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Wayback Wednesday: Freestyle Control in NBA Live 2003

Freestyle Control Dribbling in NBA Live 2003

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 Freestyle Control in NBA Live 2003.

It’s funny that it’s taken me this long to do a Wayback Wednesday feature on Freestyle Control, especially since I talked about Freestyle Superstars just a few weeks ago. I did talk about it in my retrospective of NBA Live 2003, but being such an important development in terms of controls, it definitely deserves its own article. Although the name has changed a couple of times over the years, taking on monikers such as “Quick Strike Ballhandling” and “Quick Strike Ankle Breakers”, the basic concept of Freestyle’s right stick control has remained essentially the same. It’s since gone back to its original name, and we’ll be seeing more of it in NBA Live 18.

Freestyle Control changed the game, and for those of us playing on PC, it also meant picking up a dual analog gamepad to take full advantage of it. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA Live 18 Demo Release Date; The Streets Preview

NBA Live 18: Pro-Am

Confirming rumours from a few weeks ago, EA Sports has announced that the NBA Live 18 demo will be available on August 11th. Progress from the demo will once again carry over into the full version as it did with NBA Live 16, so presumably the companion app for face scanning will also be made available next week. That hasn’t been confirmed as yet though, nor are there any other further details on the demo right now.

We do have some new information about The Streets, however. As explained by the feature page over on the official website, The Streets incorporates the Pro-Am experience of The One, NBA Live 18’s brand new single player career mode. While the NBA portion of your career will take place in The League, you’ll also be able to head to The Streets to take part in LIVE Events challenges, play cooperative multiplayer games in LIVE Run, and build a legacy on the Pro-Am Tour.

Judging by the screenshots on the feature page, it appears as though reward crates have been implemented in NBA Live 18. These crates will be earned by completing the LIVE Events, which will consist of real-time challenges all year long. You can check out the screenshots below.

Seven legendary Pro-Am locations have also been confirmed: Rucker Park (New York), the Drew League (Compton), Venice Beach (Los Angeles), The Crawsover (Seattle), Dyckman Park (New York), Barry Farms (Washington), and Cherashore Playground (Philadelphia). EA Sports has released videos previewing all the courts, which you can check out below.

Hopefully, more details on The One, as well as Dynasty, Ultimate Team, and of course gameplay itself, are coming in the near future. With any luck, previews for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 will be rolling out steadily over the next few weeks, and of course, we’ll be able to get our hands on the demo very soon. In the meantime, what do you make of The Streets? Will you be trying out the NBA Live 18 demo on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K17 PC feature player faces, new Nike uniforms for the Kings, Pacers, and Cavaliers, the new Pacers court, a custom skinny jersey model, and some jersey creation assets. Check them all out at the links below!

Issy
Terrance Ferguson Face

pinoy21
Sacramento Kings 2017-2018 Jersey

Shuajota & Edudu_10
Cleveland Cavaliers 2017-2018 Nike Icon Jersey
Indiana Pacers 2017-2018 Jerseys
Indiana Pacers 2017-2018 Court

PeacemanNOT
Skinny Jersey Model

TGsoGood
Jersey Creator Files for New Nike NBA Jerseys
Anto Da Boss 2K17 Face

Latest NBA 2K18 Screenshots: Lillard, Oladipo, Howard, Young

NBA 2K18: Damian Lillard

2K has released four new NBA 2K18 screenshots, featuring Damian Lillard, Victor Oladipo, Dwight Howard, and Nick Young. For what it’s worth, only Lillard – formerly the cover player for NBA Live 15 – is identified as a member of Team 2K. Howard and Young’s overall ratings have also been revealed, and they are as follows:

  • Dwight Howard: 81 Overall
  • Nick Young: 74 Overall

As with the previous screenshots, the latest images also give us a peek at the new Nike-designed uniforms. It remains to be seen whether the official reveal of the jerseys for all 30 NBA teams will also open the floodgates on preview media for both NBA 2K18 and NBA Live 18.

