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The Friday Five: 5 Reasons to Love Generated Rookies

The Friday Five: 5 Reasons to Love Generated Rookies

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 reasons to love generated rookies in franchise and career modes.

When multi-season franchise modes were introduced, the annual Draft was naturally an aspect of the league that needed to be replicated. Since college players couldn’t be licensed, the solution was to have generated rookies; fictional Draftees that the game would automatically create using randomised names and appearances (or in a few NBA Lives, pre-made faces). It was a good solution, but from the very beginning, we sought to replace generated rookies with real prospects. We found ways of doing so through modding, and eventually NBA 2K introduced in-game Draft Class editing.

The ability to edit Draft Classes was an important and most welcome addition to the array of customisation options in NBA 2K. To that end, it should absolutely remain a staple of NBA 2K’s in-game roster editing tools. However, there’s something special about generated rookies. In my opinion, they can be just as fun, and sometimes even more fun, than injecting real future Draftees into your game. Judging by some of the responses I’ve had on Twitter when discussing Terry Hanson, I’m not alone there! If you’re wondering what’s so special about generated rookies, and why anyone might prefer them to real prospects, here are five reasons to love those fictional players.

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NBA 2K23 Jordan Challenge Details

NBA 2K23 Jordan Challenge Details

This week’s NBA 2K23 developer blog has provided an insight into the revamped Jordan Challenge. As previously revealed, the mode will bring back the ten challenges from NBA 2K11, while adding five other games from Michael Jordan’s legendary career.

On top of that, the new Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K23 will feature era-specific presentation including video filters and broadcast elements, similar to NBA’s Greatest in NBA 2K12. This includes Ray Clay and “Sirius” as part of the player introductions, and Mike Fratello on commentary. Gameplay and AI has also been designed for authenticity when playing with and against those classic teams.

As always, I encourage you to read the blog in full, but I’ve also posted a summary below, along with the trailer and the list of fifteen games included in the revamped Jordan Challenge. What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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NBA 2K22 Patch 1.14 Out Now

NBA 2K22 Patch 1.14 Out Now

Patch 1.14 has come through for the Next Gen and Current Gen versions of NBA 2K22, though the PC update is still in the pipeline as of this post. As always, it should come through automatically as long as you’re online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console or Steam client, or check for updates manually.

As with the previous title update, there are no detailed patch notes this time around. However, the official NBA 2K Twitter has confirmed that it prepares the game for the ninth and final Season in MyTEAM and MyCAREER. With NBA 2K23 right around the corner, likeness updates and major fixes are obviously well and truly finished at this point. Barring any hotfixes, we can probably safely assume that this will be the final patch for NBA 2K22. With Season 8 wrapping up in under 24 hours, the PC patch will likely arrive in time for the weekend and tip-off of Season 9.

I’ve added what little information we have about Patch 1.14 for NBA 2K22 to the Next Gen and Current Gen update histories in our Wiki. As usual, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments, as well as take the discussion to the NBA 2K22 section of the Forum.

NBA 2K22 Mod Releases: Rookie & Historical Faces

NBA 2K22 Cover Art

NBA 2K23 is less than a month away, but we’re still seeing mod releases for NBA 2K22 PC. To that point, today’s NBA 2K22 mod releases feature a selection of rookie and historical player faces. Check them all out at the links below!

Shuajota
Carlik Jones Face
Jack White Face
Kennedy Chandler Face

Happy2K
Andrea Bargnani Face

Q
Leon Powe 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: 20 Years of Right Stick Dribbling

Wayback Wednesday: 20 Years of Right Stick Dribbling

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 reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of right stick dribbling becoming a standard aspect of controls in basketball video games.

There’s no doubt that the implementing dribbling controls on the right stick is one of the most important innovations in the history of the virtual hardwood. It’s not the only idea that has pushed the genre forward, but it has a case for being one of the best. Right stick dribbling is easy to take for granted now, as it’s become a mainstay of sim titles over the past twenty years. If you were playing basketball games when it made its debut however, you’ll remember what a big deal it was. And yes, as I am someone who remembers when it was a bold new idea, saying that does make me feel old!

