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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Details on The One in NBA Live 18; Trailers, Demo, Other News

NBA Live 18: The One

With EA Play 2017 upon us, EA Sports has taken the opportunity to officially announce The One, the new game mode that will be making its debut in NBA Live 18. The One is NBA Live’s new career mode, encompassing both the NBA and streetball. Rising up the ranks in both the league and on the streets earns ratings upgrades, gear, and other perks. You’re also able to hone your game by taking part in the Drew League, and challenge other gamers to online showdowns at authentic Pro-Am venues.

Your player will also be able to earn Traits, which appear to be similar to the Player Badges in NBA 2K’s MyCAREER. There are also several Playstyles for each position, which are similar to the MyPlayer Archetypes. Your choice of Playstyle determines primary and secondary skills, as well as Traits. Signature abilities and skills are also available to unlock for your player. LIVE Events will provide new challenges and rewards, with solo, co-op, and multiplayer gameplay.

A few videos featuring gameplay footage from The One (again taken from cinematic angles) and explanations of the concept and features have also been released; you can check those out below. We also have confirmation that an NBA Live 18 demo will be released in August. It will provide basketball gamers with an opportunity to get an early look at The One, with progress carrying over to the full game.

A preliminary features list can also be found over on the official NBA Live website. In addition to hyping up the enhancements to gameplay, it also mentions a Franchise experience (possibly confirming a return to the original Franchise Mode branding, before the rename to Dynasty Mode in NBA Live 2004 onward), and shows off the new designs for Ultimate Team cards.

Gamers have been getting their hands on NBA Live 18 at EA Play, and based on the impressions being shared on social media, the improvements to gameplay are quite pleasing. For some detailed impressions, be sure to follow TicoisTocory and ThaLiveKing on Twitter! More detailed impressions should be coming through in the near future, and we’re looking to set up a chat with ThaLiveKing to get more of his candid thoughts on the game.

Once again, check out the videos below, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum. Stay tuned to the NLSC throughout the NBA Live 18 preview season for more news, as in addition to posting details from around the web, we’ll be looking to arrange some developer interviews (and hopefully a few exclusives) as soon we possibly can.

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

A few new mods for NBA 2K14 PC have been added to our Downloads database recently. The latest additions include a face for Dennis Smith Jr, and the latest versions of Medevenx’s current NBA rosters and PBA mod. Check them all out at the links below!

kayb4922
Dennis Smith Jr Face

Medevenx
Med’s NBA Roster Appdata Files (Updated to v4.7)
PBA 2K Appdata Files (Updated to v16.0)

The Friday Five: 5 Failed Ideas Newer Basketball Games Salvaged

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of ideas that were busts in older basketball video games, but have since been implemented more effectively.

Sometimes, disappointing basketball video games still bring surprisingly good ideas to the table. Likewise, even the best basketball video games can have features that seem kind of weak compared to the rest of the product. And of course, ideas that were good in theory can be executed poorly, regardless of the game’s overall quality. In the best case scenario, great ideas that didn’t pan out the first time around or were overshadowed by their game’s shortcomings can be dusted off, polished up, and put to use in much better releases. If an idea has merit, it’s worth revisiting.

While it may be harsh to call some of the ideas I’m discussing here “failures”, their first incarnation was at the very least problematic, and their basic concepts ended up being shelved for at least a few years. Upon making their way back into more recent basketball video games, they’ve benefitted from advancements in technology and fine-tuning of the original concept, ultimately working out a lot better as a result. Some credit therefore has to be given to those original ideas, which obviously weren’t all bad. Not every one of these ideas is universally liked by basketball gamers, but at the very least, they’ve been salvaged and done better since their debut.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #208

NLSC Podcast Logo

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.

New Gameplay Footage & Screenshots from NBA Live 18 Event

NBA Live 18: Hoop Dome

Although we’re still waiting on confirmation about the rumours surrounding a possible PC release of NBA Live 18 – again, I’d recommend taking those rumours with a grain of salt – we do have some new preview media and a couple of snippets of information about the game. EA Sports held an event in New York last week, with several YouTubers and SLAM Magazine getting a look at NBA Live 18.