You can check out the latest screenshots below, as well as here in our NBA 2K18 Screenshots gallery. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section, as well as join in the discussion taking place in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: Double Overtime THRILLHO

NLSC THRILLHO Pre-Game in NBA 2K17's 2K Pro-Am

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 video feature, specifically a recap and highlight reel from one of NLSC THRILLHO’s recent games in NBA 2K17’s 2K Pro-Am.

As Arcane and I discussed in Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast, we recently had a very enjoyable session of 2K Pro-Am that included an exciting double overtime victory. Despite a few mistakes here and there, Arcane, zzcoolj21 and I were able to eke out the win for NLSC THRILLHO, producing some highlight plays along the way. I naturally made sure to capture the footage, beginning with zz’s three-pointer that sent the game into overtime, and have put together a video recap/highlight reel of what turned out to be a very enjoyable and rewarding game. Watch it below, or catch it here on the NLSC YouTube channel if you’re unable to see the embedded video.

I hope you enjoyed it; it’s certainly fun for me to watch again! I’d like to get back to creating some more video content, and have a couple of ideas for a weekly video feature that I’m hoping to launch soon. I also hope to shake things up with a few more videos here and there for Monday Tip-Off, Wayback Wednesday, and perhaps even The Friday Five. In the meantime, I’ve been uploading clips from the NLSC Podcast to our YouTube channel, spotlighting some major discussions. Stay tuned for more articles, videos, and other original content, and be sure to check out this previous feature for some of NLSC THRILLHO’s more frustrating moments in 2K Pro-Am.

File Additions for NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 Cover Art

Catching up on a recent file addition for NBA 2K13 PC, slimm44 has uploaded a new roster pack for use with U R Basketball 2K13. Check it out at the link below!

Skoadam & Slimm44 & PatTheHead
URB 2K13 Roster Files 1960-2017 (Updated to v3.4)

For the full mod, as well as previews of forthcoming updates, be sure to check out this topic in the Forum.

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

There are still some talented modders updating NBA 2K14 PC, so let’s get caught up on the latest file additions. The most recent uploads include updated 2017 offseason rosters, rookie faces, and a custom soundtrack featuring the track list from NBA 2K18. Download them all at the links below!

Retroswald13
NBA 2K18 Soundtrack

Blang
Damyean Dotson Face
Wesley Iwundu Face
Abdel Nader Face (Updated to v2.0)

Mackubex
Mackubex Roster Update (July 25 Update)

Medevenx
Med’s NBA Roster Appdata Files (Updated, July 25th)

NLSC Podcast – Episode #215

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I have plenty to talk about this week with the first proper previews for NBA 2K18 coming out, along with the latest content update for NBA Playgrounds. There’s also Kyrie Irving’s trade demand, a short article on shoes in NBA Live 18, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • The first NBA 2K18 screenshots have been released. What do we think of this year’s aesthetics?
  • We received a ton of information about MyLEAGUE and MyGM by way of the first developer blog. This year’s franchise modes sound awesome!
  • Did the 2K TV finale drop a hint about additional retro teams in NBA 2K18? We believe it’s a possibility.
  • Sole Collector published a short article about shoes in NBA Live 18, which also went into the history of EA Sports getting authentic shoes into their game.
  • The next big content update for NBA Playgrounds has come through. While there are still a few issues with the game, it continues to get better and better.
  • Not surprisingly, the five copies of NBA Elite 11 listed on eBay for $30,000 USD didn’t sell. They haven’t been re-listed, but another copy is still available…for $4,000 USD.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included some of the most enjoyable sessions of online play we’ve ever had, in both 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK. Also, grinding for packs in NBA Playgrounds, MyTEAM Domination, and fantasy exhibitions.
  • Kyrie Irving has surprisingly demanded a trade. We wonder where he’ll end up, and whether Visual Concepts will do anything about the NBA 2K18 cover if he’s dealt.
  • We wrap up Episode #215 of the NLSC Podcast with some information on the latest NLSC merch by Arcane Apparel.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Biggest Improvements 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 what I feel have been the five biggest improvements in basketball games over the past two decades.

