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Author Archives: Andrew

Wayback Wednesday: The Dunk Contest in Basketball Games

Tens in the Dunk Contest (NBA Live 2005)

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 Slam Dunk Contest in basketball video games.

The Slam Dunk Contest is the main event of All-Star Saturday Night, and with the notable exception of the 1998 All-Star Weekend, it’s been a fixture of the festivities since 1984. Although not every contest has been better than the last – and indeed, some years have been downright disappointing – it’s still provided us with many memorable examples of spectacular aerial artistry. It only stands to reason that we want to take part in the dunk contest in basketball video games, and fortunately for us, several titles over the years have afforded us that opportunity.

Implemented in a variety of ways over the years, the dunk contest has proven to be a fun mini-game to jump into whenever it’s been available to play at any time. Along with the Three-Point Shootout, it’s also deepened the franchise and career experiences by representing the most prominent events of the All-Star Weekend. The main event of the NBA’s midseason classic has an interesting history when it comes to the virtual hardwood, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

Let’s catch up on the latest file additions for NBA 2K14 PC! The newest releases include a bunch of retro player faces, a throwback court, and a roster update for the 2018 season. Check them all out at the links below!

IceCr
Steve Francis Face
Stephon Marbury Face
Walt Frazier Face
Ben Gordon Face
Dominique Wilkins Face
Charles Oakley Face
Trent Tucker Face
Andrew Bynum Face
Lamar Odom Face
Larry Johnson Face
Joe Dumars Face (Updated to v2.0)
Willis Reed Face (Updated to v2.0)

ALDUB_livmore
1984-1985 Joe Louis Arena Court
2017-2018 NBA Roster Final Update (Medevenx Tribute)

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: The Harsh Reality of the NBA 2K League

NBA 2K League Logo (NBA 2K18)

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 few thoughts on the early weeks of the NBA 2K League, and some of the harsh realities that the venture is facing.

To say that the NBA 2K League has received an overwhelmingly cold reception is an understatement. Sure, there are people streaming the games, catching the highlight reels, and generally enjoying the League. However, a lot of people have had some harsh words for it, too. Posts about the League on the official NBA 2K social media accounts are often derisive and insulting. Similarly, when the NBA’s official accounts post about the League, the responses are often downright hostile. Although there is support for the NBA 2K League, the detractors are much, much louder.

Furthermore, while the NBA 2K League has found an audience, it’s not a particularly big one given the overall strength of the NBA 2K brand. Pastapadre has been keeping tabs on the viewership numbers, which have sunk as low as 2000 viewers on a night when there were no real NBA games to compete with. Although it’s still early days, and 2K likely anticipated some teething problems in the inaugural season, there are plenty of discouraging signs moving forward. The harsh reality of the situation is that no matter how successful NBA 2K may be, the NBA 2K League may simply have too many things stacked against it to succeed.

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NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Forums, Resources Added

NBA Live 19: Crossover in The Streets

As you may have noticed, over the weekend we added forums for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. With the preview season more or less underway, it seemed only appropriate to move discussion about this year’s games to their own sections in the NLSC Forum, rather than keep them in the NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 forums respectively.

I’ve also created the portals for each game here on the main site. You can find the NBA Live 19 subsite here, and the NBA 2K19 subsite here. The initial screenshots for NBA Live 19 have already been added to the game’s portal, and both subsites have links to all of the resources that are available so far. That includes articles in the NLSC Wiki; check out the NBA Live 19 article here, and the NBA 2K19 article here.

More details will be added throughout the preview season, so stay tuned to the NLSC for the latest news and information on this year’s games from EA Sports and 2K Sports. As always, I invite our community to help out with our Wiki resources, not only adding new info to the NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 articles as it becomes available, but also our other articles as well. With our new forums launched nice and early this year, we’re also hoping to get some good discussion going, so join in the conversation today!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #252

