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Tag Archives: MyLEAGUE

The Friday Five: 5 Underrated Features in the NBA 2K Series

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 features in the NBA 2K series that are arguably underrated.

Following on from last week’s column, which looked at five features of the NBA Live series that could be considered underrated, I’m now taking a look at NBA 2K. Visual Concepts’ series of sim-oriented basketball video games has received a lot of praise over the past decade, and for good reason. The NBA 2K series has earned a lot of critical acclaim and sold millions of copies on the strength of its gameplay, deep game modes, and overall attention to detail. Even though we have our criticisms, NBA 2K has definitely had its strong points that are well-known and enthusiastically praised.

As I said last week, however, it’s often the little things that really make the basketball gaming experience special. The big features are important and they’re obviously what sell the games, but the smaller details often provide enhancements in many areas, be it greater accessibility or fun ways to play the game. At the same time, there are features that aren’t necessarily small, but still somewhat overlooked, or just not given their due for how enjoyable, helpful, or innovative they are. With that being said, here are five of the more underrated features in the NBA 2K series. Hopefully, the ones that are absent from recent releases can be implemented again at some point.

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Monday Tip-Off: Has Traditional Basketball Gaming Come to an End?

Taking on Kyrie Irving in MyCAREER (NBA 2K18)

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 way basketball gaming has changed in recent years, and whether the traditional approach has become outmoded.

Basketball video games have obviously been around for a long time, bringing great enjoyment to people who love both the sport and gaming. Compared to other sports, basketball has proven to be a little harder to accurately represent in a video game, with so many variables affecting the level of realism. While arcade-oriented games often still hold up thanks to their casual approach, sim-oriented titles tend to show their age. Whether it’s the shot distribution, scores that are too high or too low, a lack of realistic strategy, or a shallow season mode experience, a lot of classic games do leave something to be desired, as much fun as we had with them when they were new.

Fortunately, basketball gaming has improved in leaps and bounds over the years. From deep and engaging modes to smarter AI and more realistic gameplay, we’ve been able to enjoy experiences on the virtual hardwood we could only dream of all those years ago. However, it feels as though basketball games have set a new course in recent years, shifting away from the experience that we’ve traditionally wanted. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it’s important that the games keep up with changing trends and demographics, but as we discussed in Episode #236 of the NLSC Podcast, it sometimes feels like traditional basketball gaming is coming to an end.

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The Friday Five: 5 Best Modes in Basketball Games

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 would consider to be the best modes we’ve seen in basketball games so far.

With the holiday season upon us and Christmas just a few days away, I’m in good spirits, and I hope that you all are, too. Generally speaking, I like to mix up the topics and tone of The Friday Five, alternating between celebration, critique, interesting trivia, and thoughtful discussion of basketball video games. With this being the season of goodwill, I’m definitely in the mood to talk about something more positive in regards to basketball gaming. After all, I’m sure that many of us will be hitting the virtual hardwood whenever we can over the next few weeks, sinking hours into our favourite game modes.

As such, this week I’m offering up my picks for the best modes in basketball gaming to date. Not to harp too much on something I’ve said many times before, but while the gameplay experience is paramount, deep modes are what keep us hooked on a game until the next one comes out (and sometimes, even beyond that). It’s hard to pick just five, as there have been some exceptional modes in basketball games over the years, each catering to different tastes. I’ve personally had fun with a variety of modes throughout several releases, and I know that many of you can say the same. I would nominate these five modes as being the best of the bunch, in no particular order.

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Monday Tip-Off: Planning a Return to Franchise Modes

Starting a new Franchise Game (NBA 2K18)

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 making a return to franchise gaming this year.

My recent Wayback Wednesday series on franchise modes in NBA Live and NBA 2K served to remind me of just how much fun I’ve had with them over the years. I’ve wanted to return to franchise gaming for a while now, and writing those articles only added to my enthusiasm. I’ve gravitated towards MyCAREER and other modes in recent years, which is funny given that in MyLEAGUE and MyGM, we now have some of the deepest franchise experiences in the history of basketball video games. There are reasons why my habits have changed, of course, but I do feel like it’s time to make a return to franchise modes.

