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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: December 3rd, 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.

Dee promised that this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays would be a treat, and I’d suggest it’s fair to say that the countdown delivered! We’ve got gamers digging deep into the archives to find circus shots, classic games still getting a run, and an assortment of incredible passes and spectacular finishes across a variety of modes and titles. To that point, five different games are featured this week, ranging from NBA Live 96 through to NBA 2K23. I think Dee put it best when he called this week’s countdown a backboard shattering good time!

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 Roster Oddities in Basketball Games (Part 2)

The Friday Five: 5 Roster Oddities in Basketball Games (Part 2)

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 more roster oddities in various basketball games.

I’m always trying to brainstorm interesting ideas for my weekly features, and while that’s obviously a good idea, the downside is that as new topics come to mind, others get pushed aside. This is a follow-up to a Friday Five that I published way back in 2017, and considering how many other sequel articles I’ve written since then, it’s definitely overdue! On the plus side, letting the topic breathe (and then some) has allowed me to revisit other games, and discover examples that I might not have thought of had I written Part 2 closer to Part 1!

With that being said…roster oddities! There have been a number of interesting and quirky ones over the years, sometimes due to oversight, other times due to a game’s rosters capturing a very specific moment in time. In the first instalment, I covered Clyde Drexler coming off the bench in NBA Live 95 PC, oddities with M. Williams in NBA Live 09 PS2’s rosters, Brad Daugherty’s extended NBA career on the virtual hardwood, Kobe Bryant’s premature prominence in the first NBA Courtside, and the weirdness of roster editing functionality in NBA Full Court Press. In that same vein, here are five more examples of roster oddities that you may or may not remember.

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Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting the NBA Live 95 Rosters

Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting the NBA Live 95 Rosters

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 rosters in both versions of NBA Live 95.

The interactive almanac aspect of basketball video games doesn’t begin years later when we start going wayback. Sure, that’s when we’re reminded of strange stints, forgotten returns, and other roster trivia. However, from the moment a basketball game becomes one of our favourites and we spend countless hours with it, its rosters are intertwined with our fond memories on the virtual hardwood. We remember the players on the team that we played with most often, as well as the players on the opposing squads that we faced in our most memorable, challenging, and epic games.

Those memories come flooding back when we revisit a title. However, depending on whether you spent time with the PC or console version of NBA Live 95 – or indeed, if you played both – you’ll recall two very different rosters. While the console version of NBA Live 95 featured final 1993-1994 season rosters, the PC release was updated to include the Class of 1994 rookies, as well as player movement accurate as of February 1995. As such, each captures its own snapshot of a memorable era in NBA history. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: I Still Can’t Put NBA 2K14 MyCAREER Aside

Monday Tip-Off: I Still Can't Put NBA 2K14 MyCAREER Aside

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 reflections on how it’s been impossible to put NBA 2K14 MyCAREER aside for very long.

We’re approaching the tenth anniversary of NBA 2K14’s release. Not only was the PC version one of the most well-received and heavily-modded games in our community, but the PlayStation 4/Xbox One version was one of the most impressive launch titles in basketball gaming history. Of course, NBA 2K14 hasn’t been a frequent part of my rotation for the last ten years. As I’ve discussed in several articles and on the NLSC Podcast, sourness towards the brand and some iffy first impressions turned me off the game for years. Revisiting it on a whim in 2021 completely changed my mind!

Despite my burnout on MyCAREER, revisiting an earlier iteration of the mode in NBA 2K14 reminded me of why I was drawn to the career experience in the first place. When NBA 2K21 and NBA 2K22 failed to hold my attention, playing through multiple seasons in NBA 2K14 MyCAREER became a staple of my gaming habits for over a year. I put the game aside when NBA 2K23 came out, wanting to give the new release my full attention and a fair chance. Although I’ve enjoyed NBA 2K23 far more than its immediate predecessors and it remains in my rotation, so does NBA 2K14. Even if I’m not playing it every day, it isn’t long before I fire it up again.

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The Sunday Substitute: The MyPLAYER Transaction Report (Part 3)

My player on a Gatorade billboard.

Welcome once again to The Sunday Substitute! It’s the series that was gaining splinters on the bench, but after three appearances in a row, could be considered part of The NLSC rotation. In this edition, we’ll continue with Part 3 of The MyPLAYER Transaction Report.

The MyPLAYER Transaction Report is where I detail my single-player career experiences from NBA 2K10 to NBA 2K23, with a few NBA Live games in between. I aim to play at least one game for all 30 NBA teams.

In Part 3, I will mention the remaining three MyCAREER players on my Worst to Best list, plus my campaign in The One from NBA Live 19. At this point, I would like to shout out Chris Smoove. His video helped me piece together the story behind my Lakers stint.

