Menu

Wayback Wednesday: Reimagining The Jordan Challenge

Reimagining The Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K11

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m reimagining The Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K11.

The Jordan Challenge was a significant milestone in basketball gaming. In celebrating the career of Michael Jordan, it achieved what once seemed impossible: adding actual retro teams, rather than just a collection of Legends on Decade All-Star squads. Retro teams would be established as the norm, and the mode also paved the way for NBA’s Greatest the following year in NBA 2K12. The Jordan Challenge is a mode that I’ve profiled in a Wayback Wednesday feature, as well as gone back and finished. It’s a lot of fun, and a great achievement in one of the best NBA 2K titles.

With that being said, The Jordan Challenge isn’t perfect. As I’ve previously noted, the ten challenges do lack variety. Three of them are set in the 1990 season, recycling the 1990 Chicago Bulls and taking up spots that could’ve gone to other memorable games from MJ’s career. It doesn’t ruin the mode, but looking back, the inability to license certain players did limit it somewhat. With that in mind, I’m doing something a little different for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, and reimagining The Jordan Challenge with some additional and alternative games. Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

NLSC Podcast #288: NBA Live 19 Patch 1.25 Impressions

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #288 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Arcane and I are sharing our thoughts on the big gameplay update in Patch 1.25 for NBA Live 19, and reacting to some other recent NBA Live news.

The show tips off with a few thoughts on the NBA Finals that we knew would be outdated by the time it went live; we apologise for the jinxes!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.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on Patch 1.25 for NBA Live 19 and expectations for 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.

Monday Tip-Off: Always Online Means Servers, Too

MyTEAM Servers Down for Maintenance (NBA 2K19)

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 the perpetual problems with NBA 2K’s servers.

There’s an Australian idiom that goes “mad as a cut snake“. It can either mean very angry, or crazy and eccentric; in other words, playing off the two main definitions of “mad”. On this occasion, when I talk about being mad as a cut snake, I’m using it in the “angry” context and in reference to NBA 2K. Last week, I expressed my disgust on Twitter after issues with the MyTEAM servers caused me to waste a Locker Code following a disconnection. I usually prefer to keep my commentary constructive but sometimes, you just have to let off steam.

Look, I can keep things in perspective here. At the end of the day, basketball video games are just that: games. If the worst thing that happens to you in any given week is missing out on some free content in a basketball game, it’s been a pretty good week. Of course, this is a site dedicated to basketball gaming, so those are the matters that we concern ourselves with around these parts. As far as the issues that rank among the most concerning, online stability is undoubtedly up there. For all of the great things that NBA 2K has done with innovative modes and connected experiences, problems with the games’ servers continue to be a major letdown.

Read More »

NBA Live 14 Servers Shutting Down November 1st

NBA Live 14: John Wall

In a post over on the series’ official subreddit, the NBA Live development team has announced that online support for NBA Live 14 will be ending on November 1st, 2019. Until then, Ultimate Team and other online elements will continue to function as normal. The official announcement reads as follows:

We are sad to announce that as of November 1, 2019, NBA LIVE 14 will be retired. Until November 1, 2019, you will still be able to enjoy NBA LIVE 14 and use any existing Ultimate Team™ Points.

The decisions to retire games are never easy. Our development team and operational staff have poured their hearts into this game, and have loved seeing our community play. It is hard to see it retired, but the number of players has dwindled to a point where it’s no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping NBA LIVE 14 up and running. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of NBA LIVE 14 and we appreciate your ongoing patronage.

NBA Live 14 was released November 19th 2013, meaning that the game will have received online support for almost six years by the time the servers are shut down. This is definitely rare among annual sports titles, although EA Sports has provided extended online support for previous NBA Live titles, including roster updates for NBA Live 10 following the cancellation of NBA Elite 11. After the issues that followed the shutdown of NBA 2K14’s servers in 2015, 2K also extended their online support period for all of their games to 27 months. Barring any changes to that policy, the servers for NBA 2K18 are set to be shut down December 31st this year.

With fewer and fewer gamers regularly playing the older releases, we can very likely expect the servers for NBA Live 15 and NBA Live 16 to be shut down within the next couple of years. We’ll be sure to post any updates on those titles as further details are made available. In the meantime, if you’re a completionist and haven’t yet acquired the Trophies/Achievements related to Ultimate Team and other online features, you may want to start grinding ASAP!

