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NLSC Podcast – Episode #230

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Episode #230 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Without any technical issues to keep us off the air, we’re back to talk about the latest updates for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, share our latest impressions of both games, and catch up on the past couple of weeks in basketball gaming news.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.08 has added comprehensive roster editing to NBA Live 18. We’re certainly surprised, and impressed at how the game has continued to improve since launch.
  • NBA 2K18’s Patch 1.06 has addressed some bugs, but also caused a few more problems. To be honest, we’re still feeling disappointed with this year’s release from Visual Concepts.
  • The qualifying round for the NBA 2K League will be taking place in January. We share our thoughts on what the League might be like, given our experiences with 2K Pro-Am.
  • Several t-shirts have been removed from the kiosk in The Neighborhood, mostly due to trademark and copyright concerns. This has led to some issues with lost VC.
  • A teenager has spent over $17,000 AUS on microtransactions across various games, leading us to once again reflect on their intrusive nature in AAA titles.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has seen our frustration with 2K Pro-Am reach its boiling point, an enjoyable victory in The Playground, and possible plans to change up our habits on the virtual hardwood.
  • We wrap up Episode #230 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion, including recent streaks, and the Jahlil Okafor trade.

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.

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New Details on NBA 2K League; Qualifying Round in January

NBA 2K League Qualifying Info

The NBA 2K League, an eLeague based on 2K Pro-Am and officially partnered with the NBA, is set to tip off next year. As such, 2K Sports has put out advanced notice about the qualifying round, which will be taking place January 1st-31st. Brian Mazique has also posted some additional information about the League over on Forbes.com.

Participants must be eighteen years or older, and playing NBA 2K18 on either PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. The qualifying round is open to all skill levels, though you must win 50 games during January in order to be eligible for tryouts. The 50 wins may come as part of a 2K Pro-Am team, Walk-On games, or a combination of the two.

Should you make it through the qualifying rounds and be successful in a tryout, you’ll be drafted by one of the 17 NBA teams participating in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League. Housing and a “competitive, guaranteed salary” will be provided to League players, who will not play with their regular MyPLAYERs, but rather avatars with ratings close to 90 Overall. The NBA 2K League will also make use of a special build of NBA 2K18 in order to avoid instability.

It will be interesting to see how successful the NBA 2K League turns out to be. As it stands, I’m not sure how closely we’ll be covering the League here on the NLSC once it tips off, but it’s certainly a great opportunity for competitive online basketball gamers. Additional registration and application details are set to be announced at a later date, so if you’re interested, be sure to follow the official NBA 2K League Twitter account, and stay tuned for more information.

Got any thoughts on the forthcoming NBA 2K League? Have your say in the comments section below, and feel free to join in the discussion taking place here in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #229

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Episode #229 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the latest updates for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, recap an eventful week of basketball gaming, and catch up on some NBA news.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.07 provided a significant content update for NBA Live 18, including new rosters and 3v3 play in Live Run. The gameplay itself also continues to improve.
  • A handful of new players have been added to the All-Time teams and historical squads in NBA 2K18. Unfortunately, some of the biggest names are still absent.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming was full and eventful! Although we had some rough sessions of 2K Pro-Am, we did pick up a few victories (including some in The Playground), continued our respective MyCAREERs, and had fun with NBA Live 18 online and offline. We also discuss shooting mechanics in NBA 2K18.
  • We wrap up Episode #229 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk, including the Celtics’ winning streak coming to an end, the Thunder/Warriors clash, and Derrick Rose’s future.

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.

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Monday Tip-Off: NLSC GrindTime vs. Elite Team in 2K Pro-Am

NLSC GrindTime in 2K Pro-Am (NBA 2K18)

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 of NLSC GrindTime taking on an Elite tier team in NBA 2K18’s 2K Pro-Am.

