character.
You don’t get a lot of VC for playing games. On average you get at least 500 VC per season game and at least 100 VC per MyPark game. Everything that’s purchasble by VC in-game cost well over in the thousands. For example an entire outfit can easily cost over 10,000 VC. You start as a 60 overall with 1,000 VC to begin with. It’s not a lot until you realize how much play time it would take to reach 70, 80, and 90. It will cost you over 200,000 VC to max your stats right away. You either have to log a substantial amount of hours or use your credit card for VC.
How to fix VC?
NBA 2K18 can reward more VC earned. Double or triple the amount can make the grind much easier. We shouldn’t spend more money to put in the time we don’t have. As of now no one from their team has acknowledged the negative attention the game has been receiving from microtransactions but they have been able to fix VC glitches quietly. The only changes made were reduced haircut prices from a few thousand to 100 VC because you can lose your haircut if you’ve edited your player’s appearance. However if 2K Games is making more money using this model then they’ll continue to use it on future games.
Creating a fix for VC can encourage players to try out different archetypes and playstyles without having to put in a lot of time on other characters. You don’t have to buy VC but it’s certainly unfair how much of a disadvantage it is on how much time it actually takes. After several hours of grinding you’ll reach an ultimatum where buying VC can cut the grinding immensely. NBA 2K18 caters to a casual fanbase that shouldn’t make a game consume hundreds of hours. Right around the corner is NBA 2K19 and when it releases everyone has to start new and the cycle continues.
Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.
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