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Monday Tip-Off: Putting the 2K in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

Victory in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

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 look at how partnering with 2K has impacted the NBA Playgrounds series, both positively and negatively.

Since its release last October, our coverage of NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has been fairly light. I must admit to missing a few bulletins regarding official patches, something I’ve tried to remedy recently. One of the main reasons that our coverage has been so lax is that our community hasn’t really taken to the game. There was some support of the first NBA Playgrounds a couple of years ago, especially when we heard that it would be available for PC as well as consoles, but since then, there hasn’t been much enthusiasm around these parts. The lack of modding probably doesn’t help.

It’s unfortunate, as NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has made some pleasing improvements on its predecessor. It has its shortcomings, but overall, it’s a very solid arcade basketball game. The partnership between Saber Interactive and 2K has helped the game attain a higher profile, and also facilitated new content and features that are most welcome. At the same time, however, there have been some changes that definitely feel as though they’ve been influenced by the larger company. These changes incorporate some of the worst parts of recent NBA 2K titles, and are thus disappointing to see. Let’s go over some of the best and worst aspects of NBA Playgrounds joining the 2K family.

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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.07 Now Available

Michael Jordan dunks in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

Patch 1.07 has been released for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. The latest title update addresses issues with player stats and challenges, which had occurred following the release of Patch 1.06.

No new content has been added in Patch 1.07, as it’s strictly a bug fix. As always, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Other Basketball Games section of the NLSC Forum!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #278

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Episode #278 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join me for a look back at the updates that came through for NBA Live 19, NBA 2K19, and NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 this week, as well as a couple of other basketball gaming topics.

On this week’s show…

  • New rosters have come through for NBA Live 19, featuring further lineup, gear, and ratings updates. We also have some clarification on the situation with Kawhi Leonard’s shoes.
  • In celebration of LeBron James passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, we have another shot at a Pink Diamond LeBron in NBA 2K19’s MyTEAM. March Madness packs have also been added, while the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers are featured in the latest throwback packs.
  • The latest patch for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has added new content including players, vanity items, and a Safe Schools for Alex Playground, as well as a new Court Editor. Unfortunately, the approach to the Court Editor doesn’t match the goodwill of their charitable endeavours.
  • Experiments with MyCAREER have yielded some interesting information about the popular mode. More to come in next week’s Monday Tip-Off!
  • Episode #278 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with a listener question regarding celebrity teams, and the likelihood of celebrities being featured in future versions of NBA Live and NBA 2K.

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 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.06 Now Available

Court Editor in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

A new patch has come through for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 this week. Patch 1.06 adds a court editor and new content including players, vanity items, and a Safe Schools Playground. New Daily Challenges are also available. The full patch notes are as follows:

  • New Court Editor mode with over 300 pieces.
  • 50 Additional Daily Challenges with new exclusive rewards.
  • New Safe Schools Playground.
  • 36 new Players available in packs.
  • 16 new Vanity items available in packs.
  • Challenges can be performed in any game mode now.
  • Minor issues and stability improvements.

If you’ve previously purchased the Roster Unlock DLC for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, the new players will automatically be available to you. Opening packs will simply provide XP to level up the players that you pull. Unfortunately, Court Editor items must be unlocked via packs that cost Golden Bucks (the game’s premium currency). The changes to Challenges are quite welcome though, and their involvement with Safe Schools for Alex, in which they’re matching all donations up to $100,000, is very commendable.

Got any thoughts on the latest patch, or NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 in general? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #274

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Episode #274 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s been a busy week in basketball gaming with multiple patches and content updates, while things have also been interesting in the real NBA thanks to the trade deadline. Along with what we’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood, it’s given Kenny and I plenty to talk about.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Live 19 received a substantial title and content update this week. Getting a trade deadline roster update in time for the weekend was a pleasant surprise, but the addition of in-game injuries came as even better news. It leads us to reflect on some changes that were patched into NBA Live 10 all those years ago.
  • Following up on Patch 1.08 for NBA 2K19, there have indeed been some improvements in terms of cutting down on body steals. Will the changes stick for NBA 2K20, though?
  • With NBA 2K trying to strike a balance between its sim roots, competitive online play, and occasional demands for less realism, has the series become a victim of its own success due to the influx of more casual basketball gamers?
  • NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has received new content, just in time for the All-Star Weekend (and Valentine’s Day). We share a few more opinions on the game, and also discuss the removal of the first NBA Playgrounds game from the Steam Store.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included progress into Season 2 of MyCAREER, an online session for the NLSC crew, LIVE Events swag, and MyTEAM Domination. It also included a bit of modding, with further updates to a work-in-progress roster update for NBA 2K11.
  • We wrap up Episode #274 of the NLSC Podcast with this week’s NBA discussion. Topics include the flurry of movement at the trade deadline, and a look ahead to the 2019 All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

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 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.05 Released; All-Star Update

All-Star Playground in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

A new patch (1.05) has come through for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. Billed as the All-Star Update, the patch adds a playground based on the 2019 All-Star court in Charlotte, as well as this year’s All-Star jerseys. The playground is readily available to select, while the jerseys are custom gear that must be unlocked via the Swag Packs.