Now that NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 have been out for over a month, receiving multiple official patches and roster updates, it’s an opportune time to dive into the franchise experience. With the 2018 season tipping off, my interest in creating a fictional reality on the virtual hardwood has also been piqued. I do still have an interest in the card collecting modes, online team play experience, and MyCAREER, so I’ll have to ration my basketball gaming time accordingly. Beyond that, however, I do have a few other matters to consider as I plan a return to the franchise experience that I enjoyed so much as a younger basketball gamer.

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Wayback Wednesday: GM Mode in NBA Live 98

Fantasy Draft Order in GM Mode

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 GM Mode in NBA Live 98.

Although I’ve gravitated towards MyCAREER and 2K Pro-Am in recent years, I’ve traditionally been a franchise gamer. For those of us who remember playing basketball games with a single season mode, the ability to play multiple seasons while managing our roster through the Draft, free agency, and salary cap-restricted trades was something that we eagerly wanted to see. As basketball gaming approached the turn of the millennium, the demand for an in-depth, multi-season mode – what we would now refer to as a franchise mode – was steadily rising. Although we’ve come to see fantastic franchise modes, it’s been a long road to get to that point.

Since I’m looking to get back into some franchise gaming this year, it seems as good a time as any to tip off a multi-part feature I’ve been wanting to do for some time: a look back at the history and evolution of franchise modes. First up is NBA Live 98’s GM Mode. While not strictly an in-depth franchise mode, it stands as one of the forerunners to the concept. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Hopes for the 2018 Basketball Gaming Season

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 discusses five hopes that I have for the 2018 basketball gaming season.

As I noted earlier today, with the release of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, a brand new season of basketball gaming is now underway! My pre-order of NBA Live 18 downloaded a couple of days ago and then unlocked at midnight Australian Eastern Time, so I stayed up quite late playing the game and sharing some initial impressions on Twitter. As of this writing, the day one patch for the PlayStation 4 version of NBA 2K18 has just finished installing, and I’ve almost finished downloading the PC version on Steam as well. I anticipate that I have a big weekend of basketball gaming ahead of me.

With any luck, we’re all in for twelve months filled with fun basketball gaming experiences. I’ve felt optimistic about this year’s releases through most of the preview season, and I came away from both the NBA Live 18 demo and The Prelude to NBA 2K18 with some positive impressions. I’d like to spend more time with the full versions of both games before I offer up some in-depth impressions (and eventually, comprehensive reviews), but as I look ahead to the 2018 season of basketball gaming, I do have a few hopes for the experiences that will be on offer in this year’s releases.

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The Friday Five: 5 Teams to Rebuild in Franchise Modes 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 teams that you might consider trying to rebuild in this year’s franchise modes.

Last week, I discussed some of the most appealing options in terms of teams to use in this year’s franchise modes. This week, I’m looking at some of the more challenging options, in the form of teams that are currently rebuilding. Admittedly a couple of the teams that I mentioned last week are in rebuilding phases themselves, but they also happen to have a bit more talent on their rosters, including players with definite superstar potential. The teams I’m focusing on this time around generally aren’t quite as talented, but still present some interesting scenarios for franchise gamers.

Assuming control of a rebuilding team in a franchise mode can be an unusual experience. Depending on your skill on the sticks, lottery-bound teams can greatly overachieve, even pulling off unlikely championship victories in year one. Of course, you’ll certainly have your work cut out for you, and the rosters of teams who are bottoming out or trying to claw their way back to respectability aren’t always fun to play with. At the same time, the challenge they present can be an enjoyable change of pace. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five teams that you can try to rebuild in the franchise modes of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18.

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The Friday Five: 5 Teams To Use in Franchise Modes 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 teams that are appealing prospects to play with in this year’s franchise modes.

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the release of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18! Although I anticipate spending time with modes like MyCAREER, The One, 2K Pro-Am, MyTEAM, and Ultimate Team, I’m also looking forward to returning to my roots as a franchise gamer. Given its incredible depth, MyLEAGUE will likely be my mode of choice, but I’m still undecided as to which team I’ll use. My beloved Chicago Bulls are naturally always an option, but with the team entering a rebuilding phase, they’re not exactly the most appealing squad. I can’t help but think back to my attempts to play Franchise Mode with the Ron Mercer-led Bulls in NBA Live 2001!

