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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Review

"Ball with Microtransactions"

Campaign

I'm not personally a huge Basketball fan, but I really do enjoy the arcade style games that release based on the sport. I found the last Playgrounds to be rather fun and while this expands upon that release, it does add some negatives. I recall fondly being able to easily unlock content with the in-game currency and cards last time around. This time, with the 2K branding you're getting the microtransactions that go along with it. It takes a lot of grinding to get card packs, so you may be done with the game prior to even getting the characters you'd like.

You can also basically just buy better characters if you'd like to, so that's a huge advantage. There are other items aside from characters with cosmetics items which were fine and neat to get. That aspect of the game aside, it was quite a lot of fun featuring fast paced action. It's that style you recall from the first with a fresh set of arenas and a number of modes to play. There's a season option, some quick exhibition matches or other tournament style situations. You're easily able to play locally or online with others which is a benefit for many.

Gameplay

This is one sleek and smooth moving experience. Practically glide across the courts passing the ball or pulling off moves towards the dunk. There are some tighter shooting controls and it takes strong characters to make the 3's. It's a colorful game, with a wide range of distinct courts to play across. The characters look wacky which was fun and it handles well.

I was very impressed with some of the move styles you could pull off and it just looked cool. The power-ups were a neat extra that can dynamically alter gameplay a lot. There are many options for tweaking the rules so you can go full arcade or try to get a tad more realistic. The options for cooperative play were great and generally it feels balanced. The microtransactions do tip that balance and it was soul crushing to see that added in this.
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is an excellent arcade style Basketball game that is hauled down by soul crushing microtransactions that tip the gameplay. It's still a good game and I may be adding some exaggeration, it's just truly sorrowing to see after how fun it was to unlock items in the last game. There are a good number of courts to play on, all of the modes one would expect for sport and a neat point based ring game mode which was cool.

There are many characters to collect over a long grind as you open card packs after many, many games and some cosmetic items too. I definitely had fun with this, even more so as I continued to play and got used to the type of game again. It's certainly a fun time, especially if you like the sport and it just has this one weak point with the microtransactions that cripple my opinion of this one. I normally don't care too much, but in comparison to the last game you can see how much of an effect the titling had on it.

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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Sandbox Strat

Rating Overall: 6.8

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner
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