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NLSC Podcast – Episode #196

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Episode #196 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re back on the air after skipping last week, as we wanted to wait until the NBA trade deadline had passed so that we could discuss any deals that went down. There’s quite a few other things to talk about as we catch up this week, including suggestions to improve 2K Pro-Am, a busy week in basketball gaming, and the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.

On this week’s show…

  • A solid, well-thought out list of suggestions for improving 2K Pro-Am was posted over at Operation Sports. It’s certainly a topic that interests us, so we take a look at the ideas, and throw out a few suggestions of our own.
  • Visual Concepts recently did something very cool with Make-A-Wish, though some unfortunate wording was used to promote it on Twitter.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: We played a little bit of everything this week! Thoughts on Park After Dark #3, Kenny’s impressions of NBA Live 16, comparisons between LIVE Pro-Am and 2K Pro-Am, and updates on what we’ve been doing in MyCAREER and MyTEAM.
  • The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend came, disappointed, and went. You might think we’re turning into grumpy (grumpier?) old men, but a lot of people seem to share our sentiments.
  • As it turned out, the biggest trade happened during the All-Star Game, and not at the trade deadline.
  • We wrap up Episode #196 of the NLSC Podcast with a quick discussion of recent NBA news and results, including injuries and the Playoff push.

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.

Monday Tip-Off: The Mixed Bag of CPU Teammates in 2K Pro-Am

Tip-Off 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 few thoughts on the quality of CPU-controlled teammates in NBA 2K17’s 2K Pro-Am.

As the artificial intelligence in basketball video games has become more sophisticated, CPU-controlled teammates have thankfully become much more reliable. That’s not to say that there aren’t any frustrating moments where they seemingly forget how to play basketball, but compared to early hoops titles, there’s less of a need to frantically switch control of players and take charge of everything yourself. Needless to say, if you’re locked to controlling a single player – as is the basis of modes such as MyCAREER and 2K Pro-Am – it’s even more important that CPU-controlled teammates are competent.

Barring a connection problem, you’ll never start a game of 2K Pro-Am with more than two AI players. If you consistently run with a full squad of five players, they’ll seldom be an issue at all unless someone fouls out, or is booted due to a low teammate grade. However, if you frequently jump online to play 2K Pro-Am, chances are you’ll deal with a CPU-controlled teammate at some point. It’s at that point you’ll discover that although AI in basketball games has come a long way, the quality of your CPU teammates is still very much a mixed bag.

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Wayback Wednesday: Online Team Play in NBA Live 08

Gilbert Arenas dribbles the basketball in NBA Live 08

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 Online Team Play.

As the years have gone by, the online experience has become more and more significant in basketball video games. I personally didn’t have a lot of interest in online modes for many years; a slower connection didn’t help matters, and for the most part, I was simply more interested in the offline experience. That’s changed somewhat over the past couple of years, as I’ve come to enjoy regular games of 2K Pro-Am. However, there was another online mode that caught my attention almost a decade ago, and appropriately enough, it was the forerunner to the Pro-Am concept: Online Team Play in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of NBA Live 08.

At the time, it was something of a groundbreaking addition for basketball video games, and a concept that both EA Sports and Visual Concepts should perhaps think about implementing once more. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #195

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Episode #195 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and I as we discuss the latest controversy with Locker Codes in NBA 2K17, recap a tough week in 2K Pro-Am, and look ahead to the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA 2K17 celebrated Valentine’s Day with a Locker Code for a Kevin Love MyTEAM card, but the limited quantity didn’t exactly leave gamers swooning. We react to the controversy, and discuss what 2K could have done instead.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: NLSC THRILLHO enjoyed an exciting overtime win in 2K Pro-Am, but also weathered some tough, tough losses. Also, a milestone performance in MyCAREER, and expanding collections in MyTEAM.
  • A couple more significant trades have taken place, and it sounds as though a few more are in the works. We give our thoughts on the Toronto Raptors acquiring Serge Ibaka, and the Denver Nuggets trading away Jusuf Nurkic.
  • With the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend just about ready to get underway, we offer up our predictions for all of the events.
  • We wrap up Episode #195 of the NLSC Podcast with a quick discussion of Ben Simmons. Will he make his debut this season, or shut it down until next year?

