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Monday Tip-Off: Two Comebacks in Ultimate Team

Mitch Richmond in Ultimate Team (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 clips from two recent comeback victories I earned in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team.

As I’ve discussed in a previous article, and on several episodes of the NLSC Podcast, Ultimate Team has been my mode of choice in NBA Live 18. I’ve put together a team of 90s All-Stars that are quite fun to play with, and have generally allowed me to have a lot of success in the mode. However, some of the recent challenges have been…well, quite challenging, albeit mostly due to some cheap play by the AI. It’s resulted in few frustrating losses, though also some very rewarding victories. Over the past week, I managed to earn a couple of comeback wins that felt very satisfying.

After fighting back to pick up the victory in dramatic fashion in both games, I knew I had to keep the footage of the final minutes for posterity…and for an NLSC feature. Here for your enjoyment are the final moments of my two games against the Central Division Legends and this week’s Team of the Year Challenges. Catch it here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video.

Even though blowout victories are fun in their own right, it’s very gratifying to be able to pull off wins like that in basketball games, especially when the CPU hasn’t been playing fair. Even though there were several moments of frustration throughout – and I do believe the tougher difficulty levels will need to be better balanced in NBA Live 19 – the furious rallies and final result made them two of my favourite games that I’ve played this year. Have you had any exciting wins in NBA Live 18 or NBA 2K18? Have you been playing Ultimate Team or MyTEAM? Let me know in the comments below, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video content.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #245

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Episode #245 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we catch up on an eventful week of basketball gaming news, discuss what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood, and give our thoughts on the first week of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • EA’s chief design officer Patrick Söderlund recently spoke out about the company’s reputation, and their intent to rehabilitate their image in the wake of the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 controversy. We discuss how continuing to adopt a consumer-friendly model with NBA Live will surely benefit the brand moving forward.
  • A deal has been struck to broadcast the NBA 2K League exclusively on Twitch, which certainly seems like a good fit. Once again, we consider the League’s potential impact on the rest of us as we look ahead to NBA 2K19.
  • Saber Interactive has announced NBA Playgrounds 2 for a Summer 2018 release. We’re excited and hopeful for the sequel, but there are some key areas where it must show improvement.
  • Namo Gamo has released Basketball Classics on Steam Early Access. This new retro-inspired basketball gaming experience has a lot of potential, and is already quite impressive.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included taking on more challenges in NBA Live 18’s Ultimate Team, and a return to NBA 2K17. NLSC GrindTime may have also played its last session of 2K Pro-Am, at least for a while.
  • We wrap up Episode #245 of the NLSC Podcast with some discussion of real basketball, including Andrew Bogut heading home to play in the NBL, the first week of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and Ben Simmons’ Rookie of the Year credentials.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #244

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Episode #244 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the submission of our Wishlists for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19, a new event involving NBA Playgrounds, the beginning of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and Our Week in Basketball Gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • As mentioned earlier in the week, our official Wishlists for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 have been submitted to EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively. Since the topics are still open for discussion, we once again touch on what we’d like to see from the upcoming games in both series.
  • Saber Interactive are partnering with Jack Daniel’s for an NBA Playgrounds promotion. While it’s put the game back into the spotlight, it feels like Saber has missed a lot of opportunities with last year’s arcade hoops title.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming saw some trial and error as we continued to incorporate some more structured playcalling into our gameplan during our most recent session of 2K Pro-Am. Meanwhile, new cards and challenges should hopefully keep the Ultimate Team experience fresh.
  • Whether you want to say that they’ve tipped off or kicked off, the 2018 NBA Playoffs are underway! We give our thoughts on the first four games of this year’s postseason, and offer up our predictions for the first round as a whole.
  • We wrap up Episode #244 of the NLSC Podcast with the feel good story of the 2018 season, Andre Ingram.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #243

