NLSC Podcast Episodes (2019)
This is an episode guide for the NLSC Podcast, featuring all episodes released during 2019.
|Episode #269||Andrew, Arcane, & Kenny||
||January 6th, 2019|
|Episode #270||Andrew & Arcane||
||January 13th, 2019|
|Episode #271||Andrew & Arcane||
||January 20th, 2019|
||January 27th, 2019|
|Episode #273||Andrew & Arcane||
||February 3rd, 2019|
|Episode #274||Andrew & Kenny||
||February 10th, 2019|
||February 17th, 2019|
|Episode #276||Andrew & Arcane||
||February 24th, 2019|
|Episode #277||Andrew & Kenny||
||March 3rd, 2019|
||March 10th, 2019|
|Episode #279: Fixing 2K Pro-Am & The Online Experience||Andrew & Arcane||
We're tipping off the revamped NLSC Podcast with a quick recap of Patch 1.23 for NBA Live 19 and Patch 1.09 for NBA 2K19, before getting into this week's topic: the problems with 2K Pro-Am, and how we'd fix them. 2K Pro-Am is a mode that we've played a lot these past few years, and frequently talked about on the show. We've had a lot of fun with it, but we've also endured several frustrating sessions, due in large part to changes that have not always been for the better. After identifying the most pressing issues with 2K Pro-Am, we suggest a few possible solutions that we'd like to see implemented in NBA 2K20 and beyond.
|April 7th, 2019|
|Episode #280: Tim Kitzrow, Voice of NBA Jam||Andrew
Special Guest: Tim Kitzrow
The voice of NBA Jam, Tim Kitzrow, joins the NLSC Podcast this week for an extended interview. Tim provides an insight into how he went from classically trained actor and improv artist with The Second City in Chicago, to being the voice of one of basketball gaming's most iconic series. From the origins of the word Boomshakalaka and fascinating tidbits about NBA Jam and other games Tim has worked on, to Tim's recent projects and a bunch of other fun stories, this week's show is a must-listen for all NBA Jam enthusiasts!
|April 14th, 2019|
|Episode #281: Trusting the Process with NBA Live||Andrew & Arcane||
The discussion tips off with reflections on how the once-dominant brand in sim basketball games fell on hard times, from the shaky transition to the sixth generation consoles with NBA Live 06, to the disaster that was NBA Elite 11. We consider missed opportunities as far as rebooting the series by going back and building upon NBA Live 10, and note the difficulties that occurred with the cancellation of NBA Elite 11 and NBA Live 13, before the eventual comeback with NBA Live 14. From there, we discuss how the series has fared during its continued comeback, touching on all of the positives and negatives along the way. After going into detail about what we want to see out of the series moving forward, we wrap up with our hopes and expectations for NBA Live 20.
|April 21st, 2019|
|Episode #282: A Tale of Six MyCAREER Stories||Andrew & Arcane||
After a quick round-up of the news, including an upcoming NBA Street event in NBA Live 19 and the latest patch for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, we dive into this week’s main topic: MyCAREER stories. We begin with our overall impressions of the story-driven approach to MyCAREER over the past six games, and then move on to discuss each game’s story in detail. Along the way, we identify what we’ve liked and disliked the most about each tale and MyCAREER stories in general, and suggest ways that the approach could improve as a new generation looms.
|April 28th, 2019|
|Episode #283: A Chat With Izzy Snow||Andrew
Special Guest: Izzy Snow
Izzy Snow joins the show to discuss his recent experiences with the full version of NBA Elite 11. This leads to a discussion of whether it was better for EA Sports to cancel the game outright, or if it would've been less damaging to release it and weather the bad reviews. We also talk about the current state of NBA Live and offer up some further thoughts on the issues with game modes, particularly Ultimate Team. In addition to revisiting NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360 and the question of where NBA Live needs to go from here, we also talk changes in the community, the need for competition, gaming habits as we get older, PC gaming and modding, NBA Playgrounds, and how Izzy became the NBA Live 14 Gamer of the Year back in 2014.
