Features

The Friday Five: 5 Roster Editing Needs in NBA Live

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.

Great gameplay is paramount, deep game modes keep us hooked, but another essential element of any basketball video game is customisation. It’s an area where NBA Live has been lacking since its comeback in 2013, and although NBA Live 16 did see the return of gameplay sliders, roster editing was still missing. It’s an issue that many of us have grown impatient about, and to that end, it’s vital that roster customisation returns to NBA Live in the next full release. If what’s coming in the first quarter of this year is a stripped down release or demo as currently speculated, it would be understandable if there isn’t any roster editing in that.

But yes, the next full version of NBA Live absolutely needs to provide us with roster editing functionality. As I’ve said many times before when discussing this topic, it’s nice to have the official roster updates, but there are times when we want (and need) to make our own changes, and we should be able to do that. Roster editing has been a staple of basketball video games for a long time now, and there are a few functions in particular that we need to have. Without any further ado, here are five roster customisation features that I believe NBA Live needs moving forward.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Temple in NBA Live 06 & 07

Dwyane Wade in The Temple 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.

Whenever a basketball video game makes the leap to a new generation of gaming hardware, there’s usually some sort of feature or gimmick that underlines the fact that it’s a new era. The jump to the Xbox 360 marked the start of a difficult time for the NBA Live series, with the 360 version of NBA Live 06 being something of a disappointment. I’ll go into more details about the game in my forthcoming retrospective for our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, but one very cool feature that the game did boast was its practice gym: The Temple.

The Temple – which also appeared in NBA Live 07 – wasn’t just eye-catching in design, but also a somewhat revolutionary take on the existing practice mode. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Would I Nintendo Switch?

Nintendo Switch Logo

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.

Last week, the gaming community learned more about the Nintendo Switch, which is scheduled for release worldwide on March 3rd, 2017. Of particular interest to those of us in the basketball gaming community, we learned that Visual Concepts will be releasing NBA 2K18 for the console in September this year. The announcement reflects the general increase in third party support that has been pledged for the Switch, after several developers abandoned the Wii U very quickly. As you may recall, NBA 2K13 was the first and only basketball game Visual Concepts released for the Wii U, and the last NBA 2K title released on the original Wii.

With the Nintendo Switch being a hybrid portable and home console, and gaining the support of third party developers, it’s certainly generating a lot of interest and discussion ahead of its launch. With the confirmation that NBA 2K18 will be released for the Switch, it might be a viable option for basketball gamers who haven’t yet invested in a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, and don’t have a suitable gaming PC. With that in mind, is the Nintendo Switch something that I’m personally interested in, either instead of or in addition to the gaming platforms that I currently own?

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The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for Dynasty Mode in NBA Live

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.

Last week, I posted five suggestions for enhancing the gameplay in NBA Live 17 and beyond. While it’s important that the gameplay delivers a quality experience, basketball video games also need robust modes if they’re going to hold our interest for any length of time. After all, no matter how fun and realistic the gameplay, a string of meaningless exhibition games is going to get boring after a while. It’s therefore vital that NBA Live’s franchise, career, and card collecting modes are all deep and engaging experiences. The addition of a couple of other modes – such as All-Star Weekend – wouldn’t go astray, either.

For the moment, however, let’s focus on Dynasty Mode. It’s traditionally been my mode of choice in NBA Live, and it’s the mode with the longest heritage in the series. Right now, Dynasty is functional, but it’s also missing a lot of basic functions and features that could be found in its predecessors. Simply bringing back those elements would be a significant improvement for the mode, but I am hoping that future NBA Live games can go even further in fleshing out the franchise experience. Here are five suggestions that I believe would help achieve that goal.

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Wayback Wednesday: LeBron James’ Free Agency in NBA Live 10

LeBron James in NBA Live 10

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.

Since I’m still working on a few retrospectives for Wayback Wednesday (as well as our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content), I’ve been looking through the archives for something fun and interesting to share with you this week. Combing through an old folder of images, I came across a collection of screenshots of LeBron James in NBA Live 10. I took them in May 2010 for an article that was looking ahead to his upcoming free agency, and speculating upon which jersey he might be wearing come the 2011 season. Since LeBron announced his number change prior to his free agency, he’s wearing number six in all of them.

As it happened, both LeBron James’ career and the fortunes of the NBA Live series took an infamous turn just a few months later. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Do We Still Have Fun with Basketball Games?

NLSC Thrillho in a 2K Pro-Am game in NBA 2K17

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.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a fan of basketball video games. It’s what we cover here at the NLSC, so unless you’re a Forum veteran who’s mostly sticking around for the chatter in the off-topic sections, basketball gaming is probably why you’re (hopefully!) visiting us on a regular basis. And if content related to basketball video games is what you’re after, then it’s quite likely that you’re very much into the hobby. In short, it’s probably safe to say that most of us around these parts are having fun with basketball games, in one way or another.

