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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

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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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Monday Tip-Off: The Self-Destruction of NBA Playgrounds 2

Kevin Durant shoots in NBA 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 some further thoughts on NBA Playgrounds 2, and how the game appears to be self-destructing before it’s even released.

Back in May, I wrote an article discussing the opportunity that NBA Playgrounds 2 had to become the definitive arcade basketball game of the current generation. In the immediate wake of the game’s indefinite postponement, such a suggestion still felt somewhat plausible. As the weeks and months have passed, however, it’s starting to feel laughable. We haven’t heard a single thing since the game was postponed, and despite vague promises in the game’s official Facebook group, there’s little to back up the idea that “good things come to those who wait”.

Right now, Saber Interactive is insisting that the game isn’t cancelled, and that the release was pushed back for positive reasons. While that may ultimately turn out to be true, their silence is not inspiring confidence. Gamers are starting to feel sceptical and cynical, rather than anticipating an announcement that’s still “coming soon”. While the game may indeed come out, it’s going to have a tough time living up to the hype and expectations set by its mysterious delay. Even if it turns out to be an improvement on the first NBA Playgrounds and a solid game, the opportunity to become the arcade basketball game of this generation may have slipped through Saber’s fingers.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #254

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Episode #254 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we discuss the cover leak for the Standard Edition of NBA 2K19, the situation with NBA Playgrounds 2, and our plans for this year’s games. Our Week in Basketball Gaming also returns, along with some other fun topics.

On this week’s show…

  • It seems the NBA 2K19 Standard Edition cover has been leaked, with Giannis Antetokoumpo being the featured player. We discuss the choice, and the situation with the Early Tip-Off Weekend being exclusive to the 20th Anniversary Edition.
  • NBA Playgrounds 2 was indefinitely postponed a month ago, and we still haven’t heard anything further. Is there any big announcement that could feasibly make up for the lack of hype?
  • What are our plans for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 when they’re released in September?
  • HAWK23 has made a welcome return to the community, and is currently looking at fixing up the links for the Ultimate Base Roster for NBA 2K12 and NBA 2K14 PC.
  • We reflect once again on our own history with modding, and why we don’t mod as much as we used to. We’re not shutting the door on the idea, though.
  • If an NBL 2K or NBL Live game were ever to be released, what would it be like? We have some fun with the idea.
  • We wrap up Episode #254 of the NLSC Podcast with a short discussion of the NBA Draft, and the (latest) Dwight Howard trade.

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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NLSC Podcast – Episode #250

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Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for another milestone episode, in which we have quite a few news stories to cover (and it’s not even the preview season yet!). We also have a few tales from our past week in basketball gaming, and thoughts on the Conference Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • A teaser for EA Play has confirmed NBA Live 19 – just in case there was any doubt – and tipped off the speculation as to who will be appearing on the cover this year.
  • Game Informer has posted an article providing us with some hints at the direction of NBA Live. While it’s not much to go on, it is still promising to hear.
  • A Memphis-based ESPN station took a few shots at NBA Live 18. A little awkward, given ESPN’s exclusive deal with EA Sports.
  • The latest Game of Zones episode made fun of NBA 2K18 and Ronnie 2K. Their response was admirable, but gamers weren’t letting them off that easy.
  • From Virtual Coppers to Virtual Currency, 2K’s promotion of the latest VC sale was a little on the nose.
  • It seems Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have done some mo-cap work for NBA 2K19. We discuss what that might mean for this year’s game.
  • PlayStation 4 users have received refunds for NBA Playgrounds 2. While it might just be a mandatory show of goodwill, it’s not a great look for the delayed title.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a return to 2K Pro-Am, followed by an abrupt return to 2v2 on MyCOURT. The 90s All-Stars collection also continues to expand in Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast with our thoughts on the latest results from the 2018 NBA Conference Finals, and make a couple of predictions.

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 Playgrounds 2 Pre-Orders Receiving Refunds

Lonzo Ball dunking in NBA Playgrounds 2

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate, PlayStation 4 gamers are being refunded for their pre-orders of NBA Playgrounds 2. The game was originally set to launch today, but was abruptly postponed late last week. No new release date was set, but the announcement from Saber Interactive promised that the delay was in the interest of creating the best game possible.