As Arcane and I discussed in Episode #228 of the NLSC Podcast, our 2K Pro-Am squad for NBA 2K18, NLSC GrindTime, has been having some competitive games as of late. Although we had a rough start to this year’s campaign, our record has been improving, and we’ve had some enjoyable sessions in recent weeks.

We’re at the point where we’re starting to get matched up with some Elite teams, which naturally puts our stick skills to the test. One of our recent matchups with an Elite tier squad turned out to be quite a game right from the opening tip. I present to you that game in its entirety, accompanied by some classic NBA Live menu music.

You can also catch it here on our YouTube channel, if you can’t see the embedded video. With any luck, we’ll be able to reach the Elite rank at some point this year, and implement our full NLSC branding as we did with THRILLHO in NBA 2K17. No doubt we’ll be sharing more highlight reels from time to time, in addition to our other video content, so be sure to subscribe. Our 2K Pro-Am sessions are a staple of the “Our Week in Basketball Gaming” segment of the NLSC Podcast, so tune in every week for recaps and commentary on our latest sessions on the virtual hardwood.

Who else has been spending some time playing 2K Pro-Am or The Playground in NBA 2K18? What have your online experiences been like? Sound off in the comments section below, and as always, feel free to take the discussion to the NLSC Forum!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #228

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Episode #228 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I are back on the air after some more technical difficulties last week, but with any luck, we shouldn’t have any similar interruptions moving forward. In the meantime, join us as we catch up on the past couple of weeks in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 news, and share our latest basketball gaming experiences.

On this week’s show…

  • The release of Star Wars: Battlefront II has led to some crossover content in NBA Live 18. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but some of the gear is pretty cool.
  • We now know what LIVESTRIKE entails. A series of Live Events will be available for a short period of time, providing premium content drops featuring exclusive gear.
  • It seems that we’ll be getting more than just gear, as EA Sports has also teased some other new content for NBA Live 18. Will it be a 3v3 mode, as currently rumoured?
  • Roster updates seem to have taken a back seat in NBA Live 18, which is less than ideal given the lack of roster editing.
  • Patch 1.05 is out now for the PC and Xbox One versions of NBA 2K18. We also wonder whether a hotfix has come through, resolving lock-up issues in The Neighborhood.
  • Revenue from microtransactions has increased 57% in NBA 2K18. The question is, are gamers spending the money because they support the business model, or simply out of necessity?
  • NBA 2K18 has been nominated for a Sports Game of the Year award. Would it be our pick?
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has included some very satisfying wins in 2K Pro-Am, a lot of progress in MyCAREER, and Live Events in NBA Live 18.
  • We wrap up Episode #228 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA discussion. Apologies in advance to Boston Celtics fans for jinxing the team.

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.

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Monday Tip-Off: The Value of Virtual Currency in The Neighborhood

2K Pro-Am Player of the Game (NBA 2K18)

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 breakdown of the in-universe value of Virtual Currency in The Neighborhood in NBA 2K18.

Yes, I’m writing about Virtual Currency and NBA 2K18 again. I guess I’m a hater, a biased NBA Live fanboy looking to bash 2K at every turn. According to at least one disgruntled former reader, that’s exactly what I am. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m simply a dissatisfied consumer who believes that all of us who play NBA 2K18 deserve to be treated more fairly. Whether it’s NBA 2K, NBA Live, NBA Playgrounds, or any other game that we play, we do ourselves a disservice by not speaking up when there are issues. There’s no guarantee that we’ll get the result we want, but if we don’t speak up, we can pretty much guarantee that we won’t see the changes we desire.

Frankly, I’m still talking about Virtual Currency because it’s an on-going issue. After dropping the prices of hairstyles, facial hair, and hair colours in an early patch, Visual Concepts haven’t made further adjustments to VC earnings and in-game prices. Well, that’s not entirely true. They’ve reduced the reward for Player of the Half and Player of the Game in 2K Pro-Am. What they haven’t done is increase the VC rewards, bring back the difficulty multiplier, or reduce the prices of clothing and consumables. This is particularly infuriating when you consider the actual in-universe value of Virtual Currency. Thanks to our MyPLAYER card, that’s something we can easily figure out.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #227

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Episode #227 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’ve been off the air for a couple of weeks due to scheduling conflicts and other issues, but Arcane and I are back to talk about the latest news, as well as our recent basketball gaming experiences.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip things off with the revelation that Arcane took part in a community playtesting event at EA Tiburon back in May. Arcane reflects on his experiences, which included a celebrity encounter.
  • A couple of patches (1.05 and 1.06) have come through for NBA Live 18, as well as some roster updates. We’re liking some of the improvements, though we’ve also identified issues that need to be resolved in NBA Live 19 and beyond.
  • A new patch (1.05) has also been released for NBA 2K18, at least for PlayStation 4. It too has included some welcome improvements, but has unfortunately caused a couple of new problems.
  • Two NLSC T-Shirts are now available to purchase from the kiosk in NBA 2K18’s Neighborhood. Rep us in The Playground, preferably by winning more games than we’ve managed to so far!
  • In response to a mailbag question, we discuss the future of microtransactions in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, particularly the latter. How bad could it get, and do we foresee any changes next year?
  • We also give our thoughts on a question regarding issues with unfinished and unpolished releases.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming, or rather our past couple of weeks in basketball gaming, have included several games of 2K Pro-Am, further progress in MyCAREER, and the new DLC for NBA Playgrounds.
  • We wrap up Episode #227 of the NLSC Podcast with our thoughts on 2018 NBA season so far.

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.

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Monday Tip-Off: A Call For More Nicknames

2K Magazine in MyCAREER (NBA 2K18)

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 nicknames in NBA 2K.

When I finally succeeded in getting my face scanned into NBA 2K18 – or more specifically, The Prelude – it didn’t turn out anywhere near as good as my NBA Live 18 scan. As I noted on my Twitter at the time, it ended up looking a little like a combination of young Adam Sandler circa Billy Madison, and young Alan Ruck from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Once the full game came out and I was able to visit Doc’s barbershop – expensive haircuts and all – I was able to add a beard. While it still isn’t a great likeness, at least it looks a little less like a Sandler-Ruck mash-up.

A few weeks back, I ended up giving my MyPLAYER longish hair, in the process making him look a little like Jaime Lannister from the early seasons of Game of Thrones. I briefly reconsidered renaming him, and even went so far as to outfit him with some yellow wrist tape, in an effort to imitate Jaime’s golden hand (uh, spoilers for anyone who still hasn’t gotten into GoT yet). I also looked at changing the audio nickname, but the most appropriate choice was probably “Cold Hands”. It got me thinking that the selection of nicknames for MyPLAYERs in NBA 2K could definitely stand to be much larger, and more varied.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #226

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Episode #226 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and myself as we discuss the latest updates for NBA Live 18, NBA 2K18, and NBA Playgrounds, recount our recent basketball gaming experiences, and look ahead to the 2018 NBA season.

On this week’s show…

  • New rosters have been released for NBA Live 18, accounting for recent transactions and adding new classic uniforms for eight teams. With the 2018 season right around the corner, we hope that EA will remain on the ball with forthcoming updates.
  • Patch 1.04 has been released for NBA 2K18. It’s a substantial update and addresses a lot of issues, but unfortunately, it’s caused a lot of problems as well. Bewilderingly, it’s also nerfed certain VC rewards even further.
  • NBA Playgrounds has received a hotfix that addresses an issue with the previously released Roster Unlock DLC. Once again, we reflect on how the game has evolved since launch, and whether paid DLC is a wise approach given the circumstances.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included our best session of 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K18 so far, further progress in MyCAREER and The One, and a bit of Ultimate Team.
  • The 2018 NBA season tips off next week! We’ve felt a bit jaded and disillusioned in recent years, so we’re hoping that the upcoming campaign will be a fun and exciting one that we can really get into.

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #225

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Episode #225 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we discuss the past week in basketball gaming news, including topics related to NBA Live 18, NBA 2K18, and NBA Playgrounds. As always, we also recount our most recent experiences on the virtual hardwood.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.04 has been released for NBA Live 18. In addition to addressing some key technical issues, it’s made some pleasing improvements to the feel of the game. There is, of course, still room for improvement.
  • As it turns out, NBA Live 18 was one of the most downloaded games on PSN in September, which bodes well for a strong comeback for the brand.
  • Xbox One users are facing some technical restrictions in terms of uploading media from NBA 2K18. Once again, we discuss the frustration with the lack of sound recording on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
  • It seems that player face scans are being used for AI players in 2K Pro-Am. As such, it seems like a perfect opportunity to have some fun with wacky scans.
  • NBA Playgrounds has received a new patch, and more controversially, paid DLC which adds eight Class of 2017 rookies and three new playgrounds. The move seems to lack the goodwill that Saber Interactive has previously demonstrated.
  • We wrap up Episode #225 of the NLSC Podcast with Our Week in Basketball Gaming. We’re not quite done with MyCAREER or 2K Pro-Am yet, so the grind continues. Also, we lay out some more plans for both NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18.

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #224

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Episode #224 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we discuss the past week in basketball gaming and NBA news, as well as provide our ongoing impressions of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18.

On this week’s show…

  • New rosters have come through for NBA Live 18, and they include the two biggest transactions from the past week or so. Unfortunately, there are still some issues with missing transactions and players, incorrect jersey numbers, and a couple of other problems.
  • Master Challenges have been added to Ultimate Team in NBA Live 18. We’re glad to see new content being added so early, and hope that it will continue throughout the season.
  • NBA 2K18 has received another patch this week, addressing some noteworthy technical problems in modes and gameplay. It’s quite welcome, but how many title updates will we see this year?
  • The problems with microtransactions and grinding in NBA 2K18 continue to be a big story. It has spread beyond the basketball gaming community, as mainstream publications and content creators are touching upon it. We crunch a few numbers, and provide some more thoughts on the situation.
  • Downloadable versions of the updated NBA 2K18 cover are now available. It’s a nice gesture, but could it result in collectors being scammed?
  • Our Week in Basketball gaming included a tentative second attempt at 2K Pro-Am, more grinding, some fun Play Now games in NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, more grinding, MyTEAM games, and yes, more grinding. MyLEAGUE games to follow, closer to the start of the 2018 season.
  • Dwyane Wade has joined the Cleveland Cavaliers. Can anyone in the East compete with the Cavs this season?
  • We wrap up Episode #224 of the NLSC Podcast with a nice story about Dirk Nowitzki and an appreciative Dallas Mavericks fan.

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.

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Monday Tip-Off: Goodwill, Greed, and NBA 2K18

The Neighborhood in NBA 2K18

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 current controversies surrounding NBA 2K18, and the goodwill that Visual Concepts has lost.

I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to write this column. I’ve already discussed the matter in Episode #223 of the NLSC Podcast and in the NLSC Forum, and I’d rather not sound like a broken record. Furthermore, it’s all too easy to come across like a hater, gleefully indulging in some opportunistic bashing simply because there’s a controversial issue that’s a hot topic at the moment. However, it is a big deal, and it’s something that we basketball gamers shouldn’t let slide. I am of course referring to the aggressive implementation of Virtual Currency in NBA 2K18.

By now, if you haven’t played NBA 2K18 and felt the sting of VC gouging, you’ve no doubt heard other basketball gamers expressing their outrage. Perhaps you’ve even read about 2K reaching out to a site that published a negative review, asking them to reconsider their score. These are disturbing and disheartening practices for a company that is the brand leader, with a vast majority of the market share. As a game, NBA 2K has gone from strength to strength in many aspects, stepping up to deliver great experiences on the virtual hardwood as the NBA Live series has faltered. That’s earned them the adoration of gamers, but right now, that goodwill lies in ruins.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #223

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Episode #223 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and myself as we offer up further impressions on NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, discuss some recent controversies, and comment on the Carmelo Anthony trade.

On this week’s show…

  • Following on from our initial positive impressions, we continue to enjoy our experiences in NBA Live 18. There is still room for improvement however, and we’ve identified some issues that we definitely hope can be patched.
  • We’re glad to see the new Nike Statement jerseys added to NBA Live 18, but the latest roster update leaves something to be desired. Hopefully, post-release support will be on point this year, once the season begins.
  • Moving on to NBA 2K18, while we’re still liking the 5v5 gameplay and looking forward to MyLEAGUE, we’ve really soured on MyCAREER. 2K Pro-Am meanwhile proved to be a disaster last week, which is a shame given how much we enjoyed the mode in NBA 2K17.
  • A lot of users has been losing their MyPLAYERs in NBA 2K18, which has been a tremendous pain for anyone who happened to purchase VC to upgrade them. A nasty bug has also caused problems with pre-order bonuses disappearing when creating new MyPLAYERs.
  • Although NBA 2K18 has been receiving high scores from several publications as usual, some reviewers – and a lot of gamers – aren’t so enthusiastic. One review in particular has attracted controversy.
  • We wrap up Episode #223 of the NLSC Podcast with a few thoughts on the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Is Melo a little underrated?

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #222

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Episode #222 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and myself as we offer up our initial impressions of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, and look ahead to the 2018 season of basketball gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • After spending quite a bit of time with the demo, we finally have our hands on the full version of NBA Live 18. Pleasingly, the game is feeling like a significant step forward.
  • Interestingly, WNBA Play Now has been a lot of fun, changing up the experience. It definitely feels like something to build upon.
  • Ultimate Team could stand to be deeper, but there are a couple of nice features with the starter packs, based on your favourite team.
  • Franchise needs some work, but may be worth checking out as well. All in all, NBA Live 18 is shaping up to be a good comeback for the series.
  • Our initial impression of NBA 2K18 is that the NBA gameplay is a bit more fun than MyCAREER on the sticks, but it’s mostly some of the concepts that bug us. Starting from scratch again has us a little shook (sorry).
  • The biggest gripes with NBA 2K18 so far? The VC gouging, and a bewildering change to free throw shooting for MyPLAYERs.
  • Despite our complaints, there are some noticeable improvements to the gameplay, and other modes are looking good as well.
  • There’s still a lot to sink our teeth into, but on the whole, we are looking forward to the next year of basketball gaming, in both NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18.

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.

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The Friday Five: 5 Hopes for the 2018 Basketball Gaming Season

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 discusses five hopes that I have for the 2018 basketball gaming season.

As I noted earlier today, with the release of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, a brand new season of basketball gaming is now underway! My pre-order of NBA Live 18 downloaded a couple of days ago and then unlocked at midnight Australian Eastern Time, so I stayed up quite late playing the game and sharing some initial impressions on Twitter. As of this writing, the day one patch for the PlayStation 4 version of NBA 2K18 has just finished installing, and I’ve almost finished downloading the PC version on Steam as well. I anticipate that I have a big weekend of basketball gaming ahead of me.

With any luck, we’re all in for twelve months filled with fun basketball gaming experiences. I’ve felt optimistic about this year’s releases through most of the preview season, and I came away from both the NBA Live 18 demo and The Prelude to NBA 2K18 with some positive impressions. I’d like to spend more time with the full versions of both games before I offer up some in-depth impressions (and eventually, comprehensive reviews), but as I look ahead to the 2018 season of basketball gaming, I do have a few hopes for the experiences that will be on offer in this year’s releases.

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