’07 Cavaliers & ’04 Timberwolves in NBA 2K16; Hands-On Preview at OS

NBA 2K16: 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers & 2004 Minnesota Timberwolves

The 2004 Minnesota Timberwolves and 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers have been confirmed as the final two new historical teams in NBA 2K16. For those who have missed the earlier announcements, there will be a total of 12 new retro teams in this year’s game:

  • 2000 Toronto Raptors
  • 2000 Portland Trail Blazers
  • 2001 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2003 Dallas Mavericks
  • 2004 Detroit Pistons
  • 2004 Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 2005 Phoenix Suns
  • 2006 Miami Heat
  • 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 2008 Boston Celtics
  • 2008 Houston Rockets
  • 2013 Miami Heat

Additionally, Operation Sports’ Dustin Toms has confirmed that Greg Anthony is the third commentator in NBA 2K16, replacing Steve Kerr. Kerr remained a part of the commentary team in NBA 2K15, despite taking over as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors last season.

Dustin has had some hands-on time with NBA 2K16 and subsequently shared his impressions, which Dommy73 has summarised here in our Forum. Apparently the new Playoff structure will be accounted for on day one, there are interviews between quarters, and the gameplay is greatly improved and refined. You can read Dustin’s full report here over on Operation Sports.

Any thoughts on the twelve new historical teams in NBA 2K16, or Dustin’s hands-on impressions? Have your say in the comments below, and as always, we invite you to join in the discussion in our NBA 2K16 Forum.

The Friday Five: 5 Worst Features in Great Basketball Video Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This 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.

In last week’s Friday Five, I took a look at the five best features in subpar basketball video games. It wasn’t the easiest list to compile, since the main reason subpar basketball video games have that reputation is that they don’t have much going for them in the first place. However, even in the worst releases, there are usually some good ideas, and concepts that have merit.

This week I’m going in the other direction, as I take a look at five of the worst features in some of the best basketball video games. All things considered, this was probably the tougher list; while no game is perfect, great basketball video games don’t achieve that status by having too many game-breaking flaws. Nevertheless, some of the best games have had their weaknesses, and surprisingly disappointing features. At the very least, there might be a mode or feature that just doesn’t seem as good when compared to everything else in the game. With that said, let’s get started on the Five.

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NBA Live 16 Developer Blog: Defense & Playcalling

NBA Live 16: Playcalling

A new NBA Live 16 developer blog has been posted over on the official website, detailing improvements to the defense and playcalling in this year’s game.

The blog describes the new playcalling system, which takes the form of the Play Wheel, accessed by holding LB/L1. More plays have been added for each team in NBA Live 16, all of which can be accessed via the Play Wheel. Alternatively, you can tap LB/L1 as you bring the ball up court to run a quick play. An on-screen prompt will let you know which play has been selected, should you wish to run it.

Improvements on the other side of the ball in NBA Live 16 include better help defense, ball denial on the perimeter, and screen defense. Players are challenged more often at the rim, with help defense collapsing into the paint when players drive to the basket. On the perimeter, good off-ball defenders will make it tougher for you to get an open shot, or make the pass to your best shooters. You can also do this yourself by pressing LT/L2 when you get near your opponent.

Finally, the defensive AI on screens has been improved, so that you can’t just call screens and score every time down the floor. A few new screenshots have been added in the blog, demonstrating some of the new features and improvements to playcalling and defense in NBA Live 16. Check them out below, as well as here in our NBA Live 16 screenshots section.

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA Live 16 gameplay blog? Add your thoughts in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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Top 5 Small Forwards in NBA Live 16

Top 5 Small Forwards in NBA Live 16

The ratings reveal for NBA Live 16 continues, as EA Sports has posted a list of the top five small forwards in this year’s game.

  1. LeBron James (97 overall)
  2. Kevin Durant (96 overall)
  3. Carmelo Anthony (91 overall)
  4. Paul George (90 overall)
  5. Kawhi Leonard (89 overall)

As with the previous ratings reveal articles, the latest list goes into detail about some of the specific ratings for each of the five players. Notably, it mentions that LeBron James is also the highest rated player in the game, with high strength, dunking, and jumping ratings. Kevin Durant boasts some of the best shooting ratings in the game, while Kawhi Leonard is one of the strongest defenders. The individual ratings mentioned for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony also seem to be on point.

