NBA Playgrounds

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.

NBA Playgrounds Patch 1.1.0 Out on PC; Consoles Soon

Ending a game of NBA Playgrounds

Since the launch of NBA Playgrounds, Saber Interactive have been keeping tabs on gamer feedback, and working on a patch to address various issues. Patch 1.1.0 is now available for the PC version, and will come through automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection. If it isn’t pushed through, restart your Steam client.

The patch should be hitting the consoles soon. It adds several new players including five versions of Shaquille O’Neal, the ability to play with friends, a shot meter, and several adjustments for a better gameplay experience. The full patch notes are as follows:

New Features:

  • Added: The Challenge Mode feature, which allows you to challenge other players to online matches
    • You can now switch between unranked challenges and ranked games in the online mode
    • To challenge another player, you must switch to the challenge mode in the online menu and define a challenge code. By default, your challenge code is your nickname, but you can change it to your own, personal code. The person you are challenging must enter your code.
    • If you have been challenged, please enter your challenger’s code and press “Accept”.
    • All challenges are unranked and your ranking/ELO will be unaffected by the results of the challenge.
  • Added: Toxicity system/Disconnection Manager, which penalizes players who abandon matches in any other way than surrendering
  • Added: 5 new versions of Shaquille O´Neal in various teams from his career (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic)
  • Added: 15 new players join the roster
    • The following players were added: Dennis Rodman, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Giannis Antetokoumnpo, Kenny Smith, Gary Payton, Klay Thompson, Devin Booker, Tony Parker, Kemba Walker, Seth Curry, Tiny Archibald, John Starks, Tracy McGrady, Pete Maravich
  • Added: A shot-meter was added to help finding the perfect timing for shots, dunks etc.
  • Added: Steam Cloud Save support
  • Added: Steam Big Picture keyboard management

Notable Changes:

  • Adjusted: Shots were adjusted to make the system more accessible and unified throughout all variations
  • Adjusted: The steal action was adjusted further to better fit the intended gameplay
    • It is now possible to perform a steal action when behind an opponent
  • Changed: 3 pointers no longer fill lottery pick bar
  • Increased: The difficulty of 3 pointers was increased
  • Reduced: The number of steals required for the Las Vegas Challenge #2 was reduced to 10 (was 15)
  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the Paris Challenge #4 was reduced to 6 (was 7)
  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the London Challenge #1 was reduced to 6 (was 10)
  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the Las Vegas Challenge #3 was reduced to 8 (was 12)
  • Reduced: The inbound time was reduced to adjust it to the overall style of the game

Notable Fixes:

  • Fixed: Issues related to the strength of the force feedback effects were addressed

Feel free to share your impressions in the comments below, as well as here in our Forum. A couple of our members are already working on tools and methods for modding the PC version of NBA Playgrounds, so stay tuned for more information on that as well. For some of our impressions of NBA Playgrounds, check out Kenny’s article, as well as Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #205

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Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we share some more thoughts on NBA Playgrounds, reflect on a touching moment in our modding community, and catch up on the latest results from the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • A new member in our Forum who’s going through a difficult time made a mod request, which was quickly fulfilled. We’ve got a good thing going.
  • Following on from last week’s Podcast and Sunday Substitute article, we provide some updated impressions of NBA Playgrounds. One of us is a little more positive this time around!
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has not only consisted of some games of NBA Playgrounds, but also a fun run of 2K Pro-Am victories, and successful MyTEAM challenges.
  • We wrap up Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast with some thoughts on the 2017 NBA Playoffs, which have reached the Conference Finals. Zaza Pachulia not surprisingly gets a mention.

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 Sunday Substitute: First Impressions of NBA Playgrounds

The week is in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, which means it’s time for the Sunday Substitute! It’s the article where I get some valuable minutes while the star is resting on the bench. I might not have the time to do this every week, but I like to think I’m still making a contribution to the team. It’s been a long time on the pine for me, but today I felt like I had to share my first impressions of NBA Playgrounds.

After mistakenly releasing a beta early, NBA Playgrounds was officially released on the 9th. If you have listened to the last few NLSC Podcasts, you would know that Andrew and I were keeping close tabs on the game, as it was looking to be the spiritual successor of games like NBA Jam and NBA Street. Fast forward to now and I have played the game for several hours. I have completed all circuits, and have leveled up Bill Laimbeer, Luis Scola and Thon Maker to the Gold level. But the question remains: with all this play I have logged, what do I actually think of the game?

I must state now that I haven’t experienced the online mode in NBA Playgrounds, so my impressions are based purely on the offline content. I’m doing this initially since online experiences have tended to skew my perceptions of other video games. I don’t want to potentially give NBA Playgrounds a bad rap because of some cheese a brat online may have exploited constantly. Ultimately, the game itself is the most important thing…at least for my initial impressions. With that out of the way, let me discuss what I have liked and haven’t liked about the game so far.

