Monday Tip-Off: How My Basketball Gaming Habits Changed

Ben Gordon in NBA Live 06

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 my basketball gaming habits have changed over the years.

I’ve been playing basketball games for quite a while now. It’s an interest that began as I was entering my teenage years, intensified in my mid-to-late teens when I created the NBA Live Domain and then subsequently took over running the NLSC, and has since continued into adulthood. Now that I’m in my early thirties, I’m finding that I’m approaching the hobby differently. I’m still passionate about it, but with different priorities and responsibilities, I’ve had to ration my time and make a few adjustments to the way that I play. Of course, there have been gradual changes to my habits ever since the very beginning of my interest in basketball gaming.

The evolution of basketball gaming, as well as my own changing tastes, have both played a role here. Picking up two annual releases rather than just the one is a major factor as well. With NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 coming out next month, I’ll once again be faced with the prospect of dividing my time between two current games. Just how much I enjoy those games will also depend on my expectations and tolerance for legacy issues, which have been shaped by all my years of basketball gaming. As I prepare for the next batch of previews, and the new games themselves, I thought that I’d reflect on how my habits have changed over time.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Let’s wrap up another week here at the NLSC with a new batch of file additions for NBA 2K17 PC. The latest mods include a new face for D’Angelo Russell, and several 2018 season jersey updates. Check them all out at the links below!

KingJaylo
D’Angelo Russell Face

pinoy21
Cleveland Cavaliers Jersey 2017-18 (pinoy21)
Philadelphia 76ers Jersey 2017-2018 (Updated to v2.0)

Shuajota & Edudu_10
Minnesota Timberwolves Jerseys 2017-2018
Philadelphia 76ers Jerseys 2017-2018
Chicago Bulls Jerseys 2017-2018
Houston Rockets Jerseys 2017-2018

New Classic & All-Time Teams in NBA 2K18; Latest Screens

NBA 2K18 All-Time Teams

If you love the historical content in NBA 2K – as I’m sure most of us do – then 2K has revealed some fantastic news. NBA 2K18 is going to feature All-Time Teams for all 30 NBA teams, comprised of the best players in each team’s history. Not only that, but sixteen new classic teams are also set to be added in this year’s game. At this time, the new historical squads and the all-time rosters have yet to be announced.

All-Time Teams mods have been very popular over the years, dating back to the early days of NBA Live patching. As such, it’s very cool to hear that they’ll be in the game by default. Similarly, it’s been a few years since any new classic NBA teams have been added to the selection in NBA 2K, so that also comes as very welcome news. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long to find out which teams have been added, and which players made the cut for the all-time squads.

NBA 2K17 did include the Dream Team as a pre-order bonus last year, and a selection of All-Time College Teams were also released as paid downloadable content. It remains to be seen whether that content – or at the very least, the Dream Team – will be available in NBA 2K18. It also remains to be seen whether 2K will take Charles Barkley up on his offer, in order to get him into the classic and all-time teams. If nothing else, it’s great to see new content being added that isn’t a pre-order exclusive, or paid DLC.

In other news, 2K has been posting a bunch of player screenshots, revealing their overall ratings and several new uniforms in the process. You can check out the latest batch of screens below, as well as in our NBA 2K18 gallery.

Which teams are you hoping to see in NBA 2K18? Which players do you expect will make up the all-time roster for your favourite team? Any thoughts on the latest screenshots and player ratings? Have your say in the comments section below, and feel free to join in the discussion taking place in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #217

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #217 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we provide our impressions of the NBA Live 18 Demo and Companion App, share our thoughts on some other NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 news items from the past week, and talk about our recent activities on the virtual hardwood.

On this week’s show…

  • Shortly after we finished recording last week’s NLSC Podcast, the Companion App for NBA Live 18 was released. How does it compare to the NBA Live 16 app, and how did our face scans turn out?
  • The NBA Live 18 Demo is out now. In one of our longest segments to date, we provide some in-depth initial impressions of our first hands-on look at this year’s game from EA Sports.
  • NBA Live 18 is now available to pre-order, with a 33% discount on offer. There also appears to be a Deluxe edition of the game, though no further details are available at this time.
  • Wrapping up the NBA Live 18 news, the full soundtrack has been released. Notably, some big names have contributed tracks this year.
  • The second Developer Diary for NBA 2K18 provided us with a look at the gameplay, as well as an insight into the aesthetic improvements in this year’s game. We also have some hands-on impressions from the community, more screenshots, and mention of amiibo compatibility.
  • We’ll be getting another edition of The Prelude before the release of NBA 2K18, but it’s reportedly different to last year’s demo. Naturally, that news invites speculation.
  • Episode #217 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with Our Week in Basketball Gaming, which included a troubleshooting fail (albeit with a happy ending), a brewing rivalry for NLSC THRILLHO, and an elusive PlayStation Trophy.