Existential crises, bad knees, and yelling at clouds aside, the fact that we can now celebrate the twentieth anniversary of right stick dribbling mechanics speaks to what a great concept they’ve been. After all, we’ve seen a lot of gameplay ideas come and go, and control schemes that didn’t pan out. Right stick dribbling is a concept that was built to last, and basketball games are better for it. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA Live 2004 Mod Releases: Custom Broadcast Camera

NBA Live 2004 Cover Art

Today’s NBA Live 2004 mod releases don’t feature anything new, but retro basketball gamers will definitely be interested. After playing a game with the custom broadcast camera included in ModManZZZ’s pack, I felt it would be useful if I reuploaded it as a standalone file for everyone’s convenience. Download it at the link below!

ModManZZZ
Broadcast Camera Mod

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: Without Quality, More Is Less

Monday Tip-Off: Without Quality, More Is Less

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 frank thoughts on how more is less when quantity outpaces quality in the content of basketball video games.

One of my recurring criticisms of NBA Live throughout the eighth generation – and it also applies to games in the seventh generation to some extent – is that they’re lacking in depth. Modes have been barebones (or “streamlined”, as promotional material likes to call it), and games have also been light on additional content and features compared to NBA 2K. While problems with NBA Live’s gameplay have ultimately been larger issues, the lack of depth unquestionably contributes to them being subpar. It’s felt like there’s been minimal effort beyond including the basics.

However, while NBA 2K can boast greater depth from its historical content to a wide variety of intricate modes, it has a recurring problem of its own. While there’s far more to the average NBA 2K release than just about any NBA Live game to date, not all of that content is well-made and of high quality. The lack of attention to detail in certain areas makes it seem as though content and features were added for the sake of padding the game and looking impressive at a glance, without implementing them properly. That may seem harsh, and it’s not my intention to imply that the developers aren’t working hard or don’t care. Still, without quality, more is undoubtedly less.

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NLSC Podcast #438: NBA 2K23 Gameplay Blog, Bill Russell, & Classic Cam

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #438 of the NLSC Podcast!

This week’s show opens with a tribute to the late, great Bill Russell, truly one of the most legendary figures in basketball history. As we catch up on what we’ve been playing recently – including another NBA 2K14 MyCAREER update – we discuss our fondness for Classic Cam, and our appreciation of its appearances in later games. We also reflect on NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC, and compare NBA Live 06 and NBA 2K6 on Xbox 360. On the heels of the First Look Trailer, the first developer blog of the preview season provided us with insights into gameplay in NBA 2K23, and we have plenty of thoughts to share! We also open up the mailbag to hear what the community thought of the blog.

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: August 6th, 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.

This week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays celebrates highlights at both ends of the virtual hardwood, with a bevy of high-flying jams, brutal poster dunks, blocks, and behind-the-back passes. The NBA Live 2001 Legends Nate and Roger return with their favourite game, LookyDaGamer lives up to his reputation as a Putback King with an incredible clean up of a miss, and I even take a break from MyCAREER (albeit still with a highlight from NBA 2K14 PS4)! This week’s countdown also pays tribute to the late great Bill Russell, who sadly passed away last Sunday.

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 Retro Modding Ideas

The Friday Five: 5 Retro Modding Ideas

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 suggestions for retro modding projects.

As the stigma fades and retro basketball gaming increases in popularity, inevitably we start thinking about modding as well. After all, classic games are a blast to revisit as-is, but mods can breathe new life into them, too. Many of the modding tools are still available for retro basketball games, along with resources and archived mods to learn techniques from (or indeed, build upon). Even with the limitations of older titles, we’re capable of creating some outstanding mods that will facilitate new experiences on the virtual hardwood.

