Menu

NLSC Podcast – Episode #250

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for another milestone episode, in which we have quite a few news stories to cover (and it’s not even the preview season yet!). We also have a few tales from our past week in basketball gaming, and thoughts on the Conference Finals.

On this week’s show…

  • A teaser for EA Play has confirmed NBA Live 19 – just in case there was any doubt – and tipped off the speculation as to who will be appearing on the cover this year.
  • Game Informer has posted an article providing us with some hints at the direction of NBA Live. While it’s not much to go on, it is still promising to hear.
  • A Memphis-based ESPN station took a few shots at NBA Live 18. A little awkward, given ESPN’s exclusive deal with EA Sports.
  • The latest Game of Zones episode made fun of NBA 2K18 and Ronnie 2K. Their response was admirable, but gamers weren’t letting them off that easy.
  • From Virtual Coppers to Virtual Currency, 2K’s promotion of the latest VC sale was a little on the nose.
  • It seems Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have done some mo-cap work for NBA 2K19. We discuss what that might mean for this year’s game.
  • PlayStation 4 users have received refunds for NBA Playgrounds 2. While it might just be a mandatory show of goodwill, it’s not a great look for the delayed title.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included a return to 2K Pro-Am, followed by an abrupt return to 2v2 on MyCOURT. The 90s All-Stars collection also continues to expand in Ultimate Team.
  • We wrap up Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast with our thoughts on the latest results from the 2018 NBA Conference Finals, and make a couple of predictions.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

Share Button

Snippet on NBA Live’s Focus Moving Forward (Game Informer)

James Harden stirring in NBA Live 18

On the heels of the EA Play teaser for NBA Live 19, a Game Informer article has provided us with a few snippets about the future of the series. They recently spoke with Seann Graddy, former Senior Producer for Madden and now Executive Producer of NBA Live, as well as his replacement on the Madden team, Carlos Guerrero, and gleaned some information about the direction of both series.

The article confirms that NBA Live still isn’t using the Frostbite engine, but will be sharing other technology with the Madden series. In terms of the areas of focus, gameplay is being touted as a priority, which is certainly encouraging news. It’s also worth noting that despite both franchises focusing on specific experiences, namely The One in NBA Live 18 and online multiplayer in Madden 18, fans of other modes reportedly will not be left out in the cold by this year’s games. This is potentially good news for those of us who’d like to see more features added to modes such as Franchise and Ultimate Team.

We’ll be discussing the article, as well as other news stories from the past week, in Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast. In the meantime, feel free to have your say in the comments section below.

Share Button

NBA 2K Twitter Shares Photo of Shaq & Kareem in Mo-Cap Suits

NBA 2K Mo-Cap Photo featuring Shaq & Kareem

With June and the NBA Finals fast approaching, we’re inching closer to the preview season for NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. With NBA Live 19 having a presence at EA Play, we’ll likely hear some preliminary information, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the game, within the next couple of weeks.

Conversely, Visual Concepts has traditionally held back on releasing previews, trailers, and information for NBA 2K until quite late in the preview season, so we may not hear much until July, or even August. Of course, the Legend Edition of NBA 2K18 featuring Shaquille O’Neal on the cover was announced in early May last year.

Speaking of The Diesel, it seems as though we’ve received a small nugget of information about NBA 2K19, as the official NBA 2K Twitter account recently shared a photo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wearing motion capture suits. This would obviously suggest that the two Hall of Fame centres have recently participated in a mo-cap session for NBA 2K19. Shaq originally posted the photo here on his Instagram account.

Although new retro teams have been added in recent years, there has been a general feeling that 2K’s efforts with the historical content have been halfhearted at best. Several historical players were missing Badges at launch, and many of the placeholder players are blatant copy and paste jobs. A lot of faces are also strangely inferior to previous games, even going back to the previous generation. With Shaq and Kareem providing mo-cap, it may be a sign that greater attention will be paid to the retro content in NBA 2K19. If nothing else, we’ll likely be seeing some new post moves in the game, thanks to the two legendary Lakers.

Join us for Episode #250 of the NLSC Podcast later today where we’ll be discussing this, and other news from the past week. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Share Button

NBA Live 19 at EA Play; Teaser Image Revealed

NBA Live 19 Teaser

Influencers signing up for this year’s EA Play event have received and subsequently shared a teaser image for NBA Live 19. The teaser appears to hint at this year’s cover player, and possibly the design as well. Keep in mind, however, that it may also just be a generic placeholder.

The teaser obviously also confirms that NBA Live 19 will indeed be coming out later this year. While there was never any serious doubt about that, the series’ struggles and the year off between NBA Live 16 and NBA Live 18 had led to some idle speculation here and there.

