NBA Playgrounds

NLSC Podcast – Episode #216

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Episode #216 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the news of the past week, including the NBA Live 18 demo and WNBA teams, the NBA Playgrounds Roster Unlock DLC, and a couple of NBA 2K18 snippets. And as always, we tell a few stories about our past week in basketball gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • The NBA Live 18 demo will be coming out next week, August 11th. We’ve also found out a little more about The Streets portion of The One.
  • EA Sports has also announced that all twelve WNBA teams will be included in NBA Live 18. We feel it’s a pretty good idea, and speculate on the future of additional content in NBA Live.
  • The latest NBA 2K18 screenshots are looking very good, with some noticeable improvements to a couple of players. For what it’s worth, we’ve also found out a few more player ratings.
  • A couple of interviews have provided us with some snippets of information regarding improvements to gameplay and MyPLAYER Archetypes in NBA 2K18, as well a few additional details on the new story in MyGM.
  • Saber Interactive has released a Roster Unlock for NBA Playgrounds. The idea definitely has merit and it’s something gamers have been asking for, but not everyone is happy about it.
  • NBA 2K17 is the highest selling Take Two sports title to date. It’s also raking in higher than expected revenue from microtransactions.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has included some fun moments and satisfying victories in 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK, and more enjoyment out of an old school fantasy approach in Play Now.
  • We wrap up Episode #216 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBL talk. Yes, really!

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.

NBA Playgrounds Roster Unlock Now Available

Saber Interactive has released a Roster Unlock add-on for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of NBA Playgrounds. The add-on allows gamers to automatically unlock all current players, as well as every free player that will be added to the game in the future. It’s available at a cost of $9.99 USD.

In a previous interview, Matthew Karch indicated that a pay-to-unlock add-on was a heavily requested feature, and mentioned that it would be something they would be exploring, despite his general aversion to such an approach. However, several gamers have expressed their displeasure with the move on social media, blasting the decision on the game’s official Facebook and Twitter.

If I may offer my own take on the matter, while I am leery of microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics, I do feel there is merit to offering the Roster Unlock add-on. One of NBA Playgrounds’ biggest weaknesses is its lack of offline content. If you’re chiefly an offline gamer, it becomes a massive grind to level up and earn packs once you’ve completed the Tournaments. Naturally, if you’ve already gone through the tough grind, you may feel a bit cheated by the release of the add-on, and there are always going to be concerns about online balance. A move like this is always going to be controversial, but the sparse amount of offline content almost makes it a necessity.

An important point to remember here is that a lot of NBA Playgrounds gamers did ask for this, despite Saber’s initial reluctance to adopt microtransactions. While the move is not going to be to everyone’s liking, I personally feel that NBA Playgrounds is a game that’s still worth supporting, especially if new content can continue to be added. Whichever decision they made on this issue, one side of the fanbase was not going to be happy. It’s a problematic approach in some respects, but arguably a necessary evil, and something that was indeed heavily requested.

What’s your take on add-ons such as this? Is it appropriate here, given the lack of modes and offline content in NBA Playgrounds? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion of the game here in the Forum!

NLSC Podcast – Episode #215

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Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I have plenty to talk about this week with the first proper previews for NBA 2K18 coming out, along with the latest content update for NBA Playgrounds. There’s also Kyrie Irving’s trade demand, a short article on shoes in NBA Live 18, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • The first NBA 2K18 screenshots have been released. What do we think of this year’s aesthetics?
  • We received a ton of information about MyLEAGUE and MyGM by way of the first developer blog. This year’s franchise modes sound awesome!
  • Did the 2K TV finale drop a hint about additional retro teams in NBA 2K18? We believe it’s a possibility.
  • Sole Collector published a short article about shoes in NBA Live 18, which also went into the history of EA Sports getting authentic shoes into their game.
  • The next big content update for NBA Playgrounds has come through. While there are still a few issues with the game, it continues to get better and better.
  • Not surprisingly, the five copies of NBA Elite 11 listed on eBay for $30,000 USD didn’t sell. They haven’t been re-listed, but another copy is still available…for $4,000 USD.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included some of the most enjoyable sessions of online play we’ve ever had, in both 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK. Also, grinding for packs in NBA Playgrounds, MyTEAM Domination, and fantasy exhibitions.
  • Kyrie Irving has surprisingly demanded a trade. We wonder where he’ll end up, and whether Visual Concepts will do anything about the NBA 2K18 cover if he’s dealt.
  • We wrap up Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast with some information on the latest NLSC merch by 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.