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #252 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we recap all of the NBA Live 19 news coming out of EA Play, give our thoughts on the pre-order announcement for NBA 2K19, and discuss the end of the 2018 NBA Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • EA Play 2018 is upon us! Before the event tipped off, a teaser screenshot gave us a few clues about what to expect from NBA Live 19.
  • During the press conference, we got our first glimpse of NBA Live 19 via the official reveal trailer. We liked what we saw, and noticed several improvements over NBA Live 18.
  • In addition to the official reveal trailer, a ton of information was also posted, including the release dates for the demo and full game. We discuss what we know so far about expansions to The One, the new player progression system, some key gameplay improvements, and more.
  • The 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19 has been announced, along with its cover player, LeBron James. Unfortunately, there’s a distinct lack of goodwill in the approach this year.
  • NBA 2K18 has received one last official patch. However, in lieu of any patch notes, it seems that all it’s done is add a pre-order link for NBA 2K19.
  • We wrap up Episode #252 of the NLSC Podcast with our thoughts on the conclusion of the 2018 NBA Finals, and a look ahead to what may be another interesting offseason. Will LeBron make another controversial decision, or will he remain with the Cavaliers?

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA Live 19 Info, Screenshots, & Preliminary Features List

NBA Live 19: Squad

With the trailer giving us our first glimpse of NBA Live 19 in action, we also have some initial details about the game. The official website has posted several informative articles, and media outlets such as SBNation and The Undefeated are also providing an insight into what’s new.

There’s a lot to digest from the articles, and I encourage you to read them in full, but I’ll summarise them as best I can. This year, we’ll be able to build a squad of current and former NBA players, while competing for rank and rewards. The One has been revamped with a new progression system, with Icon abilities based on real players past and present. This works independently of the Playstyles, Traits, and so forth, which are still in effect. A new story has also been implemented this year.

On top of that, The One has gone global in NBA Live 19, with The Streets World Tour. This involves playing on courts from around the world, and recruiting players for your squad. A new narrative system has been added to The League, for those who prefer the NBA side of things. There are also more hairstyles, tattoos, and other player creation elements.

Gameplay has also been a focus this year. Real Player Motion technology has been implemented to improve player movement and animations. This includes a lot of signature player animations compared to recent years. Right stick dribbling remains, but has been enhanced. There are new triple-threat moves, and one-on-one play has been improved at both ends, including playing off-ball. New AI also focuses on bringing more realism and dynamic play to NBA Live 19.

Finally, there will be a demo again this year. We’ll be able to download it on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 24th, ahead of the September 7th release.

The official NBA Live website has also provided us with a handful of screenshots, and a preliminary features list. Be sure to check them out below. What are your thoughts on what we’ve learned about NBA Live 19 so far? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion taking place in the newly opened NBA Live 19 section of the NLSC Forum!

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NBA Live 19 Official Reveal Trailer; Coming Out September 7th

NBA Live 19: Celebrating in The Streets

The official reveal trailer for NBA Live 19 has dropped at EA Play 2018. As you might expect, the trailer mostly focuses on the game’s career mode, The One. There are snippets of NBA gameplay footage as well however, albeit from cinematic angles. After all, it is a reveal trailer, and not raw gameplay.

Improvements to the animations, from dribbling to dunks and layups, are spotlighted in the reveal trailer. Some of the new locations for The Streets are also on display, and the voiceover makes specific mention of the word “squad”, suggesting that there might be squad options in LIVE Run and Pro-Am this year. “Trust the Process” is also mentioned specifically, and Joel Embiid is featured in a few clips, suggesting that he might be this year’s cover player. Obviously this is just speculation for the moment, with more information about the game yet to be revealed.

One thing we do know is that the game will be released on September 7th. This has NBA Live 19 slated for release the same day as the 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19, whereas NBA 2K19’s standard edition drops four days later on September 11th. Clearly, EA Sports are eager to get people playing their game as soon as possible.

Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

What are your thoughts? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum. More information about NBA Live 19 should be coming out of EA Play, so stay tuned.

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NBA Live 19 Teaser Screenshot; More Details Coming at EA Play

NBA Live 19: Teaser Screenshot

We have our first teaser screenshot for NBA Live 19, via the official NBA Live Instagram account. The screenshot features a variety of current and former NBA players posing on a street court, with the Legends wearing their throwback jerseys. WNBA player Maya Moore and NBA Street character Stretch are also notably among the players in the screenshot.

While there’s still a lot to learn about NBA Live 19, this obviously confirms the presence of NBA Legends, at least one NBA Street character, and WNBA players in this year’s game. It remains to be seen what capacity Legends and WNBA players will appear in throughout the game, but if nothing else, it seems as though they’ll be present in The Streets. From the screenshot, and other teasers from the developers on Twitter, it seems that international street courts will also be featured this year.

