The Friday Five

The Friday Five: 5 Trades You Make in Franchise Modes

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.

One of the most appealing aspects of the franchise modes in NBA Live and NBA 2K is the ability to make the trades that you’d love to see happen in real life. Frustrated that your favourite team can never seem to pull off a blockbuster deal that lands them a superstar? In franchise modes, you can make it happen, and live out a few fantasy scenarios. Of course, just as in real life, you’ll need to deal with the restrictions of the salary cap, as well as convince other teams to agree to the trades that you offer. I’d suggest that a few of us have found out that building a great roster isn’t always easy.

When we don our virtual GM suits and start wheeling and dealing, there are some common types of trades that we end up making. Sometimes, we try to be realistic, while other times we’ll make unthinkable deals. Some trades are very good, some trades are very bad, and some trades work out very differently than how they looked on paper. Sometimes, they can make or break the franchise mode experience. In this week’s Friday Five, I’m looking at five types of trades we’ll make when we play through a franchise game in NBA Live or NBA 2K.

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The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for MyCAREER in NBA 2K17

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.

As we look ahead to NBA 2K17 – the only basketball game that will be hitting consoles and PC in Fall 2016 – our Wishlist discussions are in full swing. While franchise modes have traditionally been my bag, and I’ve taken a greater interest in the card collecting modes in recent years, I would like to get more involved in MyCAREER again. I had a lot of fun playing MyCAREER in NBA 2K13, so much so that I ended up maintaining a story thread about it. As I’ve discussed in previous articles and on the NLSC Podcast, however, I’ve lost interest in the mode following the new approach that was adopted in NBA 2K14.

While many of us have taken smirking shots at the story-driven approach of MyCAREER, snark does become overdone, tired, and useless after a while. I believe in the philosophy of fans, not fanboys; critics, not haters. As such, at a certain point we need to drop the snark, identify problems, and put together useful, constructive feedback. To that end, here are five suggestions for MyCAREER in NBA 2K17.

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The Friday Five: 5 Problems Basketball Gamers No Longer Deal With

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.

I’ve been playing basketball games for a long time – over twenty years, at least – and as I’ve said quite a few times before, I’m impressed when I reflect upon how far they’ve come. While it’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t see some of the most desired improvements year-to-year, when you start going back a generation or two, you can really see the leaps that basketball games have made. I’ve actually been spending a decent amount of time with older basketball titles as of late, as I continue to produce content for our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations.

Playing those older basketball games has been a fun trip down memory lane, but it’s also reminded me of some of the problems that were often present, even in the best titles from yesteryear. Needless to say, with basketball games progressing as much as they have, a few of those issues are even more glaring now. While today’s hoops games are still facing some of the same challenges, such as implementing a maximum difficulty setting that plays smarter instead of cheaper, there are some noteworthy problems that we no longer have to deal with. Let’s consider ourselves lucky that we’re not still battling the following five issues.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways to End a Basketball Gaming Rut

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.

As I’ve mentioned a few times in recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, I’ve been finding myself in a bit of a basketball gaming rut as of late. As much as I like NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 for what each title brings to the table, I haven’t been spending as much time with them as I’d like. This is partly due to the fact that I’ve been playing older versions of NBA Live to create content for our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live features, but on top of that, I’ve also found myself a little unsure of what I actually want to do with the most recent releases from EA Sports and Visual Concepts.

First world problems, I know. In any event, I’ve been thinking of what I can do to get out of this rut, and spend some more quality time with the latest basketball games. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who experiences occasional lulls in my basketball gaming habits, so I thought that I’d discuss the topic openly in this week’s Friday Five, and perhaps start a conversation that will help anyone else who feels like they’re in a bit of basketball gaming rut. With that said, here are five suggestions to tip things off.

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The Friday Five: 5 Insulting Player Ratings in Basketball Games

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.

Every year, we basketball gamers tend to argue about ratings. Most of the time, the arguments concern overall ratings, and as we saw during this past offseason, even NBA players are getting in on the act these days. While the importance of overall ratings is often exaggerated, they are still significant, and when an overall rating seems really wrong, it usually means that there are a few issues with a player’s individual ratings.

It’s funny to see players like Brandon Jennings publicly take exception to player ratings though, as I’m sure that a lot of players have taken a look at some of their ratings over the years, and felt quite insulted. “Seriously, you think I’m that hopeless at scoring/passing/defense?” I’d say that it’s definitely led to some grumbling to the developers at EA Sports and 2K Sports. With that in mind, for this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking a look at five ratings that have very likely led to some wounded pride.

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The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Games I’d Like to See

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.

