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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: 5 Ways MyCAREER Messes With Your Game

The Friday Five: 5 Ways MyCAREER Messes With Your Game

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 looks at five ways that playing MyCAREER messes with your overall game on the virtual hardwood.

Putting aside MyCAREER in favour of MyNBA, fun match-ups in Play Now, and a little bit of MyTEAM, has been a breath of fresh air. As always, I must emphasise that I’ve had thousands of hours of fun with MyCAREER and its connected modes. I mean that literally, as I’ve checked the Hours Played count on PC and PlayStation alike! It was a mode that I was playing out of habit though, and when I finally broke that habit, I found that I was enjoying basketball gaming in a way that I hadn’t been for quite a while. In short, it was time to move on, and I finally did.

Not only was it refreshing, it was also eye-opening. I was aware of how playing MyCAREER had become a habit, to the point where I could say that grinding had become oddly addictive. However, as I’ve shifted away from MyCAREER and its connected modes, I’ve been caught off guard by how my style of play, as well as my expectations of gameplay, had been affected by playing the mode for so many years. It’s something I noticed when I first started playing head-to-head games on Parsec, as well as diving into MyTEAM and MyNBA. Simply put, as fun as it can be, playing MyCAREER messes with your virtual game. Here are five examples of how it does.

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The Friday Five: 5 Mind-Blowing Basketball Gaming Facts for 2022

The Friday Five: 5 Mind-Blowing Basketball Gaming Facts for 2022

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 offers up five basketball gaming trivia tidbits that are mind-blowing facts in 2022.

This will be difficult to appreciate if you were born in the late 90s or early 2000s, but there was a time that the Year 2000 screamed “futuristic”. It felt that way for me as a kid and later a teenager in the 90s, and I’m sure it really felt that way for my parents who were born in the 40s. The Year 2022 truly seemed like the stuff of science-fiction all those years ago, yet here we are. Granted, we’re somewhat behind schedule as far as flying cars, living on the moon, and everyone wearing shiny jumpsuits. Still, when it comes to certain technology, we have many things that were once the stuff of sci-fi.

They’re now just normal, everyday conveniences, but that’s how it goes as technology marches on. All the same, there’s something mind-blowing about it being the Year 2022, especially for those of us who remember the Year 2000 like it was only five, ten, or at most fifteen years ago. Once the years start flying by, the rising stars of the NBA are suddenly the veterans with a decade under their belts. The basketball video games you’re nostalgic for suddenly feel very retro. Even the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are beginning to seem old! In the spirit of acknowledging the passage of time, here are five basketball gaming facts that are – all clickbait aside – mind-blowing.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things We Need to Stop Saying In 2022

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 we need to stop saying in 2022.

And so, we’ve come to the end of 2021! It’s been a challenging couple of years with a global pandemic and whatnot, so hopefully better times await us all in 2022. Around these parts, we’ve obviously had basketball video games to keep us occupied. We get a lot of joy out of our hobby, but there are obviously moments of frustration as well. As I’ve said before, it’s necessary to cover all aspects of basketball gaming. We should celebrate and enjoy our passion for the virtual hardwood, and at the same time, voice our criticisms and concerns. Positive or negative, it’s vital that we have our say.

However, there are some things that we should stop saying, and with 2022 upon us, it’s a prime opportunity to cut them from the discourse. I don’t say this as a way of impeding freedom of speech, and it certainly won’t be a rule enacted in our Forum. I just believe it’s in our best interests, because thought-terminating cliches ultimately pollute the conversation. They stifle discussion of important issues, and are needlessly divisive. As always, I’m under no delusion that one article will eradicate these tired and trite phrases from the basketball gaming community. Nevertheless, if we see less of them in 2022, the quality of conversations about virtual hoops should improve.

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The Friday Five: 5 Strange Glitches You May Have Missed

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 strange glitches in various basketball video games, which you may not be aware of.

As is the case with other genres, some glitches in basketball video games are well-known. In fact, some of them achieve infamy, such as the “Jesus Bynum” glitch in the NBA Elite 11 demo. Some glitches are helpful, and so we seek them out to gain additional XP or in-game currency. Other glitches are game-breaking; we hope we’ll never encounter those and are furious when we do, especially if we end up losing our save files with hours of progress (paid and No Money Spent). And of course, there are the harmless and amusing glitches that are just entertaining when they happen.