Or are we? Discussions about a game’s problems seem to have more steam than topics talking about how much fun we’re having. There are times when it seems that most of the conversations that aren’t related to modding are concerned with troubleshooting and complaints. Those are obviously valid and important issues to talk about, of course, but I do wonder why we’re not as eager to talk about our more positive experiences with hoops titles. As such, there are times when I think it’s fair to ask: do we still have fun with basketball games?

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The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for Gameplay in NBA Live

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.

2017 is upon us, which means it shouldn’t be too much longer before we start receiving news about NBA Live 17. It remains to be seen what EA Sports’ plans are for the NBA Live franchise; the next instalment is set to be released in the first quarter of this year, but what will it entail? Will it be a smaller, digital only release, with a fully-featured NBA Live 18 released later in the year? Or can we expect a full game? Only time will tell, but for now, I thought that I’d spend a few editions of The Friday Five discussing what I’d like to see in forthcoming NBA Live titles.

Late last year, I discussed my ideas for crafting NBA Live’s comeback in a Monday Tip-Off column. There’ll probably be a little bit of overlap with that feature, as I’m obviously still interested in seeing NBA Live make the improvements that I’ve already outlined. I’ll just be going into a few of the things that I previously discussed in more detail, since I’ll be spreading the discussion out over multiple columns. With that being said, let’s tip things off with what most of us would consider the most important aspect of any video game: the gameplay.

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Wayback Wednesday: Michael Jordan’s 30,000th Point

Michael Jordan Pre-Game in NBA Live 2002

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.

On this day in 2002, Michael Jordan became the fourth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points. His Airness did so as a member of the Washington Wizards – yes, I know I’m not supposed to mention that – but funnily enough, he set the mark in a win over the Chicago Bulls, the team with which he won six NBA championships and established himself as the greatest player of all-time. Although the career scoring feat is more historically significant, that game is perhaps more often remembered for a sequence which ended with Michael Jordan emphatically blocking Ron Mercer.

As I noted in my retrospective of NBA Live 2002, and a few other articles, it was the first game in the NBA Live series in which Michael Jordan appeared as an active player. He’d appeared in EA’s earlier basketball titles, but apart from his Roster Player stand-in, he was absent from NBA Live during his second run with the Bulls. To mark the fifteenth anniversary of MJ’s milestone game, I thought that I’d dust off NBA Live 2002 once more, and try to replicate it. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Rethinking Basketball Game Reviews

Andre Drummond shoots the basketball in NBA 2K17

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.

Welcome to a new year of columns and other original content here at the NLSC! There should be plenty to talk about when it comes to basketball video games in 2017 as we continue to play NBA 2K17, await the release of NBA Live 17, and dust off old favourites from time to time. Whether it’s sharing advice or tales of our basketball gaming experiences, discussing ideas for upcoming releases, or critiquing certain aspects of the games, there should be no shortage of topics of conversation in our community and elsewhere.

I’d like to tip things off this year by talking a little about one of those topics: critiquing basketball video games. As consumers who want to get value for our money and the most enjoyment possible out of basketball games, we do need to be able to look at them with a critical eye to identify issues that we want to see fixed, and aspects that we’d like to see improvement in. However, I also think that we should always try to improve the way that we critique basketball games, so that we can make the most of the contact we have with the developers at EA Sports and Visual Concepts. Of course, I’d like to see professional reviews improve as well.

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The Friday Five: How I Write The Friday Five

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.

Well, here we are at the end of 2016! As I said last week, the prevailing thought for many of us seems to be that it’s been a tough year, and in the last seven days alone, we’ve lost some beloved entertainers. Looking ahead to 2017, we can only hope for better times, and resolve to do all that we can to be productive, happy, and healthy, and to look out for one another. I was originally going to look ahead and make plans for next year in this week’s Friday Five, but looking back at the column I wrote last year, I realised that many of my goals are similar. To that end, I’d prefer to simply focus on putting in the work to move closer to achieving those goals in 2017.

Instead, I thought that I’d end 2016 on a somewhat meta note with a Friday Five about how I write The Friday Five. Yes, really! After missing a couple of columns here and there last year, I resolved to make sure that I posted a Five each and every week in 2016, a resolution that I also made with the NLSC Podcast, Monday Tip-Off, and Wayback Wednesday. I hope to continue that trend next year, and look forward to providing you all with more opinions, trivia, retrospectives, and other original content. In the meantime, here’s an “inside look” at how I write my weekly Friday feature!