New Version of Hoop Universe Now Available

Hoop Universe Preview

It’s been a few months since the initial release, but NLSC Forum member Dr B has released a new version of his prototype basketball game, Hoop Universe. As previously mentioned, Hoop Universe utilises a retro aesthetic and style of gameplay, similar to Double Dribble and early NBA Live games. Key features of the latest release are as follows:

  • Added dribbling and crossover animations.
  • Added athletic stance/squat animations (currently cannot move from squat but this will be used for shuffling, step backs, etc.)
  • Added player indicator and name to player’s shadow.
  • Added indicator to nearest player (will be used for various offensive off-ball controls)
  • Added more detailed hoops to practice screen in horizontal and vertical camera angles.
  • Added teammates to practice scene.
  • Added layering system to allow for a 3D effect.
  • Added gamepad support.
  • KNOWN BUG: Game Crashes if attempting to change leagues at player select screen.

The game is available free in our Downloads section; pick up the Windows version here, and the Mac version here! Dr B is currently adding new animations to the game, and is working on a free throw shooting system. Feedback is most welcome in this topic in the NLSC Forum, where you’ll also find further information, previews, and support for the project.

The Friday Five: 5 Things I’ve Stopped Doing in MyCAREER

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 I’ve stopped doing in my NBA 2K19 MyCAREER games.

I’m at that point of the year where I’m trying to wrap up most of my business with the current games, maybe try a few other things before I’m completely bored of them, and then get ready for the preview season and this year’s releases. I’m more or less done with NBA Live 19 already; although I’m giving it another look in light of the recent patch, I just can’t get hooked on any of the modes. I enjoyed Ultimate Team last year, but NBA Live 19’s approach to the mode hasn’t been to my liking. I’m hoping it’ll be a different story with NBA Live 20.

Conversely, I’m still playing NBA 2K19 quite regularly. Despite my desire to get back to franchise gaming and a feeling of burnout when it came to career modes, I’m still going strong with MyCAREER. In fact, I actually have two careers going: one on PlayStation 4 in which I also play online, and a second one on PC. While I am still enjoying the MyCAREER experience, there are a few things that I’ve stopped doing in the mode. Most of them are admittedly extracurricular, but for several months they were nevertheless part of the MyCAREER grind. That’s in the past though, as for the most part, I’ve taken to shunning the following activities.

Read More »

File Additions for NBA 2K19

NBA 2K19 Cover Art

The latest file additions for NBA 2K19 PC include player updates, retro presentation, shoes, and more. Check them all out at the links below!

Torogi
Norman Powell Face
Serge Ibaka Face & Model
Iman Shumpert Face & Model (Updated to v2.0)
Kawhi Leonard Face & Model (Updated to v3.0)

sticky-fingers
1992 NBA On TNT Overall Presentation
2007 ESPN Overall Presentation

seanbarkley
[seanbarkley] KICKSOLOGY (Updated)

TwisT
Crowd Update – 2019 Playoff Shirts (Updated to v31)

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

Wayback Wednesday: A Long-Lost NBA Live 07 Preview

Dirk Nowitzki shoots a three-pointer in NBA Live 07

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at an NBA Live 07 preview that we had to pull due to spoilers.

The NBA Finals often brings us our first glimpse of the upcoming sim titles, though for the moment, both EA Sports and Visual Concepts are remaining tight-lipped. I’ve previously reflected on how the preview seasons seemed longer and more exciting in years gone by, and that was certainly the case in the mid 2000s. Back then, a lot of sites (including the NLSC) were on a mailing list for preview assets from EA. As the 2006 NBA Finals began, we received a press release detailing a simulation of the series in NBA Live 07, some prior gen screenshots, and new gen gameplay.

Unfortunately, we then received a directive from EA Sports that the feature and all of the media needed to be immediately pulled, as they contained something that wasn’t meant to be seen yet. As such, it would be a few weeks before we received any media that we could publish, and that 2006 Finals simulation in NBA Live 07 was lost to time. It’s something I’ve kept in my archives though, and since the Finals are upon us, it seems like a good time to bring it out of the vault. So, what was the result of the simulation, and why was the feature pulled? Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

NBA Live 19 Patch 1.25: Gameplay Tuning, Other Updates

Mike Conley in NBA Live 19

Patch 1.25 is now available for NBA Live 19! As with all previous official patches, it will come through automatically as long as your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One is online. If you encounter any issues, try checking for the update manually or restarting your console.

As previously promised, the patch includes various tuning tweaks for gameplay, and a deterrent for gamers who hog the ball in LIVE Run. Shot contests have also been adjusted, and higher-rated ballhandlers won’t be forced into picking up their dribble as often. A technical fix for users with five players is also included.

The patch also includes new likenesses for over 60 NBA and WNBA players, venue and uniform updates for Quai 54, WNBA roster and uniform updates, and some NBA rating adjustments. Data for future LIVE Events has also been pushed through in the patch.

Check out the full patch notes below, as well as in the NBA Live 19 update history over in our Wiki. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section, as well as here in the Forum!

Read More »

Monday Tip-Off: The Next Big Innovation in Basketball Games

Online modes have demonstrated significant innovation

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 what the next big innovation in basketball games might be.