|May 5th, 2019|
|Episode #284: The Long and Winding Road to 99||Andrew & Kenny||
We tip things off with a quick recap of some recent NBA Live 19 news, namely the return of LIVESTRIKE Events. Following the news round-up, we dive right into this week's discussion topic: the Road to 99. Our conversation includes an update on our own journeys on the Road to 99, the way Cap Breakers differ between Archetypes, and the rewards at each tier. This also leads to comparisons with NBA Live 19's progression system, as well as the progression systems from previous NBA Live and NBA 2K games. By the end of our discussion, we have a few thoughts on what we'd like to see in both career modes moving forward.
|May 12th, 2019|
|Episode #285: A Decade of Dominance for NBA 2K||Andrew & Arcane||
Since overtaking NBA Live in sales beginning with the 2009 season releases, NBA 2K has secured its place as the dominant brand in basketball gaming for over a decade. We reflect on how NBA 2K's journey has differed from that of NBA Live, and the way that journey has accounted for its continued quality, popularity, and financial success. At the same time, while NBA 2K's success has ultimately been great for basketball gaming, there have been downsides to its dominance. We discuss where the game is headed, and name our favourite NBA 2K titles from the past decade.
|May 19th, 2019|
|Episode #286: Online, Casuals, & Simulation||Andrew & Arcane||
We tip things off with a quick look ahead to the 2019 NBA Finals, as well as a few thoughts on the forthcoming gameplay patch for NBA Live 19. After catching up on the news, we dive into this week's discussion topic: online, casuals, and simulation. We reflect on some recent Jordan Rec Center games in NBA 2K19, and how they've been indicative of changing attitudes towards the importance of sim-style virtual basketball. This leads us to question whether the core demographic is as sim as it used to be, or whether we're now on the outer fringe. We also attempt to categorise the different types of hoops gamers, and throw out a few suggestions for improving the online experience by addressing various issues including matchmaking and gatekeeping.
|May 26th, 2019|
|Episode #287: Renovating the Virtual Hardwood||Andrew & Arcane||
After catching up on the results of Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals, we dive into this week's topic: modding, also known as patching (or indeed if we want to get really fancy, renovating the virtual hardwood). We discuss the beginnings of our modding community and how it's evolved over the years, as well as how we came to be a part of it. Our discussion also includes modding etiquette, and ways that we can improve as a community. We also talk about our favourite mods, both the ones that we've made and those that others have created. We wrap up with some tips for getting started, and touch upon what it might be like if NBA Live and NBA 2K could one day go head to head with modding on PC.
|June 2nd, 2019|
|Episode #288: NBA Live 19 Patch 1.25 Impressions||Andrew & Arcane||
The show tips off with a few thoughts on the NBA Finals that we knew would be outdated by the time it went live; we apologise for the jinxes! We then turn our attention to the announcement that online support will be ending for NBA Live 14 later this year, noting our surprise at how long the servers have been kept up and running. After that, we dive into Patch 1.25 for NBA Live 19. Despite the best efforts and good intentions of the developers, the tweaks unfortunately haven't all been for the best. This leads us to once again glance ahead to NBA Live 20, and talk about what must be done for this year's release to deliver a great game of virtual basketball.
|June 11th, 2019|
|Episode #289: NBA Season Ends, Preview Season Begins||Andrew & Kenny||
A new NBA champion has been crowned! We reflect on Games 5 and 6 of the NBA Finals, discuss what's next for the champion Toronto Raptors and injury-riddled Golden State Warriors, and offer up some thoughts on the Draft and free agency. The beginning of the offseason also raises questions about our basketball gaming habits. Are we done with the 2019 season games, or is there life in them yet? We outline some of our plans for both titles. As the preview season for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 looms in the distance, we also discuss our expectations for the games, and how we'd like EA Sports and 2K Sports to handle the previews. Will we ever see another historical challenge mode? What role will the WNBA play in both games? We'll know come July...or August...or maybe September...
|June 23rd, 2019|
|Episode #290: The Craziness Begins||Andrew||
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!
|July 15th, 2019|
|Episode #291: Is It Time To Worry Yet?||Andrew||
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!
|July 21st, 2019|
|Episode #292: MyCAREER Killed The Franchise Mode||Andrew & Arcane||
'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.
