Menu
Home | Features

Features

Wayback Wednesday: 2006 All-Star Game in NBA Live 06

Wayback Wednesday: 2006 All-Star Game in NBA Live 06

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 sharing a highlight reel from the 2006 All-Star Game in the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06, featuring a thrilling finish.

As I mentioned in last week’s Monday Tip-Off, I’ve been waiting for my next retro basketball gaming kick to present itself. Although I already revisited NBA Live 06 for Xbox 360 earlier this year, I’ve once again been enjoying the somewhat underrated release. That’s partly due to playing the game with Dee4Three over Parsec, and we’re even looking at beginning a co-op Season. However, I’ve also been hooked on playing some exhibition games solo. I had a great time using the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 to play the 2006 All-Star Game, albeit with the rosters from the 2005 event. I recorded it, so check out the highlight reel, and let it take you back…way back…

Even though much of my basketball nostalgia is rooted in the 90s, I have many fond memories of the real and virtual NBA from the early to mid 2000s. I’ve also had great satisfaction in adding some older titles back into my gaming rotation this year. I look forward to creating new memories with both old favourites and games I overlooked, and reflecting on those experiences here in Wayback Wednesday. Stay tuned for those features, and don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel for more video content!

Monday Tip-Off: The Myopia of Mastering Mechanics

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 some thoughts on how there’s a certain amount of myopia that comes with mastering mechanics on the virtual hardwood.

I think we can all agree that there should be some degree of challenge in basketball video games. A game that is easily mastered and beaten tends to be boring, though hoops titles – even sim-oriented ones – should nevertheless be accessible, and feature easier difficulty levels. When it comes to the virtual hardwood, there needn’t be a challenge on the level of the Souls series, or games like Returnal, the roguelike that was released earlier this year. Arcade or sim, they’re about representing the sport of basketball, not being exceedingly challenging and for the hardest of the hardcore.

At the same time, a certain amount of challenge and skill is expected of the online competitive scene. The best competitors are the ones mastering the mechanics and strategies that allow them to dominate and defeat their fellow gamers, not just the AI. Even offline, mastery on the sticks will allow gamers to rise to the sometimes unfair challenges of the Hall of Fame difficulty setting. This is obviously achieved through practice and dedication, which is a fair demand for the most challenging experiences in basketball gaming to make. However, in evaluating design principles and overall appeal and accessibility, mastering mechanics does unfortunately lead to myopia.

Read More »

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: November 6th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

Variety is the name of the game once again, as this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays features highlights from ten different titles in total. As one of the entries demonstrates, even some of the worst hoops games can produce fun moments on the virtual hardwood. Needless to say though, you’ll have a much better time and make fonder memories with the stronger releases! To that point, some all-time favourites are also represented in this week’s countdown, along with a game that’s arguably an overlooked gem.

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Ways Parsec Is Changing Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five ways that Parsec is changing basketball gaming within our community.

As recently as early 2021, Dee4Three and I were struggling to remember the name of Parsec when referring to it on the NLSC Podcast. We were interested in trying out “that program” which would allow us to connect with each other and play basketball games – or indeed, any games – without official or third party servers. At long last we installed it, and from that point on, we’ve been hooked. In the months that followed, we’ve tried a multitude of games with varying degrees of success, and discovered an array of titles that will work well enough with our connections (particularly mine).

It’s incredible how fun and reliable Parsec has been. Obviously, connecting with someone on the opposite site of the world isn’t as mind-blowing as it was some 25 years ago. Still, the possibilities of Parsec are exciting, especially when it comes to basketball gaming. Dee has strongly advocated for Parsec on the NLSC Podcast, and I echo that enthusiasm as it facilitates some fantastic virtual hardwood experiences, with minimal difficulty setting up. It’s fair to say that Parsec could usher in several changes to basketball gaming. This isn’t a paid promotion, as Parsec is free. It’s full of potential for our community though, and these are five ways that we can explore that.

Read More »

Wayback Wednesday: AND 1 Streetball Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: AND 1 Streetball Retrospective

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 AND 1 Streetball.

As much as I enjoy revisiting old favourites that I’ve spent hundreds of hours with over the years, I also enjoy going back and checking out basketball games that I missed the first time around. It’s given me reason to seek out deals on eBay and expand my collection, and these days, I’ve got a variety of hoops titles at my disposal. Good, bad, or mediocre, they’re always interesting to check out. In fact, there’s often a lot of fun to be had with the titles that are slightly rough around the edges, especially when they can bring something different to the table.

