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The Friday Five: 5 Codes & Rumours That Fooled Basketball 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.

With this being April 1st, I originally considered posting some kind of April Fool’s Day gag. However, since we have visitors from all around the world, chances are that not everyone would see the column before 12 PM, which would actually make me the April fool. I’ve decided to stick with the theme of getting fooled though, because when it comes to basketball gaming, and indeed video games in general, some people are sadly out to trick their fellow gamers, and waste their time.

Although it’s often fairly easy to debunk what TV Tropes refers to as an “Urban Legend of Zelda“, sometimes it’s harder to get gamers to actually believe the truth rather than the rumour. After all, you heard it from your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend that it was true, and why would they lie? Other genres of video games lend themselves to more outlandish and infamous fake secrets, but since basketball games have featured hidden and unlockable content, they’re not immune to their own hoaxes and rumours. Without any further ado, here are five codes and rumours that fooled basketball gamers.

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Wayback Wednesday: Failing to Mod NBA Jam TE on PC

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in 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.

I’ve mentioned NBA Jam Tournament Edition a few times in previous features, as it’s one of my all-time favourite basketball video games, and in my opinion, one of the best arcade hoops games ever made. Appropriately enough, it was the subject of my first video feature for Wayback Wednesday. In that video, I mentioned that I once tried my hand at modding the game, as I wanted to replace Ron Harper with Michael Jordan.

Although I wouldn’t actually discover and get into the patching scene until my family first connected to the Internet in 1997 and I subsequently found the NLSC, those attempts to modify NBA Jam TE were an early indication of my interest in tinkering with basketball video games. I wasn’t successful in my efforts, and having looked into the matter again now that I know a bit more about modding, it unfortunately doesn’t appear to be feasible…at least with the PC version.

So, for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, I’m taking a look back at my early attempts to mod NBA Jam Tournament Edition on PC, as well as my more recent investigations. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 99 Retrospective

NBA Live 99 Retrospective

To mark the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re posting content for every game in the series, including retrospectives, patches, countdowns, and more. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with the NBA Live series and would like to take a drip down memory lane, or you’ve only recently started playing basketball games and would like to learn a little about what they used to be like, we hope that you enjoy the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content here on the NLSC!

I’ve mentioned this before in a couple of articles, but NBA Live 99 is a somewhat overlooked and forgotten game. It doesn’t help that it came between NBA Live 98, a game that saw a really big leap from the year before, and NBA Live 2000, one of the best games in the NBA Live series. The lockout that threatened the 1999 season is also a factor, as it meant that NBA Live 99 shipped without updated rosters, in a transitional year for the NBA. On top of that, its cover player, Antoine Walker, has consistently topped “worst cover player” polls that we’ve run. It’s a shame though, because NBA Live 99 is actually a really good game.

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Monday Tip-Off: NBA 2K Locker Codes Disappoint Again

Entering a Locker Code in NBA 2K16

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.

Last week, the official NBA 2K Twitter account topped one million followers. To celebrate, a new Locker Code was redeemable for 48 hours, providing gamers with a random prize for punching it in. Judging by some of the Re-Tweets by Ronnie 2K, a decent amount of people did receive worthwhile prizes, including Diamond and Amethyst cards for MyTEAM. As is the case with anything that’s luck of the draw, some people do appear to have been very lucky.

At the same time, it seems that a lot of people were not. Upon entering the code in both the PC and PlayStation 4 versions of NBA 2K16, I received 500 VC in each. Of course, I’m not really in a position to complain, as several people (including Arcane, as he mentioned on last week’s Podcast) received as little as 200 VC. This led to several NBA 2K gamers voicing their displeasure, and the official Twitter account even dipped back below one million followers after a short-lived hashtag campaign, though it did recover and its follower count is now at 1.01 million.

Simply put, there is an issue with Locker Codes in NBA 2K, and things don’t seem to be any better than when I broached the topic in one of my first Monday Tip-Off columns last year. This isn’t the first time that the value of random Locker Code rewards has been criticised, so what needs to change?

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The Friday Five: 5 Popular NBA Jerseys (I Actually Dislike)

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.

Last week I listed five unpopular NBA jerseys that I personally like, so this week I’m going the other way and looking at five popular jerseys which I’m not that keen on. I’ve seen these jerseys make a few “best NBA uniforms” lists and be talked about favourably by my fellow NBA fans, so for the purposes of this feature, I think it’s fair enough to call them popular. For the record, I certainly don’t dislike them just because they’re popular, but regardless, I’m in the minority as far as my opinion of them is concerned.