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Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are back after our break for Easter last week, ready to catch up on a fortnight worth of basketball gaming news, our own exploits on the virtual hardwood, and recent goings on in the real NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • We open Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast with an amusing bit of trivia, as it seems we’re bigger fans of The Playground than Ronnie 2K!
  • March Modness has concluded, and the winner of the giveaway will be drawn soon. More mods are in the pipeline, of course.
  • The inaugural NBA 2K League Draft was held on April 4th. We discuss the Draft and the forthcoming League tip-off, and once again consider the future direction of the NBA 2K series.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming, we catch up on a fortnight of action on the virtual hardwood. Brighter days could be ahead for NLSC GrindTime, an Ultimate Team collection continues to expand, and a new squad forms in NBA Live 18.
  • We wrap up Episode #243 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion. The 2018 Playoffs are looming and there are a lot of interesting subplots to consider, especially with several seeds yet to be determined. We also talk about MVP candidates, and some untimely injuries.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: Building My 90s All-Stars Ultimate Team

Ultimate Team: Scottie Pippen 90s All-Stars (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 an update on my efforts to build a team of 90s All-Stars in NBA Live 18’s Ultimate Team.

As I’ve noted in previous articles and in episodes of the NLSC Podcast, my current mode of choice in NBA Live 18 is Ultimate Team. Unfortunately, Franchise mode just isn’t where it needs to be yet, and while I do like the concept of LIVE Events and LIVE Run, living in Australia, I’ve found online play to be very choppy so far in NBA Live 18. While I obviously hope NBA Live 19 will see an improvement in both of those areas, for the moment I am enjoying playing Ultimate Team. I was taken in by the mode when it debuted in NBA Live 14, so even if those other modes were more appealing to me right now, I know that I’d still be spending some time with LUT.

I spent a considerable amount of time with Ultimate Team back in NBA Live 15, and managed to put together a team comprised of 90s Legends. As Legends packs began to be released for NBA Live 18, I decided that I wanted to try that again, especially as it’s currently still the only way to play with Legends in NBA Live. After drawing Scottie Pippen a few weeks back, those efforts got off to a very promising start. After adding John Stockton and Karl Malone last week, I found myself with a formidable starting five that’s reminiscent of the old 90s All-Stars squad. While I’m quite satisfied with that lineup, I wanted to round out the bench with some more 90s players.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #242

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Episode #242 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss a couple of issues regarding transparency and goodwill in NBA Live and NBA 2K, recap another eventful week of basketball gaming, and catch up on the latest NBA news.

On this week’s show…

  • There’s continued debate over the presence of loot crates and similar mechanics in video games, and whether or not it’s a form of gambling. Should NBA Live and NBA 2K contain in-game warnings to that effect, and be more transparent about the odds of crates and card packs?
  • With yet another Locker Code prize gone in seconds, we discuss whether something needs to change in regards to NBA Live and NBA 2K providing more in the way of complimentary content and rewards.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming featured the regular session of 2K Pro-Am, the return of the baseline reverse (among other dunks), adventures in custom shoe creation, and plenty of nostalgia in Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #242 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk, including injuries to Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry, and a strange situation with Kawhi Leonard.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #240

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Episode #240 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss another week in basketball gaming news, from the future of NBA Live to the NBA 2K League, as well as what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood.

On this week’s show…

  • An EA investor call made specific mention of NBA Live, and vaguely hinted at some of the goals and concepts for this year’s range of EA Sports titles. This should end any speculation that there are currently any plans to take another year off from NBA Live, though there’s still plenty to speculate upon as far as new features are concerned.
  • With the Combine in the books and analysis of the results complete, the 102 gamers who will be participating in the NBA 2K League have been chosen. The process hasn’t been without controversy, but in any event, the Draft will be taking place on April 4th.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming saw us return to 2K Pro-Am sooner than anticipated, in a session that turned out to be quite enjoyable, and a success for a newly equipped jumpshot animation. We also played a few games in MyCAREER and The One, hit up LIVE Events and the LIVE Pro-Am Tour, and continued to collect cards in Ultimate Team.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #239

