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A milestone in microtransactions. How financial incentives are ruining games.

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    NBA 2K18

    Rating: 0.5 – Unplayable

    A milestone in microtransactions. How financial incentives are ruining games.

    I preface this buy saying what a huge 2K fanboy I am. I’ve owned every single game from the Dreamcast original. I remember 2K5 with Big Ben on the cover, the first year with ISOmotion. I remember 2K7, the year they introduced player-unique jumpshots. I remember 2K10 and the birth of Crew Mode. I remember Crew Mode dying. I remember 2K14 for PS4 where they replaced a simple menu-based matchmaking system for blacktop games with the awful concept of ¡®The Park’.

    I also must preface by saying the recent revelations of the Activision patent leak should be on every gamers minds when it comes to microtransactions. They alter game conditions to frustrate players in hopes of selling things. Is this good for gaming? And if Activision is doing that, who else is?


    In the last few iterations of the NBA 2K franchise, people actually enjoy Park mode without questioning the fact that to get in a game, you must stand on a circle to ¡°get next¡±. Instead of using a menu selection to play a virtual game of basketball, you are waiting indefinitely on a virtual circle to play the virtual game. How this came to be accepted shows the seeds of the downfall of man – a willingness to accept our reality as it is.

    Since 2K15, 2K has actually done a great job improving the game every year. With 2K18, a great game at release, they have decided they need to patch it four times in less than one month, each patch with notes that obviously omit things (like the fixing of tedious VC gaining tricks) and make the game worse.

    The patches obviously are steering towards tightening the play of MMO-type modes like Pro Am and Park, but in so doing they are ruining the core game – without abandon.

    Tall players shoot much easier, tall fast players like Thon Maker are now even more godly than last year’s game. He passes like LeBron now….

    The game is one giant middle finger to its customers. The open world aspect is merely a way to make you mad. It’s a massive, pointless, unfun waste of time. Why don’t you have menu based navigation? Because this game is designed to make you frustrated for as long as possible in the hopes YOU BUY MORE STUFF….

    After the Activision patent leak, I’m desperately hoping the same happens to 2K and reveals their tactics. They’ve taken a great game and turned it into a tumor. It’s a cancerous black hole on the corner outside of your house that panhandles constantly, and the cops want nothing to do with it because they’re busy standing on a virtual circle to get the next game, without batting an eye or wasting a single thought as to why this shameful ¡°waiting game within a game¡± concept exists.

    Horrible. NBA 2K18 made me throw a controller for the first time in over twenty years, when Super Ghouls and Ghosts for SNES seemed to the 10 year old me to be a practical joke that couldn’t be beat.

    2K18 is a practical joke that doesn’t give your money back after it steals it with expert sleight of hand. It’s a cold, rusting steel monolith marking the beginning of the end of video games. If that seems like overreacting, that’s fine. It’s not.

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