NBA 2K20 Review – Easy Buckets (PS4)

Rewards tend to be in 2K’s premium currency, VC (which creatively stands for Virtual Currency!). Most sports games have some sort of monetization …

NBA season is almost upon us. Ahead of the official start of the 2019-2020 season on October 22nd, 2K has tapped Visual Concepts to develop the latest iteration of the venerable basketball simulation series. Have there been enough improvements to justify a yearly plunk of cash? Or is this just a re-skinned NBA 2K19 with a roster update?

King of the Court

The world of sports video games features what some might call monopolies in each sport. EA owns American Football with Madden (regulation footy is more of a mixed bag depending upon where you live). Sony has baseball on lock with MLB The Show. And 2K has basketball with its NBA 2K series. When you’re at the top of the heap, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. So, the base game of NBA 2K20 remains much the same as last year. That is to say, if you know your way around the court from even a few years ago, you should feel right at home this year.

However, you might want to spend some time in 2KU, the training section of NBA 2K games. The right stick has more nuanced usage this year. For instance, when posted up against a defender, spinning the right stick clockwise will have your player perform a spin towards the basket, and holding the stick will prepare them for taking a shot. Most moves can be canceled for a good number of animation frames, are able to be performed with either the main or off-hand, or turned into a pump fake towards the start of the shooting animation. A lot of this sort of sounds like a fighting game, with timing and direction being incredibly important. There is strategy in remembering which combination of moves to perform for a given situation. The result is that players react to what is going on more realistically than ever before, and this will result in some impressive replays.

Speaking of replays, the presentation in NBA 2K20 has gotten so incredibly lifelike throughout the years, that it can be easy to take for granted how awkward and obviously fake commentary was maybe a decade ago or so. Commentators are quick to point out when you took a risky action, moved the ball well, or are behaving selfishly. Despite the generally polished presentation available in NBA 2K20, something is off with the sideline cameras. This issue is especially prevalent during the My Career games. In between plays, the camera will shift perspective to court-level, where it attempts to highlight ball movement and other action on the court. The problem is that oftentimes, players who have nothing to do with the current action, or even currently benched players, will be zoomed in on for seemingly no reason. It makes for some measure of immersion breaking, especially when nothing notable is going on in the game.

Plenty of Modes

Outside of the odd camera behavior, though, there isn’t much to fault with NBA 2K20. There are four main game modes, with many options to choose from in each. You can get right to the action in Play Now, which is also where you can find options to play with others locally (up to four players on one console). My Team is the card-centric mode where you build the best team you can with the cards you are dealt. Naturally, packs of cards are available for purchase using MyTeam or VC tokens, which can at least be earned on their own by playing the game, or purchased outright.

The My Career mode features an entertaining story, and it all starts with face-mapping. Using a smartphone, players can insert their own likeness right on to the player model. We had best results when using a proper camera lighting rig, because ambient lighting in the average gaming room is hardly sufficient. Even then, the results were sub-par. Still, the face mapping did bring up face presets that were relatively close to real life, and this helped to speed through character creation. Facial animations are awkward in NBA 2K20, and that’s for both the pros and custom player models. Something isn’t quite right when characters speak or attempt to emote–it seems to be something about the eyes that is lacking.

NBA 2K20 still looks and plays great. There is even a more pronounced difference in how players feel when running around on the court. The typically shorter and quicker point guards have a lightness to them that the typically larger center players lack. On the other hand, centers can stop plays from the smaller players with relative ease, and in the hands of a skilled player can be quite the stopping force.

NBA 2K20 Review – Easy Buckets (PS4) – PlayStation LifeStyle

Stacking the Deck

Looking a bit more at the MyTeam mode, there are many different modes to take your favorite players to the court. There’s a standard five-on-five, either against the CPU or other players, but also a quicker three-vs-three mode which is a first to 21 affair. There are rewards for everyone, even the loser of a given match. Rewards tend to be in 2K’s premium currency, VC (which creatively stands for Virtual Currency!).

Most sports games have some sort of monetization these days. NBA 2K20 is no different. There is a LOT of monetization going on here. Some of it even spills into the otherwise offline mode of My Career. Sure, you can increase your player’s skills for free by performing well in scrimmages or training. But there is also the option of upgrading skills by spending those VC tokens. A full upgrade can cost upwards of 150,000 tokens – that’s somewhere around $40. It’s not a mandatory purchase by any means, as the game can certainly be completed without the boost, but the fact that it’s available means that someone, somewhere, will likely be suckered into such a purchase.

NBA 2K20 is the best basketball game around. Granted, thus far, the competition hasn’t shown up. But if and when it does, the bar has been set very high for the basketball sim genre. Facial animations are still odd, and monetization rears its head in practically every mode. But the core ball play, plethora of gameplay modes, and a great presentation all combine to make NBA 2K20 the basketball game to beat this year.


