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NLSC Podcast – Episode #257

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Episode #257 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are back on the air this week after the combination of travel and a lack of news derailed our plans to record last Sunday. This week has given us plenty to talk about though, including an NBA Live 19 trailer, NBA 2K19 screenshots and hands-on impressions, and a few other news stories.

On this week’s show…

  • A new NBA Live 19 trailer spotlighting the authentic courts from around the globe has been released. It’s given us a further glimpse of the gameplay and confirmed Allen Iverson as a member of the NBA Live Squad, but we would like some more NBA-oriented previews.
  • What improvements would we like to see in terms of Franchise Mode and roster editing in NBA Live 19?
  • Various NBA 2K19 First Look screenshots have dropped throughout the week. If nothing else, we know some Overall Ratings!
  • Game Informer has provided us with a breakdown of eight significant gameplay improvements in NBA 2K19. They sound good, but we have heard some of it before.
  • Charles Barkley has reiterated his stance on appearing in NBA 2K, leaving us to wonder why Take Two still isn’t taking him up on his offer.
  • We wrap up Episode #257 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk. Topics include free agency, trades, rumours, and how to adopt a new team as your favourite.

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.

NBA 2K19 Gameplay Improvements; DeMarcus Cousins Screenshot

NBA 2K19: DeMarcus Cousins First Look

A new NBA 2K19 screenshot has surfaced, revealing the next member of Team 2K. That player is DeMarcus Cousins, who recently signed with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Cousins’ initial Overall Rating will be 90, which is identical to his rating in the final NBA 2K18 roster.

Game Informer have also posted an article detailing eight improvements to gameplay in NBA 2K19. There will be a new Takeover system that allows players who are in rhythm to gain boosts to Badges specific to their Archetype, including additional animations. Clipping has reportedly been reduced, and a new steal system has been implemented. Enhancements have been made to the AI, one-on-one situations (on both sides of the ball), interior defense, and AI.

Additional streetball moves have also been added, and are exclusive to The Playground. The Shot Meter also returns for layups this year, and we’ll have a choice between the old NBA 2K17 meter and the new one. Shot feedback has also been reworked for greater accuracy.

Be sure to read the full article from Game Informer for more details. You can check out the DeMarcus Cousins screenshot below, as well as in our gallery. What are your thoughts on the reported gameplay improvements and the latest screenshot? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion in our NBA 2K19 Forum.

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NBA 2K19 First Look Screenshot: Karl-Anthony Towns

NBA 2K19: Karl-Anthony Towns First Look

The release of NBA 2K19 First Look screenshots featuring Team 2K members continues. The latest player to be spotlighted is 2016 Rookie of the Year and 2018 All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As they’ve been doing with the previous First Look screenshots, 2K also revealed Towns’ initial Overall Rating in this year’s game. He will be rated 91 Overall in the default roster, a modest jump from 90 Overall in the final roster for NBA 2K18. Other 90+ Overall players so far include LeBron James (98) and Kawhi Leonard (95).

Check out the screenshot of Karl-Anthony Towns below, as well as here in our NBA 2K19 screenshots gallery. As always, feel free to add any thoughts you have in the comments section below, as well as join in all of the screenshot discussion taking place in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

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NBA 2K19 First Look Screenshot: Ben Simmons

NBA 2K19: Ben Simmons First Look

The latest NBA 2K19 First Look screenshot has revealed the next member of Team 2K: Australian cover player and 2018 Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons.

As with the other First Look screenshots, Simmons’ Overall Rating has also been revealed. He will be an 87 Overall in the default roster, which places him on par with fellow standout Class of 2018 rookies Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell. His 87 Overall rating is also up from the 85 he had achieved by the final official roster for NBA 2K18.

Check out the screenshot below, as well as here in our NBA 2K19 gallery. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion taking place in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

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NBA 2K19 Screens: Donovan Mitchell, Kawhi Leonard, & DeMar DeRozan

NBA 2K19: Kawhi Leonard First Look

Not one, not two, but three new NBA 2K19 First Look screenshots were released today. Reigning Slam Dunk Champion Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz was revealed as the next member of Team 2K, while Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan – who have just been traded for each other – are also previewed wearing their new uniforms.

As with the previous screenshots, the initial Overall Ratings for the three players have also been revealed. Kawhi Leonard is rated 94 Overall, DeMar DeRozan 89 Overall, and Donovan Mitchell 87 Overall. For comparison, they were rated 95 Overall, 89 Overall, and 84 Overall respectively in the final official rosters for NBA 2K18.

Check out the screenshots below, as well as here in our NBA 2K19 gallery. What are your thoughts on the latest screenshots and Overall Ratings? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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NBA 2K19 First Look Screenshot: Jayson Tatum

NBA 2K19: Jayson Tatum First Look

It seems that 2K Sports will be releasing First Look screenshots for NBA 2K19 throughout the week, featuring members of Team 2K. The latest screenshot features Jayson Tatum, who had a standout rookie season with the Boston Celtics in 2018.

As with the previous screenshot featuring 20th Anniversary Edition cover player LeBron James, the latest screen also reveals Jayson Tatum’s Overall Rating. It seems Tatum will be rated 87 Overall in the default roster of NBA 2K19, up from the 82 Overall he was rated in the final official roster for NBA 2K18.

Check out the full screenshot below. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section, as well as join in the official screenshot discussion taking place here in the NLSC Forum. Once again, it looks like we’ll be getting screenshots of the Team 2K members throughout the week, so stay tuned for more previews of prominent players and their initial Overall Ratings!

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Latest NBA 2K19 Screenshot Features Cover Player LeBron James

NBA 2K19: LeBron James First Look

2K Sports have revealed the second official NBA 2K19 screenshot via the game’s official Twitter. After providing us with a glimpse of Standard Edition cover player Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first official screenshot, the latest screen features LeBron James, cover player for the 20th Anniversary Edition.

In addition to showing LeBron in his new Los Angeles Lakers garb, the screenshot also reveals him as a member of Team 2K, and his Overall Rating of 98. This would assuredly make him the highest rated active player in NBA 2K19. In NBA 2K18, the All-Time Cavaliers and All-Time Heat versions of LeBron were rated 99 Overall, while the active version on the Cavs was rated 97.

Check out the screenshot of LeBron James below, and feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on how the game is looking so far. You can also join in the discussion of all the official screenshots in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

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Ben Simmons Appearing on Australian NBA 2K19 Cover

NBA 2K19 Australian Cover featuring Ben Simmons

PlayStation Australia has revealed that 2018 Rookie of the Year and former number one overall draft pick Ben Simmons will appear on the Australian cover of NBA 2K19. This marks the first time that Australia has received a regional NBA 2K cover.

As reported by Operation Sports’ Steve Noah, the cover will be available in both Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, it will apparently be double-sided, with Ben Simmons on one side and Standard Edition cover player Giannis Antetokounmpo on the other.

The cover art is very similar to the Standard Edition and 20th Anniversary Edition, featuring slogans associated with Simmons and his journey to the NBA. As a Novocastrian, I was disappointed to see that there aren’t any references to his time in the city where he played rep basketball (and where his father played professionally in our NBL), but it’s still great to see him on the first Aussie NBA 2K cover.

Ben Simmons is the second Philadelphia 76ers player to appear on an NBA 2K cover, with Hall of Famer and original 2K cover player Allen Iverson being the first. Teammate Joel Embiid was confirmed as the cover player for NBA Live 19 last week.

Check out the full cover art below. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section, as well as join in the discussion taking place in our NBA 2K19 Forum.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is NBA 2K19 Cover Player; First Screenshot

NBA 2K19 Cover Art

Following what seems to have been a completely inadvertent leak last week, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo has been officially revealed as the cover player for the Standard Edition of NBA 2K19. The cover art is similar in theme to the 20th Anniversary Edition cover featuring LeBron James, who has just signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Antetokounmpo becomes the first European player and Milwaukee Buck to appear on the primary cover of NBA 2K. Pre-order customers will receive a Sapphire Giannis Antetokounmpo MyTEAM card, along with 10 MyPLAYER packs (one delivered each week), and 5000 VC.