Furthermore, the mention of “The One Edition” would seem to confirm that NBA Live’s career mode will retain the same branding as in NBA Live 18. It remains to be seen what enhancements it will receive, and what other improvements are in store, but it seems a safe bet that we’ll be getting some details coming out of EA Play.

You can check out the full teaser image below; thanks to DBOYGAMEZ for sharing it on Twitter. Who do you think will be on the cover of NBA Live 19? What news are you hoping to hear at EA Play? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the Forum.

Read More »

Share Button

File Additions for NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K18 PC include some modding resources, player attributes for MyCAREER characters, and a new face for Fred VanFleet. Download them all at the links below.

TGsoGood
Tyler Herro Face & CF ID List
Cheat Table – Player DNA by TGsoGood
2K18 DNA – Shammy Wells
2K18 DNA – ATM

Torogi
Fred VanFleet Face

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.

Share Button

The Friday Five: 5 Options That Would Be Handy

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 that would be handy to have in NBA Live and NBA 2K.

When we’re compiling our Wishlists and sending feedback to EA Sports and Visual Concepts, it’s important that we prioritise. For example, a major gameplay flaw is far more important to address than a largely inconsequential cosmetic feature. Likewise, the functionality and user-friendliness of the menus is more important than the colour (though legibility and presentation obviously counts for something). Nevertheless, it’s also a good idea to point out features and options that aren’t necessarily vital, but in their own way, add something to the overall experience.

After all, sometimes it’s the little things that really make a game enjoyable. Some options are essential, such as difficulty settings, gameplay sliders, and controller configurations, but features such as atmosphere settings, an accelerated clock, stats normalisation, and other such options can really enhance the experience. We can still enjoy the games without them, and in the grand scheme of things, they probably don’t have a huge effect on Metacritic scores and general reception, but they’d nevertheless be welcome additions. Future versions of NBA Live and NBA 2K could be enhanced with the addition of handy options such as these.

Read More »

Share Button

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

The latest file additions for NBA 2K14 PC include an NCAA mod featuring the best teams from 2010 to 2018, and a handful of player faces. Check them all out at the links below!

Fifedawg
Ultimate NCAA Roster & CPU vs CPU Settings

IceCr
Jamal Crawford Face
Eric Bledsoe Face
Gary Payton Face (Updated to v2.0)
Baron Davis Face (Updated to v2.0)
Karl Malone Face (Updated to v2.0)
Xavier McDaniel Face (Updated to v2.0)
Elton Brand Face (Updated to v2.0)
Brad Daugherty Face (Updated to v2.0)
Terry Cummings Face (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.

Share Button

Wayback Wednesday: X-Factor Players in NBA Live 07

X-Factor Shane Battier 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 X-Factor players in NBA Live 07.

It’s fair to say that NBA Live 07 is a standout release in the NBA Live series, albeit for the wrong reasons. The Xbox 360 version of the game is widely considered to be one of the worst basketball games ever, and the PC/PlayStation 2/Xbox version’s reputation isn’t much better. It notably experimented with three different shooting buttons, an idea that was interesting, but proved to be overkill. Looking back on it now, it wasn’t the best way of implementing advanced shooting controls. Despite the game’s struggles, however, it was trying new ideas that at least had good intentions.

An example of that would be the X-Factor players in the prior gen version of NBA Live 07. A Freestyle Superstars mechanic that tried to expand upon the concept of player differentiation, it didn’t quite catch on, though traces of the idea have been reworked more successfully in subsequent games. As such, it’s a significant step in developing more sophisticated gameplay, and one that deserves credit for paving the way to future progress. Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

Share Button

NBA Playgrounds 2 Pre-Orders Receiving Refunds

Lonzo Ball dunking in NBA Playgrounds 2

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate, PlayStation 4 gamers are being refunded for their pre-orders of NBA Playgrounds 2. The game was originally set to launch today, but was abruptly postponed late last week. No new release date was set, but the announcement from Saber Interactive promised that the delay was in the interest of creating the best game possible.

While issuing a refund is certainly a gesture of goodwill, and may indeed have been compulsory for Saber to do, it does come across as a discouraging sign in the wake of the game’s delay. The forthcoming game has been met with some derision and scepticism from gamers who were unsatisfied with last year’s release, unhappy that a sequel is coming out so soon in lieu of further updates to the original, or both. These setbacks can only make NBA Playgrounds 2 a tougher sell.

With all that being said, hopefully the delay will turn out to be for a good reason, and the finished product will be worth the wait. We’ll continue to cover the situation either way, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, as well as in this topic in the Other Basketball Games section of the NLSC Forum.

Share Button

Monday Tip-Off: Artificial Difficulty in Basketball Games

Artificial Difficulty Fires Up the AI (NBA Live 18)

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 look at artificial difficulty in basketball games.

