Details on Big Content Update for NBA Playgrounds

A game of NBA Playgrounds

Following last week’s teaser, the big new content update for NBA Playgrounds has been officially announced. In an interview with Game Informer, Saber Interactive’s Matthew Karch revealed some details on the forthcoming fixes and content updates for the game. He also mentions the game’s success, noting that so far it has sold a combined 500,000 copies on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, and touches on the possibility of sequels down the road.

One of the improvements that we can expect is a further tweak to pack odds, guaranteeing that new players will be included in all packs. Matthew also noted the possibility of including a one-time “pay to unlock everyone” option, though he admits that he’s not a big fan of such mechanics. A preview video has also confirmed improvements to the rebounding system, 33 new players (including commentator Ian Eagle), friend invitations, and a three-point shootout. The possibility of adding a three-point shootout post-release had been mentioned in previews of the game.

There isn’t a specific release date for the update at this time, except to say that it will be coming “later this Summer” (or Winter, for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere). When the update does drop however, it will be available on all four platforms.

What do you think of NBA Playgrounds so far, and the new update that’s in the pipeline? Have your say in the comments section below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum. Thanks to zzcoolj21 for the heads up!

First Look NBA 2K18 Screenshots Released

NBA 2K18: Isaiah Thomas First Look

Visual Concepts has released three “first look” screenshots of NBA 2K18. The screens, which feature Team 2K members Paul George, DeMar DeRozan, and Isaiah Thomas, provide us with our first glimpse of the game’s lighting effects, player faces, and body models. The new Nike uniforms are also on display. Check them out below, as well as in our newly added NBA 2K18 screenshots gallery.

As noted in the discussion taking place in the NLSC Forum, the aesthetics appear to be very similar to NBA 2K17. This isn’t a huge surprise of course, as the development team obviously has a certain aesthetic in mind, and the largest leaps in graphics quality occur between generations of hardware.

What are your thoughts on these first look screenshots? When do you think we’ll start seeing some gameplay footage and developer blogs? Have your say in the comments section below, as well as in the aforementioned topic in the NLSC Forum!

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Monday Tip-Off: What Happened To The Preview Season?

The NBA Live 18 Preview Season is Underway

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on another underwhelming start to the preview season.

In recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, as well as bulletins covering tidbits about NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, I’ve talked about this year’s preview season being a little slow to get underway. It’s frustrating, as I found myself discussing the same issue around this time last year. I had hoped that with the return of NBA Live, we might also see a return to the days where there was a constant stream of preview media and information about the upcoming games. Instead, it’s been the same trickle of info, and relative radio silence from both EA Sports and Visual Concepts.

We obviously know that NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 are coming out, and we’ve seen glimpses and heard a detail or two here and there, but that’s it. We know what NBA 2K18’s pre-order bonuses are, but we haven’t heard anything about new features or improvements. We do know a little more about NBA Live 18 coming out of EA Play, but the hype train stopped rolling shortly afterwards. With the way info is held back until it’s almost too late, it’s difficult not to ask the question: what happened to the preview season?

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Changes to Modding Sections in the NLSC Forum

NLSC Forum

As announced in the NLSC Forum last week, a few changes have been made to our modding sections, effective as of today. Those changes are as follows:

  • Contributors will have access to create new topics in the Tutorials section.
  • The individual Releases & Previews sections will be renamed Modding, and all modding-related discussions – releases, previews, requests, help and development – will be welcome there.
  • The Tutorials & FAQ sections will remain separate to avoid their respective Modding sections getting cluttered by pinned topics, and ensure those resources are easier to find.

The first change is intended to make it easier for our Contributors to add to the various Tutorials & FAQs subsections, as they will not have to wait for their newly created topic to be moved by a moderator. All members are of course welcome to contribute resources which will then be moved to the Tutorials & FAQs sections as soon as possible, but Contributors will be able to post there directly.

We’ve decided to consolidate all modding discussion into central subsections as the old practice of having separate sections for requests, help, and mod releases and previews proved to be overkill, leading to unused and redundant sections. The more recent solution of simply having Releases & Previews sections with requests and help belonging in the main discussion section was unclear, and therefore somewhat confusing. These consolidated modding sections are intended to eliminate that confusion, as well as reduce the likelihood of off-topic posts and posts going unanswered.