NBA Playgrounds Patch 1.3.0 Released (PS4 & PC)

Online Menu in NBA Playgrounds (1.3.0)

As noted in yesterday’s bulletin, the next big patch for NBA Playgrounds was expected “later this Summer”. However, it turns out that PlayStation 4 and PC users didn’t have to wait very long at all, as the new update, Patch 1.3.0, has been pushed through on both platforms. It should download automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection, but if you encounter any problems, restart your console or Steam client.

The patch adds over 30 new players to the game, including commentators E.J. Johnson and Ian Eagle, as well a few more YouTubers. Additional versions of several players have also been added on other teams that they played for. Key feature additions include an online three-point shootout, a friends invitation system, rebounding indicator, and additional online play options. Notable adjustments and fixes include the difficulty of tournaments, the amount of XP gained in tournament games, and resolutions for a couple of technical issues.

See below for the full patch notes. Feel free to share your impressions in the comments section below, as well as in the NBA Playgrounds topic in the NLSC Forum. There’s no word on when the patch will hit the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, but hopefully it shouldn’t be too much longer.

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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!

NLSC Podcast – Episode #214

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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.

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #213

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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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #212

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Episode #212 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! In addition to a wild week of free agency in the NBA, Arcane and I discuss DeMar DeRozan’s NBA 2K18 cover, Saber Interactive’s battle with Nintendo to push through patches for NBA Playgrounds, a rare collectable, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • DeMar DeRozan will grace the Canadian cover of NBA 2K18. It’s the first time that Canada will receive a region-specific cover for NBA 2K, though it’s worth noting that DeRozan himself isn’t Canadian.
  • Nintendo Switch users are still waiting for the NBA Playgrounds patches, but it isn’t Saber Interactive’s fault. CEO Matthew Karch has provided some hints as to why there’s been a holdup at Nintendo’s end.
  • A rare copy of the unreleased PAL version of Lakers vs. Celtics for the SEGA Mega Drive is currently attracting some huge bids on eBay.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a 2K Pro-Am victory that was tough to get excited about, some great card pulls in MyTEAM, and Arcane’s first look at the full version of NBA Playgrounds.
  • We wrap up Episode #212 of the NLSC Podcast with a recap of the wild first week of the 2017 NBA offseason, and our thoughts on all the big player moves.

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #211

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Episode #211 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Without any new previews for NBA Live 18 or NBA 2K18 in the past week, Arcane and I take the opportunity to catch up on recent events in our modding community. We also talk about a couple of the big stories heading into this year’s NBA free agency bonanza.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA 2K17 PC is currently 75% off on Steam. If you’ve been looking to double-dip, or you’ve been holding off on getting the latest game from 2K, now’s a good opportunity.
  • The 2017 season may be over, but our modding community is still hard at work. We talk a little about the latest roster projects for the PC, including Dee4Three’s releases and the upcoming community roster update, and SkillzFromThe6’s detailed offseason roster for PlayStation 4.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has mostly revolved around NBA Playgrounds, which is currently also on sale through Steam.
  • Phil Jackson is out in New York. Knicks fans seem to be happy, but are also wondering why it took so long.
  • Chris Paul has been traded to the Houston Rockets, setting up what might be a very interesting offseason.

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.

New NBA Playgrounds Patch Includes Fixes, Players, More

NBA Playgrounds

A new patch has been pushed through for NBA Playgrounds. It’s currently available for the PC version of the game, and will come through automatically. If it doesn’t, try restarting your Steam client. The console versions of NBA Playgrounds should be receiving the patch soon, once it’s approved by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

The latest update includes fixes, tweaks, and new content. Playgrounds for Chicago and Madrid have been added, along with their own tournaments. Tournaments have also been added for the Venice Beach and Seattle playgrounds, which are unlocked upon completing the Las Vegas tournament. 35 new past and present NBA players have been added, more players are available on second teams, and two new teams – the Seattle SuperSonics and Playgrounders – also join the roster.