After I grumbled about the current state of the preview season at the beginning of the week, we ended up getting the first NBA 2K18 screenshots, and a ton of exciting information about MyLEAGUE and MyGM. Although I stand by my comparisons to the way previews were handled in years gone by, and my point about EA Sports’ missed opportunity to keep hyping NBA Live 18, it does seem as though this year’s preview season is finally getting into gear. As I said, the news we’ve just received regarding improvements to MyLEAGUE and MyGM is exciting, and hopefully the good news will keep rolling out for both basketball games in the coming weeks.

Needless to say, for all the promising tidbits we’ll hear, there’ll be a healthy amount of scepticism. It’s understandable, because both NBA Live and NBA 2K have their own frustrating legacy issues, some of which have been bothering basketball gamers for many years. Of course, with new releases coming out every year, it can be difficult to appreciate just how much basketball games have improved over time. Even though we still have valid complaints, basketball games have indeed come a long way since their early predecessors. Let’s take a look at the aspects of basketball gaming that have seen the most progress; the biggest improvements in basketball games, if you will.

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Details on MyLEAGUE & MyGM in NBA 2K18

Joel Embiid in NBA 2K18's MyGM

The first developer blog for NBA 2K18 has been posted, and it’s a treat for fans of franchise modes. Written by Senior Producer Erick Boenisch, it describes the changes and improvements to MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, and MyGM in great detail. A quick breakdown is as follows:

  • MyGM (now titled MyGM: The Next Chapter) will now feature a story, similar to MyCAREER. Gamers will still retain control over gameplay and team building features. It will also have a few more customisation options.
  • MyLEAGUE will retain its large suite of customisation features, and familiar sandbox approach.
  • The 2017 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement will be accurately reflected, including aspects such as Super Max Contracts, updated salary figures, Stretch Provisions, Two-Way Contracts, the Hardship Exception, and so on. New rule changes such as the number of timeouts have also been implemented.
  • G-League (formerly the D-League) Integration. No G-League games are playable, but players can be sent there to help with their development.
  • The Free Agent Moratorium is in the game. As in real life, no signings will be made official during that period, but you can come to binding verbal agreements with players. Cap holds and renounced rights are also now included.
  • International Draftees can remain overseas, and rights to players can be traded during the Draft. Draft Class generation has also been improved.
  • Re-branding options have been enhanced with additions such as alternate uniforms, and the ability to redesign a team’s court without also redesigning the whole arena. Relocation and re-branding options are also available in MyLEAGUE Online, and there are new cities to relocate to.
  • All-Star Game hosts will be selected each offseason, and will have their own generated designs, rather than generic All-Star courts.
  • Players will have attributes that determine how frequently they wear each type of accessory (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always). Jumpshot Creator can also be used for any player, quick editing has been expanded, and created players can be added to a MyLEAGUE game already in progress.
  • The ability to practice plays is back.
  • There is a new Analytics Tool, better functionality when searching for community creations, and other features that make various customisation and administration tasks easier.

Check out the blog for the full scoop! A few screenshots were also released with the blog, which you can check out below, or here in our NBA 2K18 Screenshots Gallery. Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments below, as well as here in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Today’s selection of file additions for NBA 2K17 PC includes player faces, new jerseys, and shoes. Download all of the latest mod releases at the links below!

advinXcola
Ante Zizic Face

TGsoGood
Jonathan Isaac Lookalike Face
Frank Ntilikina Face
ZO2 Show Time
ZO2 (Editable Colorways)
Dennis Smith Jr Face
Lonzo Ball Face (2017 Summer League Version)
CP3 X AE (2 Colorways Included)

Issy
OG Anunoby Face
Justin Jackson Face

Shuajota
Sacramento Kings Jerseys 2017-2018

Wayback Wednesday: Tweaked Roster Updates

Cover player Jason Kidd dribbles the basketball in NBA Live 2003

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 tweaked roster updates for NBA Live.