Not every glitch becomes common knowledge, of course. If you never experience something for yourself and you’re not particularly involved in online discourse, you may not know about a prominent bug in a popular title. Even when it comes to the most infamous glitches such as the aforementioned Bynum bug, not everyone who has seen them in action has experienced them in their own game. Sometimes it’s a rare and specific set of circumstances that causes the issue, which is why it’s so difficult for developers to fix them in patches. To that end, here are five strange glitches that I’ve encountered that might’ve flown under your radar, or you may have forgotten.

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The Friday Five: 5 Worst Aspects of My Favourite Modes

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 lists the five worst aspects of my favourite modes across years of playing various basketball video games.

When it comes to the quality of basketball video games, gameplay is paramount, but modes are still crucial. Deep modes can’t be enjoyed without great gameplay, but the gameplay won’t be nearly as interesting and engaging long-term without modes that keep us hooked. Fortunately, the modes in basketball games have come a long way. They’ve gone from a basic single NBA season – or just three rounds of the Playoffs – to comprehensive multi-season franchise modes, career modes with connected online team play, and card-based team building modes.

Of course, whether you’re talking about gameplay or game modes, perfection is an impossible goal. As is the case with the experience on the sticks, ideally the franchise, career, card collecting, and other modes will be relatively bug-free and enjoyable, but for a few quirky issues or missing features here and there. Although I was a long-time franchise gamer after the concept was introduced, over the past decade I’ve branched out into other ways to play basketball video games. I’ve had literally thousands of hours of fun with my favourite NBA Live and NBA 2K titles, but reflecting on those fantastic experiences, these are some of the worst aspects of my modes of choice.

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The Friday Five: 5 Predictable Moments in Basketball Games

The Friday Five

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

In real basketball, there’s a phenomenon of knowing a shot is going in as soon as it leaves your hands. It just feels right, the arc looks perfect, and it’s almost like there’s a sixth sense about it. Of course, that confidence isn’t always well-founded, in which case you may end up looking like Nick Young! We can get a similar feeling when we see someone else shoot the basketball, either on TV or when we’re on the court. It’s why we’re so surprised to see the great shooters and clutch performers miss attempts that we were absolutely sure would splash through the net.

As an artificial representation of the sport, basketball video games naturally contain some telltale signs that make them far more predictable than real life. Predictability isn’t always a bad thing of course, particularly when it’s a favourable outcome. Even when it isn’t, you’re at least able to brace yourself for the outcome, perhaps avoiding getting your hopes up. However, like a spoiler for a film, TV show, or indeed a video game with an in-depth narrative, it can detract from the experience by removing a sense of anticipation, with certain actions feeling inconsequential. For better or worse, here are five of the most predictable moments found in basketball video games.

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The Friday Five: 5 Worst Parts of Modern Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

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

Over the past few weeks in The Friday Five, I’ve covered the best and worst parts of retro basketball gaming, as well as the pros of playing modern games. This week, it’s all about the cons of the latter. Once again, I must stress that despite my advocacy and enthusiasm for retro basketball gaming, I do spend a lot of time with recent games as well, including the latest release every year (albeit with some exceptions). There are many great reasons to play the newest NBA 2K, just as there were for NBA Live back in its heyday. I covered those reasons last week, and I stand by them.

However, it’s not all fun and games with modern basketball gaming, and the worst parts can leave you yearning to return to an old favourite. That’s certainly something you can do, and again, I’m all for that. However, it’s important that we speak out with fair criticism, and it benefits us to make constructive suggestions as to how the next game can improve. To do that though, we must acknowledge that there are issues with modern basketball gaming, and that new isn’t always better in every way imaginable. Obviously basketball games have come a long way, drastically improving upon their predecessors in many respects, but they’ve also fallen short in other areas of concern.

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The Friday Five: 5 Best Parts of Modern Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

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

Since I’ve taken a look at the best and worst parts of retro basketball gaming, it’s only fair that I reflect on the pros and cons of their modern equivalents. As I’ve said, while I do have a passion for retro basketball gaming and will always advocate for it, I’m also a fan of the modern games and spend a lot of time with them. New isn’t always better, but by the same token, old isn’t unsurpassable. Not everything holds up well, and basketball video games have come a long way in the decades that I’ve been playing them. And yes, saying that does make me feel very old.

Not so old that I can’t enjoy modern basketball gaming, however! Indeed, even if certain aspects aren’t completely to my taste, I can still appreciate them and see their appeal to other gamers; particularly gamers younger than me. It’s very easy to get caught up in what we don’t like about modern basketball gaming, and to that point, there are many valid criticisms that we can make. I will be getting to them in next week’s article, but for now, let’s focus on the best parts of modern basketball gaming. These are the five that spring to mind for me, and I’m sure you’ll agree that they represent evolution in the genre, and incentive to check out the new game each year.