Needless to say, there are some challenges to overcome here. The audience is smaller, so anyone engaging in retro modding will be toiling on projects that are seen and used by fewer people. To that end, there are also fewer active modders for retro games, so some of the more ambitious projects may not have the level of detail we’d like, or be truly viable. Major roster mods in particular may need to use placeholder artwork, or whatever assets are available. That shouldn’t stop us from looking into retro modding, however. There’s always lingering interest in seeing new updates for old favourites, and there are plenty of retro modding ideas that we can and should at least consider.

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NBA 2K23 Gameplay Enhancements Blog

Devin Booker in NBA 2K23

In the wake of the First Look Trailer, the first developer blog for NBA 2K23 is a deep dive into gameplay enhancements. According to the blog, the primary aim with gameplay this year was authenticity. Another key goal was achieving as much parity as possible between the Current Gen and Next Gen versions.

As you might expect, it’s a rather lengthy read! To that end, I’ve summarised the key information from the blog in point form below. As always however, I encourage you to read the blog in its entirety to get the full scoop on gameplay enhancements in NBA 2K23, including some of the specific changes to Badges. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum!

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Wayback Wednesday: Basketball Gaming Urban Legends

Wayback Wednesday: Basketball Gaming Urban Legends

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 some basketball gaming urban legends.

Given the amount of secret content that’s been packed into video games over the years, it’s no surprise that there are more than a couple of urban legends across all genres. TV Tropes creatively titles the phenomenon “Urban Legend of Zelda“, which is extremely apt considering how many examples the Legend of Zelda series itself provides. Basketball games have had their fair share of urban legends, perpetuated through a combination of schoolyard (and later, internet) chatter, misunderstandings, and the occasional trolling hoax.

There have been some interesting urban legends associated with the virtual hardwood, concerning both sim and arcade games. In some cases, you can see how gamers came to believe them, especially before the ins and outs of player likenesses were widely known. I’m sure you’ve heard some of these before, but it never hurts to debunk urban legends, and tell the real story if there is one. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K14 Mod Releases: New Cavaliers Jerseys

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

Today’s mod releases for NBA 2K14 prepare the game for next season, as Pep has released a jersey update pack for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Check it out at the link below!

Pep
NBA Nike Cleveland Cavaliers 2022 Uniforms

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: Hitting The Modding Wall

Monday Tip-Off: Hitting The Modding Wall

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 how it’s all too easy to hit the modding wall.

Modding can be a ton of fun. To that point, there have always been people in the community that have enjoyed modding games more than playing them. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that some people would prefer to tinker with a broken but moddable game than play a great game that isn’t modder-friendly. I personally prefer the latter, but I do understand the thought process. There’s tremendous satisfaction in crafting fantastic mods, particularly comprehensive projects. As long as you’re modding for the right reasons, by all means indulge that creativity!

Of course, like just about any creative endeavour, there are tedious moments. Hitting the modding wall takes a few different forms, but it usually comes down to reaching a stage in the project that isn’t fun, or is technically challenging. It may be repetitive work, or a limitation that you have to find a way around before you can continue. The modding wall will often delay projects, and in the worst case scenario, derail them and cause them to be dropped altogether. It’s not a good feeling, especially when you’ve been so excited about an idea and sunk hours into a project. It’s possible to break through the modding wall, and the first step is to realise that you’re not alone.

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NLSC Podcast #437: NBA 2K23 First Look, NBA in the Zone, and…Garfield Kart?

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #437 of the NLSC Podcast!

Following up on last week’s show about retro collecting, we have some further recommendations, and a possible new recurring segment. We also make good on two promises: to test multiplayer in Garfield Kart, and to play NBA in the Zone and NBA in the Zone 2. Garfield Kart was of course life-changing, but Konami’s classics proved to be very interesting releases to revisit. The NBA 2K23 First Look Trailer has given us a glimpse of the Next Gen version in action, and we certainly have some thoughts ahead of next week’s gameplay news. A recent video from Agent 00 resonated with us, and aptly summed up the politics of content creation. Finally, we’re opening up this week’s mailbag to discuss 2K fatigue.

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!