NBA 2K20 review code provided by publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.

8.5Silver Trohpy
  • Top-notch presentation
  • A ton of game modes to conquer
  • Improved movement options
  • Facial animations are weird
  • Occasionally odd camera behavior
  • Lots of monetization

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Free NBA 2K20 Demo Out Now

… assemble your team and take part in tournament-style matches against other players in various formats, as well as collect and use Virtual Currency.

Visual Concepts and 2K Sports have launched the free NBA 2K20 demo for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users, giving players a chance to sample the upcoming basketball title ahead of its launch in early September. The demo gives you the opportunity to get a head start on your MyCAREER by test driving the MyPLAYER builder.

NBA 2K20 Demo

In addition to the playable demo, players can also sample the MyNBA2K20 app, allowing you to use scaring feature to upload your likeness into NBA 2K20. All your MyPLAYER configurations will be carried over to the full version of NBA 2K20 for launch, so keep that in mind.

NBA 2K20 is scheduled to ship for PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One on September 6. The game is the 21st entry in the venerable sports franchise, and features Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis on the cover of the standard edition, and Dwayne Wade, formerly of Miami Heat, gracing the cover of the Legend Edition.

The game features the current season’s teams and players, as well as adding six more teams from past eras, and for the first time in the franchise includes all 12 teams from the WNBA.

Meanwhile, MyCareer makes a return, allowing players to customise their own basketball player and rise through the ranks of your career. It also includes a storyline that sees your character compete in matches on the court as well as various activities outside of matches.

The MyTeam mode is also featured, which is based around the idea of building a basketball team and maintaining a virtual trading card collection. Here, you’ll assemble your team and take part in tournament-style matches against other players in various formats, as well as collect and use Virtual Currency.

Stay tuned to PSU.com for more details on NBA 2K20 as we get them.

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NBA 2K20 Developers Say Players Won’t Be Trapped in a Grind for VC Anymore

While a great game, arguably the best basketball game there is on the market, it pretty much forced players to spend money on the game’s Virtual …

Microtransactions in games have been a big topic for the past two years, though recently more and more developers and publishers have decided to take their customers’ feedback to heart with regards to any pay-to-win (P2W) elements.

The NBA 2K series, particularly with NBA 2K18, has been a particularly egregious example. While a great game, arguably the best basketball game there is on the market, it pretty much forced players to spend money on the game’s Virtual Currency (VC) in order to avoid a massive grind.

Related NBA 2K20 Revamping MyGM Mode, Adding New Skill Tree, Goals, and More

This is changing with this year’s NBA 2K20, as Visual Concepts Senior Producer Erick Boenisch told USgamer. The upcoming basketball game will feature much faster, reportedly by an order of magnitude, leveling progression in the MyCareer mode.

For us, it’s really important that our customers feel perceived value in the game. We’ve designed the game such that everything like that is supplemental. It’s there, it’s optional if you want, but everything has to feel natural. It can’t be like a mobile game where you eventually hit a paywall. We never hit that in NBA 2K, and I think that’s a really important point to drive home.

We didn’t want people to feel like they were so trapped in this grind anymore. Really, the game is more fun when you’re on more of a level playing field with everyone else, and you’re not feeling like you’ll never get to an 80 or an 85. Hopefully with all the earning opportunities we give you, and the ability to move up much more quickly, you’ll just be able to play and get there pretty quickly.

NBA 2K20 is set to release on September 6th for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. A Google Stadia version will be available once Google’s cloud-only platform debuts some time in November.

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NBA 2K20 Release: 2K Should Break the One Year Development Cycle.

Virtual currency in any game is not really a bad thing. It allows players to make in-game purchases, but the implementation of earning methods must …
You are here: Home / Weekly Columns / Opinion / NBA 2K20 Release: 2K Should Break the One Year Development Cycle.

June 9, 2019 by Staff

Filed under Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) We’re now less than three months away from the NBA 2K20 release. It means the time has come to focus on possible gameplay features, wishlists, and the announcement of the cover athlete. But beyond all the speculations, there’s one more thing that the game community needs to focus on – the rushed development cycle of NBA 2K games.

Soon after releasing a new game, developers at Visual Concepts start working on the next game of the series. NBA 2K has been dominating the basketball sports simulation video games space for years. It is giving tough competition to EA’s NBA Live which is also focusing on yearly release. It’s fair to say that the NBA 2K franchise brings the best basketball simulation games, but it is also true that most of the time, these games feel rushed.

