NLSC Podcast #281: Trusting the Process with NBA Live

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Episode #281 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Arcane and I are discussing the matter of trusting the process as far as NBA Live is concerned.

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.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on NBA Live’s comeback, and what must happen with 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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April 23, 2019 1:28 am

I generally agree with the points you guys have made. I got into basketball gaming with NBA Live 06 and had so much fun with the series including Live 07 and 08. However I couldn’t get into Live 09 and 10 because I didn’t have a console and wasn’t able to convince my parents into buying one lol. Looking back, the decision to abandon PC in 2008 somewhat contributed to the rise of 2K series and it was all downhill starting with the Elite 11. Between 2008 and 2016 I took a break from basketball gaming before 2K pulled me back when they offered 2k16 for free with PS Plus. As a result I’ve pre-ordered new 2K release three years in a row. I had many fun moments with the series, but I’ve decided to take next few years off as I feel like the game is not fun anymore for someone like me, who doesn’t buy VC and plays MyTeam mode exclusively. I really hope NBA Live gets back to where it once was but I’m not optimistic. I’ve tried out every demo starting with Live 14, I’ve counted down to the hour the demo would become available for download but none of them was compelling enough for me to spend my hard earned dollars.

P.S: I’m liking the new format so far, but I do miss the last segment of the show where you guys discussed real NBA for 10-20 minutes. Playoffs are underway, it would’ve been interesting to hear you guys thoughts on matchups and series predictions etc. Is the real NBA discussion section gone for good ?

April 23, 2019 7:15 pm

I think history shows when a new console comes out and the games transfer over it hasn’t translated very well, I didn’t get a PS1 until 97 after playing 95 and 96 on my SNES so it looked like a huge upgrade and I didn’t see much change or fault really going to PS2 but like you said with getting your PS4 I did the same on PS3 I went out and paid alot of money on the nba live release day and the game looked amazing but within a week the gameplay/bugs/movement etc I was a it disappointed. I also upgraded to PS4 for 2k14 and yeah I think the game took a step back as it adjusted but overall it was solid enough for the day and compared to playing Live 14 (the only one i never owned) it made 2k seem all that better.

Moving on to present day Iam always pulling for nba live and this year is no different, as I’ve said many of time put the “NBA” back in Live and as you mentioned on the show the lack of jerseys for live is also disappointing, it helps add depth to franchise mode for me and as much as I’ve tried to get into 2k19 my league Iam just not sold on the player movement like Iam on skates, the way I can drive to the basket at will even on HOF, I’ve said since live 16 that I prefer the offline gameplay of nba live and I stand by that I just need the rest of the game to catch up to keep me interested longer.

I have high hopes for Live 20 with the Madrid team so I see no reason why franchise mode shouldn’t be completely updated and as a gamer I think I’d just be happy with that.

April 23, 2019 7:21 pm

Really enjoying the new format. I think these deep dives are making for great discussions. However, at the risk of being a contrarian, I thought I’d point out a part in which I didn’t quite agree with the prevailing argument.

Here goes: I have an issue with classifying 2K as pay-to-win when also describing it as a grind, as I find the two to be mutually exclusive. In my interpretation, a pay-to-win model implies that a user can bypass the grind of a game with microtransactions. In 2K, this isn’t the case because of cap breakers.

You can buy your way to a certain point, but in order to get those higher ratings, you still need to put time into the game… a lot of time. What’s more, I’ve found that, by the time you get past a cap breaker, you can quite easily afford to upgrade practically all the available attributes. (Andrew, you could probably attest to this, since you seem to have a surplus of VC).

Maybe it’s semantic nit-picking, but I think it’s important to make the distinction.