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 Basketball Games I’m Oddly Nostalgic For

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 basketball games that I’m oddly nostalgic for.

We each have our all-time favourite basketball games. Even when they’ve been surpassed by new titles, it’s natural to feel nostalgic towards old favourites. In the best case scenario, some of them may still hold up reasonably well, and be fun to play years later. As far as the sim-oriented basketball games are concerned, my list would include NBA Live 95, NBA Live 96, NBA Live 2000, NBA Live 2004, NBA Live 2005, NBA Live 06, and now that a few years have passed, NBA 2K11, NBA 2K12, and NBA 2K13. In terms of arcade basketball games, there’s NBA Jam Tournament Edition, NBA Street Homecourt, and more recently, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.

I’m nostalgic for those titles because they rank among my all-time favourites, but then there are also basketball games that I feel an affinity for, even though they wouldn’t make my personal top five or ten. Some of those games are quite flawed, or at the very least haven’t aged too well, yet there’s something that draws me to them. Sometimes it’s the general atmosphere, sometimes it’s an ultimately inconsequential detail such as the soundtrack, and sometimes it has more to do with when they came out and where I was at in my life at the time. Whatever the case may be, these are five basketball games that I’m oddly nostalgic for, given the circumstances.

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NBA Live 18 Cover Player is James Harden; Demo Out Today

James Harden in NBA Live 18

The speculation is over! Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden has been officially announced as the cover player for NBA Live 18. Originally, the news was inadvertently leaked in a since-deleted video by YouTuber iMav3riq, but we now have official confirmation. Harden was previously one of four different cover players for NBA 2K16, along with Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, and Michael Jordan (Special Edition only). Check out the cover art below!

Notably, Harden was among the players who appeared in the first reveal screenshots, as well as the early gameplay trailers for NBA Live 18. While this obviously seems like a strong hint in retrospect, it’s also worth noting that a couple of screenshots of DeMar DeRozan were also released at the same time, despite him being signed to appear on the Canadian cover of NBA 2K18.

EA Sports has released a trailer to coincide with the official announcement. As you would expect, it focuses on James Harden himself, playing in both The League and The Streets. Check it out below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

The NBA Live 18 demo is also out today. Depending on your timezone – or indeed, the timezone of the account you’re currently using – it’s already available to download. The game’s release date has been confirmed for September 15th, which sees it going head to head with NBA 2K18’s Early Tip-Off Weekend. EA Sports are also offering a 33% discount for pre-orders. No further word on the Deluxe edition as yet.

We’ll have demo impressions and further thoughts to share in this week’s NLSC Podcast, but in the meantime, what’s your take on the choice of James Harden for NBA Live 18’s cover? Are you trying out the demo? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum. You can also share your impressions of the demo in this topic.

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

Time to get caught up on the latest file additions for NBA 2K14 PC! We have a lot of new files today, including the latest version of URB 2K14 and Med’s Roster, as well as custom frontend art, new hairstyles, and more.

Today’s batch of NBA 2K14 file additions is considerably larger than usual, as it includes the art packs for Med’s Roster and the PBA 2K mod. As such, I’ve trimmed the front page post, as I do with feature articles and lengthier news bulletins. Click Read More to check out all the download links below, after the jump.

A big thank you to everyone who continues to upload their work to our Downloads database, not just for NBA 2K14, but for several other games in the NBA 2K and NBA Live series. We greatly appreciate your contributions! If you’re not sure how to use our upload facilities, check out this video tutorial.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K12 Promotional Copy Opening

Promotional Copy of NBA 2K12

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 opening up a sealed promotional copy of NBA 2K12 for Xbox 360 that I found on eBay.