Case in point: AND 1 Streetball. Developed by Black Ops Entertainment and released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, it didn’t have the polish of an NBA Live or NBA 2K, or for that matter, NBA Street. It was a competent effort though, and a fun game in its own right. The use of AND1 talent also made it stand out from NBA Street, as did its approach to gameplay. It’s another basketball game that’s somewhat forgotten, which is unfortunate as it deserves to be remembered. Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

Monday Tip-Off: Awaiting The Next Retro Kick

Monday Tip-Off: Awaiting The Next Retro Kick

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 as I anticipate going on another retro basketball gaming kick.

As I said when I discussed my approach to playing through a retro basketball gaming kick, a major factor in an old title re-entering my rotation is its ability to provide me with something I need or desire from the virtual hardwood. It may be closure, or satisfying curiosity. Sometimes it’s simplicity and/or familiarity, especially if I’m not really hooked by the latest release. On top of that, I’ve found that my nostalgia comes in phases. I’m not only nostalgic for a single era or a narrow selection of games, and the urge to revisit specific titles can be influenced by factors unrelated to basketball.

Two examples that I’ve often cited in that regard are NBA Live 2002 and NBA Live 2003. They were the titles that came out as I was in my final years of high school back in 2001 and 2002, and represent the early days of my tenure running the NLSC. That entry into young adulthood coincided with a transitional era in the NBA, and when I’ve reflected on that time, I’ve been drawn to dust off those games. On the other hand, my decision to revisit NBA Live 06, NBA Live 10, and NBA 2K14, were all driven by content creation and pure whim. As such, it’s difficult to say which game will capture my attention and result in another retro kick in the near future.

Read More »

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: October 30th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

As someone who grew up with NBA Live, it’s heartening to see highlights from various games in the series featured in this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays. Obviously the series has fallen on hard times, but there were some great releases, and it’s awesome to see gamers still having fun with them. On top of that, there are highlights from College Hoops 2K8, NBA 2K6, and of course, NBA 2K22. From gamewinners to spectacular slams worthy of the dunk contest, I know that I won’t be alone in enjoying the latest countdown.

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Creepy Moments in Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five moments in basketball gaming that were rather creepy, for one reason or another.

Halloween is looming, so just for fun, I’m reflecting on some of the creepy moments we’ve seen in various basketball video games. Generally speaking, there aren’t a lot of moments in basketball gaming that are downright horrifying. Like most sports games, they’re intended to be family friendly, and the genre doesn’t invite jump scares, gore, or other things that are inclined to scare us. I mean, the Skeleton Crew is there in NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, but they’re cartoonish Halloween decorations at the end of the day. Unless you’re very young, they’re not especially creepy.

Besides, if you’re looking for creepy stuff connected with the virtual hardwood, you really have to consider things that weren’t intentional, or aren’t immediately noticeable during gameplay. One could also consider humour and imagery that just came across as weird or uncomfortable instead. To that end, there are a few examples that we can name here, and since I’ve been mulling ideas for Halloween-themed features for at least a couple of years now, I’m going to run with five that come to mind for me. So, in the spirit of the holiday – pun fully intended – here are five moments in basketball gaming that make for creepy stories, or at least left us feeling rather weirded out.

Read More »

Wayback Wednesday: The Original MyGM in NBA 2K14

Wayback Wednesday: The Original MyGM in NBA 2K14

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 original MyGM mode that debuted in the PlayStation 4/Xbox One version of NBA 2K14.

Thanks to an extended retro gaming kick, NBA 2K14 is a game that I’ve warmed up to some eight years after its 2013 release. It has its issues for which we can rightfully criticise it, but in many ways, it was a strong beginning to a new generation of NBA 2K titles. However, while it wasn’t nearly as barebones as NBA Live 14, it did err by omitting some staple features, and introducing some new concepts without giving gamers the ability to opt for the familiar. More specifically, NBA 2K14 on PS4/X1 gave us the first MyCAREER story, and a successor to The Association: MyGM.

Despite some conceptual problems with the original MyGM mode, I’ve warmed up to it, much as I have MyCAREER and NBA 2K14 PS4/X1 in general. It introduced some interesting ideas on top of the existing depth, and while not all of the new concepts panned out, they were still innovative and laid the foundation for a better approach in subsequent games. Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

Monday Tip-Off: How I Came To Love Assists

Monday Tip-Off: How I Came To Love Assists

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 the story how I came to love assists, and why I still enjoy dropping dimes on the virtual hardwood.

Even though they’re frequently a point of contention, statistics are an important aspect of basketball. Fans love citing them, and many of the sport’s biggest stars have been enthusiastic about accumulating them. Traditionally, it’s been about putting up points. Scoring is what gets attention, and ultimately, racking up more points than the other team is how you win games. Players have also sought other statistical feats, such as triple-doubles. With stats being such an inextricable part of hoops, it’s only natural that our enthusiasm for numbers carries over to video games as well.

