Menu

Monday Tip-Off: Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Monday Tip-Off: Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off by discussing something that many of us tried to warn our fellow NBA 2K gamers about, that’s finally being widely acknowledged.

There’s an old episode of The Simpsons­ – a Season 1 episode in fact, so a very old one indeed – wherein Marge contemplates having an affair with her bowling instructor, voiced by Albert Brooks. Lisa recognises that Marge is showering her and Bart with treats out of guilt; predictably, Bart is only interested in reaping the benefits, leading Lisa to explain that he’s still in the denial stage, whereas she’s already feeling fearful. Later on, when Bart reaches the fearful stage, Lisa says she can’t help him because she’s already moved on to a new stage: self-pity.

Look, I’ll take any excuse to make a Simpsons reference, but that scene aptly sums up what I want to talk about today. For years, many of us have been pointing out the greed and anti-gamer/anti-consumer approach in NBA 2K. We’ve been shouted down time and time again, with predatory mechanics and subpar design being defended with every clichéd argument in the shill’s handbook. This isn’t to say that there hasn’t been successful pushback – hey, haircuts are free now, whoopee! – but way too many people were comfortable with VC-related issues, until suddenly they became too much. For those people, and for those who still shill: don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Read More »

NLSC Podcast #446: Return of the NBA Live 2001 Legends

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #446 of the NLSC Podcast!

They’re back! Nate and Roger, the NBA Live 2001 Legends, join us once again to talk about their all-time favourite basketball video game, as well as other virtual hardwood classics that they enjoy such as NBA Live 2004 and NBA Live 2005. We discuss the appeal of retro basketball gaming, and compare notes about what drives our nostalgia for specific titles. As fellow creators, they also weigh in on the challenges that come with creating content that’s based around older titles, or otherwise doesn’t chase trends. The guys also share some great stories about interacting with former NBA players thanks to their NBA Live 2001 highlights, name some of their favourite video game teams, throw out a few suggestions for fantasy scenarios, and list other video games that they enjoy.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

NBA Live 2001 Highlights: Double OT With 1996 Mod

NBA Live 2001 Highlights: Double OT With 1996 Mod

Dee4Three has put together a reel of NBA Live 2001 highlights from one of our Parsec sessions a few weeks back. In the game, we were using my 1996 season roster mod, taking on the Milwaukee Bucks with the Chicago Bulls in co-op play.

To be honest, we were expecting an easy victory, even as we cranked up the difficulty for more of a challenge. The CPU had other ideas, though! Vin Baker, Glenn Robinson, Eric Murdock, Todd Day, and an aging Terry Cummings were not intimidated by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Toni Kukoc, jumping out to an early lead. Even after we seized control, the Bucks weren’t about to quit, leading to a double overtime thriller. Of course, my choke job at the end of regulation didn’t help matters. Watch the highlights below, or check them out over on YouTube!

We’ll be talking about NBA Live 2001 in this week’s NLSC Podcast, as Nate and Roger – the NBA Live 2001 Legends – have returned for another guest appearance. Stay tuned for that show, and possibly a couple of further updates to that 1996 season mod! Now that I’ve been able to troubleshoot my controller issues in NBA Live 2001 PC, you’ll probably see some more highlights from the game here and there. As always, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more basketball gaming content! You may also want to check out my NBA Live 2001 retrospective – part of our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live content – and of course, feel free to discuss the early NBA Live games here in our Forum.

NBA 2K23 MyTEAM Domination: Dee4Three vs Heat

NBA 2K23 MyTEAM Domination: Dee4Three vs Heat

As I noted earlier this week, Dee4Three is uploading a ton of gameplay footage to our YouTube channel. This includes his journey through MyTEAM Domination in NBA 2K23, with his latest matchup coming against the Miami Heat.

Dee has already assembled a squad featuring some of his all-time favourite players. In addition to the pre-order Ruby Michael Jordan soaring through the air, you’ll also see Jason Williams tossing lobs, Shaquille O’Neal throwing it down, and Xavier McDaniel bullying Heat players. All three difficulty levels are accounted for in this spectacular highlight reel featuring alley-oops, great defensive plays, effortless three-point bombs, and posterising dunks. Watch it below, or catch it here over on our YouTube channel!

Stay tuned for more videos as Dee’s squad continues to make its way through all of the divisions to conquer the current NBA. In the meantime, have you been playing Domination in NBA 2K23 MyTEAM? If so, how far along are you, and which players are you currently running with? What are your impressions of MyTEAM, and the game in general? Share your thoughts in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion of MyTEAM here in the NBA 2K23 section of the NLSC Forum!

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: October 1st, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

I’ve said it before, but when it comes to basketball highlights – real or virtual – it’s tough not to immediately think of incredible dunks. This week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays is another love letter to basketball’s most ferocious and creative method of scoring, with plenty of posters to enjoy. It’s not all about slams though, as there’s also an impressive buzzer beater courtesy of NBA Live 2005. Once again, NBA 2K23 is heavily featured in the countdown, demonstrating how popular it’s been with the community. Finally, NBA 2K22 and NBA 2K16 are also featured, producing a couple of jaw-dropping moments of their own.

