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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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K17 PC include a face for Lonzo Ball, jersey updates for the Australian and USA teams, and a global update that places a larger NBA Finals logo on team jerseys. Check them all out at the links below!

TGsoGood
Lonzo Ball Face

pinoy21
Bigger NBA Finals Logo Patch
USA Team Jersey
Australia Team Jersey

Wayback Wednesday: Be a Pro in NBA Live 09

Be a Pro Indicator Legend in NBA Live 09

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 Be a Pro in NBA Live 09.

When you think of early incarnations of single player career modes in basketball games, which titles come to mind? The Life in Sony’s NBA series, or the debut of My Player in NBA 2K10, are probably the first two that you think of. However, right around the same time, NBA Live was starting to make some inroads on adding a single player mode of its own. Before Rising Star in NBA Live 14, before Become Legendary in the ill-fated NBA Elite 11, EA Sports were experimenting with career mode concepts in the form of Be a Pro, which only appeared in NBA Live 09.

Aside from being noteworthy as NBA Live’s first attempt at implementing a single player career mode, Be a Pro is interesting to reflect upon as it differed greatly between the new gen and old gen versions of NBA Live 09, and not in the way you might expect. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA Live 06

NBA Live 06 Cover Art

Today’s lone file addition for NBA Live 06 PC is a new version of magiciangirl06’s Boston Celtics court update for the 2017 season. Check it out below!

magiciangirl06
2016/2017 Boston Celtics Court (Updated to v2.0)

Monday Tip-Off: A Suggestion for Modding, Moving Forward

Enhancements to in-game creation tools would help with modding.

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 suggestion for our approach to modding, as look ahead to future releases.

Recently, I’ve written a couple of articles that have taken a look at how modding has changed, and some of the biggest developments that have helped the modding community to grow and thrive. Aside from reflecting on the past and talking about noteworthy milestones, both articles have also had an eye towards the future of modding. In that regard, I believe there is inspiration to be found, as well as a few important lessons that can be learned, when it comes to the history of our modding community. A little perspective and reflection can help us as we look to move forward.

There’s no guarantee that future NBA 2K games will be as moddable as releases on the previous generation, or that NBA Live will return to the PC platform. Even if either of those scenarios is actually feasible, there’s a strong likelihood that it won’t happen with this year’s releases. With that in mind, I think it’s important that we prepare ourselves for the possibility that we’ll be facing the same challenges and limitations that have presented themselves in the past couple of years, and be ready to work around them as best as possible. In particular, there’s one suggestion that I believe we should keep in mind.

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The Sunday Substitute: Player Upgrade Features in NBA Live 16

The week is in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, which means it’s time for the Sunday Substitute! It’s the article where I get some valuable minutes while the star is resting on the bench. I might not have the time to do this every week, but I like to think I’m still making a contribution to the team. Since it looks like NBA Live 18 will be released this year, I figured it would be a fantastic opportunity to look back at NBA Live 16 and determine what features are worth salvaging. For this article, I’m going to focus on the player upgrade system.

I really love the player creation and upgrade system in NBA Live 16. It began for me with the most seamless face scan I have ever done in any video game. I’m not sure how everyone else went with it, but I know that my player in NBA Live 16 looks much more like me than any player I’ve created in the NBA 2K series. But my appreciation for player customisation in NBA Live 16 has gone far beyond that since I bought a full copy of the game.

Not only is the player upgrade system an excellent feature in NBA Live 16, but I believe it is superior to that of NBA 2K16, and even NBA 2K17. I know it’s a big call – since the NBA 2K games have the advantage in most areas – but I think NBA Live 16 had some intuitive features when it comes to upgrading created players. So, here are the player upgrade features that I not only love in NBA Live 16, but I think should be considered for NBA Live 18.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

It’s time to get caught up on the latest file additions for NBA 2K17 PC! Today’s batch of files includes a couple of faces, Air Jordan shoes, and a selection of jersey updates. Download them all at the links below!

TGsoGood
LiAngelo Ball Face
Air Jordan 1 Wings
LaMelo Ball Face (2017)

pinoy21
Boston Celtics Jersey V2 with Black Stripe
Boston Celtics Jersey V2 with GE Patch
Detroit Pistons 2017-2018 3D Logo
Boston Celtics Jersey (Updated to v2.0)
Cleveland Cavaliers Jersey (Updated to v2.0)

NLSC Podcast – Episode #206

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re a little late this week due to some technical difficulties, but everything has been sorted out, so Arcane and I are coming at you with our thoughts on the latest news in basketball gaming, some tales from our basketball gaming experiences over the past week, and a few thoughts on the forthcoming 2017 NBA Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • We’ve received our first proper glimpse at NBA Live 18, including a bunch of screenshots and some cinematic gameplay clips. We reflect on some of the community’s reactions, and provide our own take.
  • The PC versions of NBA 2K14 and NBA 2K15 are no longer available on Steam, which is potentially bad news for completionists and retro basketball gamers.
  • NBA Playgrounds has received a big patch on PC and PlayStation 4, containing several tweaks and additions demonstrating that Saber Interactive are paying close attention to gamer feedback.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming includes a long-awaited cutscene in MyCAREER, and another decent session of 2K Pro-Am.
  • We wrap up Episode #206 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk. Topics include LeBron James’ new milestone, predictions for the 2017 NBA Finals, and Chris Bosh’s future.

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 Biggest Developments in Modding

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 what I believe are the five biggest developments in modding.

