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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2017 Offseason Roster Updates for NBA 2K17 (PC & PS4)

Roster Updates for NBA 2K17 (SkillzFromThe6)

While we wait for more news on NBA 2K18 and NBA Live 18, a lot of gamers are eager to play with updated rosters for NBA 2K17. Fortunately, dedicated members of our modding community are helping out in that regard, with detailed 2017 offseason roster updates for the PC and PlayStation 4 versions of the game.

As we’ve covered in recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, a team of modders including I Hate MondaysbluejaybrandonKevmireJEDL, and rovert22044 have been working on the NLSC Realistic Community Roster. The project consists of both final 2017 season rosters and updated 2018 season rosters, with the 2017 roster being released last week. Both roster updates include re-worked player ratings, Badges, rotations, and more, for the most realistic experience possible. Slider settings and compatible 2017 Draft Classes are also available. You’ll find the roster shared under the name “NLSC 16/17”, by “I Hate Mondays”. For more information, and download links for the compatible art updates, see this thread. The team is working on getting the 2018 roster updates out as soon as possible.

For those who’d like to play with updated rosters on PC right now, Shuajota has been working on the DNA Ultimate Roster, which includes offseason transactions and the new rookies. 2017 D-League rosters have also been added. You can find the roster shared as “DNA Ultimate Roster 17-18”, by “KraZStaR”. More information, previews, and download links for the art updates can be found in this thread.

If you’re looking for roster updates for the PlayStation 4 version of NBA 2K17, SkillzFromThe6 is hard at work on his offseason roster. His updates are coming through very quickly, as you can see from the previews being posted in this thread. If you’d like to download the roster, search for “Offseason Roster 2K17”, by “SkillazKill”.

Please note that all roster updates need to be downloaded through the in-game sharing functionality rather than the old-fashioned method, which is why I wanted to post a bulletin highlighting these recent releases. Please also note that we do not support the pirated version of the game in this community, and requesting help with it is grounds for an immediate permanent ban in the Forum. Our policy on this is clear and well-established, so if need be, be sure to brush up on our rules here.

Beyond roster updates, other people are making some great mods including historical and concept rosters, realistic faces, body models, shoes, jerseys, and courts, and more. Stay tuned for more File Additions bulletins, and be sure to keep an eye on the NBA 2K17 Releases & Previews section of the NLSC Forum. A huge thank you to all the modders who have taken the time to create these great mods and updates for their fellow basketball gamers!

NLSC Podcast – Episode #213

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #213 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! The initial flurry of offseason movement is over, and we’re still waiting for the preview season to get into gear, but Arcane and I do have a few things to talk about this week. Join us as we discuss the latest NBA Live 18 rumours, catch up on what’s going on in our modding community, and reminisce about a fun week of basketball gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • It seems that we can mark August 11th on our calendars as being a significant date in the preview season for NBA Live 18. Current speculation is that it’s when the demo will drop, but we also discuss a couple of other possibilities.
  • The modding community has been doing some great work with final 2017 season and 2017 offseason rosters for NBA 2K17 (both on PC and PS4), as well as NBA 2K13 and NBA 2K14. We recap some of the latest releases, and works in progress.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a very satisfying session of 2K Pro-Am, a couple of MyCAREER games, some online head-to-head with an old friend, and grinding for packs in NBA Playgrounds.
  • We wrap up Episode #213 of the NLSC Podcast with a reminder about some NLSC merch, available through Arcane Apparel!

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 Lost Official Downloads for Basketball Games

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 official downloads for basketball games that have been lost over time.

In our community, we know the pain of lost files. Mods, especially big projects, have been hosted all over the place throughout the years. As a result of sites being closed down and files being deleted from free hosting services after a period of inactivity, we’ve lost a lot of releases, especially from the early days. We’ve salvaged and re-uploaded files whenever possible, but there are a lot of mods that are seemingly gone for good. Of course, in theory, it is possible to create new versions of those mods which may be just as good as, or even better than the originals. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with official downloads, such as patches and downloadable content.

Just as we’ve tried to preserve our database of unofficial patches and mods over the years, we’ve also done our best to keep a repository of official downloads. If you browse our Downloads database, you’ll find a bunch of the old official patches for NBA Live on PC, as well as demos, manuals, and so on. There are some official downloads that we haven’t been able to salvage though, which means if you don’t already have a copy of them installed or backed up somewhere, you’re out of luck. This week’s Five is a list of five official downloads that have been lost to time…at least as far as I’m aware.

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File Additions for NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K13 PC are all about the U R Basketball mod! Just like it’s NBA 2K14 counterpart, URB 2K13 has been updated with 2017 offseason transactions, among many other enhancements. Download the latest files at the links below, and check out the release thread for more previews and information.

skoadam
2K13 U R Basketball V51 [34 Complete Seasons Mods] + Accurate 17-18 Roster/Rotations [ALL Transactions 10.07.17] (Updated to v51)

Skoadam & Slimm44
URB 2K13 Roster Files (Updated to v3.0)

Wayback Wednesday: Freestyle Superstars in NBA Live 06

Kevin Garnett with the Freestyle Superstars shot in NBA Live 06

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 Freestyle Superstars in NBA Live 06.

As basketball video games have improved along with gaming technology in general, our expectations have also grown. When it comes to aspects such as realism, advanced or flashy moves, signature styles, and player differentiation, the bar has been raised higher and higher. Signature moves were present in EA Sports’ NBA Playoffs series, and skill levels were more defined beginning with the implementation of player ratings in NBA Live 95. However, star players still didn’t quite stand out from the pack. Freestyle Superstars was arguably EA’s first major effort to incorporate individual playing styles, and properly represent differing skill levels.

It was a concept that had its drawbacks, but I also believe that it was innovative and reasonably successful. Although the criticisms of Freestyle Superstars are fair, it’s a little underrated in terms of being an important stepping stone in the progression of basketball video games. How so? Well, let’s take a look back…way back…

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