If you have any questions or concerns about this revamp to the NLSC Forum, please let me know, and I’ll try to provide further clarification. As I mentioned in the Forum thread, we may end up moving the Tutorials & FAQs subsections so that they’re under the Modding sections, in order to make them more visible and easily accessible directly from those sections.

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

It’s time to catch up on the latest file additions for NBA 2K14 PC! Although the game is a few years old now, our modding community has been quite busy bringing it up to date. The latest additions include new versions of U R Basketball and Med’s NBA Roster, both updated with offseason transactions, and a bunch of new rookie faces from Blang and Devilish. Download them all at the links below!

Blang
Robert Williams Face
Alex Caruso Face
Nick Richards Face
Jawun Evans Face
Abdel Nader Face
Cameron Reddish Face
Royce O’Neal Face
Sindarius Thornwell Face
Zion Williamson Face
Dillon Brooks Face

Devilish
Dwayne Bacon Face
Donovan Mitchell Face
Edmond Sumner Face
Monte Morris Face
Tyler Dorsey Face
Frank Mason III Face

Medevenx
Med’s NBA Roster Appdata Files (Updated, July 21st)

skoadam
2K14 U R Basketball V51 [34 Complete Seasons Mods] + Accurate 17-18 Roster/Rotations [ALL Transactions 16/07/17] (Updated, July 16th)

NBA 2K18 Soundtrack Revealed; Includes Range of Genres

As originally reported by our friends over at Operation Sports and discussed in Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast, the NBA 2K18 Soundtrack has been revealed. As has been the case with the past few NBA 2K soundtracks, the entire playlist is available to listen to on Spotify.

Glancing at the track list, you’ll notice that there’s a mix of genres, with recent songs and old favourites alike. Portland Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard (aka Dame D.O.L.L.A) notably has a couple of songs on the NBA 2K18 Soundtrack, specifically “Wasatch Front” and the hidden track “Shot Clock”.

Although the soundtrack is hardly the most important part of a basketball video game, it always tends to be a point of interest. Hopefully more substantial information about NBA 2K18 isn’t too far away, but for now, you can at least make plans to cue up your favourite songs in this year’s game, or mute the soundtrack in favour of listening to something else while you play.

Check out the full track list below or here in our Wiki, and feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments. You can also jump into the discussion here in the Forum, where members of the community have also offered their thoughts on what kind of music they’d prefer to have in the game.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #214

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the latest NBA 2K18 tidbits including player ratings and the newly announced soundtrack, catch up on a couple of other recent news stories, and recap our past week in basketball gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • A recent promo shoot for NBA 2K18 has revealed some early player ratings. The players themselves were on hand to hear them, and not all of them were pleased with what they heard!
  • The soundtrack for NBA 2K18 has been revealed. We’re neither thrilled nor upset with the selection, but we do wish that we were getting some more substantial details about this year’s game.
  • A significant content update is in the pipeline for NBA Playgrounds. New tournaments seem quite likely, but could we also see a slam dunk contest and three-point shootout added to the game?
  • Five copies of NBA Elite 11 have been listed on eBay for $30,000 US. Glancing at our bank accounts, we might have to pass on making an offer. We do ponder how much we’d pay for a copy, though.
  • Our Week in Basketball gaming included a so-so run in 2K Pro-Am, and some head-to-head games against each other in NBA Playgrounds.
  • Paul Pierce has signed with the Boston Celtics, in order to retire a Boston Celtic. It seems to be a new trend with retiring players, and honestly, we don’t mind it.
  • We wrap up Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast with some thoughts on the new jersey designations that the NBA will be using moving forward.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Overpowered Badges in NBA 2K17

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five Badges in NBA 2K17 that are overpowered.

Badges have become an important gameplay mechanic in NBA 2K. Like their predecessors, Signature Skills, they provide players with additional traits and abilities in order to realistically represent their performance and playing style. They cover a range of offensive and defensive abilities, as well as mental traits. If you’re playing MyCAREER, 2K Pro-Am, or MyPARK, attaining Badges is absolutely crucial if you want your player to be as effective as possible. In NBA 2K17, a Gold or Hall of Fame level Badge makes a huge difference in being able to finish in traffic, knock down long threes, thread the needle on difficult passes, and so on.