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Wayback Wednesday: Coaches in NBA Live 2003

Phil Jackson in NBA Live 2003

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.

As I mentioned in my retrospective of the game, NBA Live 2003 was the first release in the NBA Live series to feature real coaches on the sidelines. It may seem like a trivial thing these days, but back then, it was a big deal to finally get that kind of detail in basketball video games. Of course, when we look back on a game like NBA Live 2003, it not only provides a snapshot of what basketball gaming was like at the time, but also serves as a time capsule of the real NBA. Fire up the game today, and you might find yourself saying “I remember him!”, or “I forgot he played for them!”

Needless to say, the same goes for coaches. Looking back at the coaches roaming the sidelines in the default rosters of NBA Live 2003, there are some familiar names, and a couple of others who probably haven’t been in the consciousness of most NBA fans for some time. As such, I thought it might be fun to see how the sidelines have changed since head coaches first appeared in NBA Live. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 2005 Retrospective

NBA Live 2005 Retrospective

To mark the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re posting content for every game in the series, including retrospectives, patches, countdowns, and more. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with the NBA Live series and would like to take a drip down memory lane, or you’ve only recently started playing basketball games and would like to learn a little about what they used to be like, we hope that you enjoy the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content here on the NLSC!

NBA Live 2005 is considered by many long-time basketball gamers to be the best game in the NBA Live series, or at the very least, somewhere in the top five. Personally, I’d fall into the latter category. It was a great game in its time and definitely a high point in the series, but it has a few issues that are glossed over a little. It’s still capable of providing a fun sim-oriented experience however, and is obviously significant as the first game in the series to feature All-Star Weekend mode. Let’s take a look back at the second game in a trilogy of strong releases for NBA Live.

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Monday Tip-Off: 30 Shots from Mid-Court in NBA 2K17

Shooting from mid-court on MyCOURT in NBA 2K17

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.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the holiday season, and managed to catch a couple of the Christmas Day games! As we wrap up the year here at the NLSC, I thought that I’d have some fun with this week’s Monday Tip-Off, and set myself a challenge in NBA 2K17. While shooting around in MyCOURT, I attempted three sets of thirty three-pointers from mid-court: thirty using the Shoot Button, thirty with the Shot Stick down, and thirty with the Shot Stick up. With the relatively low three-point ratings of a Playmaker point guard, and no Limitless Range Badge to help me out, would I be able to knock down some really long bombs with any kind of consistency?

Let’s take a look and find out just how many threes I was able to make from mid-court, and which method seemed to work best for me. Watch below, or tune in here over on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video.

Want to try out this challenge yourself? If you do give it a shot, be sure to post your results (and a link, if you make a video) in the comments section below, or join in the discussion in this thread over in the NBA 2K17 section of the NLSC Forum. I’m interested to see how much of an impact higher ratings have on mid-court heaves, and just how “limitless” the Limitless Range Badge really is! Have fun with the challenge, and thanks for checking out Monday Tip-Off throughout 2016; more columns, videos, and other fun stuff will be coming your way every Monday in 2017!

The Friday Five: 2016 Year in Review

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.

We do have one more Friday left in 2016, and I expect that I’ll post a column as usual next week, but just in case I do have to skip it, I thought that I’d post my Year in Review edition of The Friday Five this week instead. As the year draws to a close, it’s obviously a time to celebrate the holiday season and spend time with loved ones, but we also can’t help but reflect upon the past twelve months. For one reason or another, it seems that a lot of people had a rough time in 2016, and if you can say the same, then I hope we were able to lift your spirits at times.

Of course, it was something of an up and down year in our community, too. There was some big news about NBA Live, a new NBA 2K release, and a lot of activity in terms of discussion and modding releases. There was also some stress and uncertainty back in June as we searched for a new home, and ultimately were able to move to a new host. I’ll no doubt have some final reflections in my annual New Year’s Eve post, but for now, please join me as I take a quick look back at the year that was, and ahead to the year to come.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2005 GamePro Preview

Carmelo Anthony dunks the basketball in NBA Live 2005

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.

The next retrospective that I’ll be posting as part of our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content will take a look back at NBA Live 2005. The second release during a strong three year run for the series, NBA Live 2005 is still considered to be one of EA Sports’ best basketball titles. That’s something I’ll obviously be examining in greater detail in my retrospective, but for now, I wanted to share something that I came across in my archives: a scan of a GamePro magazine article from way back in April of 2004, which offered up a quick preview of NBA Live 2005.

It’s always interesting to reflect on previews of basketball video games and our reactions to them, and then compare to them how the games actually turned out and how we felt once we got to play them ourselves. There’s obviously been plenty of time for the dust to settle on NBA Live 2005, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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