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The Friday Five: 5 Worst Parts of Retro Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

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

Since I took a look at the best parts of retro basketball gaming last week, it’s only fair that I follow up with the downsides. Look, I stand by what I previously said. I’m all for normalising retro basketball gaming in addition to enjoying new releases. There should be no stigma about going back to an old favourite. We also need to can the misguided notion that they can’t be any good because new is always better. If you’re not enjoying the latest NBA 2K and you’re not beholden to online play and live service content, by all means revisit an older game and see if you still enjoy it!

To that point though, you may not. Retro gaming isn’t for everyone, and basketball titles are no different. Indeed, because they’re aiming to replicate reality, sim games in particular can age very poorly. Even if the core experience does hold up, there are other drawbacks that arise from servers being shutdown, leading to functionality and content being lost. As much as I love retro basketball gaming, I’d be lying if I said that I’m always pleasantly surprised when I fire up a game I greatly enjoyed when it was first released, or that absolutely any old title can re-enter my rotation. With that being said, these are the five biggest downsides of retro basketball gaming, in my view.

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The Friday Five: 5 Best Parts of Retro Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

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

Contrary to what you may believe given how often I’ve talked about going back and playing old titles, I’m not just about retro basketball gaming. I spend plenty of time with the latest release as well, and have the MyCAREER and MyTEAM progress in recent years to show for it. However, I’ll always advocate for retro basketball gaming, especially as it receives odd pushback from some gamers. I’ve seen more than a few people ask about getting older games to run over on the official NBA 2K subreddit, only for them to be mocked and told to just play the newest game.

Putting aside the rudeness of being so dismissive as to answer a question with an unwanted and irrelevant suggestion, there are reasons why people want to play older games, if only from time to time. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have no interest in the latest release, or are unaware of its benefits. Of course, they may be well aware of its drawbacks as well, and seek a more enjoyable experience from an old favourite. There are pros and cons to retro basketball gaming, just as there are pros and cons to playing the newest release. I’m focusing on the pros today, because there is value in going wayback on the virtual hardwood, or sticking with a game you most enjoy.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways Parsec Is Changing Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

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

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

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

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The Friday Five: 5 Creepy Moments in Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

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

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

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

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

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is yet another list of five cover players that you may not recall.

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

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

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The Friday Five: 5 Unlockables That Shouldn’t Have Been Locked

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 unlockables in basketball video games that shouldn’t have been locked in the first place.

I have a love/hate relationship with unlockables, particularly in basketball and pro wrestling games. The concept is fine on paper, and I definitely prefer it to paid DLC and cosmetic items tied to recurrent revenue mechanics. However, certain games do approach their unlockables better than others. Specifically, I’m not a fan of titles that require too much repetition to unlock content, and some of the WWE games back in the PlayStation 2 era were notably bad in that regard. Ideally, you shouldn’t be sick of a game by the time you’ve unlocked everything of interest.

Basketball games have tended to be fair in their approach to unlockables, but there are examples of content that frankly shouldn’t have been locked in the first place. It may be because they’ve now become impossible to unlock due to requiring a connection to servers that are no longer online. Others feel more like gatekeeping than worthwhile rewards. At the very least, they seem more like pointless busywork, and content that should be readily accessible from the first time you fire up the game. Whatever the case may be, I can think of at least five examples of unlockables that should’ve been handled differently, or not been unlockables to begin with. I’m sure I’m not alone here.

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The Friday Five: 5 Overlooked Drawbacks of Awesome Features

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 drawbacks of awesome features that tend to be overlooked.

Even though I’m an advocate for deep and detailed critique, I would agree that it’s possible to veer too far into the realm of nitpicking. That doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to criticise minor annoyances, but perfection is an unrealistic standard. However, I don’t think it’s unfair to point out that some of the most awesome features we’ve seen in basketball video games have had drawbacks that we’ve overlooked. They may not be immediately apparent or a problem for everybody, but they are issues that we’ll end up noticing, and may stand out as weaknesses in aspects that we otherwise really like.

Again, despite the title that I’ve used for this article, I don’t want to come across too negatively here. After all, something we can take away from each of these examples is that the drawbacks in question didn’t prevent the features from being awesome! They are drawbacks nevertheless though, and it’s important to be able to recognise that even our favourite modes and features aren’t perfect. It’s how we constructively criticise games, and suggest ways that the experiences we enjoy can become even better. With that being said, here are five drawbacks that ultimately didn’t prevent features from being awesome, but still caused some frustration or held them back in some way.

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