Please note that there are no sleeved jerseys on this list – remember, I did say “popular”! – but rest assured that those designs still rank among my least favourites, well ahead of the uniforms I’ve listed below. I should also make it clear that I don’t necessarily think that these are all bad designs from an objective point of view; they simply don’t appeal to me. With that said, here are five popular NBA jerseys that I dislike, for one reason or another.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live Championship Celebrations

NBA Live 96 Championship Video featuring the Chicago Bulls

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, digging into the archives to indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, reflections on big announcements from years gone by, and other flashback content.

A little while back, a visitor requested that we upload the championship celebration videos for NBA Live 95 through NBA Live 2000 to our YouTube channel. I finally got around to doing that last week, capturing the videos from the PC versions of those games while using the correct champions for each season. If you’ve subscribed to our channel then you may have already seen them, but I thought I’d also talk about them a little bit for this week’s Wayback Wednesday.

When CD-ROM became the popular format for video games back in the 90s, replacing floppy discs and cartridges, titles of all genres began making use of bigger and better quality media files, especially full motion video. In the PC and PlayStation versions of NBA Live, real NBA footage was used in both the introduction and championship celebration sequences. These days, it’s preferable to have elaborate cutscenes that utilise in-game assets, but back in the day, these videos were both a novelty and a fitting way to cap off a virtual championship.

Fancy a trip down memory lane? Then let’s take a look back…way back…

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 98 Retrospective

To mark the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re posting content for every game in the series, including retrospectives, patches, countdowns, and more. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with the NBA Live series and would like to take a drip down memory lane, or you’ve only recently started playing basketball games and would like to learn a little about what they used to be like, we hope that you enjoy the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content here on the NLSC!

In one of my Friday Five columns a couple of years ago, I discussed the five biggest leaps in basketball video games, within the span of one production cycle. While I stand by the choices I made when compiling that countdown, I have to admit that it was a mistake not to at least include NBA Live 98 as an honourable mention. When I went back and played NBA Live 98 for this retrospective, I not only recalled a lot of the improvements that were made over NBA Live 97, but also discovered that it was a better game than I remembered. I actually found myself wondering, how could I have underrated this game for so long?

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Monday Tip-Off: No Such Thing as Too Much Content

Dwyane Wade with the basketball in NBA Live 16

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.

Ask most basketball gamers, and they’ll likely agree that there’s no way that you can have too many options, or too much content, in the games they play. However, there is a vocal contingent of fans who seem to grumble about being presented with too much customisation, or game modes that they aren’t interested in. Words like “overkill” may be used, as well as more self-centred declarations like “I don’t care about that”, and its even more presumptuous cousin, “Nobody cares about that”.

The fact of the matter is, when it comes to basketball games like NBA Live and NBA 2K, you really can’t have too many options. There’s really no such thing as having too much content. After all, if you’re happy with the default settings, there’s no need to worry about changing them. Likewise, if you’re satisfied with one or two of the modes that a game offers, you can simply ignore the ones that you have no interest in playing.

So why do some basketball gamers get up in arms about having too many options made available to them, or content that they’re not interested in?

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The Friday Five: 5 Unpopular NBA Jerseys (I Actually Like)

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.

The 2016 NBA regular season is winding down, and we’re still a couple of months away from getting a steady stream of concrete information about NBA Live 17 and NBA 2K17. In recent weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about what I’d like to see in the upcoming games, both on the NLSC Podcast and in the Friday Five, and I will continue to do that. However, I thought I’d change things up in today’s Five, and talk a little about fashion. Well, on-court fashion in the NBA, at any rate.

This week, I’m talking about NBA jerseys that tend to be unpopular, or make a lot of “worst NBA jerseys” lists, that I actually happen to like. I can’t defend them all as outstanding or timeless designs, as some of them are definitely products of their era, but I still like them all the same. I know that I’m definitely not alone in liking some of these jerseys, but some fans might declare it to be a sign of bad taste. Nevertheless, here are five unpopular NBA jerseys that I don’t dislike the same way a lot of people do.

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Wayback Wednesday: Rappers in NBA Live 2003

Unlocking Busta Rhymes in NBA Live 2003

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, digging into the archives to indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, reflections on big announcements from years gone by, and other flashback content.

Basketball video games have had their fair share of hidden players over the years, from the secret characters in NBA Jam to the dummied out and unlockable players in NBA Live and NBA 2K. In the case of NBA Live 2003, there were six players who were unlockable via codes, all of whom were rappers.

Granted, they weren’t as useful as the hidden rookies in NBA Live 2004, or the dummied out historical players in NBA Live 08. Nevertheless, the rappers in NBA Live 2003 were kind of a cool bonus, and could still be put to good use in special roster patches, such as the NBA Live Street mod. To unlock them, users simply had to input specific codes as the last name in Create-a-Player.

Do you remember which rappers were included in NBA Live 2003? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: What Is Constructive Feedback?

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started 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.

