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Author Archives: Andrew

The Friday Five: 5 What If Scenarios in Basketball Gaming

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 gets hypothetical, as I consider five “What If” scenarios in basketball gaming.

Even though we shouldn’t tie ourselves up in knots dwelling on the past, it’s hard to resist the allure of a fascinating “What If” scenario. What if Michael Jordan didn’t retire in 1993? What if he never returned in 1995, or in 2001? What if the Boston Celtics had won the Draft lottery in 1997? What if the Oklahoma City Thunder had never traded James Harden, or remained the Seattle SuperSonics? What if LeBron James had never taken his talents to South Beach? For each of these scenarios, we can debate and speculate as to how history would differ in both outcomes and perspective.

The real NBA provides us with plenty of “What If” scenarios, as there are so many events that have the potential to be pivotal: trades, free agent signings, lottery results, injuries, clutch shots, and fateful decisions in crunch time of the biggest games. For the most part, the history of the virtual hardwood goes hand in hand with the general improvements and progression of video games as a whole, but a few big moments – as well as a few things that didn’t happen – have shaped the hobby as we know it. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the twists and turns that basketball gaming may possibly have taken, but they are five “What If” scenarios that I find interesting.

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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.11 Available

NY Subway in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

A new official patch (1.11) is now available for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. As with the previous update, it includes a new Playground, additional Pack items, and technical fixes. The official patch notes are as follows:

  • New York Subway Playground.
  • 16 new Vanity Items available in Packs.
  • 140 new Court Editor Items available in Packs.
  • Stability improvements.
  • Improvements to the Mars Playground.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as here in the NLSC Forum!

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Wayback Wednesday: The Lost Retro Teams

Bulls vs Blazers in NBA 2K11

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 retro teams that we’ve lost in NBA 2K.

It’s easy to take the retro teams in NBA 2K for granted. They’ve been a staple of the games since the introduction of The Jordan Challenge back in NBA 2K11, to the point where a lot of gamers no longer consider them bonus content; they’re something we expect to see in the games. There was a time, however, when it didn’t seem likely due to the hurdle of likeness rights. Indeed, a few years before 2K made it a reality, EA Sports made some preliminary steps towards including retro teams in NBA Live 08, ultimately scrapping the idea when they couldn’t license all of the players.

While it does seem like the concept of retro teams is here to stay – and there are plenty of ideas for new ones that could be added – not all of the previously included squads remain in NBA 2K. Over the years, a total of ten retro teams have been cut after being included in at least one game, though four of them would be replaced by a squad from around the same era. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

The latest file additions for NBA 2K14 PC include a new face for Dylan Windler, and the latest jersey update for the 2019 season. Check them out at the link below!

Blang
Dylan Windler Face

Pep
NBA Nike 2018/2019 Sponsors Update (Updated)

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 File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

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Monday Tip-Off: Aiming for the Hall of Fame in MyCAREER

Hall of Fame Requirements in NBA 2K19

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 an update on my NBA 2K19 MyCAREER, and my new goal of making it to the Hall of Fame.

As the 2019 NBA Finals loom in real life, I’m already twenty games away from the 2020 Playoffs in my NBA 2K19 MyCAREER game. My enthusiasm has continued into a sophomore campaign, and with the regular season winding down, I’ve got a few milestones in my sights. Within the next few games, I’ll break Wilt Chamberlain’s record for most points, and my own record for most assists. I’ve already set a new steals record, and ensured that I’ll average a triple-double for the entire season. I’m feeling quite confident that I’ll guide the Bulls to a second straight championship.

My intention here isn’t to brag; everyone puts up awesome numbers in MyCAREER, after all. I’m just enjoying the challenge of trying to get triple-doubles, break a few records, and complete two full seasons while playing on twelve minute quarters. I do have another goal, however. I’ve been keeping an eye on the requirements for making the Hall of Fame, and it’s my intention to achieve that before I put NBA 2K19 aside. Despite spending a lot of time with MyCAREER in both NBA 2K13 and NBA 2K17, it’s something that I haven’t been able to accomplish. With all of the time that I’ve put into NBA 2K19’s MyCAREER, I feel like this is the year.