Adjustments and fixes include a reduction of the odds of getting repeated players in packs, actions from teammates now counting towards tournament challenges, improved calculation of shot success on long animations, and more. All in all, it’s another very solid patch, continuing to reflect Saber Interactive’s willingness to listen to constructive criticism.

See below for the full patch notes. Are you enjoying NBA Playgrounds? What do you make of the latest patch? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: You Can Constructively Criticise NBA Playgrounds

Tip-Off in NBA Playgrounds

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 we can, and absolutely should, constructively criticise NBA Playgrounds.

It’s been around a month since NBA Playgrounds was released for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Saber Interactive’s first attempt at an arcade basketball game has been reasonably well-received, even if it’s not quite on par with its legendary predecessors, NBA Jam and NBA Street. Saber has been very diligent in listening to feedback, resulting in some much-needed changes being implemented via the game’s early patches. New players have also been added to the game, additional tournaments are planned, and Switch users will receive a free copy of the new Shaq Fu game for their patience regarding the delay in launching the online features.

Saber’s interaction with the fanbase and their gestures of goodwill are extremely admirable, and refreshing. They’ve created an official Facebook group for NBA Playgrounds gamers to offer feedback, share their experiences, and basically keep the lines of communication open, which is awesome. Unfortunately, some of the discourse in the group is, to be blunt, very toxic. I’ve seen some perfectly reasonable suggestions shouted down, and people with valid criticisms told to zip their lips by their fellow gamers. As such, I feel that something needs to be made very clear here: we can and should constructively criticise NBA Playgrounds.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #208

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Episode #208 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and I for a discussion of all the recent NBA Live 18 news, previews, and rumours, a look ahead to EA Play, thoughts on the latest action from the 2017 NBA Finals, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • A listing on Game Informer led to rumours of a PC release for NBA Live 18, which unfortunately isn’t going to happen. Nevertheless, an eventual return to the PC platform is something we’d like to see for NBA Live.
  • New gameplay footage, screenshots, and a couple of tidbits of information about NBA Live 18 have come out of a recent event in New York. We’re liking what we’re seeing, and intrigued by what we’ve read.
  • What kind of information and previews are we hoping to see at EA Play? We talk a little about our expectations for the event.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has seen further progress in NBA Playgrounds, a dubious record almost set in 2K Pro-Am, and the triumphant return of Kiki Vandeweghe in MyTEAM.
  • We wrap up Episode #208 of the NLSC Podcast with a few thoughts on the NBA Finals. Even if we’re not exactly hating the results so far, it’s hardly a contender for Best Finals Ever…in our humble opinion, anyway. At least Game 3 was close, right?

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #207

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Episode #207 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the NBA 2K18 cover reveal, our hopes and expectations for NBA Live 18 following the first trailer, Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals, and a couple of other topics.

On this week’s show…

  • Kyrie Irving has been revealed as the cover player for NBA 2K18. We give our thoughts on the choice, and reflect on some past cover players.
  • Now that we’ve seen the first trailer for NBA Live 18, what are our hopes and expectations for this year’s game from EA Sports?
  • Having played a few games of NBA Playgrounds with the new patch, we’ve got some further impressions to share.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included one of the most frustrating 2K Pro-Am sessions to date, and a couple of MyCAREER games.
  • The 2017 NBA Finals is underway, and the Golden State Warriors certainly made a statement in Game 1.
  • We wrap up Episode #207 of the NLSC Podcast with news on some merch!

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #206

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Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re a little late this week due to some technical difficulties, but everything has been sorted out, so Arcane and I are coming at you with our thoughts on the latest news in basketball gaming, some tales from our basketball gaming experiences over the past week, and a few thoughts on the forthcoming 2017 NBA Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • We’ve received our first proper glimpse at NBA Live 18, including a bunch of screenshots and some cinematic gameplay clips. We reflect on some of the community’s reactions, and provide our own take.
  • The PC versions of NBA 2K14 and NBA 2K15 are no longer available on Steam, which is potentially bad news for completionists and retro basketball gamers.
  • NBA Playgrounds has received a big patch on PC and PlayStation 4, containing several tweaks and additions demonstrating that Saber Interactive are paying close attention to gamer feedback.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming includes a long-awaited cutscene in MyCAREER, and another decent session of 2K Pro-Am.
  • We wrap up Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk. Topics include LeBron James’ new milestone, predictions for the 2017 NBA Finals, and Chris Bosh’s future.

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.

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