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The Friday Five: 5 Modes I Haven’t Played Much

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 takes a look at five game modes that I haven’t played much of over the years.

There’s almost too much to do in basketball video games these days. The amount of modes in NBA 2K in particular caters to a wide variety of tastes; whether you prefer competitive online play, card collecting and team building, living the life of an NBA player, or sitting in the GM’s seat, you can find something to play. Needless to say, this is a good problem to have. It makes older titles look even more primitive, and as we move forward, stresses the importance of NBA Live being able to improve upon the depth and variety of its modes.

While it’s a good problem to have, a bevy of deep modes can leave us struggling to get the most out of a title before the next game is released. As I’ve discussed, it’s a problem that’s further exacerbated when there are multiple hoops titles that you want to play. I’ve spent many hours playing basketball games over the years, and I’ve built up a substantial collection of titles. However, I can’t say that I’ve been able to get the most out of all them, or spent as much time with some of the modes as I would have liked. Glancing at the modes in recent games, or looking back at older titles, I can think of at least five modes that I feel I’ve neglected.

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NBA Jam 2K20 TE Beta Released by eskayelle

NBA Jam TE 2K20 Title Screen

Following on from the release of the Double Z Mod, eskayelle has released a beta version of NBA Jam TE 2K20! The mod for the Super Nintendo version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition features updated rosters with 169 players, including some bonus players on their former teams in the vein of the NBA Playgrounds series.

Not only does the mod add new players with appropriate ratings, but also updated team logos and court colours. Since the game only includes 27 NBA teams, the Rookies squad includes players from the Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Pelicans. The Seattle SuperSonics have also been replaced by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

As noted, NBA Jam TE 2K20 is currently in open beta, so expect further changes as players start moving around during the offseason. Download it here, and check out this topic in the NLSC Forum for further previews and information!

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Wayback Wednesday: Shaquille O’Neal & NBA Live

Shaquille O'Neal in NBA Live 09

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 Shaquille O’Neal’s history with NBA Live.

Before the 2019 NBA Finals tipped off, it was noted that the series marked the 35th year in a row that the league’s championship round featured a player who was at one time a teammate of Shaquille O’Neal. It’s not the first time that Shaq’s connections to a Finals participant has come up, but with LeBron James’ offseason move to the Los Angeles Lakers after eight consecutive Finals appearances with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, there was speculation that the streak may finally come to an end. Thanks to Danny Green and the champion Toronto Raptors, it remains intact.

With a nineteen year career that began in 1992 and ended in 2011, and saw six stops along the way, the streak is arguably less surprising than it seems. Given the number of journeyman he played with, and his own nomadic nature later on in his career, it’s no surprise that there are connections stretching out in both directions. On the virtual hardwood, Shaquille O’Neal has a similar streak of longevity, particularly when it comes to the NBA Live series. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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U R Basketball V68 Released for NBA 2K14

U R Basketball 2K14 V68 Preview

A new version of U R Basketball is now available for NBA 2K14 PC! As with the previous release, the latest update from skoadam and slimm44 looks ahead to the 2020 season, with updated offseason rosters that account for the recent Anthony Davis trade. A breakdown of the key features of URB 2K14 V68 is as follows:

  • New 2020 Roster!
  • Newest transactions
  • Newest contract extensions

You can find V68 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.

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Monday Tip-Off: How Online Modes Are Killing Retro Gaming

How Online Modes Are Killing Retro Gaming

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 how a focus on online modes and content is killing – or at the very least, putting a serious damper on – retro gaming on the virtual hardwood.

Unless you’re talking about beloved classics, sports games – and in particular, the ones that see a new release every year – tend not to be very popular in retro gaming circles. Because they’re attempting to capture reality in both their gameplay and aesthetics, they tend to age worse than other genres. Sports gamers want the latest release, set in the most recent season. As a result, sports games don’t make second-hand retailers a lot of money, resulting in their trade-in value being very low. If you’ve ever tried to trade in your old basketball titles, you’ll know that all too well.