As it stands, basketball gamers don’t have a lot of choice year-to-year. You can either buy NBA Live, NBA 2K, or both, or stick with an older release. Alternatively, you could not play basketball video games at all, but if that’s the case, you’re not exactly relevant to this discussion; no offense. While I wouldn’t be against another developer throwing their hat into the ring with a sim-oriented NBA game, I’m not sure that we necessarily need that to happen. I think that we basketball gamers will be alright as long as NBA 2K continues to do its thing, and NBA Live makes some big strides this year.

Of course, there’s always room in the market for other types of basketball video games. This includes full-blown arcade basketball titles, or perhaps sim-oriented games that focus on different leagues. Cheaper digital releases that focus on mini-games and the like. Resurrections of popular old properties, as controversial as that practice can sometimes be. As you can probably guess, I have a few possibilities in mind; without any further ado, here are five basketball video games that I’d like to see developed.

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The Friday Five: 5 NBA Live Saved Games I’ve Lost

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.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous edition of The Friday Five, one of the unluckiest things that can happen in basketball gaming is the loss of a favourite save game. Whether you accidentally delete or overwrite it, or you intentionally delete it thinking you’ll never play it again, at some point you’ll grumble to yourself “I wish I still had that file”. Many of us learn the hard way to always make backups, and not to delete anything unless we’re absolutely, positively sure…and even then, probably keep a backup of it somewhere, just in case.

It’s been a while since I’ve lost a saved game, as I developed the habit of always saving my games in two slots, just in case. I also regularly make backups, so it’s been many years since I’ve lost anything that I wanted to keep. However, in the couple of decades that I’ve been playing NBA Live, there have been a few saved games that I’ve thoughtlessly deleted, or neglected to copy over to new computers. In this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking the opportunity to lament the loss of those saved games, and memorialise them.

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The Friday Five: 5 Codes & Rumours That Fooled Basketball Gamers

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.

With this being April 1st, I originally considered posting some kind of April Fool’s Day gag. However, since we have visitors from all around the world, chances are that not everyone would see the column before 12 PM, which would actually make me the April fool. I’ve decided to stick with the theme of getting fooled though, because when it comes to basketball gaming, and indeed video games in general, some people are sadly out to trick their fellow gamers, and waste their time.

Although it’s often fairly easy to debunk what TV Tropes refers to as an “Urban Legend of Zelda“, sometimes it’s harder to get gamers to actually believe the truth rather than the rumour. After all, you heard it from your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend that it was true, and why would they lie? Other genres of video games lend themselves to more outlandish and infamous fake secrets, but since basketball games have featured hidden and unlockable content, they’re not immune to their own hoaxes and rumours. Without any further ado, here are five codes and rumours that fooled basketball gamers.

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The Friday Five: 5 Popular NBA Jerseys (I Actually Dislike)

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 listed five unpopular NBA jerseys that I personally like, so this week I’m going the other way and looking at five popular jerseys which I’m not that keen on. I’ve seen these jerseys make a few “best NBA uniforms” lists and be talked about favourably by my fellow NBA fans, so for the purposes of this feature, I think it’s fair enough to call them popular. For the record, I certainly don’t dislike them just because they’re popular, but regardless, I’m in the minority as far as my opinion of them is concerned.

Please note that there are no sleeved jerseys on this list – remember, I did say “popular”! – but rest assured that those designs still rank among my least favourites, well ahead of the uniforms I’ve listed below. I should also make it clear that I don’t necessarily think that these are all bad designs from an objective point of view; they simply don’t appeal to me. With that said, here are five popular NBA jerseys that I dislike, for one reason or another.

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The Friday Five: 5 Unpopular NBA Jerseys (I Actually Like)

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.

The 2016 NBA regular season is winding down, and we’re still a couple of months away from getting a steady stream of concrete information about NBA Live 17 and NBA 2K17. In recent weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about what I’d like to see in the upcoming games, both on the NLSC Podcast and in the Friday Five, and I will continue to do that. However, I thought I’d change things up in today’s Five, and talk a little about fashion. Well, on-court fashion in the NBA, at any rate.

This week, I’m talking about NBA jerseys that tend to be unpopular, or make a lot of “worst NBA jerseys” lists, that I actually happen to like. I can’t defend them all as outstanding or timeless designs, as some of them are definitely products of their era, but I still like them all the same. I know that I’m definitely not alone in liking some of these jerseys, but some fans might declare it to be a sign of bad taste. Nevertheless, here are five unpopular NBA jerseys that I don’t dislike the same way a lot of people do.

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The Friday Five: My 5 Favourite Patches That I’ve Made

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.