I’ve said it many, many times before, but our modding community has done some great things over the years. Of course, creating all those amazing mods hasn’t always been easy, and in the case of some games, it’s taken a while after their release to develop all the necessary tools. Even today, there are obstacles that make modding difficult at times, and there are some things that we used to be able to do that we presently cannot. Obviously, the goal here is to do the best we can with the tools at our disposal, and keep trying to develop new methods and resources that will help us to tinker with basketball video games as desired.

With that in mind, we only need to look back at the major developments in modding to find inspiration. As a community, we’ve been able to overcome a lot of obstacles in being able to modify NBA Live and NBA 2K, and in one or two instances, the developers themselves have helped us along the way. In the spirit of recognising all the advancements in modding, and hopefully providing some inspiration to keep doing what we’re doing, I’d like to discuss five major milestones that I believe have marked some of the most important developments in the hobby. Without them, modding would certainly be far more limited, if not impossible.

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First NBA Live 18 Screenshots & Videos Revealed

NBA Live 18: LeBron James

It would seem that we’re not going to have to wait until EA Play 2017 to get our first proper look at NBA Live 18. While there’s obviously still a lot yet to learn about the game, we’ve got our first glimpse of what it will look like, by way of the first official screenshots and some gameplay videos posted by prominent YouTubers.

The first NBA Live 18 screenshots feature LeBron James, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, and Russell Westbrook, and they all seem to be pretty on-point. A lot of advertising for NBA Live at EA Play features Westbrook, so for what it’s worth, it seems there’s a good chance that he’ll be the cover player once again. If so, it would be the first time in the history of the NBA Live series that a cover player is repeated.

Gameplay clips are from cinematic angles, but they do obviously show the players in motion and the new animations that the team has been working on. There’s also some behind the scenes footage from the recent EA Sports event that produced the previously posted off-screen screenshot.

Check out all of the screenshots and videos below after the jump; more will be added as they’re released. I’ve also gone ahead and launched an NBA Live 18 section in the NLSC Forum, so head on over there to join in the discussion, in addition to sharing your thoughts in the comments below. A couple of people in our community will be heading to EA Play 2017 in June, so be sure to post any questions you’d like them to ask, or things you’d like them to look out for, over in this thread. More NBA Live 18 news should be coming soon and we’ll be doing our best to keep on top of it, so stay tuned!

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Wayback Wednesday: The Supreme Update Mod for NBA Live 07

Basketball in the Supreme Update Mod for NBA Live 07

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 Supreme Update Mod for NBA Live 07.

Over the years, several amazing mods have been released in our community for both NBA Live and NBA 2K. Certain mods stand out as landmark releases though, delighting the community and inspiring other modders to produce great work of their own. Since it’s the tenth anniversary of NBA Live 07, and today also marks the 38th birthday of cover player Tracy McGrady, I thought that I’d talk about one of the most significant mods made for the game: the Supreme Update Mod. Undoubtedly one of the best projects to come out of our community, it’s about time that I profile it in a Wayback Wednesday feature.

It was one of the most comprehensive updates for a PC version of NBA Live, and a great example of teamwork and cooperation in the modding community, as well as technical innovation. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

We have a couple of new file additions for NBA 2K14 PC today, specifically a pack of Draft prospect faces, and a custom soundtrack. Check out both mods at the links below!

Blang
2017/18/19 Prospect Faces (8 Players)

VipeR
NBA 2K14 VipeR Trap Soundtrack

Monday Tip-Off: Green Releases in NBA 2K

Green Releases in NBA 2K17

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 future of green releases in NBA 2K.

A few weeks back, NBA 2K Gameplay Director Mike Wang made a candid statement about the future of green releases. Beluba’s goal is to wean basketball gamers off the concept of green releases being guaranteed baskets, in order to strive for more realism and competitive balance. We’ve seen NBA 2K17 take a few steps in that direction, with several tuning updates focused on shooting mechanics being pushed through since the game’s release. Generally speaking, those updates have sought to reduce the number of green releases by making them more difficult to achieve, tweak the percentages of near-perfect releases, or re-balance the shooting in some other way.

Results have been mixed, and a lot of gamers have expressed frustration with the constant changes to shooting in NBA 2K17. On top of some tweaks seemingly being either too effective or largely ineffective, there’s been a concern that changes that are made in order to enhance the online experience are negatively affecting single player gameplay. Beyond that, opinion is divided as to whether green releases should be guaranteed baskets – assuming the attempts aren’t blocked, of course – or whether they should simply have the best odds of being made, according to a player’s ratings and attributes. I have to admit, at times I’m a little torn myself.

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NBA Live 18 Off-Screen Screenshot featuring LeBron James

Off-Screen Screenshot of LeBron James in NBA Live 18

A new off-screen screenshot of NBA Live 18 has given us our first proper peek at the game. Taken by Chris Denker at an EA Sports event this past weekend, it features LeBron James in the foreground, with Avery Bradley a little out of focus in the background.

NBA Live 18 was shown to a select few gamers at the event, so depending on the nature of any Non-Disclosure Agreements that were signed, we might start hearing a few tidbits and impressions of the game very soon. As previously noted, NBA Live 18 will be playable at EA Play 2017, so at this point, it seems that news is right around the corner.

Being that it is an off-screen screenshot, it’s obviously not the best quality, but the detail on LeBron James is certainy noticeable. Click the thumbnail below for a closer look:

Off-Screen Screenshot of LeBron James in NBA Live 18

ThaLiveKing has posted a solid breakdown of the screenshot here in our Forum, comparing it to a screenshot of LeBron James in NBA Live 16. Feel free to join in the discussion there, as well as share your impressions in the comments section below. With the preview season just about ready to tip off, we’ll certainly be looking to stay on top of all the NBA Live 18 news and set up a few interviews with the development team, so stay tuned.