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The Friday Five: 5 Funny Basketball Game Commentary Moments

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 funny moments in the commentary of various basketball games.

Commentary is an important part of presentation in basketball video games (and most sports games, for that matter). When it’s done well, it adds to a feeling of authenticity, helping to create the illusion that you’re watching a real game. It’s an area of sports video games that has greatly improved over the years, with more lines of dialogue, better reaction logic, and other enhancements thanks to improved technology. At the same time, it can still get rather repetitive after a while, and so there are many gamers who prefer to play basketball games with the commentary turned off.

There’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact, switching off commentary actually adds a certain amount of realism and immersion in career modes, where you obviously wouldn’t be able to hear the commentators while on the court. However, if you do turn off the commentary, you can miss out on some funny moments. From witty lines and Easter eggs to the occasional mistake left in by accident, there are some very amusing gems. I can’t recall anything quite as hilariously bad and sloppy as the outtakes that were left in the DLC for WWE 2K17, but the virtual hardwood has still provided us with some funny moments from the people calling the action.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Hangtime Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Hangtime Retrospective

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 NBA Hangtime.

One of the benefits of Wayback Wednesday is that eventually, everything becomes “retro” enough to talk about. As it is, I’ve bent the rules slightly with some more recent games from time to time, but generally speaking, I’ve preferred focusing on titles that are several years old. To that end, I’ve tried to cover many of the classics before touching on more recent nostalgia. However, there are several titles from the early days of basketball gaming that I still haven’t covered, but definitely mean to get to. NBA Hangtime is just one of the games that are overdue for a retrospective.

Perhaps it’s only fitting that I’ve yet to cover the game, going on five years of running Wayback Wednesday features. As popular as it was with basketball gamers in its day, it does tend to be overlooked when we discuss the best arcade hoops titles. It was a strong follow-up to NBA Jam Tournament Edition – one of my personal favourites – and a game that I really enjoyed on the Nintendo 64. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Worst Announcers 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 countdown of the Top 5 worst announcers in basketball video games.

Two Top 5 countdowns in a row? Yes indeed! Last week we took a look at my picks for the five best announcers in basketball games, so it seems only right that this week, we count down the five worst. Once again, this is all subjective and down to personal preference to some extent, and I don’t want to come across as mean-spirited with this countdown. After all, I’m sure that everyone I’ve named here did try their best in the booth. Nevertheless, these are my picks, and reading comments from other basketball gamers, I know that I’m not alone in some of these selections.

Since I outlined what makes a great hoops game announcer last week, I suppose I should set out my criteria for the worst announcers. Essentially, it’s the opposite. The performance may be stilted and boring, or inauthentic. In some cases, it may be a bad fit for the style of basketball game in question. Other times, the performance isn’t the problem, but the things the announcer is saying are annoying or distracting, and take you out of the experience. In short, commentary that is flat, uninspiring, ill-fitting, or annoying will make the action on the virtual hardwood seem far less fun and exciting, and that’s one of the main problems that I (and others) have with these announcers.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Announcers 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 countdown of the Top 5 announcers in basketball video games.

It’s been almost a year since I did a Top 5 countdown in The Friday Five. Seeing as how it’s one of the reasons this feature is The Friday Five, it’s time to remedy that. This time, I’m counting down the Top 5 Announcers in all of basketball video games, meaning both sim and arcade titles. I’m also featuring announcers who call real NBA games and voice actors who have provided commentary over the years. If that isn’t already a spoiler, yes, legendary voice of NBA Jam Tim Kitzrow is on the list. The question is: who are the other four announcers?

For that matter, what makes a great announcer in a basketball video game? In a sim game, it usually means authenticity in replicating a broadcast, from play-by-play to colour commentary. Conversely, arcade games benefit from commentary that isn’t as focused on play-by-play, but rather exaggerated reactions and catchphrases. The announcers play a key role in establishing the overall atmosphere and vibe of a hoops title, which goes a long way in getting us hooked and keeping us engaged. Obviously countdowns like this are always subjective, but I’d suggest that thanks to these five announcers, our experiences on the virtual hardwood have been greatly enhanced.