In recent years I’ve continued to expand my collection of basketball video games, not only buying the latest releases, but also picking up older games that I’ve found on eBay at an affordable price. Some of those games I’ve previously owned and sold, while others I’ve never owned or even played before. I’ve also bought different versions of games that I already own, in order to experience them on other platforms. While browsing eBay looking for deals, I found a sealed, promotional copy of NBA 2K12 for the Xbox 360. Intrigued as to what might be in the box – perhaps a code for the 2002 Sacramento Kings and 1991 Golden State Warriors? – I decided to pick it up.

Since I was going to have to tear open the seal anyway in order to check it out, I figured that I might as well make a sort of unboxing video feature out of it. For your entertainment, let’s open up this sealed promotional copy of NBA 2K12 for Xbox 360, and take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on the NLSC’s YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. I’ll be looking to create video content a bit more often moving forward, so be sure to subscribe! If you’d like to check out more Wayback Wednesday content related to NBA 2K12, be sure to read this retrospective of NBA’s Greatest.

NBA Live 18 Soundtrack Revealed; Listen on Spotify

NBA Live 18 Soundtrack

EA Sports has officially announced the NBA Live 18 soundtrack. The track list for this year’s game includes artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Nas, Kid Cudi, and Machine Gun Kelly. Changing things up from the “underground” vibe of the past few games, this year’s soundtrack features a combination of big names and up-and-coming artists.

Check out the full track list below. If you’d like to preview the NBA Live 18 soundtrack, you can tune in on Spotify. Note that only thirteen songs are available at this time, but the full version of the soundtrack will be available to listen to on Spotify on August 11th, to coincide with the release of the demo.

I’ve added the track list to the NBA Live Soundtracks page in our Wiki. As always, I invite the community to help out in keeping our Wiki up to date with the latest information, especially with the preview season for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 starting to kick into high gear.

Once again, check out the soundtrack below, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. You can also join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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Developer Diary: The Art Behind NBA 2K18

LeBron James in NBA 2K18

2K have posted a new developer diary for NBA 2K18, and this time, it’s a video. It talks about the development team’s goal of achieving photo-realism in the aesthetics of this year’s game. Some of the key points include:

  • There has been a great deal of focus on accurately representing active players, including more realistic physiques. Player faces have been completely rebuilt, while scars, stretch marks, and faded tattoos are also represented.
  • A lot of attention has been paid to how the new Nike uniforms fit, compared to the old uniforms. 2K’s artists went to the NBA offices in New York to scan the jerseys to ensure true-to-life colours and other details. Player accessories have also been scanned, and there are improved cloth physics.
  • Face scanning for MyPLAYERs has been improved. Facial editing has been revamped, and there are new hairstyles available. We’ll also have more control over the body models of our MyPLAYERs, based on height, weight, shoulder width, and so on.

The blog also serves as an official announcement for The Prelude to NBA 2K18, which as previously mentioned, will be released September 8th. It features gameplay from cinematic angles, so it also provides us with our first glimpse of several players in action. Watch it below, or check it out here on the official NBA 2K YouTube channel.

Your thoughts? Do you like what you see? Post your thoughts in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

NBA 2K18 Prelude Coming September 8th; Kyrie Irving Screenshot

NBA 2K18: Kyrie Irving

It seems that we’ll be able to get an early look at both NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 this year. The NBA Live 18 demo will of course be released this week on August 11th, but Matt Bertz of Game Informer has broken the news that there will be a Prelude demo for NBA 2K18 released in a month’s time, on September 8th.

Last year’s edition of The Prelude followed the college career of Pres, the main character in NBA 2K17’s MyCAREER mode. It concluded with Adam Silver approaching the podium at the 2016 Draft, with all progress made in the demo carrying over to the full version of NBA 2K17. It seems quite likely that this year’s Prelude will be a similar premise, though no specific details are available at this time.

Once again, the demo is only slated for release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Presumably, the companion app will be released in time to scan our faces for use in this year’s Prelude, as was the case last year. Although face scanning was originally going to be limited to the console versions of NBA 2K17, the app ultimately did support the PC version as well, so hopefully that will be the case once again.

As you may have seen on social media, 2K Sports has released another screenshot, featuring cover player Kyrie Irving in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new uniform. His overall rating has also been revealed to be 90. Check it out below, as well as in our NBA 2K18 screenshots gallery.

The full version of NBA 2K18 will be coming out September 19th, with pre-order customers being able to play it on September 15th as part of the Early Tip-Off Weekend campaign. Got any thoughts on The Prelude, or the latest screenshot? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion taking place here in the Forum.