No matter what the genre, it’s all too easy to blame a video game itself when we lose. We’ll blame the controls, the mechanics, the AI, the overall design…anything except our own skills on the sticks and buttons. However, there are times when video games pose a challenge simply by not playing fair, manipulating and manufacturing the results. Be it rubber band AI, lightning fast reaction times, or some other tricky tactic, it all comes under the heading of artificial difficulty. Often a necessary evil, it can be used very effectively under certain circumstances.

If implemented poorly, however, artificial difficulty can ruin gameplay by punishing gamers for being too good. It can be particularly intrusive in sim-oriented basketball titles, where the gameplay is intended to accurately mimic the real life sport. There have been great improvements to the AI in the long-running NBA sim titles over the years, with many enhancements that have resulted in a more sophisticated virtual basketball experience. Unfortunately, a few legacy issues with artificial difficulty do remain. I believe it’s vital that the developers at EA Sports and Visual Concepts find a way to move past them in future NBA Live and NBA 2K releases.

Read More »

Share Button

NLSC Podcast – Episode #249

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #249 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I for a discussion of the past week in basketball and basketball gaming, including a new executive producer for NBA Live, the delay of NBA Playgrounds 2, the 2018 Conference Finals, and what we’ve been playing.

On this week’s show…

  • Seann Graddy is the new executive producer of the NBA Live series, with Sean O’Brien moving on to a new role at EA Sports. What does this mean for the series moving forward?
  • Viewership numbers for the NBA 2K League continue to dwindle. Is the League a flop – or on the way to being one – and what is it doing wrong?
  • NBA Playgrounds 2 has been abruptly delayed, less than a week ahead of its release. Saber Interactive are promising great things, but gamers are sceptical.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included more Ultimate Team challenges, LIVE Run, and some bargain retro game pick-ups. There’s also been a noteworthy development in the modding community.
  • We wrap up Episode #249 of the NLSC Podcast with a discussion of the 2018 Conference Finals.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

Share Button

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K14 PC include some more future prospect faces from Blang, and the latest retro faces by IceCr. Check them all out at the links below.

Blang
2019 Propects by Blang
Kevin Huerter Face

IceCr
Artis Gilmore Face
Bernard King Face
Oscar Robertson Face
Wilt Chamberlain Face
David Robinson Face
Bob McAdoo Face
Mitch Richmond Face
Reggie Miller Face
Rasheed Wallace Face

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.

Share Button

File Additions for NBA Live 2004

NBA Live 2004 Cover Art

We have a new release from the community for NBA Live 2004 PC today. Following on from Murat’s 2018 season updates, xshane has released a portrait pack for the current year. Check it out at the link below!

xshane
2017-18 Player Portraits

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.

Share Button

The Friday Five: 5 Hopes for NBA Playgrounds 2

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 breakdown of the main hopes that I have for NBA Playgrounds 2.

Originally set for release next week on May 22nd, NBA Playgrounds 2 has now been delayed to an unspecified date. While some basketball gamers have expressed their excitement about a follow up to last year’s title, others aren’t so thrilled. Some gamers feel that it’s coming too soon after the original, and are unhappy that support for the first NBA Playgrounds is ending with a few unfulfilled promises. Others simply didn’t care for the first game at all, and feel little incentive to give its sequel a chance. The indefinite postponement likely doesn’t allay their concerns or scepticism.

Even if the delay turns out to be for the best as Saber Interactive are insisting, NBA Playgrounds 2 is going to be a tough sell for some gamers. It’s going to take a quality release to win gamers over, with clear improvements that wouldn’t be possible via a patch. Whatever has led to the delay will also have to be a big deal. The previews have been somewhat promising so far though, and I do believe that NBA Playgrounds 2 has a great opportunity to become the definitive arcade hoops game of the current generation. There are a few things that it must do in order to achieve that however, which I’m outlining in the form of five hopes ahead of its eventual release.

Read More »

Share Button

NBA Playgrounds 2 Delayed

NBA Playgrounds 2 Header

After releasing a trailer and confirming a release date of May 22nd last week, NBA Playgrounds 2 has been delayed. Saber Interactive posted the following announcement on the game’s official Facebook page:

We’ve got some news to share, but we want to start by saying ‘good things come to those who wait.’ There are exciting things brewing with the NBA Playgrounds franchise that we think will take arcade basketball to new levels.

We can’t tell you everything now, but we can tell you that this means our launch date of May 22nd will be moved out. Please be patient with us, we promise that NBA Playgrounds 2 will be better than ever. We’ll have more details to share soon.

Whether this means Saber are currently working on additional modes, content, or both is unclear at this point, but in any event, the release of the game has been pushed back. No new date has been specified as yet, but presumably NBA Playgrounds 2 will still be coming out before NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. As soon as any further details are made available, we’ll be sure to post them.

In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Other Basketball Games section of the NLSC Forum.

Share Button