Speaking of the Lakers, the City of Angels is where we begin this transaction report. Yes, even my least favourite teams get my services at some point.

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: November 26th, 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.

Every week, the NLSC Top 10 Plays provides ten great examples of how there are so many ways to enjoy basketball video games, whether it’s the latest release or an old favourite. This week, you’ll find Kobe Bryant throwing it down in his namesake MyNBA Era, fantasy squads making moves in MyTEAM, Street Legends colliding with NBA stars, and an incredible showing in the slam dunk contest. Whatever the game, mode, or rosters, the result will always be an action-packed countdown of poster dunks, big defensive plays, and flashy moves.

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 to Play Older Basketball Games

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 play older basketball games instead of, or in addition to, their newer counterparts.

Nostalgia gets a bad rap these days. I can understand why, as I’m sure it’s frustrating for younger people to keep hearing about everything being better back in the day (you have no idea how old I feel when I say that). Of course, films, shows, and yes, video games of yesteryear, weren’t perfect. With video games in particular, technological advancements have resulted in significant improvements since the early days of the medium. Unfortunately, that’s also brought recurrent revenue opportunities that interfere with design, prioritising earning power over gamer enjoyment.

There are plenty of reasons, and certainly a ton of pressure, to move on and play the latest NBA 2K. In the best case scenario, a new release is another worthy addition to the series, and one that will keep you entertained for the next year. Unfortunately, when it comes to annual sim basketball games, not every release is better than the last. That streak was broken a long time ago for NBA 2K, and even earlier with NBA Live before that. It’s just the way it goes. A new idea or change in engine doesn’t pan out, or a game is tainted by aggressive microtransactions. You may be left wishing you were playing an old favourite, and why not? Here are five reasons to play older titles.

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Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting NBA Live 2003

Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting NBA Live 2003

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 revisiting NBA Live 2003 yet again, albeit with a slightly different perspective.

I’ve profiled NBA Live 2003 in a number of articles now. In addition to the in-depth retrospectives for the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the NBA Live series, I’ve also taken a look back at Freestyle Control. I’ve reminisced about the Courtside Comedy Cutscenes, a myth about the gameplay style settings, the soundtrack, and even my attempts to replicate a move seen in the game’s intro. In short, not only did I spend hours playing and modding NBA Live 2003 when it was new, but I’ve often gone back and revisited it years later. As such, this may seem like a well-trodden path.

However, I do believe that I have some new things to say after revisiting NBA Live 2003 more recently. We’ve also reached the game’s own 20th anniversary, and with my twenty year high school reunion right around the corner, it’s another game that I’ve been reflecting upon. This won’t be an in-depth review along the lines of my previous retrospectives, and I do still stand by observations I’ve made in the past. Nevertheless, even though I played it frequently upon release compared to games like NBA 2K14, NBA Live 06 for Xbox 360, and NBA Live 10, I appreciate NBA Live 2003 far more after revisiting it in 2022. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: A Reunion With 2002

Monday Tip-Off: A Reunion With 2002

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 reflections as I experience a reunion with 2002.

The song changes from “Without Me” by Eminem to Junkie XL’s remix of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation”. Speaking of remixes, Scooter’s take on “The Logical Song” by Supertramp is also on the playlist, along with “By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. There’s even some Avril Lavigne, among other chart toppers. And speaking of music, that NBA Live 2003 soundtrack is incredible! It’s one of the games that I’m playing, along with its immediate predecessors, NBA Live 2001 and NBA Live 2002. Even NBA Live 99 PC gets the occasional spin. The year is…2022.

Needless to say, I’m experiencing those things a little differently than the first time around. Those hits that were charting in 2002 are on a Spotify playlist, rather than CD or radio (or, more honestly, acquired via LimeWire or Kazaa). Those games are being played thanks to fixes that allow them to run on modern hardware far better than what I had at the time. Thanks to emulation, I can even run NBA Live 2002 on my PC if I’m getting screenshots, or if it’s more convenient than firing up my PlayStation 2. In more ways than one, I’m having a reunion with 2002. Despite what you may think, this isn’t a cry for help from a Grumpy Elder Millennial who’s edging closer to forty.

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The Sunday Substitute: The MyPLAYER Transaction Report (Part 2)

MyPLAYER holding up the MVP trophy in NBA 2K17.

Welcome to another edition of The Sunday Substitute! This is an occasional end-of-week feature where I share my experiences in basketball gaming, as well as give my two cents on certain issues within the space. Today I resume with Part 2 of The MyPLAYER Transaction Report.