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File Additions for NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K13 PC include the latest updates for U R Basketball 2K13. The new version of URB 2K13 contains 2017 offseason rosters, accurate as of August 5th. Check out the updates at the links below!

skoadam
URB 2K13 & 2K14 CF ID
2K13 U R Basketball V51 [34 Complete Seasons Mods] + Accurate 17-18 Roster/Rotations [ALL Transactions 05.08.17] (Updated, August 5th)

Monday Tip-Off: Gameplay vs. Game Modes

MyCAREER in NBA 2K17 with the Denver Nuggets

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 look at the debate regarding the importance of gameplay vs. the importance of game modes, in basketball video games.

For the most part, we basketball gamers can generally agree that we want to see the games that we play get better and better with each release. Of course, we’re not always on the same page as far as the specific improvements are concerned. At the very least, we may prioritise them quite differently. We need to realise that these differing points of view are equally valid; it’s perfectly fine to like different aspects of the games, and as such, have a keener interest in seeing them improve compared to others. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to see your fellow basketball gamers talking about something that doesn’t interest you, and not feel that they’re missing the point.

Perhaps the best example of this is the whole gameplay vs. game modes debate. It’s fair to say that most basketball gamers would agree that both gameplay and game modes are the most important aspects of any given release, but disagree on the importance of those aspects in relation to one another. I’ve recently seen a few comments that have derided the importance of game modes, and over the years, there have been more than a couple of remarks that have downplayed the necessity of getting the gameplay experience right. To that end, I thought that I’d offer up my thoughts on the debate regarding gameplay vs. game modes.

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NBA Live 18 Deluxe Edition; Face Scanning Tutorial

NBA Live 18: LeBron James

As noted by The Gaming Tailgate, the Amazon UK listing for NBA Live 18 seems to have revealed that there will be both a standard and deluxe edition of the game. There isn’t any further information at this time, but given the higher price tag, it’s likely that it will include some in-game bonuses, such as Ultimate Team packs.

The listings also mention September 15th as the release date. If accurate, this would see the game come out the same day as NBA 2K18’s Early Tip-Off Weekend pre-order edition. The street date for NBA 2K18 is September 19th, though some retailers have been known to break those dates, either deliberately or accidentally.

Assuming this isn’t an error, it would mark the first time that there has been a special edition of NBA Live. Visual Concepts has produced special editions of the past few NBA 2K releases, which have been given “Legend Edition” branding in NBA 2K17 and NBA 2K18.

Speaking of The Gaming Tailgate, cdj has put together a quick video tutorial demonstrating how to scan your face using the new companion app. Watch it below, or check it out here on TGT’s YouTube channel.

You’ll be able to complete your face scan with a hairstyle, facial hair, and other features, in the full version and in the NBA Live 18 demo. The demo is slated for release August 11th, so it won’t be long before we get some hands-on time with NBA Live 18. As mentioned in last week’s Podcast, we might be looking to do some streams of the demo over the weekend.

What do you think will be in the Deluxe Edition of NBA Live 18? Have you managed to scan your face for the demo yet? Have your say in the comments section below, and as always, we encourage everyone to join in the discussion taking place in the NBA Live 18 section of the NLSC Forum.

NBA 2K18 Hands-On Impressions; amiibo Compatibility

NBA 2K18 Cover

Following an NBA 2K18 event last week, the community has been getting some hands-on impressions from the attendees. Some of the commonly mentioned improvements include enhancements to AI, defensive logic, control responsiveness, and player physics. Notably, shot feedback has been expanded with more information about the attempt, pick and roll defense has been smartened up, and player speed is better handled. Interestingly, there’s also a reference to “MyDynasty”, though there’s no further information on what that entails as yet.

A round-up of the reports is a follows:

Check them out for the full scoop, and feel to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in our Forum.

In other news, it appears as though the Nintendo Switch version of NBA 2K18 will feature amiibo compatibility. The news comes via DualSHOCKERS, who gleaned the information from the game’s Japanese Nintendo Store page. At this time, it isn’t clear what this will entail, though they speculate it may mean Nintendo-themed apparel and costumes, or some kind of presence for Nintendo’s characters in NBA 2K18. Obviously, if you’re playing on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or one of the prior gen consoles, this particular tidbit is neither here nor there.

In any event, it seems that the steady stream of information is going to continue up until the game’s release. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the latest NBA 2K18 screenshots, be sure to check them out in our gallery.