NBA Live 19’s presence at EA Play 2018 will allow us to find out more about the game very soon. Details are expected to be revealed during EA’s press conference, which will begin in about eleven hours. You can stream it live here on YouTube, or watch it below once it begins.

You can also check out the full size teaser screenshot below. What do you make of the teaser? What are you hoping or expecting to hear about NBA Live 19 during EA’s press conference? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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The Friday Five: 5 Times Basketball Games Were Rude to Gamers

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 examples of times where basketball video games were rude to the gamers playing them.

One of the great things about video games is that when they defeat or otherwise annoy you, you can tell them off without fear of repercussions. You can be as profane as you like – at least until your housemates or neighbours complain – and you won’t hear a single retort from the game or system. Of course, there are times when a game might sling a rude remark your way, sometimes in response to the way you’re playing, and other times almost completely unprovoked. That in turn might lead you to throw out a few more obscenities, though the game will take it all in stride.

As basketball video games have sought to incorporate more personality, and a bit of humour on some occasions, developers have slipped in a few rude messages. Now, these messages aren’t profane or obscene, but their blunt or taunting nature can leave you muttering a few choice words in response. Other times, the game isn’t trying to be rude, but whichever developer was responsible for writing the messages has ended up adopting a tone that they possibly didn’t intend. Whatever the case may be, I’m listing five times that basketball video games ended up being rude to gamers. Your opinion may vary as to whether or not they actually enhance the experience!

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File Additions for NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18 Cover Art

Today’s NBA 2K18 PC file additions include the latest face updates, a custom court, and a new modding tool. Check them all out at the links below!

TGsoGood
Josh Jackson Face (Short Hair)
Charles Barkley Rookie Face (Converted from 2K17)

Torogi
Andre Iguodala Face
Kevin Durant Face
JaVale McGee Face (Updated to v2.0)
Draymond Green Face (Updated to v2.0)
George Hill Face & Body (Updated to v2.0)
Jordan Clarkson Face (Updated to v2.0)
LeBron James Face (Updated to v4.0)
Larry Nance Jr. Face (Updated to v2.0)

ksmiz
LTASky with Melo Court

Aman Chand
NBA 2K18 Cyber Face Lookup & Assign Tool

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 2K9 on PC Retrospective

Kevin Garnett Dunking in NBA 2K9

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 NBA 2K9 on PC.

The fact that LeBron James is appearing in his eighth consecutive NBA Finals series hasn’t just sparked fierce debate among basketball fans in the endless Greatest of All-Time debate. It’s also a sign of how quickly the last few years have flown by, with LeBron’s tenure with the Miami Heat already becoming a distant memory. Another fact that may leave you wondering where the time has gone is the number of NBA 2K games that have come out on PC, which now stands at ten. It feels like only yesterday that the series was a newcomer to the platform, but it has indeed been a decade.

Currently the only sim-oriented title that’s still being released on PC, NBA 2K has kept basketball gaming alive on the platform. When it was announced that NBA 2K9 would be coming out on PC, it came as tremendous news for a community that had felt abandoned by EA Sports. Since we’ve had a decade of NBA 2K gaming on PC at this point, I feel it’s worth reflecting upon the game that brought the series to a new audience of basketball gamers. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K19 LeBron James Cover Revealed; Prelude, Pre-Order Info

NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Cover Art

2K Sports has officially revealed LeBron James as the cover player for the 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19. A couple of teaser images hinted at a forthcoming announcement, while promotional materials seen at GameStop let the cat out of the bag in regards to LeBron gracing the cover. As noted yesterday, this is his second NBA 2K cover following NBA 2K14.

The game is already available to pre-order, and the pre-order bonuses have also been revealed. There will apparently be only two editions this year: the Standard Edition, and the aforementioned 20th Anniversary Edition. The Standard Edition retails at $59.99 USD, and will be released on September 11th, 2018. The 20th Anniversary Edition, which offers more pre-order bonuses including some physical collectables, retails for $99.99 USD and comes out September 7th. At this time, it appears that pre-ordering the 20th Anniversary Edition will be the only way to play NBA 2K19 four days early, in contrast to the Early Tip-Off Weekend promotion across all editions in years past.

A trailer has been released to celebrate the announcement. It features clips of LeBron James in previous NBA 2K games, though not surprisingly, doesn’t feature any NBA 2K19 footage. The trailer is accompanied by the song “How Could They Have Known?” featuring 2 Chainz, Rapsody, and Jerreau, tying into the game’s tagline of “They Will Know Your Name”. Check out the trailer here, or watch it below.

