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Wayback Wednesday: Roster Updates for NBA Full Court Press

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 roster updates for NBA Full Court Press.

While Microsoft’s NBA Inside Drive series was respectably popular in the early 2000s, many long-time gamers may forget about its predecessor, NBA Full Court Press. It’s understandable, of course. Its name didn’t spawn a series of titles like Inside Drive, Live, 2K, ShootOut, and so on, and it was also exclusive to PC. Additionally, although it has its strong points and it’s interesting to revisit it today, it didn’t have the best gameplay or most well-designed modes. I’d suggest that Microsoft made similar mistakes with NBA Inside Drive 2000, before the series took a big leap with 2002.

One of the interesting aspects of NBA Full Court Press is that it was a 1997 season title that featured 1996 season rosters. A few years earlier, it wouldn’t have been unusual for a game to launch without updated lineups and a new rookie crop, but that approach had fallen out of vogue by 1996. I’ve previously covered NBA Full Court Press with a retrospective back in 2018, but the issue of its outdated rosters deserves another look; especially because there were actually some official roster updates that I neglected to mention! Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #531: EA College Football Now, EA College Basketball Next?

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #531 of the NLSC Podcast!

With EA Sports College Football 25 generating some positive buzz with gamers, could it lead to EA Sports bringing back its college basketball series as well? For that matter, could the enthusiasm and a successful launch lead to NBA Live finally making its return as EA seemingly looks to expand its lineup? This week, we join the community in discussing EA Sports potentially returning to the virtual hardwood, whether we’d prefer an NBA or college basketball game, and some of our expectations for such a comeback. We also name our all-time NBA enforcer starting fives, and pay tribute to the late, great Bill Walton, who sadly passed away last week following a battle with cancer.

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!

Monday Tip-Off: A Requiem for ICQ

Monday Tip-Off: A Requiem for ICQ

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 a requiem for ICQ.

Alright, so this topic isn’t strictly related to basketball gaming, but hey, it’s my column and I’m essentially the editor-in-chief here, so who’s going to stop me? Besides, ICQ is certainly relevant in the history of our community, as plenty of people who were around in the early days – me included – used it to chat with each other. Indeed, for those of us who were online in the late 90s, ICQ was likely one of our first instant messaging clients along with AOL Instant Messenger, aka AIM. I’m guessing that most of us haven’t used the program in years, but ICQ has remained active as of 2024.

Until now, that is. On May 24th 2024, it was announced on ICQ’s official website that the service will be shut down on June 26th, after almost 30 years. As someone who used ICQ back in the day, I’m compelled to become the latest person to eulogise this vestige of 1990s internet. Considering that we’ve also been around since 1996 and will now outlast ICQ, it also has me thinking about the passage of time; what’s come and gone, and what the internet has gained and lost over the years. I realise that this isn’t Wayback Wednesday, but nevertheless, I wanted to reminisce about ICQ and reflect on its impressive longevity, as well as my nostalgia as an Elder Millennial.

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NLSC YouTube Round-Up Through May 2024

NLSC YouTube Round-Up Through May 2024

It’s time for another round-up of recent uploads to the NLSC YouTube channel! For those who aren’t aware, in addition to the NLSC Podcast and Top 10 Plays of the Week, Dee and I frequently upload basketball gaming highlight reels from games we play together over Parsec, as well as our solo sessions. Here’s what you may have missed from late April through to the end of May!

As Dee and I have discussed on the podcast, we’ve been connecting to play some co-op games of the Super Nintendo version of the original NBA Jam. Our favourite team to use thus far has been the Phoenix Suns with Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson, and to that end, Dee has uploaded footage from our game against the Washington Bullets. We also connected to play Basketball Classics and had an exciting head-to-head game that went down to the wire, and began a Road Trip in NBA Jam: On Fire Edition with johnz1’s NBA Jam: Legends On Fire Edition mod. Be sure to check out those uploads from Dee to see how much fun we’ve been having with Parsec!

Meanwhile, I’ve been uploading the latest highlight reels from Year 6 in my NBA 2K14 MyCAREER to the NLSC YouTube channel, including an assortment of the best plays from Games 41-50, a big comeback victory, a dunk and alley-oop fest against the Clippers, and the 2019 All-Star Game. I also had some fun dusting off NBA Live 09 to play with FIBA teams, namely a showdown between Australia and Slovenia.

