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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: June 25th, 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 features another highlight from my NBA 2K14 MyCAREER that I’m definitely not capable of, as well as a larger than life jam by Terry Porter in NBA in the Zone! The rest of the countdown is generally more believable – inter-era matchups aside – but certainly no less spectacular. Poster dunks, breathtaking alley-oops, and more magic in the clutch, make for another exciting Top 10. Eight different games are featured this week, along with an assortment of fantastic mods for NBA 2K17, NBA 2K19, and NBA 2K22.

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 & Season Games I Wish I’d Finished

The Friday Five: 5 Franchise & Season Games I Wish I'd Finished

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 franchise and season games over the years that I wish I’d been able to finish.

As I’ve said in a previous article, completion is what you make it in basketball video games. In other words, you don’t necessarily have to finish a season in franchise and career modes, collect every card in team building modes, or unlock all of the Trophies or Achievements, just to feel a sense of completion and closure. If you’ve enjoyed a basketball video game and felt like you got your money’s worth, that’s what matters at the end of the day. Of course, there is something special about playing through an entire season from start to finish, hence my kick with NBA 2K14 MyCAREER.

I’ve finished seasons in a number of basketball video games over the years, and they’ve become some of my most treasured virtual hardwood memories. It’s always felt incredibly rewarding, as I prefer to play every game on twelve minute quarters. Due to that preference though, there are some franchise and season games that I didn’t play through to their conclusion, having run out of time before the release of a new title. With that in mind, they’d make excellent retro gaming opportunities, which I’m obviously quite open to. Unfortunately their save files are long gone, meaning that these old franchise and season mode games can never be revisited and finished.

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NBA 2K14 Mod Releases: Faces & Jerseys

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

We’ve got a great batch of NBA 2K14 mod releases today, including the latest current player face updates from Taco2k, an updated Wilt Chamberlain face from IceCr, and a Utah Jazz jersey pack from Pep. Pick up all of today’s NBA 2K14 mod releases at the links below!

Taco2k
Derrick White Face
Al Horford Face
Otto Porter Jr. Face
Stephen Curry Face

Pep
NBA Nike Utah Jazz 2022 Uniforms

IceCr
Wilt Chamberlain Face (Updated to v3.0)

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: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 7)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 7)

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 another ten players that ended up as familiar faces in strange places.

Yes, we’re reached the seventh instalment of this series! For the record, while this may not be the last time I cover this topic in Wayback Wednesday, it’s the final list that I’ve had planned. I’m sure there are other examples that I’ll find when I revisit classic games, and of course over time, new games will grow old and more players will end up becoming familiar faces in strange places. If there are any noteworthy examples that I haven’t covered in these seven articles, feel free to let me know. A Part 8 may be in order at some point!

For those who may be unfamiliar with this topic, I’m taking a look back at the unusual stints of players who are generally associated with a specific team. They’re the stints that are often forgotten, or in some cases, ones that we tried to forget because of how lacklustre they were, or how wrong it felt to see a player in a different jersey. I’m looking at them through the lens of basketball video games, as we’ll often see these familiar faces in strange places when we fire up older titles and browse the rosters. To that end, I’ve mostly tried to focus on stints that have been officially represented in games, at launch or in official roster updates. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K22 Mod Releases: Latest Fictional Player Faces

NBA 2K22 Cover Art

We have some new fictional player faces by OG2K and TNG Aura in today’s mod releases for NBA 2K22. Check them out at the links below!

OG2K
Fictional Cyberface #3 by OG2K

TNG Aura
Fictional Players Face Pack by TNG Aura

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: Born To Be A Retro Gamer

Monday Tip-Off: Born To Be A Retro Gamer

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 reflecting on how my earliest experiences with video games made it far more likely that I’d become a retro gamer.

Outside of firing up NBA 2K22 to get screenshots or investigate its latest updates, I haven’t played the game for months. Not on PC, not on PlayStation 4, and not on PlayStation 5. I don’t feel compelled to grind and level up a player in MyCAREER, or to jump into The Rec. There are aspects of MyTEAM that I like, but I don’t fancy putting in the time to collect cards that I won’t be able to use come NBA 2K23. I’d start a MyLEAGUE or MyNBA with the Chicago Bulls, but honestly, I don’t enjoy the gameplay enough in either version of NBA 2K22 to do so.