As I mentioned in my Wayback Wednesday retrospective on Freestyle Superstars, concepts such as Badges represent continued innovation in terms of differentiating between players beyond their common ratings, and representing individual styles of play. While Badges have generally yielded more realistic results than Freestyle Superstars, at times they can be just as cheesy in their own right. A few Badges in NBA 2K17 are definitely overpowered, and could stand to be fine tuned for NBA 2K18. These aren’t the only problematic Badges, of course, but they are five prominent examples that immediately come to mind for me.

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File Additions for NBA Live 08

NBA Live 08 Cover Art

Catching up on the latest file additions for NBA Live 08 PC, we have one new upload from Book_Gazette, namely 2017 offseason rosters. Check out the update at the link below!

Book_Gazette
2017 Offseason Rosters

As with Book_Gazette’s other roster releases, I must reiterate that I’m not involved with them, so I can’t take any credit or offer any support. If you have any issues with or feedback about the roster, please contact him directly.

New Content Coming to NBA Playgrounds

Tip-Off in NBA Playgrounds

It seems that NBA Playgrounds is due to receive a significant amount of new content in the not too distant future. Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch posted an update in the NBA Playgrounds Community group on Facebook, stating that the upcoming content “should add a lot of new appeal to the game”. He also classified the forthcoming update as “pretty big”.

Notably, Matthew mentions “new modes and features”. While there are no further details at this time, we have already seen new tournaments added to the game, and more are supposedly planned. There was also talk of adding a three-point shootout and slam dunk contest at some point after the game’s release, so it’s possible that progress has been made on that front. The official announcement will be made within the next few days.

Whatever the upcoming new content for NBA Playgrounds may be, it will be arriving on all platforms as soon as possible. The Nintendo Switch version of NBA Playgrounds was finally patched recently, as Saber were able to sort everything out and get the patch approved by Nintendo. It remains to be seen whether there will be any major delays for future fixes and content updates on the Switch.

We’ll post details as soon as they become available. In the meantime, if you’re on Facebook, I’d recommend joining the NBA Playgrounds group for updates straight from the source, and an opportunity to provide feedback. You can also join in the discussion of the game here in the NLSC Forum.

First NBA 2K18 Player Ratings Revealed; Players React

NBA 2K18 Cover Art

At a recent photo shoot for NBA 2K18, a handful of preliminary player ratings were revealed. The players themselves were on hand to discover their overall ratings – at least as of this moment – and offered up their reactions as to how they were rated. As you might expect, a couple of players felt that they should be rated a little higher, and didn’t entirely agree with 2K’s view on the matter.

The ratings that have been revealed so far are as follows:

  • Paul George: 91 Overall
  • Karl-Anthony Towns: 91 Overall
  • Kyrie Irving: 90 Overall
  • Isaiah Thomas: 89 Overall
  • DeMar DeRozan: 89 Overall
  • Damian Lillard: 89 Overall
  • Joel Embiid: 86 Overall
  • Devin Booker: 86 Overall
  • D’Angelo Russell: 80 Overall

Despite being this year’s cover players, it would seem that Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan’s ratings have not been over-inflated. Presumably, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry will be among the highest rated players in NBA 2K18 out of the box, likely approaching 95 Overall. Incidentally, 95 was also the maximum overall rating for MyPLAYERs in NBA 2K17, at least without additional grinding in MyPARK to earn extra attribute upgrades.

You can check out some of the players guessing and reacting to their overall ratings over on the official NBA 2K Instagram account. Alternatively, you’ll also find those videos embedded below. Speaking of previews on social media, 2K has also posted a glimpse behind the scenes of this year’s rookie crop getting their faces scanned. Head on over to the official Twitter account for photos of Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr, and other members of the Class of 2017.

Any thoughts on these early overall ratings? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum!

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Wayback Wednesday: Creating a Legend in NBA 2K11

MJ: Creating a Legend in NBA 2K11

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at MJ: Creating a Legend in NBA 2K11.