You can check out all of those videos below! Once again, be sure to subscribe to the NLSC YouTube channel if you haven’t already, as Dee and I are committed to bringing you regular highlights and video essays in addition to the podcast and weekly countdowns of the community’s Top 10 Plays. As always, feel free to hit us up with any suggestions of games that you’d like to see us play, and we’ll do our best to get them into the rotation ASAP!

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: June 1st, 2024

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.

Poster dunks never get old in real basketball, and they’re just as evergreen in the NLSC Top 10 Plays! Of course, when it comes to these highlights, it’s not just about the powerful and stylish finish at the rim. There’s also the crafty moves that set up the slam, from baseline spins to having the ball on a string, crossing over and weaving through traffic. While dunks definitely dominate the countdown, you’ll also find other acrobatic moves, incredible passes, and another gamewinner. As for variety, six different games are on display this week, from NBA Live 2004 through to NBA 2K24. Let’s get to the action!

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 Basic Features We Take For Granted

The Friday Five: 5 Basic Features We Take For Granted

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 basic features in basketball video games that we take for granted.

There are a number of basic features in a modern basketball game that have become firmly entrenched as essential, at least if you want the game to be good! The genre has come a long way, and even though I still have tremendous fondness for the early classics, I’m also aware of their shortcomings. Of course, many of the basic features that were once innovations did come along in the mid to late 90s, so we’ve had them for decades now. To that point though, it’s all too easy to take some of those basic features for granted, especially if you didn’t grow up with the more primitive titles.

“Primitive” is the operative word here. When video games as a whole were in their infancy, those first steps towards what we have now did feel like huge strides. On top of that, technical limitations meant that games couldn’t have the same level of depth and detail as they do now, or even a couple of generations ago. Nevertheless, it’s still interesting to look back at some early basketball video games – as I obviously enjoy doing for Wayback Wednesday – and note how some of the basic features that we now take for granted are nowhere to be found. This doesn’t mean that we can’t and shouldn’t criticise modern games, but it’s a reminder of the progress that’s been made.

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NBA Street Vol. 2 Current & Legendary Edition Mod V3.2

NBA Street Vol. 2 Legendary Edition Mod

It’s great to see agent_michael_scarn continue to update the Current & Legendary Edition mod for the GameCube version of NBA Street Vol. 2 after all these years, and to that point, a new version of the project is now available! V3.2 is another minor update, featuring some further adjustments for the 2024 season.

You can pick up NBA Street Vol. 2 Current & Legendary Edition here in our Downloads database! For more information on how to install it, as well as previews, further support, or if you just want to say thanks, check out this topic in the Forum.

Wayback Wednesday: Updated Releases & Unusual Editions

Wayback Wednesday: Updated Releases & Unusual Editions

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 basketball games that saw updated releases, and other unusual editions.

Official patches are a touchy subject in gaming discourse nowadays. Many gamers believe that games are released with less polish because they can be fixed post-launch with patches, including day one updates. Gamers have also grown weary of constant updates, especially when patches are often several gigabytes in size. These concerns and criticisms are understandable, and I generally share them. At the same time, it’s inevitable with games becoming larger in scope. Furthermore, it’s preferable to a time when games rarely received patches on PC, and never received them on console.

Of course, even before patches existed in their current form and were generally PC-exclusive, games did receive fixes and updates. From different revisions of arcade ROMs to a second run of discs and cartridges containing a newer version of a title, many games back in the day received updated releases. This included being re-packaged as some kind of special edition: classics and bestseller lines, compilation packs, and so on. To that end, there have been some updated releases and unusual editions of basketball games over the years. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #530: Replaying NBA History With Modern Gaming Tech

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #530 of the NLSC Podcast!

If a basketball video game featuring modern technology but a past setting – from rosters to modes to presentation – was ever to be released, which year would you want it to be? This week, we join the community in sharing our choices of legendary seasons to re-live on the virtual hardwood. We also react to the announcement of NBA Superstars, an upcoming arcade basketball game in the style of NBA Jam. What do we make of the gameplay in the trailer, and can it fill a void in the basketball gaming space? We also discuss having interactions with former NBA players on social media – both positive and negative – and provide a PSA for our fellow basketball gamers who may be having a rough time right now.

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!

Monday Tip-Off: Black Plates & The Big Picture

Monday Tip-Off: Black Plates & The Big Picture

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 issue of “black plates” in NBA 2K24, and how complaints about those gamers are missing the big picture.

