Here is NBA 2K Playgrounds 2: 2K will have put any good in this arcade? Let's find out in our review
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 comes a year and a half after the first chapter. In between, we saw the game pass under the hands of 2K, already producer of the "regular" version of basketball games, hit by the "plague" of microtransactions. What interests us, however, is whether the work is of quality and whether it manages to entertain, both with the single game and in the long term.
Let's find out all the details in our review.
Sei SWAG o no? | NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Review
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 starts from what was built with the first chapter: a squad of players with caricatured features, 2vs2 matches, no rules and no simulation will. The game starts by giving us a handful of packs of stickers, of two types: the SWAGs, containing aesthetic elements, and the player packs, which allow us to find the more (or less) known faces of American basketball. Once we have a player, we can use him in any mode: unfortunately the situation is not as simple as it seems.
To start, players start at the bronze level, with very low stats. To empower them, we need to let them gain experience and, above all, complete challenges like “score 10 two-point jump shots in a Friendly match”, or “grab a defensive rebound in a Season match”. Training players, however, is not an instant process and, we assure you, you will not be able to upgrade many of them unless you dedicate many hours to the game over a long period.
Obviously, however, it is first necessary to find your favorite players and to do so you must buy the packets with the in-game currency. The latter is obtained slowly and the gold packs (which are more likely to contain the Legendaries) have a high cost: the most hurried players, who do not intend to devote much time to the work of 2K, may feel annoyingly pushed to cut the bull's head and take advantage of microtransactions (€ 10 to unlock all characters included in the game and those that will be added for free in the future).
Furthermore, the low statistics limit our chances of success in the actions on the field, forcing us to devote ourselves to the single player before trying our hand in multiplayer. It wouldn't even be too bad, were it not for that the game modes are very limited. In single, in addition to the friendlies and the not very intriguing three-point challenges, we only have a Season mode that is limited to making us play 15 games in a row against the CPU, without any flicker, up to the playoffs. Winning a Season allows us to unlock a player and go to the higher difficulty. The real fun is linked to competitive multiplayer that does not unlock anything: little to support the work in the long run.
Fun or funny? | NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Review
On balance, however, do you play well once you get on the pitch? The answer is yes. The action is fast, stat-based, but still in need of some precision. The success of a shot is also based on the position in which we stop and our ability to stop the indicator in the green area of the loading bar. We can jump, hit the basket with a dunk, perform finger-rolls, alley oops, crossovers and feints. In the defensive phase we can block the shots at any time (no rules, we repeat it) and, in addition to stealing the ball, we can push. This last move, however, cancels the random bonuses that are activated with quality plays: we are talking about bonuses to statistics, infinite stamina (useful for sprinting, stealing the ball and doing crossovers) or extra points in case of dunks or threes .
These latter elements help to give some variety to the game, even if they are not perfectly balanced. Variety also guaranteed from an auditory point of view thanks to the many available commentaries and good music, suitable for the “street” context. Speaking of graphics, however, we cannot but appreciate the many fields available that will allow us to go around the world: it is a pity that this happens only online, with the single player absurdly limited to two fields (one for friendlies and one for the Season. ). Finally, the polygonal models and animations convince.
Can a little but fun be enough? | NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Review
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is a limited work due to the few modes and the slow progression of the players, but at the same time it is a valid arcade that, in a single game, knows how to entertain. It is not a work that can give you a lot, but if you are looking for something to keep installed on your console to be able to play a game every now and then, without expecting to unlock all the players, then it could be for you. Of course, the € 29,99 required seems a bit too much given the presence of microtransactions, but everyone will do their own math and decide if NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is actually worth this expense.
7.5 Can be improved
Points in favor
- Visually enjoyable
- Slow progress
- Microtransactions not only aesthetic