Instead, I’ve been spending my time playing through multiple seasons in NBA 2K14’s MyCAREER. I’ve revisited other standout games from yesteryear, such as NBA Live 10 and NBA Live 06. Quite simply, I’ve found far more enjoyment and satisfaction in doing that than trying to find a way to have fun with NBA 2K22. It’s not that I refuse to play new games, or that I haven’t enjoyed more recent releases. I also don’t believe that older games were, without exception, all flawless masterpieces; they weren’t. I do find it easy to go back to old favourites however, as well as give other retro titles a second look. When I think back, I may have always been destined to be a retro gamer.

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NLSC Podcast #431: Heroes in a Half-Court

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #431 of the NLSC Podcast!

The release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has demonstrated the popularity of retro-style gameplay with modern sensibilities. It leads us to consider how this could apply to the virtual hardwood, with Basketball Classics being a great example. We also lament the lack of a new NBA Jam title, and reflect on the shortcomings of the NBA Playgrounds games. Mention of Konami also sends us down the rabbit hole to discuss some of our favourite games from the company, basketball or otherwise. Our Lakers vs. Celtics Tournament will be tipping off soon, and we’re also keen to continue our co-op sessions on Parsec. In an update on our NBA 2K19 MyLEAGUE and NBA 2K14 MyCAREER games, we’re talking sliders, streaks, and the growing legend of Terry Hanson. This week’s mailbag features a discussion about the influence that playing real hoops has on basketball gaming, basketball book recommendations, and the best classic seasons to watch.

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: June 18th, 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.

What does the scouter say about the power level of this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays? With characters from Dragon Ball Z hitting the virtual hardwood via mods, it’s over 9000! There’s also a ridiculous alley-oop to Kevin Garnett in NBA Live 2002, more dominance from 1995 Shaquille O’Neal in NBA 2K19, Michael Jordan doing what he does best in NBA 2K17, and my NBA 2K14 MyPLAYER pulling off something that I definitely cannot do in real life. It’s another great countdown of highlights, with seven different games in total spanning from NBA Live 2002 through to NBA 2K22!

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 Reasons NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is the Best Jam Game

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 that I rank NBA Jam: On Fire Edition as the best release in the NBA Jam series.

We really need another NBA Jam game. I know there were gamers that skipped the NBA Jam games by EA Sports, either because they were burned by previous non-Midway Jam titles, they didn’t trust or want to support EA, or a mixture of both. I understand having that stance, but frankly, you missed out on a couple of really good NBA Jam games! They were faithful to the originals, while also bringing something new to the table. It’s because of this that NBA Jam: On Fire Edition remains my pick for the best NBA Jam game to date.

I know that’s a big claim to make, especially when the original NBA Jam still holds up today. Tournament Edition was a fantastic follow-up to that, and though Midway lost the Jam moniker, NBA Hangtime was a worthy sequel to TE. NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC and NBA Hoopz were also fine games in Midway’s branch of the lineage; Acclaim’s titles, not so much. In short, there is some stiff competition for NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, yet I do believe that it stands above the rest. While EA were struggling with NBA Live by the early 2010s, they made great use of the NBA Jam license, creating the definitive Jam experience with NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.

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NBA 2K16 Mod Releases: Converted Player Faces

NBA 2K16 Cover Art - Stephen Curry

Update various player faces in NBA 2K16 with today’s mod releases! SimonLee has released a new face for Allen Iverson, as well as a pack containing updates for Carmelo Anthony, Brook Lopez, Enes Kanter, Kyrie Irving, and Jared Dudley, all converted from NBA 2K17. Pick up all of today’s NBA 2K16 mod releases at the links below!

SimonLee
Allen Iverson Face
5 Players Converted From NBA 2K17

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: NBA Live 2003 vs NBA Live 2004

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003 vs NBA Live 2004

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 comparing NBA Live 2003 and NBA Live 2004, in a new edition of “Versus”!

Once again, I’ve gone a while between posting a new “Versus” feature for Wayback Wednesday. There is a reason for that, though. With so many retro basketball games and retro basketball gaming topics to cover, it can take a while to circle back to titles I’ve already talked about. I’d also prefer not to profile games for the first time with a direct comparison to another game, as that would get in the way of a comprehensive retrospective. However, it is fun and interesting to rank and rate old favourites, having had plenty of time to enjoy and reflect on them.

