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Monday Tip-Off: Getting Back to Basics with NBA 2K19

2002 Kings Clones in NBA 2K18

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 how getting back to basics with NBA 2K19 would be a great move after the controversy and dissatisfaction that surrounded NBA 2K18.

For years, NBA 2K has been the dominant brand in basketball gaming. It started with EA Sports’ misfire when NBA Live 06 was released on Xbox 360, devoid of Dynasty Mode and generally being a rough transition to the next generation. As NBA Live continued to struggle, NBA 2K stayed the course and went from strength to strength, garnering higher ratings from reviewers and eventually becoming the top-selling NBA game when NBA 2K9 outsold NBA Live 09. The series has continued to innovate and receive praise from gamers and gaming publications alike, setting sales records and expanding its brand with its own weekly TV show, and now an eSports league.

And yet, despite all its success, the brand doesn’t feel as untouchable as it once did. NBA 2K18 received an unprecedented amount of backlash over its greedy and anti-consumer approach to microtransactions, which greatly affected some of its most popular modes. Beyond that controversy, a lot of gamers felt that the game had simply taken a few steps backwards with a new motion system that didn’t seem quite ready, AI that didn’t feel as smart or realistic, and rosters that were riddled with problems. While 2K’s strategies for “recurrent revenue” obviously won’t be going anywhere, I’d suggest that NBA 2K19 could otherwise really benefit from going back to basics.

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The Friday Five: 5 Improvements Both NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Need

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 improvements that are needed in both NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19.

The NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 Wishlists that we’ve submitted, in my opinion, comprehensively cover the most important suggestions for fixes, enhancements, and additions for both games. Each game has its own list of improvements that we’re hoping to see added in the next release; for NBA Live 19, I would suggest that it comes down to further polish to gameplay and more depth to modes. NBA 2K19, on the other hand, needs a slight course correction after some missteps in NBA 2K18. With that being said, while the games have their own issues, there are currently some that are common to both series, and areas in which they can both improve.

Please note that I’m not suggesting that these are necessarily the most important issues that must be addressed in both NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. As I said, our Wishlists demonstrate that both games have a long laundry list of things that can be added or enhanced, and several are specific to one series or the other. Indeed, I’ve already discussed some of the specific things that NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 need to have in previous Friday Five columns. These are just areas where both games have some common problems and room for improvements, though the respective solutions may differ slightly. With that being said, let’s get to the first item on the list.

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NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 Wishlists Submitted

Looking ahead to the upcoming games after submitting our Wishlists (NBA 2K18)

Please be advised that our official Wishlists for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 have been submitted to EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively. Our contacts at both companies were very receptive to the feedback that we compiled, and will be taking it into consideration as both games continue to be developed. While there is no guarantee that everything on our Wishlists will be implemented or addressed, we’ve at least done our part in providing constructive feedback and letting our voices be heard.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Wishlists! Participation wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as it has been in previous years, but there was some great feedback in there. We’ll be looking to open the Wishlist topics a little earlier next time around, but as it stands, we were still able to submit them in time for them to have an impact.

For the moment, both Wishlist topics will remain open in the NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 sections of the NLSC Forum, so feel free to keep posting suggestions and discussing ideas for the upcoming games. Once the NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 sections are opened later this year, the topics will be locked and archived there. If you want to jump into the conversation, you can find the NBA Live 19 Wishlist topic here, while the NBA 2K19 Wishlist topic can be found here.

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Monday Tip-Off: All That’s Leaked is Hot Air

Kyrie Irving dribbles the basketball in NBA 2K18

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 the annual round of deceptive, clickbait content that claims to be leaked footage and information.

The preview seasons for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 are still at least a few months away, but it seems that the fakers are getting an early start. Over the past couple of weeks, supposed “leaked” details and fake trailers for this year’s games from EA Sports and Visual Concepts have been making the rounds, and sadly, it seems a lot of people have been fooled. As we discussed in the most recent episode of the NLSC Podcast, these practices do nothing to help the basketball gaming community. We need to be aware that people are trying to fool us and call it out, not entertain the notion that clear fakes and clickbait lies are leaked media and reliable scoops.

This behaviour is nothing new, and I’ve discussed it before. As long as online gaming communities have been around, there have been trolls signing up to forums or getting in touch with fan websites, claiming to have insider information. With social media and YouTube providing platforms for virtually everyone to have their say and create content, it’s easier than ever to spread misinformation and hoaxes. The more tech savvy trolls can easily whip up screenshots and even videos that can be presented as leaked previews of an upcoming release. At a glance, the better fakes may be halfway convincing, but really, the only thing that’s leaking here is a bunch of hot air.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things NBA 2K19 Needs To Have

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 things that NBA 2K19 needs to have.

As I mentioned last week, Wishlist season is upon us. These days, we don’t just collect feedback for NBA Live, but also the NBA 2K series as well. Our NBA 2K19 Wishlist topic is open for constructive feedback, which we’ll be looking to pass along to the development team at Visual Concepts as soon as possible. As with NBA Live 19, NBA 2K19 is already in pre-production, so it’s important that we get our Wishlist in as soon as possible, in order for it to have the best chance of making a positive impact on this year’s game from 2K Sports.

While it’s impossible to compile a comprehensive Wishlist in just five points, I do have some ideas about what I’d like the general areas of focus to be for NBA 2K19. I certainly don’t pretend to speak for all basketball gamers – as I said last week, our Wishlist itself is intended to get a good cross-section of what the community wants – but having spent a considerable amount of time with NBA 2K18, and the series in general over the past six or seven years, I do believe that I have some suggestions that would benefit NBA 2K19. While the game is obviously wildly successful, I also feel that there’s ample room for these technological and conceptual improvements.

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NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Wishlist Topics Open

Wishlist Threads Open Now

Please be advised that our Wishlist topics for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 are now open! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with our annual Wishlist – which we now compile for both NBA Live and NBA 2K – it’s an effort to collect constructive feedback on what we want to see in the next game. We prioritise the feedback according to what the community most wants to see added, fixed, and improved, and then send it along to the development teams at EA Sports and Visual Concepts.

The key to compiling a useful Wishlist is to identify the most important issues as concisely as possible, while also elaborating and being specific where necessary. In other words, saying that you want “better gameplay” isn’t particularly helpful, whereas explaining the changes you want to see for a better gameplay experience (without a long-winded rant) is feedback the developers can actually put to good use. The aim is to be clear and to the point, explaining what you want out of the next game without turning it into a 5000 word essay.

One suggestion is to post your top 15-20 suggestions for the game. Alternatively, you may choose to post your top 5-10 suggestions in different categories (gameplay, career modes, franchise modes, online, etc). As long as it’s constructive and comprehensive feedback, we’ll be able to reach some sort of consensus as a community, and provide the development teams at EA and VC with an idea of what we most want to see in NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19.

Pre-production is obviously already underway on both titles, so we want to get our feedback in as soon as possible. As such, if you’ve got ideas and suggestions for this year’s games, start posting them now! I’ll be sure to post some reminders over the next few weeks, as well as a bulletin when we’ve officially submitted each Wishlist.

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