|July 28th, 2019|
|Episode #293: We're Seeing What's Next||Andrew & Arcane||
Not everyone is thrilled about it, but the first NBA 2K20 developer blog revealed details on MyGM and MyLEAGUE. As we're burned out on MyCAREER and thinking of returning to the franchise mode experience, it comes as good news. We've also received a longer look at gameplay thanks to the "Next is Now" trailer. It's another slick production, but does it have us hyped for the game? Speaking of hype, the latest NBA Live 20 news has dampened our optimism somewhat. The game is slated to come out later than NBA 2K20 which may work in its favour, but with talk of a "different approach", we do have some concerns.
|August 4th, 2019|
|Episode #294: Microtransactions, Mega Profits||Andrew & Arcane||
A statement from Andrew Wilson has reiterated that NBA Live 20 is coming. Free-to-play has neither been denied nor confirmed, which along with talk of a "different approach", has us feeling a little concerned. We also wonder what a free-to-play NBA Live 20 would look like. As for NBA 2K20, we have a better idea of what it will look and play like thanks to this year's gameplay blog, as well as Tweets from Beluba. There are some very promising details, but we have been burned before. News on the WNBA's presence in NBA 2K20 emphasises the gap between NBA 2K and NBA Live, which leads to a discussion on the matter of who did it first vs. who did it best. Finally, record-setting numbers for NBA 2K19's sales and recurrent revenue are something Take Two has to be very pleased with, but it speaks volumes about the attitude and resolve of the basketball gaming community.
|August 11th, 2019|
|Episode #295: Throwbacks & Evolution||Andrew||
In a throwback to basketball games from last decade, All-Decade teams are making a triumphant return in NBA 2K20! They've even got some spiffy uniforms based on retro All-Star designs, but admittedly not everyone is thrilled. Six new retro teams have also been added, including four that have been mentioned in an ongoing series of Friday Five articles. Coincidence? Quite possibly. Some MyCAREER news has also been trickling out of the recent Community Day. From a new approach to Archetypes to reworked Badges, it's quite promising. There are also reports of a huge change to the way attribute upgrades are purchased. It sounds too good to be true, so we'll see.
|August 18th, 2019|
|Episode #296: Do You Want to Build a MyPLAYER?||Andrew||
The countdown to NBA 2K20 is entering its final two weeks, and we're getting a better picture of what to expect. The MyCAREER trailer provided a glimpse of this year's story, and while it promises great things, it also feels like more of the same. Meanwhile, the NBA 2K20 Demo's hands-on preview of what to expect on the sticks has indicated that it's not quite the same game this year. It's not a deep demo, but it showcases aspects that are good, bad, promising, and concerning ahead of the full release. In other news, a Game Informer article suggests a much less grindy approach this year, and some preview videos confirm that some key players are missing from classic teams.
|August 25th, 2019|
|Episode #297: Our NBA 2K20 Impressions||Andrew & Kenny||
NBA 2K20 is out now, and it's proven to be one of the more controversial releases in the series. We discuss the backlash, including some brutal user reviews on Metacritic, and the pre-release misinformation that has only fuelled the fire. That leads into our own impressions of NBA 2K20 which tend to be positive, though we do have a few gripes. From gameplay to game modes, from the MyCAREER grind to the changes in MyTEAM, we share our thoughts on NBA 2K20 after our first week with the game.
|September 15th, 2019|
|Episode #298: So, What Did We Miss?||Andrew & Dee4Three||
NBA 2K20 has been out for around nine weeks now, and has already received several patches. Although the updates have been controversial due to their size, quantity, and lack of detailed patch notes, we are pleased with some of the changes. This leads to a discussion about transparency, toxicity, and overall, our current impressions of the game. We also talk about the latest update for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, and how the game has turned out. After that, we turn our attention to this week's main topic: NBA Live 20's cancellation. Was it the right call? How does it affect the brand's image? What needs to happen with NBA Live 21? Is it time for another Wishlist? And finally, what happens to basketball gaming as we enter a new generation?
|November 3rd, 2019|
|Episode #299: What Basketball Gamers Want||Andrew & Dee4Three||
EA Sports has announced that the NBA Live 15 servers will be shutting down as of December 1st, 2019. We react to the timing of the announcement compared to the NBA Live 14 shutdown, and reflect a little on NBA Live 15 itself. This leads to some thoughts on why we dust off older titles, and sometimes seeing them in a new light (and sometimes not). Our feature discussion this week is a deep dive into what basketball gamers want; not just expectations of the virtual hardwood and blacktop, but also our relationship with developers, and approach to game design. We also talk about toxic attitudes, and how we clash with one another over what we want out of the basketball gaming experience.