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NLSC Podcast #286: Online, Casuals, & Simulation

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #286 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Arcane and I are discussing the focus of online play in NBA Live and NBA 2K, and what that means for different types of basketball gamers.

We tip things off with a quick look ahead to the 2019 NBA Finals, as well as a few thoughts on the forthcoming gameplay patch for NBA Live 19. After catching up on the news, we dive into this week’s discussion topic: online, casuals, and simulation. We reflect on some recent Jordan Rec Center games in NBA 2K19, and how they’ve been indicative of changing attitudes towards the importance of sim-style virtual basketball. This leads us to question whether the core demographic is as sim as it used to be, or whether we’re now on the outer fringe. We also attempt to categorise the different types of hoops gamers, and throw out a few suggestions for improving the online experience by addressing various issues including matchmaking and gatekeeping.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the current direction of online play, and gameplay in general? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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New NLSC Merch by Arcane Uniforms Available At TeePublic

NLSC Merch: Sticker

For anyone who’d like to rep the NLSC out in the real world, we have some good news! Regular NLSC Podcast co-host Arcane has created some new merch for the site through his clothing label, Arcane Uniforms, and it’s available now through TeePublic.

Items include t-shirts, phone cases, wall art, mugs, sticks, pillows, and more. In addition to a retro NBA Live Series Center design, you can also pick up merch branded with the NLSC Polygon design, NLSC Grindtime, and even March Modness. Many of Arcane’s other basketball designs are also available, with all items currently being 35% off.

Find the full range here over on TeePublic, and check out some previews below! Premium NLSC apparel, including personalised basketball jerseys and shorts, is also still available through Arcane Uniforms; you can find more details on how to order it here in the Forum. Be sure to follow Arcane Uniforms here on Twitter and here on Facebook for further updates, and to get in touch with Arcane about ordering information or any other queries.

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NBA Live 19 Getting New Gameplay Patch in June

Russell Westbrook in NBA Live 19

As revealed over on Reddit, a new gameplay patch for NBA Live 19 is currently in the works. According to the developers, the update will include some of the biggest requests and suggestions that have been put forth by the community. Some of those changes include (and I quote):

  • Shot contest impact
  • Open layups and inside shots missing
  • Better balancing of dribble bumps and dribbling
  • A new feature to combat ball hogs online
  • Some other stuff

It remains to be seen what is meant by “other stuff”, but no doubt we’ll get more information soon, and it’s great to see NBA Live 19 still receiving substantial updates this far into its life cycle. The new patch is slated to drop in early June, right around the tip off of the 2019 NBA Finals. The last update, Patch 1.24, was released back in April.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum! You can also find a complete update history for NBA Live 19 here in our Wiki.

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The Friday Five: 5 Times PC Gamers Missed Out 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 five times that PC gamers have missed out when it comes to the virtual hardwood.

Due to the popularity of the PC platform in our community, it’s all too easy to forget that it isn’t a priority for sports video game developers. Consoles account for a bulk of the annual sales, making PC sports gamers a niche within a niche. That hasn’t stopped us from having a lot of fun with the games that have come out on PC though, thanks in no small part to what our modding community has been capable of throughout the years. Furthermore, if you go back and look at the history of NBA Live on PC, there was a time when those releases could be considered the definitive version.

Unfortunately, playing on PC has sometimes led to missing out on content, or certain games altogether. From a developer’s perspective, consoles provide the convenience of standard hardware and digital platforms, as well as more security when it comes to piracy. Developing for the PC is more challenging due to differing hardware, as well as distribution methods. Even when the former hasn’t been a barrier to getting a PC release, the latter has prevented it from receiving the same level of support, including downloadable content. We’re fortunate enough to still get basketball games on PC, but here are five times that we weren’t so lucky on the platform.

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File Additions for NBA 2K19

NBA 2K19 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K19 PC include the latest player and crowd updates. Check them all out at the links below!

Torogi
Meyers Leonard Face & Model
Andray Blatche Face & Model
Eric Bledsoe Face
Zach Collins Face & Model

Shuajota
EURO 2K19 PC MOD
Shane Larkin Face
Nate Wolters Face

TwisT
Crowd Update – 2019 Playoff Shirts (Updated to v29)

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 File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003 Soundtrack

NBA Live 2003 Soundtrack: Get Live

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 NBA Live 2003 soundtrack.