The article also provided us with a few more screenshots of all those players in action in NBA Live 16, which you can check out below, as well as in our NBA Live 16 screenshots gallery.

Any thoughts on the latest ratings reveal? Agree or disagree with the ratings these small forwards will have out of the box? Sound off in the comments below, and feel free to join in the discussion here in the NBA Live 16 section of the NLSC Forum.

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 97 Retrospective

NBA Live 97 Retrospective

To mark the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re posting content for every game in the series, including retrospectives, patches, countdowns, and more. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with the NBA Live series and would like to take a drip down memory lane, or you’ve only recently started playing basketball games and would like to learn a little about what they used to be like, we hope that you enjoy the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content here on the NLSC!

NBA Live 97 was another step up from NBA Live 96…depending on which platform you were playing on. If you were playing the game on Super Nintendo, you’d notice a couple of new features, and some new animations. On PC and PlayStation, however, the jump was a little bigger. Not quite NBA Showdown to NBA Live 95 big, but still fairly noticeable, especially in terms of the visuals. Let’s take a look back at the game that described itself as the “soul of hoops”, and proudly announced that it featured Shaq.

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NBA 2K16 Presents: Shaq, Ernie, & Kenny

Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson, and Kenny Smith in NBA 2K16

It’s been revealed that Kenny Smith will be joining Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson in the new pre-game, post-game, and halftime shows in NBA 2K16. 2K has released a new trailer spotlighting the addition of The Jet to NBA 2K16, and providing an overview of what to expect from their expanded presentation.

The trailer shows that there’ll be banter between all three hosts, in-arena presentation, and the aforementioned halftime and post-game shows (which includes the presentation of the Jordan Player of the Game), in addition to the pre-game show that made its debut in NBA 2K15. It also gives us a preview of some of the more amusing moments that we can expect to see, which are very similar to the antics you’d expect to see from Shaq and Kenny on an NBA on TNT broadcast.

Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

What are your thoughts on the presence of Shaq, EJ, and Kenny in NBA 2K16, and the new halftime and post-game shows? Are they something that you’ll watch every time, or do you think you’ll end up skipping the shows after a while? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NBA 2K16 section of the NLSC Forum.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #128

NLSC Podcast Logo

It’s back to our regularly scheduled programming this week, as Arcane and I host Episode #128 of the NLSC Podcast! An overview of this week’s show is as follows:

  • In case you missed it, last week was a big episode for the NLSC Podcast, as we welcomed Leftos and JaoSming back to the show to talk about NBA 2K16.
  • Our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content has tipped off, and we have a couple of other housekeeping announcements to make.
  • Catching up on all the NBA Live 16 news, we give our thoughts on the soundtrack, latest ratings reveals, and screenshots. Are we hyped for NBA Live 16?
  • We recap a huge amount of NBA 2K16 news, including a new trailer, and several in-depth developer blogs. Has it moved the needle on our excitement for NBA 2K16?
  • New content for NBA Live 15 and NBA 2K15 is slowing to a halt, and we’re finding that we’re just about ready to move on. Still, we have been spending some time with last year’s games as of late.
  • The Atlanta Hawks are retiring Dikembe Mutombo’s #55, so we reflect on some of our favourite Mutombo Moments.
  • J.R. Smith has officially re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers; Tristan Thompson has not. Once again, we reflect on the Cavs’ chances this year.
  • What do we think of Mickey Arison’s proposed Miami Vice/South Beach alternates for the Miami Heat?
  • We end Episode #128 of the NLSC Podcast with an All-Time Lineup game.

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.

Top 5 Shooting Guards in NBA Live 16

Top 5 Shooting Guards in NBA Live 16

The ratings reveals for NBA Live 16 continue, as the top five shooting guards in this year’s game have been announced. The players and their overall ratings are as follows:

  1. James Harden (95 overall)
  2. Klay Thompson (91 overall)
  3. Kobe Bryant (89 overall)
  4. Jimmy Butler (89 overall)
  5. Dwyane Wade (88 overall)

The article also goes into detail about some of their specific ratings, explaining how they came to have their overall ratings that they do. Notably, James Harden is the fastest shooting guard in the game, while Kobe Bryant unsurprisingly has the highest Clutch rating.