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #194

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Episode #194 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss this week’s news and events, including the newly announced NBA 2K eSports league, problems in 2K Pro-Am, and an unfortunate incident involving Charles Oakley.

On this week’s show…

  • 2K Sports is partnering with the NBA for an official eSports league. It’s a cool concept, but will it ultimately benefit a majority of the userbase?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: We’ve had very little success getting matched up for games in 2K Pro-Am following Patch 1.10, though we did hit up MyPARK and a couple of Walk-On games. Also, Playoff success in MyCAREER, and the early stages of building a powerful MyTEAM squad.
  • New York Knicks legend Charles Oakley was thrown out of Madison Square Garden in controversial fashion. Seems most observers are on Oak’s side, and we find it hard to disagree there.

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #193

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Episode #193 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re back after taking last week off due to Australia Day, and we have some interesting topics to discuss, including the future of NBA Live, a new patch for NBA 2K17, All-Star Weekend 2017, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • It appears as though The Drive to NBA Live has been cancelled, and EA Sports will instead be focusing on developing a fully featured NBA Live 18, coming in the Fall. We give our thoughts on the situation.
  • A new patch has come through for NBA 2K17, addressing a few key problems gamers have been having. Aside from that, have we noticed any remarkable differences?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: an update on our MyCAREER games, including some All-Star Weekend disappointment, and the latest highs and lows of NLSC THRILLHO in 2K Pro-Am.
  • The 2017 All-Stars have been announced. Unfortunately for Zaza Pachulia, the league stepped in and squashed his All-Star hopes.
  • Dysfunction and drama are the common themes in the NBA right now, from the Chicago Bulls’ struggles to a war of words between LeBron James and Charles Barkley.

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #192

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Episode #192 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the announcement that NBA 2K18 will be available on the Nintendo Switch, the latest rumours surrounding the next NBA Live release, and a couple of other news items from the past week.

On this week’s show…

  • Visual Concepts has announced that NBA 2K18 will be available on the Nintendo Switch. We discuss the Switch’s viability as a primary platform for basketball gaming.
  • Something is in the pipeline as far as the next NBA Live game is concerned. Following on from last week’s speculation, we talk about the as yet unannounced demo, “The Drive to NBA Live”, and what it could mean for the future of the NBA Live series.
  • Millertime2325 has released an excellent mod for the Super Nintendo version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition, NBA Jam 2K17. Play an old favourite with 2017 season rosters!
  • We originally decide not to talk about Our Week in Basketball Gaming – it’s been a bit of a tough one – but then we do anyway. NLSC THRILLHO reaches the Elite tier (then experiences some tough losses), and our MyCAREER games roll on.
  • Episode #192 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with some fantastic news about the future of sleeved jerseys, now that Nike will be taking over.

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #191

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Episode #191 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re tipping off a new year of podcasts with some speculation on the future of NBA Live, a recap of what’s been happening with NLSC THRILLHO these past few weeks, and a couple of other topics.

On this week’s show…

  • Early 2017 should be an eventful time for basketball gaming, with NBA Live 17 currently slated for release in Q1, and 2K Sports holding eSports tournaments for NBA 2K17.
  • When do we think we’ll start receiving some NBA Live 17 news? Are we standing by our previous predictions?
  • All things considered, is it likely that EA Sports will end up skipping the scheduled Q1 release and simply go ahead with NBA Live 18 later this year?
  • What frustrates us the most about NBA Live and NBA 2K?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: Win #100, another epic overtime win, and some big numbers in 2K Pro-Am. Also, some MyTEAM tales and tips.
  • We wrap up Episode #191 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk. Russell Westbrook is still averaging a triple-double, Kyle Korver has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the 2017 All-Star Weekend looms.