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The Friday Five: 5 Interesting Ways to Play 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 five ways to make your basketball gaming experiences more interesting.

As we discussed in last week’s episode of the NLSC Podcast, the offseason is upon us, which means we’ve put in nine solid months of gaming with last season’s basketball titles. It’s around this time of the year that our habits on the virtual hardwood tend to change. Maybe we start spending time in a different mode, or try to finish up all of our business before this year’s games are released. If we’re enjoying what we’re doing, we may keep playing the current game throughout the preview season. Or, after so many months, we may feel it’s time to shelve the games and play something else.

If you are still keen on virtual hoops at this point of the year, you might feel inclined to try something different. For that matter, you may be considering new ways to play in the upcoming games, as it’s easy to get into a rut and fall back into old habits year after year. I know that I’ve often vowed to change things up by trying a different build or doing something out of the ordinary, only to opt for the familiar. There are some ideas that I’d like to try out at some point though, as well as a few that I have tried, if only briefly. If you’d like a different basketball gaming experience, consider these suggestions this offseason, or come NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20.

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The Friday Five: 5 Things That Ruin Presentation

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 things that ruin the presentation in basketball games.

Over the past decade or so, presentation in basketball games has gone from strength to strength. EA Sports’ licensing agreement with ESPN has brought in-depth recreations of the network’s NBA broadcasts to NBA Live, from the commentary team to all of the wipes and overlays. Although NBA 2K currently uses “NBA on 2K” branding, its presentation closely mimics that of the NBA on TNT. In the NBA’s Greatest mode in NBA 2K12, 2K achieved historically accurate presentation for each era represented in the challenges, via some very impressive audio and visual effects.

Unfortunately, for all of the great things that basketball games have done with their presentation, there are still a few nagging issues that can detract from the experience. These include annoying visual elements, distracting inaccuracies, moments that break the immersion, oversights, and persistent design flaws. It may sound melodramatic to say that these things completely ruin the presentation as they don’t render the games totally unenjoyable, but considering that some of them should be easy to address, they are nevertheless prominent annoyances. Call some of them nitpicks if you like, but I do believe that avoiding these pitfalls would improve the presentation in Live and 2K.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Positives and Negatives in NBA Live 19

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 double countdown, featuring the Top 5 Positives and Top 5 Negatives in NBA Live 19.

I will be producing a written review of NBA Live 19 in addition to discussing the game in the Forum and on the NLSC Podcast, but right now, I’m still collecting my thoughts and evaluating the game as the initial content updates and bug fixes come through. That full review will be coming soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to post some initial impressions of this year’s release from EA Sports, spotlighting five of my most positive observations so far, as well as five things that stand out as some of the more prominent negatives.

Basically, if you’re looking for a quick overview of my take on NBA Live 19 so far, this is it. In my opinion, the game has taken some further steps forward this year, and while there is still room for improvement in many key areas, a solid foundation has been established. In ranking the positives and negatives that I have observed so far, I’m basing them on my preferences and expectations of the game, so their importance (or indeed, whether or not they count as a positive or negative) may differ for you. With that being said, let’s get on with a 2-for-1 edition of the Friday Five, and take a look at what’s good and what’s not so good in NBA Live 19!

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NBA 2K19 Broadcast Trailer Featuring Bill Simmons

NBA 2K19: Broadcast Trailer

2K has released the second of two trailers for NBA 2K19 this week. The latest trailer previews the broadcasters and presentation in this year’s game, and includes several highlights from cinematic angles, along with snippets of gameplay. Not surprisingly, the game’s cover players – Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Ben Simmons – are heavily featured in the trailer.