Screenshots of four of the top five shooting guards were also posted; check them out below, or here in our NBA Live 16 screenshots gallery. As James Harden is one of the cover players for NBA 2K16, he is the only player on the list not to have a screenshot. EA had to take similar measures last year during their ratings reveals, only showing a screenshot of Kevin Durant’s shoes in articles where he was featured.

More ratings reveals appear to be on the way, leading up to the release of the NBA Live 16 demo on September 15th, and the full game on September 29th. What do you make of the top five shooting guards? Sound off in the comments below, and feel free to join in the discussion here in the NBA Live 16 section of the NLSC Forum.

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NBA 2K16 MyTEAM Developer Blog (Operation Sports)

Another NBA 2K16 developer blog has been posted over at Operation Sports, this time discussing the improvements and changes to MyTEAM. Some of the key points mentioned in the blog are as follows:

  • MyTEAM in NBA 2K16 will feature the same team creation tools as other modes, with the ability to choose predefined images, or completely custom logos.
  • The Gauntlet has been added this year. This mode features 3-on-3 streetball gameplay on a rooftop court, and is online head-to-head.
  • Domination returns, and includes historical teams.
  • Trials have been added, which allow you to earn extra MyTEAM Points. They are stat related, randomly selected, and can be completed in a single game.
  • Cards have also been revamped and redesigned a little in NBA 2K16, and come in five levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Amethyst and Diamond. There will also be “Moment” cards, which will be added shortly after a player has a memorable game in real life.
  • Shoe cards are now in MyTEAM, and will provide attribute boosts to players. As with the attribute boost cards in NBA 2K14 and NBA 2K15, they only last a certain number of games.
  • New Challenges and Weekly Challenges will be featured in NBA 2K16 MyTEAM.
  • Boxes of ten card packs will also be available this year.

Check out the blog for the full scoop. Any thoughts on the improvements and additions to MyTEAM in NBA 2K16? Have your say in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the Forum.

File Additions for NBA Live 96: Definitive NBA Live 96

Definitive NBA Live 96

As previously mentioned, we’re not just posting feature articles and retrospectives as part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations. We’re also releasing a little something for every PC game in the series, for anyone who wants to dust off old favourites.

Continuing on from the Definitive NBA Live 95, we have the Definitive NBA Live 96! This is a final 1995/1996 roster patch for NBA Live 96 that adds missing players, accounts for all the trades and signings that took place during that memorable season, contains a few fixes, and adjusts some ratings. Once again, this is something that I’ve gone back and crafted having had years of experience making roster updates, to create what I feel is a “director’s cut” patch for NBA Live 96.

There aren’t any issues with compatibility when it comes to NBA Live 96 rosters, so this update can be used in any game mode you choose. Please note that it also updates the portrait files, or at least, blanks out the portraits for players I’ve overwritten…just in case you’re wondering why it’s a slightly larger download than usual, for a roster update for such an old game.

Download Definitive NBA Live 96 here! If you need help getting NBA Live 96 to run under DOSBox, be sure to check out this guide in our Wiki.

Stay tuned for more 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content!

Top 6 Point Guards in NBA Live 16

NBA Live 16: Top 6 Point Guards

On a more positive note in the wake of the GameFace HD app being delayed, EA Sports have begun their ratings reveals for NBA Live 16. They’ve tipped things off by revealing the overall ratings for the top six point guards in the game; not surprisingly, NBA Live 16 cover player Russell Westbrook is among them (and not without good reason). The top six point guards are as follows:

  • Chris Paul (95 overall)
  • Russell Westbrook (94 overall)
  • Stephen Curry (94 overall)
  • Kyrie Irving (90 overall)
  • John Wall (90 overall)
  • Damian Lillard (90 overall)

In addition to the overall ratings, a few specific ratings have been revealed for those six players. EA also posted a few new screenshots; you can check those out below, as well as in our NBA Live 16 screenshots gallery.

Presumably, there’ll be a few more ratings reveals coming our way before the NBA Live 16 demo drops on September 15th. Speaking of player ratings, we’ll be maintaining a thread in the Forum once again this year, to provide EA with feedback on the roster updates.

In the meantime, feel free to share your opinions on the first ratings reveal in the comments section below, as well as take the discussion to the NBA Live 16 section of the NLSC Forum!