This phenomenon predates the more recent approach to designing basketball games, though it used to be easier to stick with an older title, or go back to one. One could have a lot of fun dusting off an old favourite, and indeed, that’s a major factor for my Wayback Wednesday features. However, the games of the current generation don’t have the same retro gaming appeal. The heavy focus on online modes and content mean that titles are far more limited than they used to be once the servers have been shut down and support has ceased. It’s not just online multiplayer that’s been cut off, but access to major parts of the single player retro gaming experience, too.

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File Additions for NBA 2K19

NBA 2K19 Cover Art

We’re wrapping up this week with the latest file additions for NBA 2K19 PC, specifically some new player updates. Download them all at the links below!

Shuajota
J.P. Macura Face
Andrew Albicy Face

MonkeyManJSV
Khem Birch Face

Arteezy
Michael Jordan 1985 Face

BLY
Dwyane Wade Final Game Face

Torogi
Fred VanVleet Face & Model (Updated to v2.0)

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.

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NBA Jam TE – Double Z Mod Released (SNES)

Double Z Mod for NBA Jam TE

An exciting new release by eskayelle has been added to our Downloads section: the Double Z Mod for the Super Nintendo version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition! The mod is an ultimate 90s update for NBA Jam TE on SNES, adding several new players and teams. An overview of the key features is as follows:

  • Forget the Rookies! Now play as the 1992 Dream Team!
  • Bugs from the original game have been fixed, i.e., the Grand Champions and Injuries bugs.
  • Assets from the original game have been restored, such as the Mortal Kombat banners.
  • Battle the 27 NBA teams from worst to first, based on 1992-93 conference standings and playoffs results.
  • Tons of new secret characters, including Hulk Hogan, David Hasselhoff, Arnie (as the T-800), and more!
  • Play as the 72-10 1996 Chicago Bulls!
  • Play as the Motor City Bad Boys!
  • Play as “The Worm”, Dennis Rodman, on at least four teams!
  • Play as a new Underdogs team, pairing up some secret characters and other interesting match-ups.
  • Expanded rosters are now as easy as inputting 2 versions of the Konami code.
  • Enjoy new announcer sound clips with some serious 90s sound bytes. Just try not to smile when you hear the Macho Man chime in…or Ric Flair…WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • As an added bonus, included is a patch to play as Jean-Claude Van Damme. Welcome to NBA Jamme!

Download it here, and check out the release topic here for further information, support, and previews. eskayelle is also working on an NBA Jam 2K20 TE mod which will update the game with current season rosters, similar to the NBA Jam 2K17 mod that was released a couple of years ago. You can find more information on that project here.

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The Friday Five: 5 Pointless Options 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 options found in basketball games that are rather (or indeed, completely) pointless.

Generally speaking, it doesn’t hurt to have as many options as possible in basketball video games. When it comes to the selection of modes, we want options. When it comes to the controls, we want options. When it comes to gameplay sliders and game settings, we want options. When it comes to customising the game in any way…well, you get the idea. While it may seem intimidating to have too many options, I’d much rather that and simply ignore anything I don’t want to tinker with, rather than wish I had the ability to change something.

With that being said, there have been options and tasks in basketball video games that have felt pointless. In the best case scenario they can just be ignored, but they can still be annoying, if only because you can’t help but feel that they could (and should) be more useful. They leave you wondering why the developers bothered to have those options in the first place, or why something wasn’t done more efficiently. Others may simply be left over from previous games where they had more of a purpose, and some benefit the publishers more than gamers. Whatever the case may be, some options are quite pointless, and these are five that come to mind.

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File Additions for NBA 2K19

NBA 2K19 Cover Art

Check out the latest file additions for NBA 2K19 PC! Today’s new and updated releases include player faces, rosters, presentation updates, and more. Please see below for all the download links.

Shuajota
Willy Hernangomez Face
Domantas Sabonis Face
Juan Hernangomez Face
Allonzo Trier Face

Torogi
2009-2010 Pau Gasol Face
Tobias Harris Face
Marc Gasol Face & Model (Updated to v2.0)
RKJ No Injuries Roster (With New Retro Teams) (Updated to v2.0)

MonkeyManJSV
Walt Lemon Jr. Face

Aston2K
ESPN NBA Finals 2019 Scoreboard
All Teams Golden 3D Logos

TwisT
Crowd Update – 2019 Playoff Shirts (Updated to v32)

sticky-fingers
2007 ESPN Overall Presentation (Updated to v1.2)

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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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