Soon after the NBA 2K19’s release, everyone at 2K support was struggling to deal with the number of complaints from players. There were many issues related to the progression system, My Career, VCs, and microtransactions. It was funny – and sad – to see that just before the launch, 2K was urging players to contact their local government about the controversial loot box ban in Belgium. When the game was out, it was full of bugs. Many people poked fun at and criticized 2K when players started facing problems.

This wasn’t the first time when 2K had to face such complaints from the community. Many loyal fans skipped 2K19 after the backlash over microtransactions in NBA 2K18. These all are the side effects of the one-year development cycle where most of the ideas and suggestions by players get ignored and developers feel bound to complete a new game before September. Even now players have a lot of ideas on how the next game could be better, but everybody knows that it’s too late for developers to work on new ideas because the announcement time is almost here. Breaking this development cycle would mean people will get less number of games to play. But the time 2K Sports will get to work on things can significantly improve the experience.

If 2K takes 2 or 3 years to develop a new game, the final product would feel complete. The amount of content will be more and most importantly, the quality of the story would actually feel more relatable, meaningful and better. Microtransactions have already become an inseparable part of video games and it’s not at all bad. Players really don’t mind paying for in-game items if they get something valuable when they spend their money.

DLC content, special edition bonuses, and in-game items would have enough appeal to attract players naturally. To create a balance, the developer will also have the time to give something extra such as free content, new arenas, bonuses, and side quests. There’s nothing wrong in asking players to work hard to unlock certain items or features, but these rewards should justify the efforts people make.

NBA 2K20 release is most likely set for September, and the developer, like always, will add some fan-favorite features to the game. Breaking the one-year development cycle for NBA 2K games completely depends on the developer, but there are certain things that need to be done before the NBA 2K20 release. The first, and probably the most important thing, is keeping the offline and online experiences separate.

There’s no reason why your offline activities in MyCareer should impact the game when you play online. 2K should simply separate these two things because everyone is not ready to take their game online. You can still play MyCareer in offline, upgrade, customize your player and directly jump into the game without having to spend time on cutscenes. But in the end, the archetype system kills the fun and makes you feel stuck. So, this needs to be changed with the upcoming game.

Virtual currency in any game is not really a bad thing. It allows players to make in-game purchases, but the implementation of earning methods must be changed. It gets really difficult to earn money outside the MyCareer mode. There are very limited options available to get virtual currencies and on top of it, the storyline feels repetitive and boring. If developers take some more time, they will be able to create new methods of earning VCs and they will also get time to work on the storyline so that even with the limited options, players can at least get something interesting to do.

The game developer Visual Concepts has already fixed many issues players have been complaining about, but still, there are problems that need a proper solution. Graphics are getting betterwith each new game, but that’s not enough as the game seriously needs some major changes and new features. Hopefully, if developers take some more time, they can easily work on more things. They can add more valuable and meaningful features to the game and bring an experience we all have been waiting for.

Staff Writer; Corey Shaw

Have any Tech Tips? News? Hit up our Tech Guru at; CoreyS@ThyBlackMan.com

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NBA 2K20 is out for release and with new features

NBA 2k18 has been a significant financial and gaming hit. The game has provided some of the best basketball experience over the years.

NBA 2k18 has been a significant financial and gaming hit. The game has provided some of the best basketball experience over the years.

Expected Features of NBA 2K20

NBA 2k20 game is expected to be the biggest game in this whole franchise if we look at the recent deal inked between NBA and Take Two.

The Source reported that NBA 2K20 and the developer of the game Take-Two have recently finalized a new 7 year deal with a worth of 1.1 billion USD.

The newer version of the game is expected to launch a better and more transparent version of virtual currency and its use case.

NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20

We hope the newer version provides a higher number of free agents and practices to get upgrades.

Gamers also expect a revamped celebration style with more realistic animation. Developers seem to delve into different ideas considering the ever-evolving nature of the NBA.

NBA 2K20 Release Date

NBA 2K20 Release Date

The NBA 2K20 is expected to feature a highly touted offline to provide easier grinding for some characters.

News and Rumors

Going to be in the upcoming game https://t.co/lx92ZI6bRe

— Renee Montgomery (@Da20one) February 18, 2019

Even though the photos related to the game were bought down, users were able to grab the image of the players recording for the game.

Commissioner of NBA Adam Silver seemed to be happy, according to him not only the deal will provide a huge monetary gain but keep promoting the sport for several years.

Release Date of NBA 2K20

The studio 2k games have not officially announced the release date of NBA 2k20.

Looking back at the schedule of earlier games it is easier to deduce about the game’s release date.

The very first game of this years-long franchise was launched in November 199 and every game after that was launched in the fall season.

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It should be noted that the last four games — “NBA 2K16,” “NBA 2K17,” “NBA 2K18,” and “NBA 2K19” — were released in September.

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