NBA 2K11 remains a very highly regarded basketball video game, and for good reason. It was a milestone release in terms of its historical content, and for many gamers, its gameplay still holds up. I’ve talked about it a couple of times in previous Wayback Wednesday features, specifically discussing the inclusion of Michael Jordan, and my efforts to finally complete the Jordan Challenge. In passing, I’ve also mentioned the mode that could be unlocked either by completing the Jordan Challenge, or by punching in the code icanbe23; namely, MJ: Creating a Legend.

Notably different from the incarnations of Creating a Legend that appeared in subsequent NBA 2K games, it’s a mode that a lot of gamers probably didn’t spend too much time with. Indeed, some have probably forgotten about it, if they even realised it was in NBA 2K11 in the first place. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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5 Copies of NBA Elite 11 Selling for $30,000 US

Kevin Durant dribbles the basketball in NBA Elite 11

Here’s an interesting story that came to light recently. A lot of five copies of NBA Elite 11 – three for Xbox 360, two for PlayStation 3 – has been listed on eBay for $30,000 US. Three of the games are also factory sealed, which in addition to the rarity of available copies in the first place, contributes to the hefty price tag.

While the price is obviously steep for a game that was ultimately cancelled due to concerns about its quality, it’s certainly not unprecedented. Rare games, particularly those that were never publicly released, often fetch a lot of money as collectors’ items. Prominent examples would include Nintendo World Championships and Stadium Events for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which are desirable due to their rarity and value as collectables, rather than the actual gameplay experience that they offer.

Another example, rather relevant to basketball gaming, is the discovery of the rare, unreleased PAL version of EA’s Lakers vs. Celtics for the SEGA Mega Drive. The game, which was released on PC and in NTSC regions for the SEGA Genesis, was ultimately cancelled in PAL regions, most likely due to issues with international licensing rights. Thirteen copies have been discovered over the years, with the latest attracting bids of over £8000 on eBay.

As you may recall, I recently mentioned NBA Elite 11 as one of the basketball games that I wish I owned, simply for the sake of having such a rare and interesting collectable. However, the lot is well out of my price range, and I’d need a PAL copy besides, so suffice to say I won’t be buying it.

It is interesting that copies of NBA Elite 11 continue to surface, however. We’ll be talking more about it in Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast, so stay tuned. Would you add NBA Elite 11 to your collection, given the opportunity? How much would you be prepared to pay for such a rare collectable? Have your say in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum. Thanks to PopcornJones77 on Twitter for the heads up on the eBay listing.

File Additions for NBA 2K11

NBA 2K11 Cover Art

We’ve got some great new releases for a beloved game today. The latest file additions for NBA 2K11 PC include a 1985 Los Angeles Lakers team add-on, a pack of Draft Classes ranging from 2011 to 2017, and face packs to accompany each Draft Class. Check them all out at the links below!

JuicyShaqMeat
1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers
2011-2017 Draft Classes

GR1Z and 2klove
2011 Draft Class Cyberfaces
2012 Draft Class Cyberfaces

2klove
2013 Draft Class Cyberfaces
2014 Draft Class Cyberfaces
2015 Draft Class Cyberfaces
2016 Draft Class Cyberfaces

Changfeng
2017 Draft Class Cyberfaces

Monday Tip-Off: It’s Time to Retire “Cartoonish”

LeBron James in NBA Live 18

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a discussion of my least favourite buzzword, “cartoonish”.

Fellow basketball gamers, we’ve got to talk. I know that I’ve gone on about this before, in previous articles and on the NLSC Podcast. It’s admittedly hard to broach this subject without sounding like a broken record, a fanboy stamping my feet, or a tyrant aggressively attacking freedom of speech. Hear me out though, because our credibility as a gaming community is at stake here. Alright, that might be a bit of a melodramatic exaggeration, but it is one of our worst habits, and we let ourselves down whenever we fall victim to it.

It’s been run into the ground more than jokes about blowing 3-1 leads, or the Crying Jordan image macro. It’s not making us look smart and knowledgeable about our hobby, even though we absolutely are. It’s tired, lazy, and uninspired. And so, it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to expand our vocabulary. It’s time to learn how to properly critique, instead of relying on snark and overused buzzwords. Quite frankly, it’s time to grow up. It’s time that we retire the word “cartoonish” to describe textures, animations, and other aspects of basketball video games that we don’t like.

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