The screenshots, which you can check out below or here over on the SLAM Magazine website, show off what appears to be a selection of the LIVE Pro-Am arenas in NBA Live 18, as well as some of the shoes that will be in the game. SLAM also had an opportunity to chat with producer Mike Mahar. Mike indicated that improving core gameplay technologies such as animations and fluidity was one of the main priorities this year, and also briefly touched upon the new mode, The One. The One will be a new way of playing NBA Live, and although Mike didn’t offer up much in the way of details, he did mention that the game modes have been re-designed around the new experience, with a lot of the usual staples being represented.

Some new gameplay footage has also been revealed, once again showing off NBA Live 18 from cinematic camera angles. The YouTubers in attendance also had their faces scanned for the game, and have been given clearance to talk about their experiences at the event. You can check out the gameplay footage, as well as their vlogs of the event, embedded below.

With EA Play 2017 tipping off this weekend, it seems we’ll be seeing more of NBA Live 18 very soon, and perhaps learning more about The One in the not too distant future. A couple of people from our community (including Eric) will be attending EA Play, so we’re looking forward to getting some reports back from them. Until then, feel free to add your thoughts on the latest previews and information in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NBA Live 18 section of the NLSC Forum.

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Rumours of a PC Release for NBA Live 18 (Update: PS4 & X1 Only)

NBA Live 18: Stephen Curry

UPDATE: The official website only lists PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as the platforms, so it appears as though the rumours are false. We may look to start up another PC petition in the near future.

There are some very interesting rumours regarding NBA Live 18 making the rounds at the moment. According to Game Informer, both NBA Live 18 and Madden 18 are slated for release on PC, in addition to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If true, it would be the first time in ten years that either game has been released on the PC platform.

Before we all get too excited, it wouldn’t be the first time that a PC version has been erroneously listed for NBA Live following the game’s last appearance on the platform. It should be noted that EA Sports have yet to officially confirm any platforms for NBA Live 18, aside from the current generation consoles. As such, this could simply be a copy and paste error, as the platform listings for the upcoming NBA Live and Madden releases are identical to FIFA 18, a series that is currently available on PC.

Nevertheless, this is a rumour that we’ll obviously be keeping an eye on. A return to PC would definitely be welcomed by our community, especially if the game turned out to be anywhere near as moddable as the series’ previous releases for the platform. That’s obviously something we’d look into, if indeed NBA Live 18 comes out on PC.

For now, it’s probably best to take the rumour with a grain of salt, as it’s a move that seems somewhat unlikely as the NBA Live series tries to reestablish itself with the significantly larger console demographic. We’ll obviously discuss the rumour in this week’s NLSC Podcast though, and if we can get any more information on the situation, we’ll naturally be sure to pass it along. In the meantime, feel free to speculate in the comments section below, as well as in this thread in the NLSC Forum. Incidentally, if you missed the first official look at NBA Live 18, you can check it out here.

Wayback Wednesday: Shaquille O’Neal in NBA Live 2002

Shaquille O'Neal dunks the basketball in NBA Live 2002

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the dominance of Shaquille O’Neal in NBA Live 2002.

If you grew up watching him play or you’re at least familiar with your NBA history, you’ll know that Shaquille O’Neal was one of the most dominant players in league history. Although he was a force to be reckoned with for over a decade, the most dominant stretch of his career came between 2000 and 2002, when he led the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight championships. Putting up huge numbers in the NBA Finals became a trend for Shaq, beginning on this day in 2000 when he scored 43 points in Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers, after scoring 46 points, 37 points, and 41 points in the opening games of the first three rounds.

As you might expect, Shaq was generally also a beast in NBA video games. He was particularly unstoppable in NBA Live 2002, especially in the hands of the unforgiving AI on higher difficulty levels. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA Live 06

NBA Live 06 Cover Art

We have another new file addition for NBA Live 06 PC today, as magiciangirl06 has uploaded a new 2017 court update for the Washington Wizards. Check it out at the link below!

magiciangirl06
2016/2017 Washington Wizards Court

Monday Tip-Off: The Importance of Consistent Controls

NBA Live 16's Practice Gym

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on the importance of consistent controls in NBA Live and NBA 2K.

The preview seasons for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 are tantalisingly close…presumably. We should get another glimpse at NBA Live 18 this weekend at EA Play, and with Live scheduled to come out this year, hopefully 2K won’t drag their feet putting out information, especially since they’re once again pushing early pre-orders. In any event, it hopefully shouldn’t be too long before we start hearing about improvements and changes to gameplay mechanics, AI, modes, and all other aspects of the games. Controls will be a key point of interest, specifically whether or not there have been any major changes or enhancements.

When it comes to the responsiveness and fluidity of the controls, as well as their depth and influence over the action, it’s probably safe to say that most of us still want to see some further improvement. It’s vital that we have control over advanced moves, don’t get stuck in animations or experience too many canned moments, and not suffer stiffness or a lack of responsiveness on the sticks. Beyond those mechanics however, there’s an important design concept that EA and 2K both need to keep in mind: the controls should be relatively consistent from year to year.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #207

NLSC Podcast Logo

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.

The Friday Five: 5 Things NLSC THRILLHO Learned in 2K Pro-Am

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five things that NLSC THRILLHO has collectively learned playing 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K17.

Even though we’ve cut back on our 2K Pro-Am sessions in NBA 2K17, the members of NLSC THRILLHO still get together once a week, or at least once a fortnight, to play a few games. As Arcane and I have mentioned in recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, we’ve had a couple of really fun sessions recently including one where we finished the night on a five game winning streak, but also a couple of very frustrating ones. Last week’s session was an example of the latter, leading us to call it a night after only two games.

At this point, we’ve played over 470 games, which is the equivalent of about five and three quarter seasons (or a little under two and a half seasons, adjusting the twenty minute games for regulation length). NLSC THRILLHO certainly isn’t one of the top-ranked squads, but with all those games, we do at least have a lot of experience under our belts. To that end, we’ve undoubtedly learned a thing or two about the mode, which has given us a new perspective as we look ahead to NBA 2K18. If I may speak on behalf of NLSC THRILLHO for a moment, these are probably the five most important lessons we’ve learned in NBA 2K17’s 2K Pro-Am.

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Kyrie Irving Announced As Cover Player for NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18 Cover Art

With the third straight NBA Finals clash between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers set to tip off today, 2K Sports has revealed that All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving of the defending champion Cavs will grace the cover of NBA 2K18. As previously announced, Shaquille O’Neal will appear on the covers of the Legend Edition and Legend Edition Gold.

Kyrie Irving previously appeared on the cover of NBA Live 14, making him the third player to appear on both the cover of NBA Live and NBA 2K, following Shaquille O’Neal (NBA Live 96, NBA 2K6, NBA 2K7, NBA 2K18) and Kevin Garnett (NBA Live 2001, NBA 2K9). Kevin Durant, whom Kyrie Irving and the Cavs will face in this year’s NBA Finals, was the cover player for the ultimately cancelled NBA Elite 11. He would later go on to appear on the cover of NBA 2K13 along with Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose, and was also the lone cover player for NBA 2K15.

Although no specific details have been revealed at this time, it’s likely that pre-order customers will receive some sort of Kyrie Irving-themed gear for their MyPLAYER, as was the case with Paul George’s Team USA apparel in NBA 2K17. As previously noted, the Legend Edition and Legend Edition Gold will provide a selection of Shaquille O’Neal-themed bonus content, including physical collectables in the Gold edition. As soon as any further details are made available, we’ll be sure to post them.

You can check out a larger image of the cover below. Any thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s selection as the cover player for NBA 2K18? Have your say in the comments, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum! For a history of NBA 2K cover players, check out this article in our Wiki.

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