|November 10th, 2019|
|Episode #300: Hunters & Collectors||Andrew & Dee4Three||
As we celebrate 300 episodes, we reflect on one of our favourite shows: our interview with Tim Kitzrow back in Episode #280. Recalling his passion for NBA Jam, we’re reminded of how it’s too easy to be dismissive of what came before as pure nostalgia – on the real and virtual hardwood alike – and resort to cliched buzzwords to shut down criticism of newer things. That leads us to note the fantastic fusion of the old and new with Basketball Classics, as we share some more impressions of the game. After touching on the recent hack of NBA 2K accounts and issues with ad links in our modding community, we finally get to our featured discussion topic: collecting basketball video games. We talk about our collections, the process of tracking down older titles, the problems that digital content and releases present for collectors, and the fun of playing our old favourites and checking out games we missed out on the first time around.
|November 17th, 2019|
|Episode #301: 25th Anniversary of NBA Live (Part 1)||Andrew & Dee4Three||
To mark the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live, we're taking a look back at the history of the series with retrospectives and other fun content. We're extending those deep dive retrospectives to the NLSC Podcast, as we start at the beginning with the precursor to the NBA Live series: Lakers vs. Celtics. From there, we move on to the game that started it all - NBA Live 95 - and go through the series year by year, discussing improvements to gameplay, debuting features, modding, and the overall evolution of the series. Along the way, we share some personal anecdotes of our time with the earlier titles, and compare them to the other releases they were competing with. We also discuss how and why the quality of the early NBA Live games is too often forgotten. Part 1 ends with NBA Live 06, a significant turning point for the series that it's still feeling the effects of today.
|November 24th, 2019|
|Episode #302: 25th Anniversary of NBA Live (Part 2)||Andrew & Dee4Three||
We continue our conversation with a look back at NBA Live 07, a strong candidate for the worst game in the series. As we proceed to break down each game year by year, we reflect on the downfall of NBA Live, and the mistakes that have led to its continued struggles. We discuss what could have been, from the cut retro teams in NBA Live 08 and the full season version of Be a Pro in NBA Live 09 on PS2, to the disastrous change of direction with NBA Elite 11 and cancellation of NBA Live 13. The importance and selection criteria for cover players also comes up, and we reveal the NBA Live 13 cover player that was never officially announced. That brings us to the current generation as we recap the series' ups and downs since returning with NBA Live 14, and how it's looking as of NBA Live 19. Once again, we touch on what we want to see in NBA Live 21 and beyond. We wrap up with our fondest memories of NBA Live, our favourite games in the series, and thoughts on what it's meant to us these past 25 years.
|December 1st, 2019|
|Episode #303: Putting On Our Virtual GM Suits||Andrew & Dee4Three||
A new patch has come through for the console versions of NBA 2K19. There aren't any patch notes or any word on what it might entail, leaving us to speculate on what it's all about. We also talk about gamers returning to NBA 2K19 and other older games, as well as the possibility of servers being turned back on. After touching on some issues with toxic attitudes in basketball gaming, we dive into the topic of franchise modes. They were once the premiere attraction in NBA titles, but have since been surpassed by career modes and the connected experiences. We reflect on how preferences came to shift, while also noting that franchise gaming still has plenty to offer. We've also got some advice for enjoying franchise modes, and share fond memories of putting on our virtual GM suits.
|December 8th, 2019|
|Episode #304: Talkin' 'Bout Next Generation||Andrew & Dee4Three||
After a quick rundown of Patch 1.09 for NBA 2K20, we get right into this week's featured discussion. The end of the decade and announcement of the Xbox Series X has prompted us to reflect on the past ten years of basketball gaming, in particular the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One generation. We compare it to previous generations, noting the positives and negatives. As we look ahead to next gen, we discuss what we're hoping to see, and what not to see. From troubling trends to imaginative innovations, it's a discussion of where the hobby is at, and where it should be. Along the way, we're even able to draw some parallels to the real NBA.
|December 15th, 2019|