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Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for a discussion of the latest basketball gaming news, including NBA Live 18’s digital sales on PlayStation 4, a new branding opportunity for EA Sports, the aftermath of the NBA 2K League Combine, and our inaugural March Modness event. Also, the word “obviously” is overused. Obviously.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with the story behind our new design, specifically how it came to be launched earlier than expected.
  • Our inaugural March Modness event is underway! New mods will be coming throughout the month of March, and modders have a chance to win a copy of either NBA Live 19 or NBA 2K19, just by releasing new work.
  • NBA Live 18 is currently among the most popular titles in the PSN Store, indicating strong digital sales on PS4. Clearly, the discounts have been working as far as getting more people to try out the game.
  • EA Sports are also partnering with SportsCrate. We discuss the promising nature of the commercial partnerships in NBA Live 18, and what it means for the recovering strength of the brand.
  • And then there were 250! The top players from the NBA 2K League Combine have advanced to the next round, but will it have any affect on us casual 2K Pro-Am gamers?
  • We wrap up Episode #239 of the NLSC Podcast with Our Week in Basketball Gaming, which included another session of 2K Pro-Am where nothing was going right, and hitting The Streets with a brand new player in NBA Live 18.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #238

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Episode #238 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane is back this week, joining me for a discussion of the frequent discounts on NBA Live 18, 15% off player attribute upgrades in NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER, the 2018 All-Star Game, and some other topics related to basketball and basketball gaming from the past week.

On this week’s show…

  • Before we get rolling on this week’s episode, we remind everyone to add their feedback to our NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 Wishlists as soon as possible. Remember, suggestions left unsaid are guaranteed not to have an impact!
  • Are the constant sales for NBA Live 18 a bad sign and potentially harmful to future games, or a good move by EA Sports in their bid to win back the audience?
  • Player attribute upgrades in NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER are 15% off through February 25th. It’s a nice gesture, but along with the Double XP promotions, we feel it leaves something to be desired.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included three 2K Pro-Am wins that should’ve been four, some great pulls in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team, and a continued inability to dunk in MyCAREER.
  • We wrap up Episode #238 of the NLSC Podcast with some final reflections on the 2018 All-Star Weekend. We also catch up on some recent news, and look ahead to the looming postseason.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: What I’m Playing (February 2018 Edition)

Playing through Ultimate Team (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 some quick thoughts on what I’m playing in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, at least as of February 2018.

NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 have been out for about five months now, and so far, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time playing both titles. As discussed in the latest episode the NLSC Podcast, I’ve settled into a routine as far as what I’m playing in each game. Although I might branch out and change things up from time to time, the modes I’m currently playing are the ones I expect I’ll remain hooked on until the 2019 season releases. As I’m running a bit short on time today and am still working on a few of other features that I hope you’ll find entertaining, I’ve decided to run with a quick column this week, discussing my current basketball gaming habits and rotation.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #237

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Episode #237 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join guest host The X and myself as we discuss the All-Star updates for NBA Live 18, the latest controversies involving NBA 2K18, and the first two days of the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend.

On this week’s show…

  • Since it’s The X’s first time on the NLSC Podcast, we talk a little about his history with basketball video games, as well as his tenure in the community.
  • NBA Live 18 has received some new updates, specifically accurate All-Star jerseys and trade deadline rosters. We’re glad to see the updates coming through a little more quickly.
  • New All-Star Fantasy Challenges have also been added to NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team. We’re liking the latest content, though there’s more we’d like to see added to the mode.
  • An Australian-exclusive Virtual Currency sale has accidentally been advertised worldwide, leading to some unhappy US gamers who weren’t aware of the restrictions on the promotion. 2K’s response to the issue left something to be desired.
  • In honour of the All-Star Weekend, NBA 2K18 offered Double Rep in MyCAREER and the connected modes, but the length of the event, not to mention the timing, could’ve been better.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming consisted of a couple of 2K Pro-Am sessions in NBA 2K18 that yielded mixed results, and Fantasy Challenges in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #237 of the NLSC Podcast with a recap of the first two days of the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend. We have our gripes, but at the end of the day, we can certainly agree that it is what it is!

