The Friday Five: 5 Ways Basketball Games Haven’t Improved

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.

Last week, I talked about the ways in which basketball video games have improved over the years. I still stand by that, and believe it to be true; beyond the advances in graphics and technology that have benefitted video games in general, basketball games have come a long way in replicating the sport. However, there are also still areas in which they leave something to be desired.

That’s what I’m taking a look at this week: five ways that basketball games haven’t improved, or at the very least, haven’t improved to the extent that we would like. They’re the nagging, lingering issues that I believe detract from games that we otherwise enjoy. Issues such as…

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #107

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #107 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are your hosts this week, as we catch up on the latest news, start our Wishlists for this year’s games, and discuss the past week in the NBA.

  • We recap the latest content updates for NBA Live 15, which include new rosters and Ultimate Team Legends.
  • Da_Czar has posted another NBA 2K15 play improvements video, this time focusing on handoff plays.
  • In a bizarre turn of events, we’ve both released updates for NBA Live 08!
  • Since it’s a while before NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 news starts coming out, we begin our Wishlists.
  • Which features would we take from NBA 2K, and put into NBA Live? Which NBA Live features would we add to NBA 2K?
  • Moving on to the real NBA, both of our favourite teams are struggling. Clearly, we jinxed them.
  • The Rising Stars Challenge is adopting a USA vs The World concept. Do we like that change?
  • Potential participants for this year’s dunk contest have been revealed…but does it matter, if the format is the same as last year?
  • Brandon Jennings has registered the first 20+ point, 20+ assist game since Steve Nash in 2009. Meanwhile, the Playoffs are actually looking like a realistic goal for the Pistons.
  • The Knicks have finally won again. In fact, they have a winning streak going!
  • Shawn Marion has announced his retirement at the end of the season. Will Kobe Bryant join him?
  • Will Ferrell films a movie at a Pelicans game, and Not Bill Walton provides us with another gem to end the episode.

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. Mailbag submissions and topic suggestions are also welcome, so feel free to hit us up in this thread.

Upcoming Legends in NBA Live 15 Ultimate Team: Chambers, LJ, Petrovic

The next three Legends who will soon be available in NBA Live 15’s Ultimate Team have been revealed: Tom Chambers, Larry Johnson, and Drazen Petrovic.

DRAZEN PETROVIC, NEW JERSEY NETS G
After a successful European career, Petrovic was well on his way to NBA stardom when he was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of 28. Petrovic averaged 22.3 PPG in his final NBA season.

LARRY JOHNSON, CHARLOTTE HORNETS/NEW YORK KNICKS F
The first overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, “Grandmama” made two All-Star Games with the Hornets before moving on to the Big Apple, where he helped lead the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals.

TOM CHAMBERS, CLIPPERS/SUPERSONICS/SUNS/JAZZ/HORNETS/76ERS F
Chambers was a four-time All-Star, with three of those appearances coming as a member of the Phoenix Suns. He averaged more than 18 PPG and 6 RPG in his career.

All three players will be randomly available in packs starting this weekend. As always, feel free to join in the discussion of Ultimate Team here in the NBA Live 15 section of the Forum.

Fictional Basketball League Mod Demo for NBA Live 08

A little while ago in an edition of The Friday Five, I talked about some projects that I always wanted to do, but never got around to doing. In the interest of doing some cool stuff for our upcoming 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, I’m starting out by giving one of them a try.

I’ve released a demo of a Fictional Basketball League mod, which would replace the entire NBA with completely fictional players…as well as a few characters from films and television shows that are related to basketball. This two team demo replaces the rosters for the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks with characters from movies and TV, including a few that were portrayed by NBA players.

In the full version, these players would be more evenly distributed, and outnumbered by completely made up players. Depending on whether anyone else is interested in getting involved in the project, the NBA teams themselves might also be replaced with fictional equivalents. I’d also be looking to convert the mod for use with NBA Live 2005, NBA Live 06, and NBA Live 07.

Download the FBL demo here, and post any feedback or suggestions in the comments below, as well as in my release thread in the NBA Live 08 section of the Forum. Please see the included readme file for more information.

Mailbag & Topic Submissions for Episode #107 of the NLSC Podcast

NLSC Podcast Logo

We’ll be recording Episode #107 of the NLSC Podcast within the next couple of days, so I wanted to put out one last call for any mailbag submissions or topic suggestions before we do so.

It’s been a bit of a slow week as far as basketball gaming news goes, as we’re in that period where we’re a few months past the release of the latest games and have covered them in-depth, but still a few months out from having news and details on the upcoming games to discuss and speculate upon.

As such, if you have any topics you’d like us to discuss, or questions you’d like us to answer – be they about NBA Live, NBA 2K, the real NBA, or something else to do with basketball or basketball gaming – feel free to hit us up in the comments below, as well as in this thread in the Forum.

NBA 2K15 Play Improvements, Part 2 (Da_Czar)

Da_Czar has posted Part 2 of his look at play improvements in NBA 2K15, this time focusing on handoffs. The video notes that most handoff plays are designated with the label “Give”, and demonstrates how they are run from beginning to end, as well as how the plays branch.

Czar also provides some tips on how to use handoff plays most effectively, from the timing on pressing the pass button to positioning and facilitating a smoother handoff with a dribbling move.