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Ways Basketball Gamers Shame Each Other (But Shouldn’t)

The Friday Five: 5 Ways Basketball Gamers Shame Each Other (But Shouldn't)

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five ways that basketball gamers unnecessarily shame one another, and why it’s absurd.

No community is ever going to get along 100% of the time. There will always be disagreements, and things can get heated in the thick of competitive play. With that being said, general etiquette and decorum goes a long way, and avoids embodying the most unflattering gamer stereotypes. It’s not particularly complicated. Don’t be the jerk that sends threatening messages, or jumps on the mic to be abusive and throw out bigoted slurs. Don’t ruin the online scene on PC with your hacked, super-powered player. And of course, don’t foster a toxic atmosphere through elitist gatekeeping.

It’s bewildering that gamers shame each other over a hobby that’s meant to be fun. Obviously the competitive scene carries certain bragging rights, and if you claim to be an elite player, you’ll be fairly challenged to prove your mettle. Beyond that though, there are people in the basketball gaming community that indulge in gatekeeping over the pettiest of things. In games that offer a variety of modes and options to tailor the experience to maximise your enjoyment, there’s no wrong way to play basketball video games; at least outside of cheating and poor sportsmanship in a competitive environment. As such, it’s ridiculous to shame each other over these five matters.

Read More »

NLSC YouTube Highlights Round-Up

NLSC YouTube Highlights Round-Up

In addition to the Top 10 Plays of the Week and full episodes of our podcast, we also upload other basketball gaming videos to the NLSC YouTube channel! I’ve fallen behind on sharing the uploads here on the NLSC itself, and to that end, I’ll be making a better effort to post bulletins featuring new videos moving forward.

That’s because in addition to curating the weekly Top 10 countdown, Dee4Three has been very prolific in uploading excellent gameplay highlights for a variety of titles, in addition of course to NBA 2K23. This includes his MyTEAM Domination highlights, as he’s currently working his way through the mode. You’ll also find playlists featuring our Parsec tournaments, co-op and competitive sessions, and more.

I’ve also put together a highlight reel from my first session in The Rec in NBA 2K23, in which Valor and I squadded up with a number of random teammates; some better than others! Kenny also joined us for some 3v3 Pro-Am games, and I’ll have a highlight reel from that session uploaded very soon. In short, please subscribe to our channel for some fantastic basketball gaming content, and in case those YouTube notifications don’t work, keep an eye out here for bulletins about our future uploads! For now, you can catch up on the most recent uploads to the NLSC YouTube channel below.

Read More »

Wayback Wednesday: Shaq & His Superman Tattoo in Basketball Games

Wayback Wednesday: Shaq & His Superman Tattoo in Basketball Games

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at the history of Shaq and his Superman logo tattoo in basketball video games.

Not only is Shaquille O’Neal one of the greatest players in the history of basketball, but he’s one of the most prominent faces in basketball video games. By virtue of a 19-year NBA career and the inclusion of historical content, Shaq has appeared in at least one video game every year going back to 1993; a streak that rivals his “teammates in the NBA Finals” record! Of course, when it comes to depicting the Diesel in video games, accuracy demands that he’s sporting his ink. On that note, as you’re probably aware, Shaq has a prominent tattoo of the Superman logo on his left arm.

As the detail on player models improved, virtual Shaq likewise began sporting his Superman tattoo; or did he? As RayRay_953 pointed out in the Forum, there’s an interesting history with Shaq’s ink and its appearance in basketball video games over the years. Certain games have achieved a degree of accuracy with the tattoo, while others have taken some creative liberties with the design. I’ve scoured the games in my collection to bring you an overview of how different titles depicted Shaq with his Superman tattoo throughout the years. Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

NBA 2K23 Mod Releases: Hook Plugins, Jerseys, & More

NBA 2K23 Cover Art

Today’s mod releases for NBA 2K23 include jerseys, an updated face for Chris Paul, and 90s-style reshades, as well as new plugins for the NBA2K_Hook tool. Download them all at the links below!

PlayTime!
Late 90s TV & Live Atmosphere Reshades by PlayTime!

Looyh
[Hook_Plugin] Forcing Player Portraits
[Hook_Plugin] PlayerEditor+ (Updated to v1.5)

Pinoy21
Detroit Pistons Jersey (Pinoy21)

Johnny
Chris Paul Face

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and Mod Releases bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

Monday Tip-Off: Who Put Basketball In This NBA Game?!?

Monday Tip-Off: Who Put Basketball In This NBA Game?!?

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with some thoughts on people who dismiss the importance of realistically depicting basketball in an NBA game.