In addition to the cover reveal, we also have our first “First Look” screenshot of the year, naturally featuring The Greek Freak. Check it out below, along with the full cover art.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19 comes out on September 7th, while the Standard Edition drops on September 11th. This year’s Prelude, once again only available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, will be coming out on August 31st. What do you make of the cover reveal? Do you have any thoughts on NBA 2K19 so far? 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: Matchmaking & Microtransactions

NLSC GrindTime in The Playground (NBA 2K18)

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 on two very important areas in NBA 2K19: matchmaking and microtransactions.

I’ve mentioned matchmaking and microtransactions in previous articles discussing what I feel must be done in future NBA 2K games, and with the preview season more or less underway, it’s time to revisit these issues. Both are aspects that the NBA 2K development team must handle carefully, to ensure that the experience provided by NBA 2K19 is as accessible and as enjoyable as it can be. If the wrong approach is taken, then this year’s game is going to suffer from the same problems as NBA 2K18, with similar backlash. 2K is overdue to show its fanbase some genuine goodwill.

I originally planned to discuss matchmaking and microtransactions separately, but the more I thought about it, the clearer it became that the two issues are closely linked. Their respective shortcomings in last year’s game combined to make its most popular online modes far less inviting and enjoyable than they should’ve been. The lack of in-depth matchmaking made the pay-to-win aspect of microtransactions a much larger issue. Likewise, the impact of microtransactions in NBA 2K18 made the lack of proper matchmaking all the more apparent and problematic. If handled better, they needn’t cause as many problems with the competitive balance in NBA 2K19.

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NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Forums, Resources Added

NBA Live 19: Crossover in The Streets

As you may have noticed, over the weekend we added forums for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. With the preview season more or less underway, it seemed only appropriate to move discussion about this year’s games to their own sections in the NLSC Forum, rather than keep them in the NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 forums respectively.

I’ve also created the portals for each game here on the main site. You can find the NBA Live 19 subsite here, and the NBA 2K19 subsite here. The initial screenshots for NBA Live 19 have already been added to the game’s portal, and both subsites have links to all of the resources that are available so far. That includes articles in the NLSC Wiki; check out the NBA Live 19 article here, and the NBA 2K19 article here.

More details will be added throughout the preview season, so stay tuned to the NLSC for the latest news and information on this year’s games from EA Sports and 2K Sports. As always, I invite our community to help out with our Wiki resources, not only adding new info to the NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 articles as it becomes available, but also our other articles as well. With our new forums launched nice and early this year, we’re also hoping to get some good discussion going, so join in the conversation today!

NBA 2K19 LeBron James Cover Revealed; Prelude, Pre-Order Info

NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Cover Art

2K Sports has officially revealed LeBron James as the cover player for the 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19. A couple of teaser images hinted at a forthcoming announcement, while promotional materials seen at GameStop let the cat out of the bag in regards to LeBron gracing the cover. As noted yesterday, this is his second NBA 2K cover following NBA 2K14.

The game is already available to pre-order, and the pre-order bonuses have also been revealed. There will apparently be only two editions this year: the Standard Edition, and the aforementioned 20th Anniversary Edition. The Standard Edition retails at $59.99 USD, and will be released on September 11th, 2018. The 20th Anniversary Edition, which offers more pre-order bonuses including some physical collectables, retails for $99.99 USD and comes out September 7th. At this time, it appears that pre-ordering the 20th Anniversary Edition will be the only way to play NBA 2K19 four days early, in contrast to the Early Tip-Off Weekend promotion across all editions in years past.

A trailer has been released to celebrate the announcement. It features clips of LeBron James in previous NBA 2K games, though not surprisingly, doesn’t feature any NBA 2K19 footage. The trailer is accompanied by the song “How Could They Have Known?” featuring 2 Chainz, Rapsody, and Jerreau, tying into the game’s tagline of “They Will Know Your Name”. Check out the trailer here, or watch it below.

Additionally, The Prelude has been confirmed for release on August 31st. As in previous years, it will allow gamers to get a head start on MyCAREER. The Prelude will once again only be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers, meaning PC and Switch gamers will have to wait until the game drops to jump into the mode. Speaking of MyCAREER, pre-order information also confirms that The Neighborhood will return in NBA 2K19.