It’s fun to achieve eye-popping numbers on the virtual hardwood, but over the years, it’s also become a necessity. After all, big games are what earn us the most VC and XP in MyCAREER and its connected modes. As such, they’re an unavoidable part of the grind in career and online team play. It’s a logical approach, though unfortunately it does contribute to toxicity by encouraging a Player One mindset. However, there is a stat that’s usually (but not always) racked up with less selfishness: assists. Having played MyCAREER and its connected modes in several different games now, I’ve grown extremely fond of accumulating assists in both online and offline play.

Read More »

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: October 23rd, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

There’s a familiar motif of jaw-dropping dunks in this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays, but I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re worth watching again and again. On top of that, in addition to all of the NBA highlights, we’ve also got some fantastic plays from College Hoops 2K8, and And 1 Streetball; two games we haven’t seen much of in the countdown thus far. The latter is a title that I’ll be covering in Wayback Wednesday in the not too distant future, but in the meantime, enjoy another selection of exciting highlights from the basketball gaming community!

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Cover Players You May Not Recall (Part 3)

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 yet another list of five cover players that you may not recall.

Yes, we’ve made it to Part 3 in this series! There have been a lot of NBA video games over the years, which has resulted in a number of different cover players. Obviously, some of the greats have appeared on the covers of multiple series, or multiple games within a series. Over the years, publishers have been able to sign the NBA’s biggest names to promote their brand of virtual basketball, especially with gaming increasing in popularity, and players who grew up playing video games subsequently entering the league. Regardless, not all cover players have been superstars.

While these names may not be obscure or forgotten – again, some of them were very prominent names in their day – one may not recall that they were cover players at one point. Video game series come and go, with some games being far more popular and successful than others. In some cases, you might remember the game, but – contrary to Fort Minor’s famous song – you might not remember the name. And of course, there are regional covers that aren’t as well-known, some of which have become appealing collectibles for anyone into that sort of thing (not mentioning any names here). With that being said, let’s refresh our memories about these five former cover players.

Read More »

Wayback Wednesday: One MyCAREER For The Road

Wayback Wednesday: One MyCAREER For The Road

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 reflecting on playing through a full MyCAREER season in NBA 2K14 for PlayStation 4, during a recent retro kick.

In newer games, I’m more or less done with MyCAREER; at least as my primary mode of play. I’ve made a lot of fond memories with MyCAREER and the connected experiences, but it has become a grind, with elements that have very little to do with basketball. I’ll still dabble with those modes, but a combination of satisfaction and burnout has made it easier to move on. That’s why it may surprise you, much as it did me, that I was drawn into NBA 2K14’s MyCAREER upon revisiting the game. I was so taken that I ended up playing through an entire rookie season!

The fact of the matter is that once I’d played enough games to write my retrospective on the first MyCAREER story, I felt compelled to keep going. I was enjoying it too much to stop, and as I played deeper and deeper into the season, I knew that I’d have to see it through to the end. While there will be some overlap with the aforementioned article, this time I’m focusing on my personal experiences playing through the mode, and comparing it to my other memorable MyCAREER games. Join me as I reflect on a retro gaming experience that went back…way back…

Read More »

Monday Tip-Off: Playing Out A Retro Gaming Kick

Monday Tip-Off: Playing Out A Retro Gaming Kick

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with an explanation of how I play through a retro gaming kick, and ultimately move on.

Retro basketball gaming – or indeed, retro gaming in general – isn’t for everyone. I can appreciate that it may be difficult to relate to the appeal if you’re not really a nostalgic person, though you can likely still understand why others enjoy it. I outlined some of those reasons in a Wayback Wednesday article, for those who may find it genuinely puzzling, and are wondering in good faith. In short, those of us who play old hoops games enjoy partaking in the fun and familiar, giving titles a second chance (or a first look if we originally skipped them), and reminiscing about the NBA of yesteryear.

I’ve discussed the reasons why we go back, but not how a retro gaming kick plays out; or at least, how it does for me. I’ve found myself on a retro gaming kick for three older basketball games this year. Each time, I had to see my fixation through to the end. I’m certain that not everyone who enjoys retro basketball gaming experiences a kick the same way that I do, but at the same time, I’m probably not the only person who has had an old release find its way back into their rotation. If nothing else, this may be an insight into why a few games have made recurring appearances in my Wayback Wednesday features, as well as the NLSC Podcast throughout 2021.

Read More »

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: October 16th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

This week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays has a little bit of everything. The countdown includes NBA and street gameplay, showcases a variety of mods for an array of games, and demonstrates that basketball gaming highlights aren’t just about dunks…although, there are some fantastic dunks, too! To that end, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s another highly entertaining Top 10, from gamers who are definitely enjoying themselves. Incidentally, I’ve got an entry this week that might surprise you. Consider it my tribute to our old friend JaoSming!

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.