MyLEAGUE does offer the flexibility of controlling multiple teams, switching control of teams, and of course, creating a brand new expansion team. However, I must admit that I’d personally prefer to take control of one franchise, and a real NBA team at that. I can’t rule out trying to make things work with the Bulls, but there are quite a few interesting possibilities heading into the 2018 season. If you’re looking for a team that can be competitive out of the gate, but also provide options in terms of wheeling and dealing, here are five teams that you may want to consider using in the franchise modes of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #219

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #219 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Kenny returns to the show this week, joining Arcane and I in a discussion of all the latest topics of interest to our community, including further NBA Live 18 demo impressions, the new historical content in NBA 2K18, and the Kyrie Irving trade.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off the show with some further impressions of the NBA Live 18 demo. The game has also been receiving some support in IGN’s Player’s Choice Awards.
  • Arcane is running a Madden 18 giveaway for PlayStation 4. Entries close August 31st, so get them in ASAP!
  • All of the new classic teams in NBA 2K18 have been revealed, including an additional seventeenth squad. The full lineups for the All-Time Teams have also been posted. We share a few opinions on the new historical content.
  • With Kyrie Irving being traded to the Boston Celtics, it seems that a new cover for NBA 2K18 will be issued at some point.
  • An upcoming Facebook event will provide us with details on MyCAREER in NBA 2K18. We speculate on this year’s story, based on the event name and hashtag.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included 2K Pro-Am cheese – surprise, surprise – and MyLEAGUE success.
  • Backing up a little, we talk about the Kyrie Irving trade in more depth. Did the Cavs make a steal in the deal?
  • We wrap up Episode #219 of the NLSC Podcast by picking our Ultimate Australian 3-on-3 squads.

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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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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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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New NBA 2K18 Screenshots & Ratings; Interviews

NBA 2K18: Stephen Curry & Kevin Durant

A few more NBA 2K18 screenshots have been released, featuring Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Markelle Fultz, and Lonzo Ball. As such, we also have confirmation of their ratings, at least out of the box:

  • Kevin Durant: 96 Overall
  • Steph Curry: 94 Overall
  • Markelle Fultz: 80 Overall
  • Lonzo Ball: 80 Overall

With Durant’s overall rating of 96, it’ll be interesting to see if LeBron James equals or surpasses that mark in the default rosters. As noted by Yahoo! Sports, Fultz and Ball’s overall ratings are the highest for rookies since John Wall was an 81 Overall in the default rosters of NBA 2K11. Check out the screenshots below, or here in our NBA 2K18 gallery.

Dave DuFour recently chatted to Chris “LD2K” Manning on his podcast, On the NBA. LD2K wasn’t at liberty to reveal too much at this time, but he did mention that defense is a priority in terms of gameplay improvements this year. He also noted MyPLAYER Archetypes will be receiving some attention. By referencing MyPARK, LD2K also squashed an odd rumour about MyPARK being cut, which seemed highly unlikely given that it’s the most popular online mode in NBA 2K.

Daily Star also spoke to Erick Boenisch in the wake of last week’s developer blog on MyLEAGUE and MyGM. Erick reiterated the team’s commitment to the franchise experience, and notably described the MyGM story as a “light-hearted jaunt”. He mentions that the story will continue every few games, and doesn’t overwhelm gamers with narrative-based decisions.