While issuing a refund is certainly a gesture of goodwill, and may indeed have been compulsory for Saber to do, it does come across as a discouraging sign in the wake of the game’s delay. The forthcoming game has been met with some derision and scepticism from gamers who were unsatisfied with last year’s release, unhappy that a sequel is coming out so soon in lieu of further updates to the original, or both. These setbacks can only make NBA Playgrounds 2 a tougher sell.

With all that being said, hopefully the delay will turn out to be for a good reason, and the finished product will be worth the wait. We’ll continue to cover the situation either way, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, as well as in this topic in the Other Basketball Games section of the NLSC Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #249

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Episode #249 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for a discussion of the past week in basketball and basketball gaming, including a new executive producer for NBA Live, the delay of NBA Playgrounds 2, the 2018 Conference Finals, and what we’ve been playing.

On this week’s show…

  • Seann Graddy is the new executive producer of the NBA Live series, with Sean O’Brien moving on to a new role at EA Sports. What does this mean for the series moving forward?
  • Viewership numbers for the NBA 2K League continue to dwindle. Is the League a flop – or on the way to being one – and what is it doing wrong?
  • NBA Playgrounds 2 has been abruptly delayed, less than a week ahead of its release. Saber Interactive are promising great things, but gamers are sceptical.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included more Ultimate Team challenges, LIVE Run, and some bargain retro game pick-ups. There’s also been a noteworthy development in the modding community.
  • We wrap up Episode #249 of the NLSC Podcast with a discussion of the 2018 Conference Finals.

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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The Friday Five: 5 Hopes for NBA Playgrounds 2

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 breakdown of the main hopes that I have for NBA Playgrounds 2.

Originally set for release next week on May 22nd, NBA Playgrounds 2 has now been delayed to an unspecified date. While some basketball gamers have expressed their excitement about a follow up to last year’s title, others aren’t so thrilled. Some gamers feel that it’s coming too soon after the original, and are unhappy that support for the first NBA Playgrounds is ending with a few unfulfilled promises. Others simply didn’t care for the first game at all, and feel little incentive to give its sequel a chance. The indefinite postponement likely doesn’t allay their concerns or scepticism.

Even if the delay turns out to be for the best as Saber Interactive are insisting, NBA Playgrounds 2 is going to be a tough sell for some gamers. It’s going to take a quality release to win gamers over, with clear improvements that wouldn’t be possible via a patch. Whatever has led to the delay will also have to be a big deal. The previews have been somewhat promising so far though, and I do believe that NBA Playgrounds 2 has a great opportunity to become the definitive arcade hoops game of the current generation. There are a few things that it must do in order to achieve that however, which I’m outlining in the form of five hopes ahead of its eventual release.

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NBA Playgrounds 2 Delayed

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After releasing a trailer and confirming a release date of May 22nd last week, NBA Playgrounds 2 has been delayed. Saber Interactive posted the following announcement on the game’s official Facebook page:

We’ve got some news to share, but we want to start by saying ‘good things come to those who wait.’ There are exciting things brewing with the NBA Playgrounds franchise that we think will take arcade basketball to new levels.

We can’t tell you everything now, but we can tell you that this means our launch date of May 22nd will be moved out. Please be patient with us, we promise that NBA Playgrounds 2 will be better than ever. We’ll have more details to share soon.

Whether this means Saber are currently working on additional modes, content, or both is unclear at this point, but in any event, the release of the game has been pushed back. No new date has been specified as yet, but presumably NBA Playgrounds 2 will still be coming out before NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. As soon as any further details are made available, we’ll be sure to post them.

In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section 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 #248

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Episode #248 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we discuss the new gameplay trailer for NBA Playgrounds 2, catch up on a week of basketball gaming, and offer up some predictions for the 2018 NBA Conference Finals and award winners.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Playgrounds 2 is coming out May 22nd, as revealed by the new gameplay trailer. We’re feeling optimistic about the game, but we do have some specific hopes and expectations.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included an unlikely return to 2K Pro-Am; it didn’t go so well. A seven game series of 2v2 on MyCOURT was a lot more fun, though. We also talk Ultimate Team in NBA Live 18, and Basketball Classics on Steam.
  • We wrap up Episode #248 of the NLSC Podcast with a preview of the 2018 NBA Conference Finals, and predictions for this year’s award winners.

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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