Music is an integral part of video games, no matter the genre. It creates atmosphere, pumps you up to play, and forges a connection with gamers. As such, it’s no surprise that a game’s soundtrack becomes a significant part of our nostalgia, leading us to seek out tracks on YouTube or Spotify, or contributing to the rush we feel when we fire up an old favourite once again. Many games have brought us original scores that have subsequently become iconic, but the inclusion of licensed songs has led to a lot of debates about the best soundtracks in video games.

That debate has naturally produced a variety of answers when it comes to basketball games, but there’s one playlist in particular that a lot of gamers mention: the NBA Live 2003 soundtrack. Many of its tracks have come to be associated with the game, and the album release was certified platinum, a first for a video game score. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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U R Basketball V66 Released for NBA 2K14

U R Basketball V66 for NBA 2K14

It’s been a little while since the last release, but if you’ve been hanging out for a new version of U R Basketball for NBA 2K14, the time has come! skoadam and slimm4 have released V66 of URB 2K14, featuring final 2019 season rosters. An overview of the key features is as follows:

  • 2019 End of the season Roster (FinalURB2019EOS)
  • Updated ratings and tendencies based on end of the season stats by Slimm
  • Updated team roles
  • Updated rotations
  • Updated faces (Chasedown, EC2K, many more)

You can find V66 of U R Basketball here in our Downloads section. Be sure to check out the release topic here for support, previews, and more information about future releases.

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Monday Tip-Off: Brown Shirt & Grey Sweatpants

Brown Shirt & Grey Sweatpants (NBA 2K14 MyCAREER)

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 perennial default outfit for all of our MyPLAYERs: a brown shirt and grey sweatpants.

Am I really supposed to talk about basketball video games in the wake of the Game of Thrones finale? Well, that is what we’re all about here at the NLSC, so yes; I’ll keep my focus on the virtual hardwood! After the heaviness of that finale however, I feel like tackling a lighter subject to tip things off this week. I’m usually not one to talk about fashion – these are not Barbie dress-up games, as we’ve been reliably informed – but I am going to talk about clothes this week. More specifically, I’m talking about the outfit that our MyPLAYER wears at the beginning of every MyCAREER game.

The brown shirt and grey sweatpants that we continue to sport at the beginning of our journey on the Road to 99 has become a staple of the MyCAREER experience. As a default outfit, it’s visually unremarkable, yet still full of meaning as far as the whole experience is concerned. Interestingly, it’s a look that more than a handful of gamers are actively choosing for themselves, at a point where a majority of MyCAREER and Playground devotees are opting for more outlandish outfits. Humble attire as it may be, those brown shirts and grey sweatpants are something of a running gag, a clever gimmick, and a deceptive tactic all rolled into one.

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NLSC Podcast #285: A Decade of Dominance for NBA 2K

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #285 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Arcane and I are discussing how NBA 2K has now enjoyed a decade of dominance in the basketball gaming genre.

Since overtaking NBA Live in sales beginning with the 2009 season releases, NBA 2K has secured its place as the dominant brand in basketball gaming for over a decade. We reflect on how NBA 2K’s journey has differed from that of NBA Live, and the way that journey has accounted for its continued quality, popularity, and financial success. At the same time, while NBA 2K’s success has ultimately been great for basketball gaming, there have been downsides to its dominance. We discuss where the game is headed, and name our favourite NBA 2K titles from the past decade.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on NBA 2K’s Decade of Dominance? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA Live 19 Court Battle League Playoffs Begin Sunday

NBA Live 19 Court Battle League Playoffs

The Playoffs for the Court Battle League, an initiative by MagGamer, tip off this Sunday at 9 PM. Eight of the twenty-one squads have qualified for the postseason: the Showtime Elites, Panthers, Hardwood Mafia, Goat Gawdz, The Best Unknowns, Dukes of Jazzard, New York Titans, and International MobStars.

For the uninitiated, the Court Battle League is a 5-on-5 eSports league with squads facing off on their own custom One Courts, with the ultimate goal of being crowned King of the Court. As noted, twenty-one teams took part in the first season, with the Showtime Elites finishing with the top record of 13-3.

You can catch all the action of the Playoffs streaming live on Twitch! For more information about the league, check out this video.

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