Once again, it’s well worth checking out for an insight into playcalling, as well as some tips on how to master NBA 2K15. Watch it below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

File Additions for NBA Live 2004

We have a few new file additions for NBA Live 2004 PC today, including a pack of player faces, and the latest NBA and PBA roster updates. Check them all out at the links below!

Murat
1st Cyberface Pack for 2014-15 Season

ModManZZZ
ModManZZZ NBA Live 2014-2015 Roster Update (Updated to v5.8)
ModManZZZ PBA Live 2014-2015 Roster Update (Updated to v1.1)

Ultimate Base Roster V26 for NBA 2K14 PC Released

It’s been a little over a month since the last update to the Ultimate Base Roster for NBA 2K14 PC, but today brings a big new release with V26. The key features of the latest version are as follows:

  • Added updated version of the Ultimate Base Roster & UBR Association Files with current transactions, signings, rotations, and coaching moves (1/19/15)
  • Added the 2015 All-Star jerseys and All-Star court (Brooklyn)
  • Added ~65 current-look cyberfaces for the current roster (no CFs overwritten)
  • Added ~15 retro cyberfaces throughout retro season rosters (no CFs overwritten)
  • Added ~100 current-look portraits for the current roster (no portraits overwritten)
  • Added ~365 retro portraits throughout retro season rosters (no portraits overwritten)
  • Added accurate All-Star jerseys for 1960-1982 rosters
  • Added accurate historical Team Stats to every season roster (1960-2014)
  • Added accurate historical Calendar/Schedule to the 1988, and 1996-2014 season rosters
  • Added the Ult ABA Bball Mod – courtesy Reddwarf
  • Rosters accurate as of 1/19/2015

Download the Ultimate Base Roster for NBA 2K14 here! Be sure to check out the release thread for more information, previews and support, as well as Like the official UBR Facebook page.

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

In today’s file additions for NBA 2K14 PC, Medevenx has released another new version of his roster update. Check it out at the link below.

Medevenx
Med’s Ultimate Roster Appdata Files (Updated to v1.3c)

File Additions for NBA 2K15

We’re tipping off the week with a couple of new file additions for NBA 2K15 PC, as Krhymes has uploaded a new retro face for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, along with a new version of his face and tattoo update for Allen Iverson. You can pick up both releases at the links below.

Krhymes
Young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Face
Allen Iverson Face & Tattoos (Updated to v2.0)

File Additions for NBA Live 08

NBA Live 08 Cover Art

We’re wrapping up the weekend with a couple of new file additions for NBA Live 08. Our own Arcane has uploaded a new title screen featuring Dwyane Wade, while S_Brat has released his latest player pack, featuring faces for the Philadelphia 76ers. Download them both at the links below!

Arcane
Arcane NBA Live 15 Title Screen – Dwyane Wade

S_Brat
2014/2015 Philadelphia 76ers Team Update

File Additions for NBA Live 2004

We have some new file additions for NBA Live 2004 PC today, as ModManZZZ continues his hard work on one of the classic games in the NBA Live series. His latest releases include a new current roster update for the 2014/2015 NBA season, as well as a new PBA roster. Pick them both up at the links below!

ModManZZZ
ModManZZZ NBA Live 2014-2015 Regular Season Roster Update (Updated to v5.7)
ModManZZZ PBA Live 2014-2015 Roster Update
ModManZZZ PBA Live Main Files

File Additions for NBA 2K15

Today we have a couple of new file additions for NBA 2K15 PC, as TBM has uploaded a retro face for Vince Carter, and R4zoR has added a two player tattoo pack. Check them out at the links below!

Remember that our upload facilities are free and open to anyone with an active Forum account, so if you’re creating updates for NBA 2K15 – or indeed, any game in the NBA 2K or NBA Live series – please feel free to make use of them! If you’re having trouble with the upload form, check out this video tutorial for a step by step guide.

TBM
Vince Carter Prime Face

R4zoR
2 Player Tattoo Updates

Latest Legends in NBA Live 15 Ultimate Team: Mikan & Pettit

EA Sports are definitely going old school with the next couple of NBA Legends who will be added to Ultimate Team in NBA Live 15: George Mikan and Bob Pettit.

GEORGE MIKAN, MINNEAPOLIS LAKERS C
One of the game’s pioneers, Mikan was among the first (and best) big men in league history, winning five titles with the Minneapolis Lakers prior to their move to Los Angeles.

BOB PETTIT, MILWAUKEE/ST. LOUIS HAWKS F
Pettit was a two-time NBA MVP and led the Hawks to the NBA Championship in 1958. He averaged 26 points and 16 rebounds per game in his illustrious career.

You can discuss the latest Ultimate Team content and challenges here in the NBA Live 15 section of the Forum.

The Friday Five: 5 Ways Basketball Games Have Improved

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.

Sports games with annual releases are an interesting beast. For developers, it’s a lot of pressure: a shorter development cycle than most video games, with a goal of putting out a release that doesn’t just seem like an expansion pack. For us gamers, especially those of us who do buy those games every year, we want to see significant progress, and not feel like we haven’t gotten value for our money. No release is perfect however, and disappointment often leads to a cynical belief that the games just aren’t showing any improvement.

The fact of the matter is, basketball video games have come a long way, and shown a great deal of improvement over the years. That’s not to say that EA Sports or Visual Concepts can rest on their laurels, or that either game is currently as close to perfection as we’d like, but the improvement over the years is certainly evident. So, in this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking a look at five ways that basketball games have improved.

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