That brings us to NBA Live 2003 and NBA Live 2004, back-to-back releases in the Golden Age of NBA Live; or possibly the series’ second Golden Age, depending on how you rate NBA Live 2001 and NBA Live 2002. Among older basketball gamers, there’s a ton of nostalgia for both games. If you’re my age, you’ll remember them as fun games from early adulthood. If you’re slightly younger, they may have been your entry into basketball gaming! The question is: which game is better? I’ve broken up my arguments into five categories, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K21 Mod Releases: Fictional Player Faces

NBA 2K21 Cover Art (Current Gen)

Enhance a custom Draft Class with today’s mod releases for NBA 2K21! OG2K has released a couple of fictional player faces, which you can download at the links below.

OG2K
Fictional Cyberface by OG2K
Fictional Cyberface #2 by OG2K

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.

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Servers Online; Roster Update Available

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Servers Online; Roster Update Available

As discussed in Episode #430 of the NLSC Podcast, the long-dormant NBA Jam: On Fire Edition servers have been unexpectedly reactivated. If you fire up the game on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Xbox One, you’ll be able to establish a connection, and accept the online terms and conditions. After that, you’ll be able to see the leaderboards, as well as the number of users who are currently online.

You’ll also be able to download the last roster update for the game, if you don’t already have it. This requires going to the Online Arena, which will prompt the game to check the rosters, and then update them if need be. The roster updates added a handful of players from the Class of 2011 to the game, including Kyrie Irving. It also accounted for player movement accurate as of the 2013 season, and updated a handful of ratings.

Note that to access the Online Arena on Xbox 360/Xbox One, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription. If you don’t have an active subscription but just want to grab the update, you can always purchase a one month subscription and then cancel the renewal. While you’ll lose access to the Online Arena, you’ll keep the updated rosters as long as you don’t delete your data.

Obviously this also means that online multiplayer is available once again, though judging by the reported number of users online, you may have difficulty finding a game. Of course, if word spreads and the NBA Jam: On Fire Edition servers remain active, the scene could soon be jumping again. If so, there may be opportunities to unlock some of the online Trophies/Achievements, if you haven’t already done so.

We’ll keep an eye on the situation with the NBA Jam: On Fire Edition servers, and report on any further changes. In the meantime however, this unexpected but very welcome development has provided an opportunity to download a long-lost update, and potentially breathe new life into a fantastic release. If you own NBA Jam: OFE and are missing the updated rosters, I’d recommend looking into this ASAP!

Monday Tip-Off: Free-to-Play & Triple-A Basketball Games

Monday Tip-Off: Free-to-Play & Triple-A Basketball Games

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 the prospect of Triple-A basketball games being free-to-play (aka F2P).

It’s no secret that NBA Live, once the brand leader in sim NBA video games, has been struggling for well over a decade. It hit a low point with the failed attempt to rebrand and revamp the series with NBA Elite 11, one that it hasn’t been able to recover from to date. With its inability to topple NBA 2K, or even just make some inroads into gaining a bigger share of the market, I’ve seen people suggest that the console version of NBA Live become a free-to-play title. The argument is that it would be a lower risk, and encourage more gamers to give it a try.

Interestingly, I’ve also seen suggestions that NBA 2K become a free-to-play game. In this case, the suggestion has nothing to do with quality, but rather finance. As you’re undoubtedly well aware, the nature of NBA 2K being an annual release means that in modes such as MyCAREER and MyTEAM, there’s a reset on our progress with each new game. That means more grinding, and more money spent. With annual sports titles often being derided as glorified roster updates, it’s no surprise that a free-to-play model, or perhaps a new game every few years with subscriptions for updates in between, are ideas that have been floated. I certainly have some thoughts on that.

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NLSC Podcast #430: Return of the Server

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #430 of the NLSC Podcast!

During a session of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, we made the exciting discovery that the servers appear to be reactivated! We’re hoping it isn’t temporary, and note a few other games we’d like to see receive online support again. A vague Tweet from EA has invited those of us hoping for NBA Live’s return to speculate once more. This leads us to discuss our concerns about influencers giving a new NBA Live game a fair chance, if and when it comes out. A clip from the archives prompts us to reflect on The Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K11, and the attention to detail that was paid to Michael Jordan’s return to video games. We also answer a question about whether games have become too realistic, and open up the mailbag to talk about our favourite highlights, real and virtual.

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!