Patch 1.05 also adds a Valentine’s Day playground, Daily Challenges, an unranked Championship mode, and 70 new players. It also addresses some technical issues and adds a listing of the current players’ challenges to the pause screen.

Please see below for the full patch notes. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion about NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 here in the Other Basketball Games section of the NLSC Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #269

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Episode #269 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane, Kenny, and I are back on the air following our holiday hiatus, and we’ve got some news to catch up on. We’ve also been hitting the virtual hardwood during our time off, and have some stories to share about what we’ve been playing.

On this week’s show…

  • Patches 1.16 and 1.17 came through for NBA Live 19 after we went on break. We give our thoughts on the latest content, gameplay tuning, and other adjustments and fixes.
  • NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 also received a title update in time for Christmas. Patch 1.04 added new players and other content, but is it enough to get us hooked on the game?
  • Visual Concepts are advertising a temporary position for a production assistant. The role will be focused on MyCAREER, which leads us to speculate on the mode in NBA 2K20.
  • Controversy erupted on Christmas Day when a Locker Code for a Pink Diamond LeBron James card in MyTEAM was leaked, and the card later removed. We discuss 2K’s handling of the situation, and the subsequent show of goodwill.
  • Vlad delivered the NBA 2K modding community a Christmas present in the form of new versions of RED MC and REDitor II. The comprehensive tools are now completely free!
  • Arcane floats an idea for a community project that should appeal to anyone with aspirations of developing their own basketball video game.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming – or rather, Our Holidays in Basketball Gaming – included milestones in MyCAREER, good pulls in MyTEAM, and a suspected troll in the Jordan Rec Center. Also, the NLSC squad finally got to play team Pro-Am, but ran into disappointment that went beyond the scoreline.

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 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.04 Now Available

Christmas Playground in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

Aside from offering up some impressions on the NLSC Podcast, we haven’t really been covering NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 since its release. As such, I haven’t been posting any bulletins regarding the official patches, but I’d like to remedy that today by noting that Patch 1.04 is now available for the game. It includes:

  • New Christmas Playground
  • 10 new Christmas themed outfits
  • 35 Players unlocked
  • 29 new Vanity items
  • Fixes for minor issues and Stability improvements

Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone are among the new players unlocked in the new update. As is generally the case, the patch will come through automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection. If you encounter any difficulties, try restarting or checking for the update manually.

Feel free to leave any impressions or thoughts about NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 in the comments section below. If you’d like to take the discussion to the NLSC Forum, we have a topic for the game here in our Other Basketball Games board.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #264

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Episode #264 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! After a long hiatus, Arcane and I are back to our weekly discussions about basketball video games, and a little bit of real basketball as well. Since it’s been several weeks and patches since the last episode, we have a few things to catch up on!

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off the episode with some housekeeping matters, including an explanation for our unplanned hiatus.
  • NBA Live 19 has received some significant updates since launch, and the game is better for it. We discuss the various additions and changes, what we’d still like to see, and the modes we’ve been playing.
  • Updates have also been pushed through for NBA 2K19, though a couple of much-desired changes have yet to be made. Apart from that though, we do have some positive impressions and stories to share.
  • NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 launched during our hiatus. Has the partnership between 2K Sports and Saber Interactive yielded a better product than last year’s release?
  • Turning our attention to modding, we talk about the enjoyment and satisfaction of updating an old favourite. This time, it’s a work-in-progress roster update for NBA 2K11.
  • Episode #264 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with a quick discussion of the real NBA, including a career night for Derrick Rose, and a contentious situation with Jimmy Butler.

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 2K Playgrounds 2 Closed Beta Taking Place This Friday

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Title With Cover Players

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is set to launch on October 16th, but if you’re in North America, you might be able to get an early hands-on look at the game. Saber Interactive and 2K Sports will be launching a Closed Beta test that tips off this Friday, September 28th, and runs through Sunday, September 30th.

In addition to only being available to users in North America, the only platforms involved in the Closed Beta are PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 will of course also be available on PC and Switch, but they won’t be involved in this beta testing. Participants will take part in the new Championship mode, and be able to play on all ten of the new playgrounds that are featured in the game.

Please note that there are limited spots available, so signing up won’t guarantee a place in the Closed Beta. For your chance to take part, register here over on the official website as soon as possible.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #263

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Episode #263 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! With no connection issues this week – well, fewer connection issues, anyway – Kenny and I are back on the air to provide our initial impressions of NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. We also discuss the latest trailer and news for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off this week’s show with our thoughts on NBA Live 19, covering everything from gameplay and game modes to face scanning and commentary. There are definitely positives, though naturally we do have a few criticisms, too.
  • IGN awarded NBA Live 19 a score of 7.9, their best score for an NBA Live title this generation. We discuss the significance of the score, the progress NBA Live has made, and the direction the game is heading in.
  • NBA 2K19 has been described as the game we should’ve received last year. We discuss whether that’s a fair assessment, and offer up our own impressions. Suffice to say we have our gripes, but there are also aspects of the game we really like. We even have some nice things to say about the MyCAREER story!
  • We wrap up Episode #263 of the NLSC Podcast with our thoughts on the latest NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 trailer, and some news about the forthcoming release.