Please see below for the full cover art for the 20th Anniversary Edition – which notably features LeBron James in a generic black jersey – and a list of all the pre-order bonuses. The cover player and artwork for the Standard Edition of NBA 2K19 will be revealed at a later date, with a placeholder image currently being used on the pre-order page. We’ll post more information as it becomes available, but in the meantime feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition Teasers; LeBron James Cover

NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition Logo (500x500)

NBA 2K19 will have a 20th Anniversary Edition, as per teaser images posted by the game’s official social media accounts. Further information on this year’s game would appear to have been leaked via promotional materials at GameStop, which seemingly reveal LeBron James as the cover player.

At this time, it’s unclear as to whether LeBron will be the cover player for the standard edition of the game as well, or just the 20th Anniversary Edition. He previously appeared on the cover of NBA 2K14, which was a launch title on the current generation. According to the promotional signage, the 20th Anniversary Edition will be available on September 7th, while the standard edition will be available on September 11th, confirming another Early Tip-Off Weekend promotion.

Although these details are yet to be officially confirmed, 2K Sports appear to be gearing up to some official announcements to formally tip off the NBA 2K19 preview season. The following teaser image bearing the slogan “They Will Know Your Name” was Tweeted out a few hours ago:

Presumably the slogan refers to the theme of this year’s MyCAREER mode, which likely confirms another story-driven experience. We’ll be sure to post more information as it becomes available, and discuss the developments in forthcoming episodes of the NLSC Podcast, but for now, what’s your take? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

NBA 2K Twitter Shares Photo of Shaq & Kareem in Mo-Cap Suits

NBA 2K Mo-Cap Photo featuring Shaq & Kareem

With June and the NBA Finals fast approaching, we’re inching closer to the preview season for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. With NBA Live 19 having a presence at EA Play, we’ll likely hear some preliminary information, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the game, within the next couple of weeks.

Conversely, Visual Concepts has traditionally held back on releasing previews, trailers, and information for NBA 2K until quite late in the preview season, so we may not hear much until July, or even August. Of course, the Legend Edition of NBA 2K18 featuring Shaquille O’Neal on the cover was announced in early May last year.

Speaking of The Diesel, it seems as though we’ve received a small nugget of information about NBA 2K19, as the official NBA 2K Twitter account recently shared a photo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wearing motion capture suits. This would obviously suggest that the two Hall of Fame centres have recently participated in a mo-cap session for NBA 2K19. Shaq originally posted the photo here on his Instagram account.

Although new retro teams have been added in recent years, there has been a general feeling that 2K’s efforts with the historical content have been halfhearted at best. Several historical players were missing Badges at launch, and many of the placeholder players are blatant copy and paste jobs. A lot of faces are also strangely inferior to previous games, even going back to the previous generation. With Shaq and Kareem providing mo-cap, it may be a sign that greater attention will be paid to the retro content in NBA 2K19. If nothing else, we’ll likely be seeing some new post moves in the game, thanks to the two legendary Lakers.

Join us for Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast later today where we’ll be discussing this, and other news from the past week. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Monday Tip-Off: Getting Back to Basics with NBA 2K19

2002 Kings Clones in NBA 2K18

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 on how getting back to basics with NBA 2K19 would be a great move after the controversy and dissatisfaction that surrounded NBA 2K18.

For years, NBA 2K has been the dominant brand in basketball gaming. It started with EA Sports’ misfire when NBA Live 06 was released on Xbox 360, devoid of Dynasty Mode and generally being a rough transition to the next generation. As NBA Live continued to struggle, NBA 2K stayed the course and went from strength to strength, garnering higher ratings from reviewers and eventually becoming the top-selling NBA game when NBA 2K9 outsold NBA Live 09. The series has continued to innovate and receive praise from gamers and gaming publications alike, setting sales records and expanding its brand with its own weekly TV show, and now an eSports league.

And yet, despite all its success, the brand doesn’t feel as untouchable as it once did. NBA 2K18 received an unprecedented amount of backlash over its greedy and anti-consumer approach to microtransactions, which greatly affected some of its most popular modes. Beyond that controversy, a lot of gamers felt that the game had simply taken a few steps backwards with a new motion system that didn’t seem quite ready, AI that didn’t feel as smart or realistic, and rosters that were riddled with problems. While 2K’s strategies for “recurrent revenue” obviously won’t be going anywhere, I’d suggest that NBA 2K19 could otherwise really benefit from going back to basics.

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