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NBA Live 16 GameFace HD App Delayed

NBA Live 16 GameFace HD

The GameFace HD companion app for NBA Live 16, which was originally intended to launch today, has unfortunately been delayed by at least a few days. It doesn’t seem as though we should expect any further delays however, as EA Sports announced via the official NBA Live Twitter account that they anticipate releasing the app later this week.

For those who are unaware, the GameFace HD app will allow you to scan your face into NBA Live 16 for use in Rising Star and LIVE Pro-Am, and is set to be released for both Android and iOS devices. It will also be compatible with the NBA Live 16 demo, which is currently slated for release on September 15th. Should you pick up the full version of NBA Live 16 on September 29th, you’ll be able to make use of your scanned face, and any progress you’ve made in the demo will carry over.

We’ll be sure to post any updates on the release of the GameFace HD app for NBA Live 16 as they’re made available. As always, feel free to share any thoughts you may have on the news in the comments below, as well as in the NBA Live 16 section of the NLSC Forum.

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

We have a few new file additions for NBA 2K14 PC today, including a fictional court, and updated versions of a HD face for Carmelo Anthony and a jersey pack for the Phoenix Suns. Download them all at the links below!

Fictional Outdoor Taiwan Jones Cup 2015 Court

Carmelo Anthony HD Face (Updated to v2.0)

2015 Phoenix Suns Uniforms (Updated to v2.0)

20th Anniversary of NBA Live: Exploring the NBA Live 96 Executable

Gary Payton dribbles up court in NBA Live 96

It’s time to go Easter Egg hunting in the executable file of NBA Live 96 PC! While the editor that Tim and Brien made for NBA Live 96 was sufficient for most of our needs when creating roster updates, at other times, we needed to open the exe file with a Hex Editor. Doing so allowed us to change things like the year of the previous season’s statistics (for example, from the default 94/95 to 95/96), edit team names, or watermark a patch by adding a message to the credits and copyright screens.

This was all done quite easily, as all you had to do was search for the appropriate text strings in the Hex Editor of your choice. As long as you didn’t try to make any team names longer than they already were, or touch anything that you really shouldn’t, you couldn’t really go wrong.

While poking around in the NBA96.exe file, you can find a few interesting and amusing Easter Eggs. As part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations, I thought it’d be fun to fire up HxD, comb through the NBA Live 96 executable file once again, and share some of my discoveries. Let’s get started!

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NBA 2K16 Gameplay Blog by Da_Czar (Operation Sports)

NBA 2K16: Stephen Curry

The insights into gameplay in NBA 2K16 continue, as the one and only Da_Czar has posted a developer blog over on Operation Sports. As with the previous developer blogs by Erick Boenisch, Mike Wang, and Scott O’Gallagher, it mentions a multitude of exciting improvements. An overview is as follows:

  • New plays will be added to NBA 2K16 as the season progresses, via the official roster updates. The first major play update will occur about a month into the 2016 season.
  • The plays for all the historical teams have also been updated for accuracy.
  • The ability to practice plays has returned in NBA 2K16! This should come in handy, as four new types of plays have been added in this year’s game: Pick & Roll Point, Pick & Roll Wing, Pick and Roll Ball-Handler, and Handoff.
  • Playcalling has been moved back to LB/L1, while 2K Smart Play is now assigned to up on the D-Pad. The lite play diagrams have also been updated with additional indicators.
  • Situational Awareness Modules in NBA 2K16 allow the AI to react to situations as a human user would, allowing it to select the best course of action. This is something that will be expanded upon in future releases.
  • Drive logic has also been re-written, meaning the AI is more aware of when the lane is open or clogged.
  • Improvements have been made to the AI’s ability to recognise and take advantage of mismatches, as well as the logic of double teams, and spacing in freelance offenses. There are 21 freelance offenses in NBA 2K16, as well as eight motion offenses.
  • The AI will continue to evaluate plays, the players on the court, and what’s happening at any given moment, adding more play branching and logic variables, and cutting down on cheese.

Once again, it’s an excellent read if you want to learn about all the work that’s gone into gameplay in NBA 2K16, so be sure to check out the blog in its entirety.

Any thoughts on the latest developments? Share your opinions in the comments below, and join in the discussion in the NBA 2K16 section of the NLSC Forum!