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NBA Playgrounds Coming May 9th; New Details

Kawhi Leonard in NBA Playgrounds

Saber Interactive have confirmed that NBA Playgrounds will be released on May 9th for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Polygon has posted an article featuring hands-on impressions, and additional details about the upcoming game.

Some of the key points of interest include:

  • There are over 300 dunks in the game.
  • Lottery Pick boosts include hot spots that multiply the point value of the shot, and debuffs for your opponent such as halving the length of their shot clock.
  • The shot clock is at 12 seconds, rather than the usual 24.
  • Four player local multiplayer is supported, along with two player head-to-head online. An early update will add four player online support. Post-release support will also include roster updates.
  • Players are unlocked with card packs, though there won’t be any microtransactions (at least initially).
  • Each team has at least three active players in addition to retired players. More players will be added later, though Charles Barkley and Kobe Bryant are two noteworthy players Saber doesn’t have access to.
  • A dunk contest and three-point shootout are planned to be added post-release.

Polygon has also posted some gameplay footage of NBA Playgrounds, which you can check out here. All in all, it sounds very promising, and we’ll be covering the game in more detail once it’s released. As mentioned previously, if the PC version is at all moddable, that’s something we’ll be exploring as a community.

Got any thoughts on NBA Playgrounds? Will you be picking it up? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

NBA Playgrounds Roster Revealed

NBA Playgrounds

The official roster for NBA Playgrounds by Saber Interactive has been revealed. As previously noted, the game features over 200 current and former NBA players, taking part in two-on-two tournaments at locations around the world, with arcade-style gameplay in the vein of NBA Jam and NBA Street.

Glancing at the list, it would appear that all the biggest names from today are accounted for, along with a healthy amount of Hall of Famers and other noteworthy players from yesteryear. Michael Jordan obviously isn’t included as he is exclusive to NBA 2K, and Larry Bird is also absent, but Scottie Pippen is present along with Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Dominique Wilkins, Shaquille O’Neal, and many others.

It also sounds as though more players will be added at some point, so it remains to be seen whether additional Legends will make their way into the game, or if the rosters will simply be expanded with more current players.

Check out the full list below, leave your thoughts in the comments, and join in the discussion here in the Forum. NBA Playgrounds will be released digitally for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in May.

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New Trailer & Information on NBA Playgrounds

Russell Westbrook in NBA Playgrounds

The CEO of Saber Interactive, Matthew Karch, has posted a new preview of NBA Playgrounds over on the PlayStation Blog. It includes a gameplay trailer, as well as a brief rundown of some of the key features of the game.

As mentioned in an earlier bulletin, NBA Playgrounds is an arcade basketball game in the style of NBA Jam and NBA Street. In addition to high flying dunks, the game will also feature other arcade elements. Extra points can be earned for perfect releases on shots, and other boosts can be earned through the Lottery Pick wheel. Interestingly, gamers can be placed at a disadvantage by knocking down opponents on defense as it depletes the lottery bar, making it more difficult to earn the aforementioned boosts.

Players can be upgraded with new moves by earning XP, and several have signature moves. Online and offline tournament play will be featured, based in locations around the globe. The blog also confirms that the roster consists of over 200 current and former NBA players. You can see a few of them in action in the gameplay trailer; check it out below, or here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

NBA Playgrounds is scheduled for release in May, and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. We’ll continue to cover the game, especially if the PC version is moddable, so stay tuned. In the meantime. feel free to post any thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

NBA Playgrounds Coming in May (PC, PS4, X1, & Switch)

NBA Playgrounds Logo

It’s been a while since the last NBA-licensed arcade-style basketball game, but that’s about to change. Saber Interactive will be releasing NBA Playgrounds, a fully licensed arcade hoops game, in May. The game will be available as a $20 digital download for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.

At a glance, NBA Playgrounds looks to be a hybrid of NBA Jam and NBA Street. It features two-on-two gameplay and player art style reminiscent of Jam, along with the blacktop setting and aesthetic of Street. Furthermore, it will feature a roster of both current players and NBA Legends. Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Dominique Wilkins, James Worthy, Spud Webb, and Billy Cunningham are among the historical players who will be featured.

Check out a trailer for NBA Playgrounds below, or watch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

With the game coming out on PC, it’ll be interesting to see if it can be modded. It’s great to finally see a new arcade alternative to the sim titles, so we’ll definitely be covering it when it comes out, especially if modding is possible. Do you have any interest in NBA Playgrounds? Sound off in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the Forum!