After several years of grinding to level up a MyPLAYER so that I could partake in MyCAREER’s connected online modes, I gave up shortly into the life cycle of NBA 2K21. It’s simply not fun to repeat that journey every year, especially as the mode has become pushier and pushier with its recurrent revenue mechanics, and the scene has only grown increasingly toxic. With that being said, I do keep tabs on what’s going on with NBA 2K’s online scene, paying attention to what my fellow basketball gamers are saying about it on social media and Reddit.

Sadly, from the sounds of things, not much has changed. Well, it might’ve grown even worse if anything, but it certainly hasn’t improved! It seems that one of the biggest issues in NBA 2K24 – at least according to discussions over on the official NBA 2K subreddit – has been the matter of “black plates”. For those who are unaware, this is referring to a rep system in MyCAREER’s connected modes, which displays different colours behind a MyPLAYER’s overall depending on their online performance. As the players with the lowest rep, “black plates” are generally avoided. While this is understandable, it exemplifies an ongoing issue with the design of 2K’s online modes.

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NBA Live 2005 Mod Releases: Two Player Faces

NBA Live 2005 Cover Art

Two player faces can be found in today’s NBA Live 2005 mod releases, namely updates for Jose Alvarado and Derrick Jones Jr. Pick them up at the links below!

iceman99
Jose Alvarado Face

Modders27
Derrick Jones Jr Face By Modders27

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.

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: May 25th, 2024

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.

You know whenever we tip things off with a signature Michael Jordan highlight, the bar has been set really high for the rest of the countdown! I’m sure you’ll agree that this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays meets the challenge though, thanks to an assortment of vicious poster dunks, breathtaking alley-oops, and cold-blooded clutch plays from eight different basketball video games. We also have another classic hoops title making its NLSC Top 10 debut this week, thanks to Rellhouse’s submission of a spectacular slam in Arch Rivals. Let’s get to the action!

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 Conceptual Mistakes Basketball Games Made

The Friday Five: 5 Conceptual Mistakes Basketball Games Made

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 looks at five conceptual mistakes that were made with various basketball video games.

Game design isn’t as easy as some people believe it to be. Programming is far from entering instructions in plain English, with many technological challenges that must be overcome. It’s also impossible to cater to everyone’s tastes and preferences, and what might seem like a good idea on paper may not work out as well as hoped when it comes to fruition. For the most part, no one is trying to make a bad video game. It’s just that some concepts don’t pan out, there’s not enough time or adequate resources, ambitious plans set the bar too high, or perhaps a combination thereof.

At the same time, some basketball games have left us wondering what the developers were thinking when it comes to an approach or design choice. There may be some small merit to an idea, but it’s still bewildering that it survived the planning stages, or preliminary proof of concept testing. In all fairness, there are other ideas that seemed good to us as well, until the games were in our hands and we realised that it wasn’t quite what we wanted after all. These are the conceptual mistakes that held games back from being as good as they could and should have been. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but again, a few of these examples were waving red flags from the beginning.

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NBA 2K24 Mod Releases: PCBasket 2K24

NBA 2K24 Kobe Bryant Edition Cover Art

In today’s mod releases, Shuajota has brought the comprehensive PCBasket roster project to NBA 2K24. Check it out at the link below!

Shuajota
PCBasket 2K24

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: Alternate Venues in NBA Live

Wayback Wednesday: Alternate Venues in NBA Live

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 alternate venues that appeared in the Season modes of early NBA Live games.

Whenever I revisit old games, whether it’s to produce a Wayback Wednesday feature or just for my own enjoyment, it’s always a delight to discover – or recall – a detail that I didn’t expect to see. After all, it’s easy enough to forget how long certain features have been around, or the lengths that games went to for authenticity even before the deep modes we now have were feasible. They’re great examples of how those classic titles were the products of developers pushing technology to the limit, while trying to make the best possible basketball game for enthusiastic hoop heads.

As far as the early NBA Live games are concerned, those details demonstrate why EA Sports’ series became the brand leader in the genre, and that being an authentic sim was absolutely the goal. There are numerous examples of this, many of which I’ve discussed in previous retrospectives, but a cool one that flies under the radar is the use of alternate venues in the Season modes of early NBA Live games. It wasn’t necessary to reflect this aspect of the NBA season on the virtual hardwood – especially as it’s easy to miss – so it’s awesome that the games did. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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