Check out the latest screenshots and interviews, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. You can also join in the discussion taking place in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #215

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I have plenty to talk about this week with the first proper previews for NBA 2K18 coming out, along with the latest content update for NBA Playgrounds. There’s also Kyrie Irving’s trade demand, a short article on shoes in NBA Live 18, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • The first NBA 2K18 screenshots have been released. What do we think of this year’s aesthetics?
  • We received a ton of information about MyLEAGUE and MyGM by way of the first developer blog. This year’s franchise modes sound awesome!
  • Did the 2K TV finale drop a hint about additional retro teams in NBA 2K18? We believe it’s a possibility.
  • Sole Collector published a short article about shoes in NBA Live 18, which also went into the history of EA Sports getting authentic shoes into their game.
  • The next big content update for NBA Playgrounds has come through. While there are still a few issues with the game, it continues to get better and better.
  • Not surprisingly, the five copies of NBA Elite 11 listed on eBay for $30,000 USD didn’t sell. They haven’t been re-listed, but another copy is still available…for $4,000 USD.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included some of the most enjoyable sessions of online play we’ve ever had, in both 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK. Also, grinding for packs in NBA Playgrounds, MyTEAM Domination, and fantasy exhibitions.
  • Kyrie Irving has surprisingly demanded a trade. We wonder where he’ll end up, and whether Visual Concepts will do anything about the NBA 2K18 cover if he’s dealt.
  • We wrap up Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast with some information on the latest NLSC merch by Arcane Apparel.

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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Details on MyLEAGUE & MyGM in NBA 2K18

Joel Embiid in NBA 2K18's MyGM

The first developer blog for NBA 2K18 has been posted, and it’s a treat for fans of franchise modes. Written by Senior Producer Erick Boenisch, it describes the changes and improvements to MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, and MyGM in great detail. A quick breakdown is as follows:

  • MyGM (now titled MyGM: The Next Chapter) will now feature a story, similar to MyCAREER. Gamers will still retain control over gameplay and team building features. It will also have a few more customisation options.
  • MyLEAGUE will retain its large suite of customisation features, and familiar sandbox approach.
  • The 2017 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement will be accurately reflected, including aspects such as Super Max Contracts, updated salary figures, Stretch Provisions, Two-Way Contracts, the Hardship Exception, and so on. New rule changes such as the number of timeouts have also been implemented.
  • G-League (formerly the D-League) Integration. No G-League games are playable, but players can be sent there to help with their development.
  • The Free Agent Moratorium is in the game. As in real life, no signings will be made official during that period, but you can come to binding verbal agreements with players. Cap holds and renounced rights are also now included.
  • International Draftees can remain overseas, and rights to players can be traded during the Draft. Draft Class generation has also been improved.
  • Re-branding options have been enhanced with additions such as alternate uniforms, and the ability to redesign a team’s court without also redesigning the whole arena. Relocation and re-branding options are also available in MyLEAGUE Online, and there are new cities to relocate to.
  • All-Star Game hosts will be selected each offseason, and will have their own generated designs, rather than generic All-Star courts.
  • Players will have attributes that determine how frequently they wear each type of accessory (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always). Jumpshot Creator can also be used for any player, quick editing has been expanded, and created players can be added to a MyLEAGUE game already in progress.
  • The ability to practice plays is back.
  • There is a new Analytics Tool, better functionality when searching for community creations, and other features that make various customisation and administration tasks easier.

Check out the blog for the full scoop! A few screenshots were also released with the blog, which you can check out below, or here in our NBA 2K18 Screenshots Gallery. Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments below, as well as here in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #201

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Episode #201 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we speculate on NBA Live 18, react to a couple of leaks, and talk about the first few games of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. And as always, we discuss Our Week in Basketball Gaming!

On this week’s show…

  • We highly recommend checking out Operation Sports’ interview with the NBA 2K team, for an insight into the development of the games, what it’s like to work in the industry, and how to give the best constructive feedback. And to see JaoSming and Leftos, of course.
  • A couple of off-screen photos of NBA Live 18 have emerged. There’s not much to be gleaned from such blurry images, but there are a couple of points of interest worth talking about.
  • Do we think the cover player for NBA Live 18 will be revealed before EA Play?
  • Will (and should) EA Sports begin promoting NBA Live 18 during the Playoffs, or perhaps the NBA Finals?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has included some experimenting with “Start Today” in MyLEAGUE, a failed attempt at a second MyCAREER, and an expanding MyTEAM collection. A few ideas for future games are also discussed.
  • We wrap up Episode #201 of the NLSC Podcast with some discussion of the first few games of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, which has seen a couple of surprising results.

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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