This year expands the boundaries of virtually every single mode and feature of the game, but some of last year's issues, while improved slightly, still linger over the gameplay. Whenever an NBA 2K game comes out, it's expected that you'll find lots of content to keep you playing for hours, but NBA 2K19 stretches the boundaries of the code to bursting. The MyGM mode puts a bit of extra pressure on you to lead an expansion team to success, which is just great. Players that sometimes avoid the franchise mode owe it to themselves to try this one: You get an excellent take on the challenge that the back offices in organizations face in putting together a winning business. MyTeam is more fun to go through this time around as well. Apart from the extra challenges and online competitions, the three-on-three mode of Triple Threat brings things back to the playground when you and your friends would argue about which players were better. Thanks to this mode, you can put those questions to rest. Finally, making the created athlete in MyCareer a baller that has to prove that he belongs in the league is a bold decision that works well. The story, which highlights the challenges of G-league players and athletes from around the world trying to get a break, feels like a refreshing twist from previous years, which have just automatically launched you into the spotlight on your squad. Add to this the ability to negotiate contracts and game incentives for your athlete as he starts to deliver on his potential, and you're starting to see the building blocks of great storytelling.
But the weaker elements from last year still remain, even though they've been slightly improved. The developers clearly listened to the gripes about fans being squeezed for every bit of in-game currency while being pushed to spend money, and they loosened the requirements somewhat. Now players have the opportunity to earn more credits with daily spins, and can play more mini-games to collect cash. Unfortunately, you'll still find that the rates of some enhancements, game packs, or other necessary extras to make your players competitive are steep, while the cash you earn by playing games is still a bit light. As a result, the push for diving into your wallet, while lighter than before, is still a real struggle. The shooting system is still a bit questionable as well, as players still have to balance their shot meter with the positioning of a defender and their athlete's stats for a shot to succeed. The range between light coverage and smothered defense still seems to be razor thin, so low post play, fast breaks, and perimeter shooting by only the steeliest shooters in the league almost take over for pulling up a jump shot or a running layup. These issues, and the massive advertising blitz you have in every game, have to be taken with grains of salt, though, because there's so much content to love in NBA 2K19 that you can take a little bit of bad with so much basketball goodness.