June is upon us, which means we’re drawing closer and closer to the beginning of a new preview season for NBA Live and NBA 2K. A few rumours are already starting to swirl, and it hopefully won’t be too long before we get a few teasers and tidbits to sink our teeth into. In the meantime, we’re left to speculate, and talk about what we want to see in this year’s games. I’m hoping that NBA Live 20 will prove to be a big step forward for EA Sports’ series; conversely, I expect NBA 2K20 to be another fine release, though I am hoping it won’t mark a return to NBA 2K18’s greedy approach.

A new console generation also looms, so beyond this year’s releases, I’ve begun to wonder about what the future holds for basketball games. Apart from concerns about the direction (and whether I’ve started to slip out of the core audience), I’ve also been wondering about the next step in terms of innovation. After all, we’ve already seen the games become more and more realistic, incorporate a variety of deep modes, and provide new experiences through online play. New hardware will naturally facilitate a jump in graphics and animations, but as far as features are concerned, what else can be done to innovate on the virtual hardwood?

Read More »

NLSC Podcast #287: Renovating the Virtual Hardwood

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #287 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Arcane and I are discussing modding, including the history of our community and our own involvement with the hobby over the years.

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.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on our modding community here at the NLSC? 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.

U R Basketball V67 Released for NBA 2K14

U R Basketball V67 for NBA 2K14

Less than two weeks after the last update, a new version of U R Basketball for NBA 2K14 by skoadam and slimm44 is now available. V67 looks ahead to the 2020 season with a roster that includes upcoming Draftees, as well as fixes and enhancements for the final 2019 season roster. An overview of the key features is as follows:

  • 2019 Draft players ready to sign from FA pool! All with portraits.
  • #1, #2, and #3 picks already in Pelicans/Grizzlies/Knicks roster
  • Added few missing jerseys for 2019, 2019EOS, 2020 Rosters
  • Added real 2019 All Star logos
  • 2020 Roster with uninjured rotations
  • 2020 Roster with updated coaches
  • 2020 Roster with updated contracts, age, years pro
  • Updated faces for current and 2019 Draft players (Chasedown, EC2K, many more)

You can find V67 of U R Basketball here in our Downloads section. Be sure to check out the release topic here for support, previews, and more information about future releases.

The Friday Five: 5 What If Scenarios 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 gets hypothetical, as I consider five “What If” scenarios in basketball gaming.

Even though we shouldn’t tie ourselves up in knots dwelling on the past, it’s hard to resist the allure of a fascinating “What If” scenario. What if Michael Jordan didn’t retire in 1993? What if he never returned in 1995, or in 2001? What if the Boston Celtics had won the Draft lottery in 1997? What if the Oklahoma City Thunder had never traded James Harden, or remained the Seattle SuperSonics? What if LeBron James had never taken his talents to South Beach? For each of these scenarios, we can debate and speculate as to how history would differ in both outcomes and perspective.

The real NBA provides us with plenty of “What If” scenarios, as there are so many events that have the potential to be pivotal: trades, free agent signings, lottery results, injuries, clutch shots, and fateful decisions in crunch time of the biggest games. For the most part, the history of the virtual hardwood goes hand in hand with the general improvements and progression of video games as a whole, but a few big moments – as well as a few things that didn’t happen – have shaped the hobby as we know it. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the twists and turns that basketball gaming may possibly have taken, but they are five “What If” scenarios that I find interesting.

Read More »

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.11 Available

NY Subway in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

A new official patch (1.11) is now available for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. As with the previous update, it includes a new Playground, additional Pack items, and technical fixes. The official patch notes are as follows:

  • New York Subway Playground.
  • 16 new Vanity Items available in Packs.
  • 140 new Court Editor Items available in Packs.
  • Stability improvements.
  • Improvements to the Mars Playground.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as here in the NLSC Forum!

Wayback Wednesday: The Lost Retro Teams

Bulls vs Blazers in NBA 2K11

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the retro teams that we’ve lost in NBA 2K.

It’s easy to take the retro teams in NBA 2K for granted. They’ve been a staple of the games since the introduction of The Jordan Challenge back in NBA 2K11, to the point where a lot of gamers no longer consider them bonus content; they’re something we expect to see in the games. There was a time, however, when it didn’t seem likely due to the hurdle of likeness rights. Indeed, a few years before 2K made it a reality, EA Sports made some preliminary steps towards including retro teams in NBA Live 08, ultimately scrapping the idea when they couldn’t license all of the players.

While it does seem like the concept of retro teams is here to stay – and there are plenty of ideas for new ones that could be added – not all of the previously included squads remain in NBA 2K. Over the years, a total of ten retro teams have been cut after being included in at least one game, though four of them would be replaced by a squad from around the same era. Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »