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NLSC Podcast #298: So, What Did We Miss?

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Episode #298 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re back on the air after a longer than expected hiatus, and man, do we have some news to catch up on! Join guest co-host Dee4Three and I as we chat about NBA Live 20 being cancelled, the future of NBA Live, and the latest updates for NBA 2K20 and NBA 2K Playgrounds 2.

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?

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on NBA Live 20’s cancellation? How do you feel about the latest updates for NBA 2K20 and NBA 2K Playgrounds 2? 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.

File Additions for NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K20 feature the latest jersey updates from pinoy21. Download them at the links below!

pinoy21
Brooklyn Nets Statement Jersey (pinoy21)
Philadelphia 76ers Statement Jersey (pinoy21) (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.

The Friday Five: 5 Suspended Players in NBA Video 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 players who have appeared in basketball video games after being suspended from the league, either permanently or temporarily.

The Phoenix Suns have won three of their first five games to open the 2020 season. If they’re to keep racking up wins for the foreseeable future, they’ll be doing so without last year’s number one overall pick Deandre Ayton, who was suspended for 25 games after testing positive for a diuretic. Although no other banned substances were found in his system, the use of a potential masking agent nevertheless triggered an automatic ban under the league’s anti-drug policy. The NBPA is currently appealing the ruling, but even if they’re successful, Ayton will likely still miss several games.

That means that he’ll be on the inactive list in forthcoming roster updates for NBA 2K20, but still available in the game. Of course, getting suspended or banned from the NBA doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be missing from the virtual hardwood. A handful of players have remained active in video games after they were suspended in real life, often in the free agents pool where they can be signed in a franchise game at affordable rates. A noteworthy exception is Chris Andersen, who didn’t appear in any games during his suspension in the mid 2000s. The following five players, however, were not removed after the league prohibited them from playing.

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Basketball Classics v0.9.0 Released; New Content, Fixes

Basketball Classics v0.9.0

Basketball Classics v0.9.0 has been released! The update should come through automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection. If it doesn’t, try restarting your Steam client.

v0.9.0 is a big release, as Namo Gamo anticipates it being the last major update while Basketball Classics is still in Early Access. The latest update expands upon Story Mode, and adds new teams and arenas including a street court. It also includes new halftime shows, some fixes and gameplay tweaks, and adds over and back violations. Please see below for the full patch notes!

The game is available to purchase here on Steam. As I’ve said before, Basketball Classics is a fantastic throwback to the 8-bit and 16-bit era of hoops games, with the benefit of several modern twists. Be sure to check out my interview with Josh and Dave from Namo Gamo if you haven’t already, as it was a fun conversation! Feel free to share your thoughts on Basketball Classics v0.9.0 in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

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Wayback Wednesday: EA Sports World

Wayback Wednesday: EA Sports World

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 EA Sports World.

I’ve taken a look back at some very old basketball video games in my Wayback Wednesday features, and it’s impossible not to marvel at how far the genre has come. Of course, even in the last ten years or so, we’ve seen some big leaps and changes. The improvements in graphics and the depth of modes are obvious talking points, but the concepts that became outdated and left behind are also quite interesting. I suppose it can be said of technology in general, but it’s funny to look back at ideas that once seemed revolutionary and the way of the future, but instead quickly became obsolete.

A prime example of that is the subject of this week’s Wayback Wednesday: EA Sports World. Supporting EA Sports’ lineup of titles including NBA Live 09 and NBA Live 10, it was designed as a hub for sharing content and utilising various online features. Today however, it’s long defunct. So, what was EA Sports World, and what happened to it? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA Live 20 Cancelled; Series Returning Next Gen

NBA Live 20 Cancelled

After months of speculation and radio silence, EA Sports has officially announced that NBA Live 20 has been cancelled. Instead, the series will be returning on next gen consoles. The following statement was posted on the game’s official social media accounts:

For some time, we’ve been putting in reps on our console basketball games.

We’re excited by our progress but remain hyper ambitious – so we’re not going to release NBA LIVE 20 this season. Alongside the NBA and NBPA, we have our sights set on creating something fresh for the next generation of players and platforms. We know we need to earn our future every step of the way, so we’re taking time to get it right for our players. We promise to check back regularly with updates.