In case you’re unaware, we’re currently in the midst of compiling our Wishlists for NBA Live 17 and NBA 2K17. As always, our goal is to put together comprehensive lists of constructive feedback for the development teams at EA Tiburon and Visual Concepts, spotlighting the additions we want to see, issues that need to be addressed, and improvements that would make the things we like even better. If you take a look at the two threads, you’ll see that some great suggestions and feedback have already been posted.

The fact that we’re aiming to be constructive in our feedback is something that I make a point of mentioning whenever we tip-off our annual Wishlist threads. It’s also a reminder that I like to put out there for everyone involved in our modding community. After all, whether you’re talking about the people developing basketball video games, or the people who are making unofficial add-ons and modifications for them, it’s important to give them the kind of feedback that they can put to good use.

So, what do we really mean when we say “constructive feedback”?

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The Friday Five: My 5 Favourite Patches That I’ve Made

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.

In this week’s Monday Tip-Off, I discussed our fondness for continuing to make patches for older basketball video games. As I said in that article, there’s a lot of nostalgia in going back and updating an old game, and it can also be a very rewarding experience, especially when there’s still a contingent of basketball gamers playing older releases. I certainly know a thing or two about that, as I was still releasing multiple roster patches for the last four PC versions of NBA Live up until a few years ago. As you may have noticed, I’ve also released a couple of smaller patches in recent weeks.

Since I’m still in the mood to talk about patches, I thought that for this week’s Friday Five, I’d take a look at five of my favourite patches that I’ve made for the NBA Live series. I’d talk about my work on NBA 2K, but I only have one release for that series: an open source roster with some minor edits and additions. Needless to say, when it comes to patching, I have a much longer history with NBA Live, and a much bigger catalogue of releases. So, without any further ado, here are my five favourite patches that I’ve made over the years.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Expansion Draft in NBA Live 96 SNES

Expansion Draft in NBA Live 96 SNES

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, digging into the archives to indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, reflections on big announcements from years gone by, and other flashback content.

As I discussed in a previous edition of Wayback Wednesday, league expansion can lead to some unique features being added to NBA video games. Such was the case with NBA Live 96, with the league’s expansion across the border into Canada and the addition of the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. When the Grizzlies and Raptors joined the league twenty years ago, an Expansion Draft was held to help them fill out their rosters, as is the norm. The twenty-seven other teams were able to protect eight players, which needless to say limited the pool of available talent outside of the deeper squads.

In most versions of NBA Live 96, the rosters were updated for the 1996 season with Class of 1995 rookies and offseason transactions. This wasn’t the case with the Super Nintendo version of NBA Live 96, which was missing the rookies (though there were codes to unlock them, along with Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and some bonus Legends), and also did not account for major moves like the Chicago Bulls’ acquisition of Dennis Rodman, nor the results of the Expansion Draft. What the SNES version of NBA Live 96 did have was the unique feature of the Expansion Draft itself.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Modding Old Basketball Video Games

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started 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.

A couple of months ago, I talked about why we enjoy going back and playing old basketball video games. Dusting off an old favourite is almost always an enjoyably nostalgic experience; however, the further back you go, the more aware you’ll be of how much basketball games have improved over the years. Some games are fun to revisit, but you can’t always spend too much time with them as they’re just too outdated, too primitive compared to what we’re used to now. While that may mean a simpler experience with an appealing “pick up and play” factor, it can also feel a bit shallow after a while.

Of course, there are some gamers who still prefer playing older titles to newer ones, for various reasons. Whether you’re still actively playing an older basketball game, or you’re going back and playing an old favourite for a change of pace, the experience can be greatly enhanced by mods and patches. We still have quite a few people making updates for older titles, as we even had some uploads for NBA Live 2000 as recently as August last year. In terms of newer games, there’s still a thriving modding community for NBA 2K14 PC, even though a lot of gamers moved on to NBA 2K15, and subsequently NBA 2K16.

So, why do we still enjoy modding older basketball games, long after their popularity has started to fade?

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The Friday Five: 5 Predictions for Future Cover Players

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 basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

The cover players for NBA Live and NBA 2K are admittedly an insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, it’s a subject that still manages to capture our attention every year, before the official announcements are made. In between talking about what we want to see out of NBA Live and NBA 2K, and speculating on each game’s features and improvements as we learn about them, we usually find ourselves asking: who’s going to be on the cover?

It’s a fun talking point, even if it does have little bearing on the games themselves. Throughout the years, we’ve seen some huge names lend their likenesses to the cover art of NBA Live and NBA 2K, as well as a few unorthodox choices for cover players. Since it’ll be a few months until the preview season really gets underway, I thought that for this week’s Five, I’d throw out some predictions as to who we might see on the covers of NBA Live and NBA 2K…perhaps as soon as this year.

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