In this week’s Monday Tip-Off, I discussed our fondness for continuing to make patches for older basketball video games. As I said in that article, there’s a lot of nostalgia in going back and updating an old game, and it can also be a very rewarding experience, especially when there’s still a contingent of basketball gamers playing older releases. I certainly know a thing or two about that, as I was still releasing multiple roster patches for the last four PC versions of NBA Live up until a few years ago. As you may have noticed, I’ve also released a couple of smaller patches in recent weeks.

Since I’m still in the mood to talk about patches, I thought that for this week’s Friday Five, I’d take a look at five of my favourite patches that I’ve made for the NBA Live series. I’d talk about my work on NBA 2K, but I only have one release for that series: an open source roster with some minor edits and additions. Needless to say, when it comes to patching, I have a much longer history with NBA Live, and a much bigger catalogue of releases. So, without any further ado, here are my five favourite patches that I’ve made over the years.

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The Friday Five: 5 Predictions for Future Cover Players

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 basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

The cover players for NBA Live and NBA 2K are admittedly an insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, it’s a subject that still manages to capture our attention every year, before the official announcements are made. In between talking about what we want to see out of NBA Live and NBA 2K, and speculating on each game’s features and improvements as we learn about them, we usually find ourselves asking: who’s going to be on the cover?

It’s a fun talking point, even if it does have little bearing on the games themselves. Throughout the years, we’ve seen some huge names lend their likenesses to the cover art of NBA Live and NBA 2K, as well as a few unorthodox choices for cover players. Since it’ll be a few months until the preview season really gets underway, I thought that for this week’s Five, I’d throw out some predictions as to who we might see on the covers of NBA Live and NBA 2K…perhaps as soon as this year.

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The Friday Five: 5 Satisfying Moments in Basketball Gaming

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 basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

There are a lot of things that feel good when you’re playing a basketball video game. Knocking down a three-pointer, whether it’s a wide open shot or you’re drilling it right in the face of a defender. Throwing down a dunk, especially when you see a brand new animation, or when the slam caps off a big scoring run. Great defensive plays that end with a crafty steal, intimidating block, or an embarrassing shot clock violation for your opponent, also feel pretty good. When you’re playing a basketball video game, you can sometimes get just as excited as you do when you’re watching or playing the real sport.

That’s what makes basketball video games such a satisfying experience. I mean, we wouldn’t be playing them, talking about them, modding them, and yes, even complaining about them, if we weren’t getting something out of them, and they didn’t hold any value to us. In this week’s Friday Five, I wanted to talk about some of the specific moments in basketball video games that I find to be the most satisfying. These are the moments that go beyond the thrill of simply nailing a triple, or rocking the rim.

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The Friday Five: 5 Worst AI Problems in Basketball Video Games

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 basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

We’ve tipped off our Wishlists for both basketball games, and as I do every year, I’ve been making sure to put out a few reminders about the best way to provide feedback. The most common mistake when posting suggestions for NBA Live or NBA 2K is failing to provide relevant details: saying things like “deeper modes”, “better gameplay”, or “improved AI”. While these are certainly things that we do want to see, they don’t describe what we specifically want to see improve, or the problems that need to be addressed. It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering “tasty food”; there isn’t nearly enough information to work from.

Basketball has a lot finicky nuances that we want to see realistically portrayed in NBA Live and NBA 2K, and when our expectations aren’t being met, we need to be able to identify all those annoying quirks in the AI. Those moments of frustration we have when we’re playing a game, because the CPU is doing something that’s not quite right? Those are the issues that we need to bring up. To demonstrate what I’m talking about, here are five of what I feel are the worst problems with AI in basketball video games, along with some relevant examples.

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The Friday Five: Revisiting My Predictions for the 2016 NBA Season

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 basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

With the All-Star Weekend upon us, we’re essentially at the midway point of the 2016 NBA season. Normally I discuss a topic related to the NBA’s midseason classic in the Five that precedes the All-Star Weekend, but this year, I wanted to do something a little different. This time, I wanted to look back at some predictions I made at the start of the season, and see how I’m faring so far. If you’re a regular listener of the NLSC Podcast, you know how well my NBA predictions generally turn out!

That said, I’m actually not doing too badly. While there’s still quite a few games left to play, several weeks during which time a lot of things can change, a couple of my predictions aren’t too wide of the mark. One has turned out to be a jinx, and two are looking quite precarious, but the other two stand a good chance of being correct. So, without any further ado, let’s revisit the five predictions I made for the 2016 NBA season, and see how each of them are looking at the halfway mark.

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