Until then, we’ll be on the grind…

Although the game was never officially announced, it was listed (and subsequently pushed back) in EA’s financial reports as an upcoming release. The situation is reminiscent of the cancellation of NBA Live 17/The Drive to NBA Live, which was originally intended as a later release but ultimately got pushed back and was finally released as NBA Live 18. Hopefully this decision will be for the best, and the game can cater to the needs of sim gamers; especially given EA’s previous comments about a new direction and demographic.

We’ll have more to say on the NLSC Podcast, but in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on NBA Live 20 being cancelled in the comments below, as well as here in the Forum. We’ll also be continuing our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations, as it’s still marking a milestone and we’ve got some fun stuff planned. Stay tuned for that, and more updates on the future of NBA Live as they’re made available.

File Additions for NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K20 PC feature a couple of court updates. Download them both at the links below!

lucanaJR
Fictional 2020 NBA All-Star Chicago Court V2

Manni Live
Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center

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.

Monday Tip-Off: Why NBA 2K Needs Matchmaking

Monday Tip-Off: Why NBA 2K Needs Matchmaking

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 an outline of why it’s important that future NBA 2K games implement proper matchmaking.

When NBA Live 08 implemented Online Team Play post-release, we were seeing the future of online basketball gaming. Although subsequent NBA Live titles would build upon that first iteration of the concept, it’s ultimately been NBA 2K that has taken the experience to new heights. The idea of creating your own player and joining up with other gamers to play multiplayer games where every player is user-controlled has become the most popular experience in NBA 2K. It’s even led to the founding of a professional eSports league, run in conjunction with the NBA itself.

Given the popularity that online play now enjoys, it’s both puzzling and disappointing that NBA 2K is lacking such a critical component of the experience: matchmaking. It’s kind of implemented in that there’s a rep system (albeit one that’s problematic), position logic behind teaming up players in the Rec Center, and a rough ranking system in team Pro-Am. However, it’s nowhere near as deep or effective as it needs to be, and in the case of The Playground, it’s completely non-existent. Simply put, if NBA 2K is going to cater to its large paying audience and establish a respectable competitive scene, it needs to have proper matchmaking.

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File Additions for NBA Live 96

NBA Live 96 Cover Art - PC

Today’s file additions for NBA Live 96 feature a 2020 season roster update for the Sega Genesis version of the game. Pick up K Dub’s latest Hardwood Classics mod at the link below, and play with today’s players in a retro setting!

K Dub
NBA Live 20 HWC (Sega Genesis)

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.

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K14 PC include the latest player face updates, and rosters for the 2020 season. Download all of the new releases at the links below!

Blang
Monte Morris Face
Vlatko Čančar Face
RJ Hampton Face

IceCr
DeMarcus Cousins Face (Updated to v2.0)

ModManZZZ
ModManZZZ NBA 2KZ 2019-2020 Updated Roster

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.

The Friday Five: 5 False Memories 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 examples of false memories we have of basketball games, and how they came about.

False memories are recollections of something that didn’t actually happen or exist, or of something happening in a way that differs greatly from reality. There are plenty of examples such as misquoted lines from TV, film, music, and literature, not to mention recollections of completely non-existent works. False memories can also involve commonly held, yet erroneous beliefs. The latter phenomenon has been labelled the “Mandela Effect”, after the belief that Nelson Mandela had actually passed away in the 1980s. The spelling of the Berenstain Bears is another famous example.

Needless to say, video games provide us with plenty of examples of false memories and the Mandela Effect. This is usually due to rumours and urban legends that are perpetuated despite being debunked time and time again, or simply an incorrect recollection of a game you haven’t played in a long time. Other times, the memory may be accurate in that it’s something that was experienced, but inaccurate in that it was the result of a mod, or something seen in an early preview. As is often the case, basketball gaming provides us with its own examples of false memories, and today I’m taking a look at five of them, along with some possible explanations.

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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.20 Adds New Content

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Patch 1.20

Patch 1.20 is now available for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, and should download automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection. If you run into any issues, try checking for the update manually, or restarting your console or Steam client. The patch is a content update for the 2020 season, and the release notes are as follows:

  • 22 new playable characters
  • 6 returning courts from NBA Playgrounds
  • 30 new vanity items
  • 50 new court editor items
  • Playable Ronnie 2K!

For the record, the last patch for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 was released back in May. Since there haven’t been any announcements regarding a new title, it appears as though the current release will be updated for a while longer. As always, feel free to share your thoughts on Patch 1.20 for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

Wayback Wednesday: Orange Juice in NBA 2K17

Wayback Wednesday: Orange Juice in NBA 2K17

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 story of Orange Juice in NBA 2K17’s MyCAREER.

After NBA 2K14 brought us the first story-driven MyCAREER mode, and NBA 2K15’s story delivered us the gift of infamously bad acting from NBA players, NBA 2K16 tried taking the concept to the next level with Spike Lee’s “Livin Da’ Dream“. Although the production values and acting were a lot better, the story had its own issues, and didn’t gel with the RPG aspect of MyCAREER. As such, the story-driven approach would be retooled in NBA 2K17, increasing the amount of gameplay in our rookie seasons while also allowing for more flexibility with the player character.

2K would also bring in Aaron Covington, co-writer of Creed, to write and direct the story. Michael B. Jordan, who starred as Adonis Creed in the aforementioned film, was also signed on to play Justice Young. Together with the MyPLAYER character, The President of Basketball – aka Pres – he formed a duo known as Orange Juice. The name drew some scorn when it was revealed, but how does the story and its impact on NBA 2K17’s MyCAREER hold up today? Pausing for a moment to note that there will be spoilers, let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K20 Patch 1.07 Released: MyPLAYER Nation, More

NBA 2K20 Patch 1.07

Patch 1.07 for NBA 2K20 has been released, just in time for the tip-off of the 2020 NBA season. The update is available for the PC (257 MB), PlayStation 4 (18.5 GB), and Xbox One (37.35 GB) versions of NBA 2K20, and will download automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection. If you do encounter any issues, try restarting your console or Steam client.

As with the previous title update, the official patch notes are rather lacking in detail. They are as follows:

  • To celebrate the start of the NBA season, we are preparing to launch our brand new ‘MyPLAYER Nation’ feature! Once the season has officially tipped off, head into MyCAREER to learn more about MyPLAYER Nation and how you can earn 2x VC, 2x MyPOINTS, AND 2x Badge Points while representing your team!
  • Season 3 is here! NBA 2K League Qualifying begins 10/22 and runs through 11/10. More info: https://2kleague.nba.com/news/2019-qualifier/
  • Addressed an issue where your controller settings would reset to your previous default when making changes and changing Neighborhoods (e.g. joining a friend elsewhere).
  • Many, many more fixes included to improve the overall experience of NBA 2K20!

However, it appears as though some more specific details about changes in Patch 1.07 for NBA 2K20 have been discovered. Apparently, the “many, many more fixes” include addressing issues with MyPLAYER bugs, jersey and shoe updates, and Dynamic Duo cards in MyTEAM. There has also been a reduction to shooters falling in traffic, and a correction for illegal screen calls. These additional notes have been added to the update history in our Wiki (thanks to Derfla76 for the assist!).

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

Monday Tip-Off: Revenge of the Nerfs

Monday Tip-Off: Revenge of the Nerfs

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 some thoughts on the recent nerfs to VC rewards in NBA 2K20, and the underlying issues with transparency that they represent.

By now, you’ve probably heard that a recent update for NBA 2K20 has nerfed the amount of VC for starting salaries and endorsements in MyCAREER. While the nerfs to salaries only apply to new games, several NBA 2K20 gamers have reported that the amount of VC they’ve already negotiated for endorsement deals has been retroactively reduced. On top of that, it’s now far more difficult to negotiate with teams and brands, as there’s very little wiggle room in the counteroffers that they will accept. In short, VC can no longer be earned as quickly as it could be at launch.

Nerfs to VC, Badge progression, and other aspects of NBA 2K games are nothing new. Changes like this are always going to be controversial and anger a portion of the userbase, but the main point of contention for most gamers is that we didn’t receive any notice. The nerfs weren’t listed among the laughably short list of patch notes for the most recent update, nor were they announced or explained via the game’s official social media accounts. While this particular issue only affects MyCAREER, it’s emblematic of a much bigger and recurring problem with NBA 2K, that being an overall lack of transparency, communication, and goodwill.

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