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Monday Tip-Off: Missing Former Modes & Features

Roster Editing is greatly missed in NBA Live

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 modes and features that are missing in recent games, and as such, tend to be sorely missed.

With their annual releases, sports video games are often criticised for being little more than a patch, roster update, or expansion pack sold at retail price. While it’s an understandable criticism, and those of us who buy the games every year certainly do want to get value for money, it is selling developers like EA Sports and Visual Concepts short. A lot of time and energy goes into the development of the games, and while the results aren’t always want we want, we generally see some pleasing improvements, and new content beyond updated rosters for the new season. Of course, it’s always frustrating when it seems like one step forward, two steps back.

As much as we hate to see new games make missteps in terms of the gameplay experience, it’s arguably even more frustrating when modes and other features that we really enjoyed in previous games are cut from future releases. Even though there may be perfectly valid reasons for their removal – technical or otherwise – it generally doesn’t lessen the sting of losing the experiences and functionality they provided. As I look ahead to NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, and think about the news I’d like to hear in the upcoming preview season, I can’t help but reflect on some of the modes and features that I miss in both games.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

We’re wrapping up another week here at the NLSC with a handful of file additions for NBA 2K17 PC. Today’s new releases include more retro player faces, including a new version of the previously released young David Robinson. Check them all out at the links below!

mjk2000
Darrell Griffith Face
Wes Unseld Older Face with Thick Body
Young and Skinny David Robinson (Updated to v1.1)

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

The latest file additions for NBA 2K14 PC include updated NBA and FIBA rosters, a Golden State Warriors jersey pack, and a pack of 2017 Draft Prospect faces. Download all of the latest releases at the links below!

Blang
2017 Prospect Face Pack (4 Players)

Medevenx
2017 Golden State Warriors Jersey Pack
Med’s NBA Roster Appdata Files (Updated to v4.7c)
FIBA 2K Appdata Files (Updated to v6.2)

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The Friday Five: 5 Mods I’d Like To Make This Year

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 mods that I’d like to make before 2017 is through.

Although I don’t get involved with the modding scene as much as I used to, I still like to whip something up and release new mods whenever I can. I really enjoyed going back and updating my 1996 season mod for NBA Live 2004, and with some of the great court and jersey mods that Murat has been working on, I’m looking forward to releasing another new version in the not too distant future. These days I’m primarily focusing on content such as articles, videos, and the NLSC Podcast, but I do have a list of ideas for mods that I’d like to make, and there are some in particular that I’d really like to find time for, some of which I’ve discussed in two previous columns.

Please note that this is not intended to be an announcement, a To Do list, or anything like that. There’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to make these mods this year, or ever for that matter. However, at least one has already seen a couple of beta/demo releases, and others are ideas that probably wouldn’t take too long to create, in between the other content that I’m working on (as well as other site updates, and of course, my day job and personal life). However, when the itch to get back into some modding starts to flare up, these are the mods that I’d be most interested in creating in the near future…time permitting, of course.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #209

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #209 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we give our thoughts on all the NBA Live 18 news coming out of EA Play, discuss a couple of other basketball gaming tidbits from the past week, and share a few final thoughts on the 2017 NBA season.

On this week’s show…

  • Coming out of EA Play 2017, we now know about The One, the new single player career mode in NBA Live 18. From the basic concept to the approach to Playstyles, it’s definitely sounding good.
  • A lot of the hands-on impressions of NBA Live 18 have also been very positive, which has us feeling quite optimistic. A couple of other details are also potentially quite promising.
  • Opponents quitting on you in online games of NBA 2K? 2K Support has some…interesting advice.
  • The latest patch for NBA Playgrounds has continued the trend of adding more content and making some very welcome fixes and adjustments.
  • We answer a listener question: would we like to see a story-driven career mode in NBA Live, similar to what we’ve seen in MyCAREER?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included our most enjoyable 2K Pro-Am game in a while…after some more frustrating contests, of course.
  • With the Golden State Warriors’ victory in Game 5, the 2017 NBA Finals are over…of course, the MJ vs. LeBron debate is not.
  • We wrap up Episode #209 of the NLSC Podcast with a short discussion of Jerry West’s new role with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the announcement regarding 3-on-3 basketball at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K17 PC include a couple of 2018 season updates – specifically new jerseys for the Philadelphia 76ers and a new logo for the Cleveland Cavaliers – and a collection of retro player updates. Download them all at the links below!

pinoy21
Philadelphia 76ers Jersey 2017-2018
Cleveland Cavaliers New Logo 2018

mjk2000
Younger Clyde Drexler Face with Hair
Young and Skinny David Robinson Update
Young Shaquille O’Neal Face
Young Charles Barkley Face

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Wayback Wednesday: Freestyle Challenge in NBA Live

Freestyle Challenge Menu in NBA Live 2005

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 Freestyle Challenge in NBA Live.

EA Play 2017 introduced us to The One, the new single player career mode that is set to debut in NBA Live 18. The depth of game modes has been a problem for the NBA Live series since its reboot in 2013, but as I’ve discussed in various 20th Anniversary of NBA Live retrospectives and Wayback Wednesday articles, there was a time when EA were consistently doing some very innovative things with their basketball games. I’ve already talked about the much-missed All-Star Weekend mode that was introduced in NBA Live 2005, but the addition of the Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout also led to the inclusion of another mode: Freestyle Challenge.

A spinoff of the All-Star Weekend, Freestyle Challenge provided basketball gamers with something else to play in between the deeper game modes. It’s a mode that doesn’t get mentioned very often, but it was definitely an interesting concept, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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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)

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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.

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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.

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