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA Live 18 Patch 1.11: All-Star & Trade Deadline Content

All-Star Stephen Curry (NBA Live 18)

Patch 1.11 has been released for NBA Live 18. The update will come through automatically as long as your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One is connected to the Internet. If you encounter any difficulties, try restarting your console.

The patch includes rosters updated as of the trade deadline, as well as the 2018 All-Star jerseys and court. As with the All-Star art updates for NBA 2K18, all of the players are wearing unique jerseys with their respective team logos, as the members of Team LeBron and Team Stephen will be doing in this year’s All-Star Game. The teams will still be referred to as the East and West All-Stars, to avoid inaccuracies in Franchise mode. All-Star content has also been added to NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team.

Several gameplay tweaks have also been made in Patch 1.11. Inside shots have been tuned for a lower success rate on contested attempts, anklebreakers have been adjusted, and various changes have been made to Playstyles and Traits. New faces have also come through for several players, including LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Lonzo Ball. All in all, it’s quite a substantial update.

Please see below for the full patch notes; you can also find a complete update history here in our Wiki. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below, as well as in this topic in the NBA Live 18 section of the NLSC Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #236

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Episode #236 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss this week’s updates for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, wonder about the future direction of the NBA 2K series, react to the trade deadline deals, and preview the 2018 All-Star Weekend.

On this week’s show…

  • Fortunately, EA Sports corrected the issue with last week’s roster update for NBA Live 18 fairly quickly, pushing through a new roster without duplicate players. NBA 2K18’s rosters, meanwhile, have already been updated as of the trade deadline.
  • Patch 1.10 has been released for NBA 2K18, but it’s another fix centred around the NBA 2K League Combine, with no updates that affect a majority of users.
  • We discuss the future direction of the NBA 2K series, from the modes of focus to the intrusiveness of microtransactions. Will the success of NBA 2K18 lead the series down a bad path?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a return to MyCAREER, missed opportunities in Ultimate Team, and another session of 2K Pro-Am.
  • We wrap up Episode #236 of the NLSC Podcast with a look at the real NBA, including a devastating injury for Kristaps Porzingas, the trade deadline, and predictions for the 2018 All-Star Weekend.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #235

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Episode #235 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the latest roster updates for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, a patch for the NBA 2K League Combine, and other events from the past week in basketball gaming and NBA news.

On this week’s show…

  • Both NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 have received roster updates that reflect the latest transactions. Unfortunately the NBA Live 18 roster is bugged; hopefully, a fix is coming through soon. The NBA 2K18 roster meanwhile has added the 2018 All-Stars, complete with accurate jerseys.
  • A new NBA 2K18 patch adds support for the NBA 2K League Combine, but doesn’t do much for the rest of us. We talk a little more about the NBA 2K League, and what it means for the future of NBA 2K.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included an unlikely but surprisingly enjoyable return to 2K Pro-Am, and more LIVE Events in NBA Live 18.
  • Moving on to some NBA talk, including the Blake Griffin trade, the Chicago Bulls latest efforts to tank, big nights for C.J. McCollum and James Harden, and struggles for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • We wrap up Episode #235 of the NLSC Podcast with some information about NLSC merch.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #234

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Episode #234 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s another solo show this week due to some unfortunate technical difficulties, so join me as I discuss the latest roster for NBA Live 18, the next qualifying round for the NBA 2K League, the 2018 All-Stars, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • A new roster update for NBA Live 18 has added a couple more City Edition jerseys, and made several ratings adjustments. Has it had a noticeable effect on gameplay?
  • The NBA 2K League Combine is taking place in February, and is the next step in finding players to be a part of the 17 competing teams. In addition to providing information on how and when to participate, the announcement has also revealed some interesting details about the League’s MyPLAYER Archetypes.
  • My Week in Basketball Gaming featured more Ultimate Team in NBA Live 18, and a little bit of retro gaming with NBA Live 06 for the Wayback Wednesday feature.
  • Episode #234 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with some NBA news, including the selection of the 2018 All-Star reserves, the unveiling of this year’s All-Star jerseys, and the anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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