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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Additional Details On NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 (Forbes)

Players in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

Following the release of the “Ball Without Limits” trailer, additional details on NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 have been revealed. Brian Mazique has rounded up that information, and posted it over on Forbes. As mentioned in our previous bulletin, the game will be released October 16th for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch, but here are some other key points of interest:

  • The game will cost $29.99 USD.
  • Julius Erving, Kevin Garnett, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Jayson Tatum are the cover players.
  • More than 300 players will be available at launch, including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  • An additional 200 players will be added post-launch.
  • Ten new playgrounds have been added, among them Washington D.C., St. Louis, Seoul, and Australia. New courts will also be added post-launch.
  • Single player, local multiplayer, and online play are all supported.
  • Playgrounds Championship is a worldwide ranked league with solo and co-op ladders. Season is the equivalent offline mode.
  • Four player online co-op, Three-Point Shootouts, and co-op games against the AI are also available.
  • There are more than 100 signature moves, including Michael Jordan’s free throw line dunk and George Gervin’s finger roll.
  • NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 features an expanded soundtrack, with artists such as Run The Jewels, Oddisee and DJ Premier.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts on how NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is shaping up in the comments section below. You can also join in the conversation here in the NLSC Forum.

 

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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Trailer; Out October 16th

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We haven’t heard much of anything about NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 since the announcement back in July that it had joined the 2K Family. That’s now changed as a new trailer for the game titled “Ball Without Limits” has dropped today, spotlighting some of the key features of the game.

The trailer showcases gameplay from both regular and cinematic angles, while also highlighting features such as a revamped Three-Point Shootout, and the new Season and Championship modes. It also boasts new players, and confirms that Michael Jordan will be available in the game. A pack opening also shows a coin reward, seemingly confirming some sort of in-game currency (and somewhat bleakly, the prospect of microtransactions).

Check out the trailer below, or watch it here on YouTube.

We also have confirmation of a new release date for the game, as it will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 16th. What’s your take on NBA 2K Playgrounds 2? Will you be giving it a chance come October? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #258

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Episode #258 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re back on the air after taking an unexpected break last week, giving us a fortnight of news to discuss. Join Arcane and I as we chat about the recent developments in basketball gaming including female Create-a-Player in NBA Live 19, the first developer blog for NBA 2K19, and the big announcement regarding NBA 2K Playgrounds 2.

On this week’s show…

  • EA Sports has announced the addition of Female Create-a-Player in NBA Live 19. It’s a cool addition to The One, though predictably, there have been some childish reactions to the news.
  • While we still want to hear about the NBA side of things in NBA Live 19, a few other interesting tidbits have been revealed, including court customisation. A recent interview also acknowledged the possibility of NBA Live returning to the PC platform.
  • The first NBA 2K19 developer blog delivered some great news about MyLEAGUE, MyGM, and MyLEAGUE Online. While we’ve been conditioned to take developer blogs with a grain of salt, it seems that a lot of great work has gone into the franchise experience this year.
  • Looking back at last year’s preview season, we expect the flow of information to be steadier from here on out. We talk a little about some of the details we want to hear about.
  • We now know that 2K Sports will be publishing NBA Playgrounds 2, now titled NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. It remains to be seen what it’ll mean for the game, and we do have some concerns. Also, we’d like to see EA bring NBA Jam back.
  • Episode #258 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with a quick chat about some recent NBA news, including Dwyane Wade’s future and new team branding.

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 2K Playgrounds 2 Announced; Releasing in Fall

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Logo

We now know the reason for the delay of NBA Playgrounds 2. Saber Interactive SEO Matthew Karch has revealed via Forbes that Take-Two will be publishing the game, which has been rebranded as NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. The game itself will still be developed by Saber.

In a recent Monday Tip-Off article, I speculated about the future of Playgrounds 2, and suggested that the silence was damaging the brand. Glancing at social media, the reception to the news appears to be mixed. While there is excitement about the possibility of seeing players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, there is also concern given the prevalence of microtransactions in recent NBA 2K titles, in particular NBA 2K18.

It remains to be seen what changes (if any) will be made with 2K publishing Saber’s forthcoming arcade basketball game, but more news is apparently forthcoming. While no release date has been set, the game will be coming out in the Fall, alongside NBA 2K19 and NBA Live 19. In a comment posted in the official NBA Playgrounds Facebook group, Matthew Karch hinted at an increase in content, as well as a slight increase in price. We’ll be sure to post any details as they’re made available.

We’ll also have more to say about NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 in Episode #258 of the NLSC Podcast, but in the meantime, what’s your take on the news? Will it ultimately benefit the franchise, or will it set it on the wrong path? Was the partnership worth delaying the game back in May? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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