Additionally, The Prelude has been confirmed for release on August 31st. As in previous years, it will allow gamers to get a head start on MyCAREER. The Prelude will once again only be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers, meaning PC and Switch gamers will have to wait until the game drops to jump into the mode. Speaking of MyCAREER, pre-order information also confirms that The Neighborhood will return in NBA 2K19.

Please see below for the full cover art for the 20th Anniversary Edition – which notably features LeBron James in a generic black jersey – and a list of all the pre-order bonuses. The cover player and artwork for the Standard Edition of NBA 2K19 will be revealed at a later date, with a placeholder image currently being used on the pre-order page. We’ll post more information as it becomes available, but in the meantime feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition Teasers; LeBron James Cover

NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition Logo (500x500)

NBA 2K19 will have a 20th Anniversary Edition, as per teaser images posted by the game’s official social media accounts. Further information on this year’s game would appear to have been leaked via promotional materials at GameStop, which seemingly reveal LeBron James as the cover player.

At this time, it’s unclear as to whether LeBron will be the cover player for the standard edition of the game as well, or just the 20th Anniversary Edition. He previously appeared on the cover of NBA 2K14, which was a launch title on the current generation. According to the promotional signage, the 20th Anniversary Edition will be available on September 7th, while the standard edition will be available on September 11th, confirming another Early Tip-Off Weekend promotion.

Although these details are yet to be officially confirmed, 2K Sports appear to be gearing up to some official announcements to formally tip off the NBA 2K19 preview season. The following teaser image bearing the slogan “They Will Know Your Name” was Tweeted out a few hours ago:

Presumably the slogan refers to the theme of this year’s MyCAREER mode, which likely confirms another story-driven experience. We’ll be sure to post more information as it becomes available, and discuss the developments in forthcoming episodes of the NLSC Podcast, but for now, what’s your take? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: Two Comebacks in Ultimate Team

Mitch Richmond in Ultimate Team (NBA Live 18)

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 clips from two recent comeback victories I earned in NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team.

As I’ve discussed in a previous article, and on several episodes of the NLSC Podcast, Ultimate Team has been my mode of choice in NBA Live 18. I’ve put together a team of 90s All-Stars that are quite fun to play with, and have generally allowed me to have a lot of success in the mode. However, some of the recent challenges have been…well, quite challenging, albeit mostly due to some cheap play by the AI. It’s resulted in few frustrating losses, though also some very rewarding victories. Over the past week, I managed to earn a couple of comeback wins that felt very satisfying.

After fighting back to pick up the victory in dramatic fashion in both games, I knew I had to keep the footage of the final minutes for posterity…and for an NLSC feature. Here for your enjoyment are the final moments of my two games against the Central Division Legends and this week’s Team of the Year Challenges. Catch it here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video.

Even though blowout victories are fun in their own right, it’s very gratifying to be able to pull off wins like that in basketball games, especially when the CPU hasn’t been playing fair. Even though there were several moments of frustration throughout – and I do believe the tougher difficulty levels will need to be better balanced in NBA Live 19 – the furious rallies and final result made them two of my favourite games that I’ve played this year. Have you had any exciting wins in NBA Live 18 or NBA 2K18? Have you been playing Ultimate Team or MyTEAM? Let me know in the comments below, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video content.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #251

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #251 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we follow up on some more snippets about NBA Live’s future, and discuss a couple of topics suggested by listeners. We also catch up on what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood, and talk about the 2018 NBA Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • A recent Polygon article has gone into a little more detail about the future of NBA Live, with additional quotes from Seann Graddy. We discuss what he might have meant when talking about the goal of appealing to a “new, younger demographic”.
  • What are our expectations in terms of demos for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19? Are they likely to be any different to recent demos and The Prelude DLC?
  • Is it likely that we’ll ever see a Free-to-Play basketball game, similar to Fortnite?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a couple of tough but satisfying victories in Ultimate Team, as well as success in LIVE Events. We also spent time with The One, checked out the community uploads in MyLEAGUE, and played with the All-Time Teams.
  • We wrap up Episode #251 of the NLSC Podcast with a quick recap of the Conference Finals, and our thoughts on the 2018 NBA Finals so far.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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