One of the key elements of roster updates, be they official updates or community-made rosters, is tweaking player ratings for more realistic performance. Whether it’s correcting the guesswork that’s originally needed when assigning ratings for a rookie player, or accounting for a drastic change in performance compared to the previous season, adjusting player attributes is an important part of creating a desirable gameplay experience. In some cases, gamers have ended up making major adjustments to all players, in order to counteract gameplay quirks and try to inject a little more realism into the game. These were known as tweaked roster updates.

It’s an outdated practice now, but many years ago, creating a tweaked version of a roster was considered a necessity if you wanted to try and enhance the experience for your fellow NBA Live gamers. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA Playgrounds Patch 1.3.0 Released (PS4 & PC)

Online Menu in NBA Playgrounds (1.3.0)

As noted in yesterday’s bulletin, the next big patch for NBA Playgrounds was expected “later this Summer”. However, it turns out that PlayStation 4 and PC users didn’t have to wait very long at all, as the new update, Patch 1.3.0, has been pushed through on both platforms. It should download automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection, but if you encounter any problems, restart your console or Steam client.

The patch adds over 30 new players to the game, including commentators E.J. Johnson and Ian Eagle, as well a few more YouTubers. Additional versions of several players have also been added on other teams that they played for. Key feature additions include an online three-point shootout, a friends invitation system, rebounding indicator, and additional online play options. Notable adjustments and fixes include the difficulty of tournaments, the amount of XP gained in tournament games, and resolutions for a couple of technical issues.

See below for the full patch notes. Feel free to share your impressions in the comments section below, as well as in the NBA Playgrounds topic in the NLSC Forum. There’s no word on when the patch will hit the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, but hopefully it shouldn’t be too much longer.

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File Additions for NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K13 PC feature a collection of roster updates, including 2017 season offseason rosters and retro season mods. In addition to the latest version of U R Basketball, PatTheHead’s pack has been updated with Slimm44’s rosters from 1960-2017. Check out all of the latest releases at the links below!

PatTheHead
1946/47 to 1984/85 ABA + NBA Seasons (Updated to v4.5)

Skoadam & Slimm44 & PatTheHead
URB 2K13 Roster Files (Updated to v3.3)
2K13 U R Basketball V51 [34 Complete Seasons Mods] + Accurate 17-18 Roster/Rotations [ALL Transactions 16.07.17] (Updated, July 16th)

Details on Big Content Update for NBA Playgrounds

A game of NBA Playgrounds

Following last week’s teaser, the big new content update for NBA Playgrounds has been officially announced. In an interview with Game Informer, Saber Interactive’s Matthew Karch revealed some details on the forthcoming fixes and content updates for the game. He also mentions the game’s success, noting that so far it has sold a combined 500,000 copies on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, and touches on the possibility of sequels down the road.

One of the improvements that we can expect is a further tweak to pack odds, guaranteeing that new players will be included in all packs. Matthew also noted the possibility of including a one-time “pay to unlock everyone” option, though he admits that he’s not a big fan of such mechanics. A preview video has also confirmed improvements to the rebounding system, 33 new players (including commentator Ian Eagle), friend invitations, and a three-point shootout. The possibility of adding a three-point shootout post-release had been mentioned in previews of the game.

There isn’t a specific release date for the update at this time, except to say that it will be coming “later this Summer” (or Winter, for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere). When the update does drop however, it will be available on all four platforms.

What do you think of NBA Playgrounds so far, and the new update that’s in the pipeline? Have your say in the comments section below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum. Thanks to zzcoolj21 for the heads up!