The MyPLAYER Transaction Report is a series where I chronicle my career campaigns in basketball video games. Whether it’s one game or a thousand games, every stop along the way counts. So far, I’ve played for 28 teams…try and guess the last two I haven’t played for!

This second part is arguably the golden era of this series. It includes some of my greatest moments in career stories and my first foray into an alternate build. NBA Live also debuts in this edition, with NBA Live 16 and 18 providing career modes that could have been a great foundation for the series moving forward.

Let’s start by continuing with a build I mention in Part 1.

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: November 19th, 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 brings you a mix of highlights that ran the gamut of jaw-dropping, wild, and wacky. From full court flings to off-the-backboard alley-oops that prove you don’t need to be playing NBA Street to have incredible moments on the virtual blacktop, our latest countdown has it all. Top 10 regular Julius Erving also makes an appearance, and my NBA 2K14 avatar has a smooth highlight courtesy of my new Elgato capture card. As always, these plays from six different titles will get you hyped to play basketball video games this weekend!

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 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 9)

The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 9)

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 Part 9 in an ongoing series listing players that appeared in more video games than actual NBA games.

We’ve arrived at the ninth and (for the moment) final instalment in this series of articles looking at players that have appeared in more video games than NBA games. In hindsight, this could’ve been a few longer articles for Wayback Wednesday, but when I posted the first instalment, I had no idea that I’d find so many examples! As it is, I discarded a number of players that I originally noted in my research. Otherwise, there’d probably be at least four or five more parts, and to be honest, not every player on those lists has a unique story, or interesting tidbit of virtual hardwood trivia.

Indeed, there’s overlap in the reasons that players end up appearing in more video games than actual NBA games. The common factor, of course, is that they were signed to a contract while a game was in production and its rosters were finalised, only to be cut before they could make their official NBA debut. It’s all down to the timing of their signing and release. Nevertheless, over the course of this series, my research has turned up what I feel are some fascinating stories tied in with video game trivia, which is something that I enjoy talking about. I hope that it’s been fun for you, but before I wrap up this series, here are five final examples…at least for now.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Missing Rookies of NBA Live 2002

Wayback Wednesday: The Missing Rookies of NBA Live 2002

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 rookies that were missing in NBA Live 2002.

Official roster updates are something that we take for granted these days, especially on console. As long as we’ve had modding tools on PC, adding missing rookies and other players – eventually complete with their proper faces – has usually been a fairly straightforward task. Of course, there’s always been value in players being added through official updates. It allows them to appear in the default rosters, and in some cases utilise correct audio. They also don’t stand out from original players, as was the case in older games with more primitive Create-a-Player functionality.

Since playing with the new rookie class is an appealing prospect every year, it’s disappointing when a noteworthy draftee is absent. In older titles, that could arguably be more frustrating than the absence of holdouts such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. At least in their case, developers were unable to license them. With missing rookies, their absence came down to simply not being signed to an NBA contract in time. Funnily enough, NBA Live 2002 did include MJ as an active player due to his comeback with the Washington Wizards, while a handful of prominent rookies were missing instead. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: A PSA About NBA 2K Custom Images

Monday Tip-Off: A PSA About NBA 2K Custom Images

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 PSA about the responsible use of custom images in the various modes of NBA 2K.

It’s easy to take features such as face scanning and custom images for granted, as they’ve been in NBA 2K for years now. In particular, the level of customisation that image uploading facilitates is a clear advantage that NBA 2K’s modes have had over their NBA Live equivalents during the past decade. Sure, it’s fun to get your favourite team’s logos and jerseys for your squad in the card collecting modes, but it’s even better when you can design your own uniforms and use a custom logo! The default expansion team assets are nice, but custom images take things to the next level.

And of course, since those customisation features are already in the game, they’re naturally a part of creating your own Pro-Am squad as well. In fact, it’s one of the features that have separated it from NBA Live’s online team play modes. Just as in MyTEAM, being able to use your own logo and decorate your arena with unique assets adds a personal touch that current and historical NBA branding just can’t offer. Sometimes custom images have been more difficult to unlock than they should be, but at the same time, I can’t blame 2K for making us jump through hoops. To that end, I’d like to put out this PSA to be more responsible and mature about custom images.

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: November 12th, 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.

Defense wins championships, but so do title-clinching buzzer-beaters! You’ll see both featured in this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays, with some of that tough D leading to exciting buckets at the other end. That includes my submission of a swipe-and-slam by Penny Hardaway in NBA 2K6 for Xbox 360, courtesy of my new Elgato HD60 S that I discussed in last week’s NLSC Podcast! A total of five different titles are represented this week, ranging from NBA Live 06 PC and the aforementioned NBA 2K6 through to NBA 2K23 Next Gen, once again ensuring a variety of virtual hardwood highlights.

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.