A few years back, I wrote an article questioning whether basketball gamers were still simheads. It’s one of those topics that I always want to approach carefully, so as not to fall victim to the same gatekeeping nonsense that I despise. While some games are for the “strictly hardcore” crowd, most genres should be welcoming to everyone. That doesn’t mean they can’t have a learning curve and competitive play, but they should be accessible to newcomers, and fun for all. Furthermore, it’s vital that a game like NBA 2K is able to cater to different tastes, within reason.

However, we’ve reached the stage where prominent voices in the community – and their fanbases – are actively pushing back on the realistic depiction of basketball in an NBA game. As someone who has been playing hoops games for decades and seen the rise of NBA 2K and the fall of NBA Live owing to their respective abilities to deliver sim titles that are both fun and realistic, it’s dismaying to see some truly terrible takes receive the amount of support that they do. The notion that an NBA sim game doesn’t need to strive for any sort of realism or basketball strategy is absurd. It speaks to the downside of NBA 2K’s broadening popularity, and catering to a wider audience.

Read More »

NLSC Podcast #445: Is NBA 2K23 The Greediest 2K Ever?

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #445 of the NLSC Podcast!

The greediness and pushiness of microtransactions in NBA 2K23 is under fire this past week, as the honeymoon period with the game appears to be drawing to a close. We’re certainly inclined to agree with that critique, though it’s disheartening to see people shilling and shouting down valid criticism. While we’re still enjoying NBA 2K23, there are concerning issues from gameplay balance online, to the expense of MyTEAM packs and upgrades in MyCAREER. Meanwhile, the quickness in patching a happy accident with MyNBA Eras rosters while leaving other issues untouched highlights a continued lack of goodwill. We also recall a cool feature in the Japanese-exclusive NBA Starting Five 2005, and open up the mailbag to get the community’s thoughts on the approach to VC in NBA 2K23, as well as find out what they’ve been playing so far.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: September 24th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

As we’ve been discussing over the past couple of episodes of the NLSC Podcast, we’ve really taken to NBA 2K23, and the basketball gaming community clearly feels the same way! This week’s countdown features several entries from this year’s game, from a clutch bucket in Clutch Time and other memorable MyTEAM moments to Jordan Challenge highlights and other spectacular plays. As always however, the old favourites remain most welcome in the NLSC Top 10 Plays, so you’ll also find some great highlights from NBA 2K17, the original NBA Street, and NBA Showdown 94.

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Franchise & Career Mode Disappointments (That Are Realistic)

The Friday Five: 5 Franchise & Career Mode Disappointments (That Are Realistic)

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five disappointments that you’ll encounter in franchise and career modes, which are nevertheless realistic.

Franchise modes allow us to greatly influence a virtual NBA. Even if we only have control over one team, our ability to have them overachieve significantly changes the league’s landscape. We have much less control in career modes, but once our player has levelled up and is capable of record-breaking domination game in and game out, the NBA is at our mercy. However, while we can have seasons for the ages and amass large collections of virtual trophies, there are some aspects that are still beyond our control. Needless to say, that can be frustrating, and disheartening.

On the other hand, it maintains a semblance of realism, even if our results and stats are pushing the boundaries of believability. The challenge of franchise and career modes, and indeed the overall fun and enjoyment we get from their journeys, often hinges on us not getting everything we want. There should be surprising and unlikely outcomes, at least from time to time. We should miss out on opportunities, even if we’re well prepared for them. The disappointments – the trials and tribulations – make our successes and getting what we want all the more gratifying. To that end, here are five realistic disappointments that actually serve to enhance franchise and career play.

Read More »

NBA 2K23 Mod Releases: Three New Updates

NBA 2K23 Cover Art

The latest NBA 2K23 mod releases include an offseason roster update, a jersey pack for the Golden State Warriors, and a new face for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Download them all at the links below!

PlayTime!
Roster Update as of 09/20/2022 by PlayTime!

Pinoy21
Golden State Warriors Jersey (Pinoy21)

Johnny
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Face

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and Mod Releases bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

Wayback Wednesday: The Lost Mods of NBA Inside Drive 2000

Wayback Wednesday: The Lost Mods of NBA Inside Drive 2000

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at the lost mods of NBA Inside Drive 2000.

While I was brainstorming ideas for The Friday Five, I came up with the topic of five games that could’ve benefited from mods. As I always do when I’m planning a Friday Five topic, I didn’t commit to it until I could devise five viable examples. One of the games that I had marked down on a preliminary list was NBA Inside Drive 2000, the only game in the Inside Drive series to be released on PC. Before I committed to that list however, I needed to do some research. Had there actually been a modding scene for NBA Inside Drive 2000 that our community here at the NLSC hadn’t partaken in?

As it turns out, there was! A quick Google search brought up a thread in the Operation Sports forums, reflecting on editing the game and downloading mods for it. I removed NBA Inside Drive 2000 from that Friday Five list, and instead decided to dedicate a Wayback Wednesday to looking into its apparently long-lost mods. Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »