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NLSC Podcast #292: MyCAREER Killed The Franchise Mode

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Episode #292 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane is back on the show this week as we catch up on the latest NBA 2K20 news, and discuss how a focus on career modes this generation has affected the course and quality of basketball gaming.

‘Tis the preview season, which means that there’s a lot of talk about bullshotting as new NBA 2K20 screenshots continue to drop. The soundtrack for this year’s game has also been revealed, not only bringing tracks from the big names, but also providing an opportunity for unsigned artists. However, the biggest news of the week is that the NBA 2K20 Demo will be released on August 21st. We speculate on what the new MyPLAYER builder might entail, what other content we can expect, and how the demo experience will translate to the full release. After noting the lack of NBA content in recent NBA 2K demos, we move on to this week’s featured discussion: has the focus on career modes adversely affected other modes, and the basketball gaming experience in general? As much as we’ve enjoyed MyCAREER this generation, it does feel as though other aspects of the games have been neglected. We consider what this might mean for the genre moving forward, and whether it’s another sign we’re no longer part of the core demographic.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 news, and the heavy focus on career modes in today’s basketball games? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA 2K20 Demo Coming August 21st (PS4, X1, & Switch)

NBA 2K20 Demo

2K has announced that the NBA 2K20 Demo will be available on August 21st 2019, going live at 12:01 AM Pacific Time. It will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, but not PC. Contrary to the limitations in The Prelude in previous years, it seems as though we’ll be able to try out more than one build before the full game is released.

Starting on August 21st at 12:01 am PT, you can get an early start on your MyCAREER while testing out the new MyPLAYER builder and hitting the court two weeks ahead of the game’s launch by downloading the NBA 2K20 Demo. In the NBA 2K20 Demo, you can try out multiple MyPLAYER configurations to create the player that best fits your play-style, which will be carried over to NBA 2K20 at launch on September 6th. The NBA 2K20 Demo will be available exclusively on Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

This certainly comes as good news, as previous glimpses of the game via The Prelude offered little in the way of replay value, forcing gamers to choose one Archetype to trial in a single playthrough of the early stages of MyCAREER. Providing the opportunity to test out more than one Archetype has been a common request, so it’s nice to see 2K taking the community’s suggestion on board. As yet, there’s no word on whether or not any changes have been made to Archetypes this year.

Another controversial issue that has dogged The Prelude in recent years is that its gameplay settings are juiced up, providing an inaccurate snapshot of what to expect in the full game. This is obviously something we won’t know until after we’ve played both, but hopefully this year’s demo will take a more honest approach.

What are your expectations for the NBA 2K20 Demo? Have your say in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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NBA 2K20 Soundtrack Revealed; More Songs Post-Release

NBA 2K20 Soundtrack

I’m a little behind in posting this, but the NBA 2K20 soundtrack has been revealed. This year’s track list includes artists such as Drake, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Run the Jewels, Meek Mill, Ariana Grande, and the late Nipsey Hussle. It’s available to listen to here on Spotify.

For the first time ever, new songs will be added to the game post-release. Additionally, 2K are teaming up with UnitedMasters to give new artists an opportunity to be featured. Unsigned artists are invited to submit their entries for a chance to be included on the soundtrack.

I’ve added the NBA 2K20 soundtrack (as it currently stands) to our Wiki. You can also check out the full track listing below. Got any thoughts on the soundtrack? Feel free to share them in the comments section, as well as here in the NLSC Forum.

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NLSC Podcast #291: Is It Time To Worry Yet?

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Episode #291 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s another solo show this week so there’s obviously no featured discussion, but between NBA 2K20 news, NBA Live 19 rosters, speculation about NBA Live 20, and updates from the modding community, I have a few thoughts to share.

As expected, the NBA 2K20 ratings reveal wasn’t without controversy. While fans debate their accuracy and the merits of NBA 2K’s approach to ratings, the best response belongs to whoever is running the Denver Nuggets’ Twitter account. In other news, NBA Live 19 received a surprising roster update featuring offseason moves. Despite being a welcome surprise, it does invite worrisome speculation about NBA Live 20, though it doesn’t help to jump the gun. Meanwhile, in our community, there are some modding projects and other upcoming features worth spotlighting. Check them out, and stay tuned!

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 previews, and the speculation surrounding NBA Live 20? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA 2K20 Ratings Reveal, More First Look Screenshots

NBA 2K20 Ratings Reveal

As previously announced, the NBA 2K20 Ratings Reveal took place on a livestream on Twitter. Over the course of the stream, 2K revealed the top-rated stars, duos, and rookies in this year’s game, along with the best three-point shooters. In the process, they also dropped some more First Look screenshots, and discussed how the ratings are devised.

The two best active players are LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, with Overall Ratings of 97. MVP and last year’s cover player Giannis Antetokounmpo is right behind them at 96 Overall, tying him with Kevin Durant and James Harden. Unsurprisingly, top pick Zion Williamson is the highest rated rookie at 81 Overall, with Ja Morant in second place at 79. Thirteen active players in total will be rated in the 90s at launch, with LeBron James and cover player Anthony Davis (94 Overall) being the highest rated duo with an average Overall Rating of 95.5. Appropriately enough, Steph Curry is the top three-point shooter with a maxed-out rating of 99.

See below for a breakdown of the NBA 2K20 Ratings Reveal, along with a handful of screenshots. What do you make of the ratings that have been revealed? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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NLSC Podcast #290: The Craziness Begins

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Episode #290 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! I’m flying solo in this week’s return show, which catches up on the first snippets of this year’s preview season, a couple of recent patches, and one of the craziest offseasons in recent memory (if not all-time).

Forget March Madness; July has tipped off the craziness as far as the NBA and virtual hardwood are concerned! The cover players and pre-order bonuses for NBA 2K20 have been revealed, and there’s some good news as the Early Tip-Off Weekend is no more. A teaser trailer and a few screenshots have also given us a glimpse of the game, and if nothing else, the lighting looks promising. NBA 2K19 has also received a patch that encourages NBA 2K20 pre-orders, along with a couple of minor fixes. Meanwhile, NBA Live 19 has received further tuning for shooting and shot contests, which was great to see following issues with Patch 1.25. Finally, there was a flurry of big names changing jerseys through trades and free agency. It’s going to be a wild year in the real NBA, and on the virtual hardwood!

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest patches, previews, and offseason movement? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA 2K19 Patch 1.10 Includes NBA 2K20 Pre-Order Offer

NBA 2K20 Offer Added by NBA 2K19 Patch 1.10

NBA 2K19 Patch 1.10 is now available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It should come through automatically as long as your console has an active Internet connection. If you encounter any difficulties, try restarting your console or checking for the update manually.

There aren’t any official patch notes as of this writing, but gamers over on Reddit are reporting that a dribble glitch in Pro-Am has been resolved, and a foul limit has been added to Triple Threat games in MyTEAM.

A noticeable change that is easy to confirm is the addition of a pre-order bonus for NBA 2K20. A pop-up now appears before the main menu, offering a 10% discount on the digital edition of this year’s game. The offer is only available for a limited time, and will likely be removed in a further patch.

I’ve added what we know about NBA 2K19 Patch 1.10 to the update history in our Wiki, as well as this topic in the NLSC Forum. I’ll be sure to update all of our resources (as well as this bulletin) if any further information is released. In the meantime, feel free to add your observations in the comments below, or in the Forum topic.

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NBA 2K20 Screenshot Featuring LeBron James & Anthony Davis

First NBA 2K20 Screenshot: LeBron James & Anthony Davis

Although we’re likely at least a few weeks away from in-depth developer blogs, 2K has released the first official NBA 2K20 screenshot. The screen features new teammates LeBron James and cover player Anthony Davis standing side by side, in their gold Los Angeles Lakers jerseys.

As you might expect this late in the generation, there isn’t a tremendous leap in quality when compared to NBA 2K19. However, it does look as though there is a new lighting effect this year, as the atmosphere does appear noticeably brighter. The screen has also obviously been taken late in the game, in order to spotlight the sweat effects.

In case you missed it, a First Look Teaser has also been posted over on the official NBA 2K YouTube channel. The teaser doesn’t give much away as it’s basically just small snippets of gameplay from cinematic angles, but it is our first look at this year’s release in action. As previously noted, it also officially confirms that WNBA teams will be playable in some capacity.

Check out the first NBA 2K20 screenshot below, as well as a comparison with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in NBA 2K19. What are your thoughts on our first glimpse at this year’s game from Visual Concepts? Sound off in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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The Friday Five: 5 Things MyCOURT Needs

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 things that would enhance MyCOURT in NBA 2K’s MyCAREER.

As I noted in a Wayback Wednesday feature, when MyCOURT was first announced as a new addition in NBA 2K15’s MyCAREER, I didn’t think much of it. My initial thought was that it sounded like a gimmicky premise, another case of adding flash over substance. In hindsight, I was underestimating its usefulness. MyCOURT has not only proven to be an appealing player hub and base of operations for MyCAREER, but is very handy for testing out animations, getting a feel for your player, and earning some extra VC. In NBA 2K17, it could even be used to grind for Cap Breakers.

However, while MyCOURT remains practical and stylish as of NBA 2K19, there are a few things that could stand to be improved upon. Although new functions have been added in the form of mini-games and unlockable items, there are some noteworthy omissions in terms of useful options and equipment. From additional on-court options to menu functions and interactive elements of the environment, these things would allow us to get the most out of MyCOURT. They may not be the most crucial parts of MyCAREER, but having spent considerable time in the mode in NBA 2K19, I feel that these suggestions would spruce up our own private virtual hardwood.

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NBA 2K20 Cover Players Announced; Pre-Order Bonuses, More

NBA 2K20 Cover Art

2K Sports has officially announced Anthony Davis as the cover player for the Standard Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition of NBA 2K20. Dwyane Wade, who retired at the end of the 2019 season, has been announced as the cover player for the Legend Edition. Davis was previously one of three cover players for NBA 2K16, while Wade appeared on the cover of NBA Live 06, the same year he won his first championship.

The game is now available to pre-order, with September 6th confirmed as the release date. This year’s pre-order bonuses for each edition of the game have also been revealed, and they include the usual assortment of VC, MT, MyTEAM packs, and MyPLAYER apparel. Interestingly, there isn’t any mention of the Early Tip-Off Weekend as yet.

Promotional images on the official social media accounts are making use of the word “Next” in conjunction with NBA 2K20, and a blurb currently posted over on the official site also makes reference to it:

This isn’t a game. This is the place the game comes to learn. This is the place the present can’t catch. Where next gets known and the ball decides your fate. From the blacktop to the hardwood and throughout the Neighborhood, NBA 2K20 and its next level features are the closest thing to actually playing in the league.

This isn’t a game.

This is the place everything else follows.

Welcome to the Next.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for announcements on 2K20’s feature innovations.

It’ll probably be a few weeks before we get any concrete details about the game – to say nothing of extended preview media – but this brief promotional video does appear to officially confirm that WNBA teams and players will be in NBA 2K20.

See below for the cover art featuring Anthony Davis and Dwyane Wade, as well as a listing of all the pre-order bonuses. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion in our newly launched NBA 2K20 Forum! As we anticipate the first news for NBA Live 20, I’ve gone ahead and created a Forum for it as well. This year’s preview season is officially upon us, so stay tuned for more news (and beware of clickbait)!

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Monday Tip-Off: Clickbait & You! – A Public Service Announcement

Stand Against Clickbait!

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 public service announcement regarding clickbait, ahead of yet another NBA Live and NBA 2K preview season here at the NLSC.

July is upon us, which means it (hopefully) won’t be too much longer before we start getting our first information about NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20. Unfortunately, a lot of content creators are prone to taking advantage of basketball gamers eager for news, and engage in clickbait during the preview season. We do our best to be accurate here at the NLSC, and as a gaming community, we must do all we can to avoid spreading rumours and misinformation. It’s a perpetual problem, so I’ve put together what I hope will be a timeless PSA: Clickbait & You! Watch it below or here over on YouTube.

This was a fun (but arduous) video to put together, so I hope you enjoy it! While it’s obviously all in fun, we do want to avoid those tactics here at the NLSC, and remain dedicated to providing fair-handed coverage and reliable information about basketball video games. To that end, it’s a message that I’d like the community to take to heart. I’m looking forward to the preview season for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20, and I hope that you’ll stick around for all of the pre-release news and post-release content. If you haven’t already, I invite you to subscribe to the NLSC’s YouTube channel, as more fun and informative videos will be on the way in the not too distant future!

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Improve Online Modes in NBA 2K20

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 to improve online modes in NBA 2K20.

For many years, there wasn’t much that I could personally say about online play. I was mostly an offline basketball gamer, and while I was only too eager to pass along any feedback on behalf of online gamers, it wasn’t an experience that I took a whole lot of interest in. That changed in NBA 2K16, when Arcane and I were encouraged to join Kenny, The X, and Valor for some 2K Pro-Am games. I had enjoyed playing a few games of Online Team Play in NBA Live 08 as it was new and interesting, and Pro-Am proved to be an enjoyable spin on the concept.

As much as I value the single player experiences in modern basketball games, there’s no denying the importance of online modes. Visual Concepts clearly has a lot invested in the online experience, not only through providing a variety of ways to play online in NBA 2K, but also through their partnership with the NBA for the NBA 2K League. Despite that focus, and the general popularity of online play in NBA 2K, there are some major drawbacks and troubling legacy issues that need to be addressed in future games. I’m hoping that NBA 2K20 does see some key improvements in the game’s online modes, and this is how I believe that can be achieved.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Improve MyCAREER in NBA 2K20

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 to improve MyCAREER in NBA 2K20.

MyCAREER remains the most popular mode in NBA 2K, both for the ability to live the life of an NBA player, and participate in online multiplayer gaming through the connected experiences of 2K Pro-Am and The Playground. It has achieved popularity through being a deep and robust mode, and innovations such as detailed stories. While its implementation of VC has at times been controversial due to the way it encourages microtransactions, it’s contributed greatly to the recurrent revenue model despite some vocal grumbling from gamers. Overall, it’s been a huge success for NBA 2K.

Nevertheless, both the offline and online aspects of MyCAREER still have room for improvement. I’ve enjoyed the experiences they offer despite traditionally being a franchise gamer, and found myself getting drawn back into MyCAREER in NBA 2K19 despite feeling that this may be the year to take a break. Having played the mode extensively over the past few years, I have a few thoughts on how it could provide an even better experience for basketball gamers. From the handling of the story and goodwill, to game balance and better functionality, here are five ways that NBA 2K20 could make an already great mode even better.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #276

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Episode #276 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we discuss the latest patch for NBA Live 19, reports that the WNBA will be featured in NBA 2K20, and the 2019 All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.21 has come through for NBA Live 19. In addition to ending the Double XP event, it includes updated All-Star warm-ups, new gear, and fixes for a couple of other issues.
  • Our Wishlists for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 have been submitted, and gratefully received by our contacts at EA Sports and Visual Concepts. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
  • It’s looking like the WNBA will be featured in NBA 2K20. We speculate on what kind of presence it will have, and whether it will end up being a missed opportunity for NBA Live in terms of fleshing out its WNBA content.
  • We dedicate the rest of Episode #276 of the NLSC Podcast to our thoughts on all the highs and lows from the 2019 All-Star Weekend. We try our best not to sound like cranky old men, with varying degrees of success.

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 Live 20 & NBA 2K20 Wishlists Submitted

The Wishlists for NBA Live 20 & NBA 2K20 Have Been Submitted

Our official NLSC Wishlists for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 have been finalised and submitted to the developers at EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively! A big thank you to everyone who helped us compile constructive feedback for the upcoming games. As always, there’s no guarantee that our wishes will be granted, but if we don’t speak up, we can guarantee that they’ll go unheard.

Although we won’t be making any further additions to our Wishlists, the topics will remain open until the preview season for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 gets underway. Discussion about what we want to see in the new games is obviously still most welcome, and we can try to pass along any late suggestions as well.

You can check out the NBA Live 20 Wishlist here, and the NBA 2K20 Wishlist here. They’re also available in PDF format, here and here respectively. We’ve tried our best to present an accurate and comprehensive cross-section of what our community wants out of both games, and hopefully, we’ll see some of our most desired additions, fixes, and changes implemented sooner rather than later. In the meantime, feel free to keep the conversation going!

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