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #190

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Episode #190 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s our 2016 Year in Review episode, as we’ll be taking a short break before resuming our digital broadcasting duties in early January. Thank you to everyone who has tuned into the NLSC Podcast throughout the year; we greatly appreciate the support!

On this week’s show…

  • We tip things off by talking about our Basketball Game of the Year. Or, in other words, which game we’ve enjoyed the most out of the three that we’ve been playing regularly at some point over the past twelve months.
  • There’s been some interesting and surprising news and events in 2016, both in basketball gaming and the real NBA. We recap some of the major stories, including NBA Live 17’s delay, the mixture of controversy and exciting details during the NBA 2K17 preview season, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship, the retirement of several big names, and more.
  • Back in June, we had a stressful time here at the NLSC when it looked like we might have to scale back or even shut down operations after our former host informed us that they were closing up shop. Fortunately, we found a new home and expect to be around for a while yet. Thank you to everyone who has donated to the hosting fund, or continues to support the site in other ways!
  • As 2016 draws to a close, we look ahead to 2017. What do we want to achieve next year? What are some of the things that we have planned? We have a few ideas, and hope that you’ll stick around for the ride!

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #189

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Episode #189 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! News is slowing down with the holiday season upon us, but Arcane and I still have a few things to talk about this week, including another exciting win in 2K Pro-Am, further thoughts on Patch 1.07 for NBA 2K17, and the passing of a broadcasting legend.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.07 is out now for the PC and Xbox One versions of NBA 2K17. Once again, we can’t help but remark on the difference in size between the three patches, despite them all containing the same content and fixes.
  • The next eSports tournament for NBA 2K17 has officially been announced, with another $250,000 up for grabs. We’re not able to take part, but that might actually be for the best.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: a clutch victory with unexpected heroics in 2K Pro-Am, and dusting off a couple of classics.
  • The NBA and Players Union have come to terms on a new agreement, thankfully avoiding a lockout at the end of the season (or so it would seem).
  • We wrap up Episode #189 of the NLSC Podcast with a discussion of the late Craig Sager, and some of the beautiful tributes from players, coaches, and broadcasters in the wake of his passing.

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.

Monday Tip-Off: Nothing’s Coming Up THRILLHO

NLSC Thrillho in a 2K Pro-Am game in NBA 2K17

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.

Yes, I’m going to talk about 2K Pro-Am again, and the ongoing attempts of NLSC THRILLHO to unlock logo importing. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles and on the NLSC Podcast, we’ve been enjoying the mode enough to get online for several sessions per week, but we’ve also had our fair share of frustrating moments. While we have to take responsibility for some of them – we’ve definitely made our fair share of mistakes, after all – there have been times when it’s felt like the game is out to get us. Maybe it’s the “NBA Live Series Center” text on our court; perhaps we should change that, if we want fairer treatment?

In all seriousness, I’ve made a point of saving clips of many of those moments, usually for the purposes of bug reports and Wishlist feedback. However, it’s gotten to the point where I can put together a “Shaqtin’ a Fool” type of reel, showcasing the times where NBA 2K17 made our jaws drop for all the wrong reasons. Since THRILLHO is a blatant reference to The Simpsons, it only made sense to title it after another memorable Milhouse quote. Without any further ado, please enjoy a highlight reel of the best of our worst, from bloopers to bugs, and several other frustrating and bizarre moments in between!

For some of the more positive moments we’ve had with NLSC THRILLHO, be sure to check out this thread in the NBA 2K17 section of the Forum. We’ll be posting more highlights there as soon as possible. Stay tuned for other video content as well, including Wayback Wednesday retrospectives, commentary in Monday Tip-Off, and a few other features that I hope you’ll enjoy.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #188

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Episode #188 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss Patch 1.07 for NBA 2K17, drama in the NBA 2K YouTube community, a tidbit about NBA Live 17, and our basketball gaming experiences from the past week.

On this week’s show…

  • In response to a question on Twitter, EA Sports has reiterated that NBA Live 17 will be released in the first quarter of 2017, and that more news will be released closer to the game coming out.
  • Patch 1.07 has come through for NBA 2K17, and seems to primarily be an update for the upcoming eSports tournaments. Still, we wonder why it took 24 hours to post three whole patch notes.
  • We react to some drama in the NBA 2K YouTube community, and compare it to some of the issues we’ve seen in our modding community over the years.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: Some more enjoyable wins for NLSC THRILLHO in 2K Pro-Am, an epic quadruple-double in MyCAREER, and chasing records.
  • We wrap up Episode #188 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion, including Klay Thompson’s incredible 60 points in 29 minutes, and Dwyane Wade’s performance with the Chicago Bulls so far.

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.

Monday Tip-Off: Fixing NBA 2K’s MyPLAYER Archetypes

Choosing MyPLAYER Archetypes in NBA 2K17

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.

When the concept of MyPLAYER Archetypes was first announced for NBA 2K17, it struck me as being a very good idea. It seemed like a great solution to the issue of gamers creating maxed out 7’3″ players, a practice that frequently upset the competitive balance in modes such as MyPARK and 2K Pro-Am. On top of injecting a little more realism into MyCAREER, MyPLAYER Archetypes seemed to be a logical answer to egregious min-maxing and gaming of the upgrade system in order to create overpowered players.

I maintain that it was a very good idea in theory, and something that should remain in future NBA 2K games. However, MyPLAYER Archetypes haven’t been quite as effective in preserving competitive balance as I would have hoped, as some gamers are still creating cheesy players. Conversely, in other ways they’re too restrictive, allowing for little variation between certain playing styles. Since we’re in the thick of Wishlist season, I thought that I’d throw out a few ideas that could possibly improve MyPLAYER Archetypes in NBA 2K18 and beyond.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #187

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Episode #187 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and myself as we react to the fallout of Park After Dark, offer up further thoughts on the recent NBA 2K17 patches, discuss NBA Live’s social media presence, and catch up on Our Week in Basketball Gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • Park After Dark wasn’t quite as successful as 2K Sports and MyPARK enthusiasts were hoping it would be, with many prominent YouTubers harshly criticising it. We react to the fallout, and offer up a couple of thoughts on the event.
  • There’s been some discontent in our community regarding the recent patches for NBA 2K17. Are the patches messing up the game more than they’re fixing and improving it?
  • Do NBA Live’s social media accounts offer any indication as to what’s happening with NBA Live 17? What will happen with NBA Live Mobile as we get closer to the game’s console comeback?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: Struggles for NLSC THRILLO, success in MyCAREER, and the best trade in the history of franchise modes in MyLEAGUE.
  • We wrap up Episode #187 of the NLSC Podcast with some good news about Isaiah Austin.

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.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #186

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Episode #186 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss Patch 1.06 for NBA 2K17, the upcoming Park After Dark event in MyPARK, a tidbit of NBA Live 17 news, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • 2K is presenting the “Park After Dark” event in MyPARK this weekend, with Snoop Dogg making an in-game appearance as DJ Snoopadelic. It’s not really our thing, but it does sound kind of fun for MyPARK players.
  • NBA 2KVR has been announced. Might some of the technology be adapted for use in the main game in future years?
  • NBA 2K17 has received Patch 1.06. Although some issues have been resolved, unfortunately it seems that some new bugs have also arisen, and not everyone is happy with the tweaked gameplay.
  • We’re starting to hear promising bits and pieces about NBA Live 17 from developers on social media. Senior Producer Mike Mahar also had a few things to say about the game in a recent chat to FOX 13 News in Tampa Bay.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: An enjoyably successful run in 2K Pro-Am, two more quadruple-doubles in MyCAREER, and a surprising lack of loyalty.
  • We wrap up Episode #186 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA chatter, including the Detroit Pistons’ impending move to a new arena, Zach LaVine’s incredible 360 dunk from the foul line, and Kevin Love’s big first quarter against the Blazers.

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.