The trailer confirms that Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett will be returning this year to provide guest commentary. Sportswriter Bill Simmons of The Ringer also joins the broadcast team this year as a guest commentator, with the trailer providing us with a preview of some of the remarks he’ll share during games. Behind the scenes footage of his recording session is also shown.

Watch the Broadcast Trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube.

What are your thoughts? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in our NBA 2K19 Forum!

Latest NBA Live 19 Details & Cover Reveal Trailer

NBA Live 19: Joel Embiid in The Streets

GameStop’s pre-order listing for NBA Live 19 has revealed some new details about the game. There will be a new commentary team of Ed Cohen and Jay Williams, with new dialogue being added throughout the season. The story in The One will apparently begin in high school, and Big Moments return as part of The League.

There will also be a handful of in-game pre-order bonuses, based around cover player Joel Embiid. These include signature shoes, a jersey, a custom court, and more. See below for all the info that’s been revealed by GameStop’s store listing.

Speaking of Joel Embiid, a cover reveal trailer has also been released. ThaLiveKing posted several high resolution screenshots from the trailer in our Forum. You can watch the trailer below, as well as check out all of the screenshots.

Finally, Gaming Trend recently spoke with NBA Live 19 Creative Director Connor Dougan. Connor discussed some of the key improvements and new features in this year’s game, from Real Player Motion technology and dynamic AI to clothing and the player progression system in The One.

As always, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion in the NBA Live 19 section of the NLSC Forum!

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #220

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #220 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I have plenty to talk about following a big week of NBA 2K18 news, as well as the release of a new patch for the NBA Live 18 demo. The question is, as always, now that the show has been recorded, will any further news break over the weekend?

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.05 has been pushed through for the NBA Live 18 demo, and this time, we have a few patch notes. Once again, we take the opportunity to offer some further impressions of the demo, and encourage everyone to keep the feedback coming.
  • Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett will be joining NBA 2K18’s broadcasting team as special guest commentators. Unfortunately for KG, the game is only rated E10+.
  • The latest NBA 2K18 developer blogs by Scott O’Gallagher and Da_Czar have delivered a lot of promising news about improvements to AI, playcalling, and gameplay in general.
  • NBA 2K18 will see the debut of The Neighborhood, a new online open world experience that encompasses MyCAREER, 2K Pro-Am, and MyPARK (now called The Playground). It’s very cool, but we do have a few questions and concerns.
  • There will be 189 MyPLAYER Archetypes this year, with primary and secondary archetypes and hybrid styles. Excellent news, in our opinion.
  • A list of Achievements for The Prelude has been leaked, hinting at this year’s story. Mild spoiler warning!
  • We wrap up Episode #220 of the NLSC Podcast with Our Week in Basketball Gaming, which included a couple of really fun sessions of 2K Pro-Am as our season in NBA 2K17 continues to draw to a close.

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.

NBA 2K18 Special Guest Commentary Trailer; Gameplay Videos

NBA 2K18: Shaquille O'Neal vs. Kevin Garnett

Confirming the EB Games Australia leak, 2K Sports have released a new NBA 2K18 trailer announcing guest commentary in this year’s game. Future Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett will join the broadcasting teams in NBA 2K18, making guest appearances on a rotating basis.

As demonstrated in the trailer, Kobe and KG will share anecdotes about their playing days and provide their thoughts on the current generation of players. Both legends have a history with the NBA 2K series, with KG appearing on the cover of NBA 2K9, while Kobe appeared on the covers of NBA 2K10, and more recently, the Legend Edition of NBA 2K17. Kobe also made a cameo appearance in Shaquille O’Neal’s trailer for the Legend Edition of NBA 2K18.

The latest trailer also features more gameplay clips from cinematic angles, notably featuring cover player Kyrie Irving wearing #11 for the Boston Celtics. While the status of that trade is currently in question, 2K have indicated plans to issue a new cover as necessary.

Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

Speaking of gameplay, a handful of videos from the recent Gamestop expo are making the rounds. They are filmed over the shoulder and off-screen, so that’s something to keep in mind when evaluating what you see. In any event, you can check those out below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum. Feel free to share your impressions of the trailer, and the new gameplay videos, in the comments section below!

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EB Games Australia Leaks New NBA 2K18 Details

NBA 2K18: Kobe Bryant

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate and Operation Sports, the listing for NBA 2K18 on EB Games Australia has leaked a few new details about this year’s game. The information has since been removed from the listing, but a screenshot has preserved the details that were revealed, which are as follows:

MyPLAYER. Build your career in NBA games, hit the courts in the Playground or join the Pro-Am circuit. Featuring new MyPLAYER upgrade and endorsement systems and so much more.

MyTEAM. Collect and compete with player cards featuring NBA legends from yesterday and today. Construct a salary-capped team for the all-new Super Max season mode, or draft cards for a 5v5 tournament in the new Pack & Playoffs mode.

ELITE GAMEPLAY. The new motion system engine brings player control to a new level of realism. Now, dribbling and off the ball movement are no longer driven by animations. This groundbreaking technology dynamically creates animations to deliver the best gameplay experience possible. You are now in complete control.

SPECIAL GUEST COMMENTARY. The biggest roster of broadcasting talent in sports videogame history gets even bigger. Legends Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett join the booth on a rotating basis to lend their expertise to the broadcast.

LEGENDARY TEAMS. The greatest players in NBA history from all 30 teams, together on all-time franchise rosters for the very first time. Compete in Play Now to decide once and for all which franchise’s all-time greats reign supreme.

In addition to Kobe and KG joining the NBA 2K18 broadcasting team, it’s interesting to note that MyPARK appears to have been renamed to Playground. Alternatively, that may simply be a mistake, similar to an earlier hands-on impression article that erroneously referred to MyTEAM as “MyDYNASTY”, leading to speculation of a new mode.

These details are obviously still subject to official confirmation, though we’ll likely know more after the upcoming “Run the Neighborhood” Facebook event on August 31st. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

The Friday Five: 5 Tips for Creating Basketball Game Content

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 tips for anyone who wants to get involved in creating content for basketball video games.

So, you love basketball video games, and you want to create some content for or based on them. That’s great! The ratio of creators vs. consumers in any community rarely favours the creators, so any time that somebody new wants to create entertaining and informative content for basketball games, it’s most welcome. From our original content and talented modding community, to popular YouTubers and the EA Sports Game Changers, people are talking about basketball games, finding ways to help their fellow gamers enhance their experience, aiding the developers, and providing something interesting and entertaining to read or watch.

Although there are some well established platforms on which to create basketball gaming content, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To that end, I thought that I’d put together a shortlist of tips for anyone who wants to get involved in creating mods, videos, articles, and so on. Having observed what makes other people’s content successful (and in my opinion enjoyable), as well as having tried my hand at more than a couple of creative endeavours related to basketball games over the years, these are some traits and techniques that I like to keep in mind. Hopefully, some of them will be useful to aspiring content creators within the basketball gaming community.

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NBA 2K17 Dynamic Commentary Trailer; MyNBA2K17 Out Now

NBA 2K17: Paul George

The latest trailer for NBA 2K17 spotlights the dynamic commentary in this year’s game. This year, Kevin Harlan and lead analyst Greg Anthony will be joined by a rotation of second analysts, including Chris Webber, Steve Smith, Brent Barry, Doris Burke, and Clark Kellogg. David Aldridge has also been added to the broadcast team, as he takes over sideline reporting duties. There will be eleven national broadcasters in total, with over 400 hours of new commentary.

Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal return with their studio show, and will now conduct interviews with your MyPLAYER. The trailer also showcases some of the new dialogue recorded by real NBA coaches, and includes a few impressive highlights in the form of gameplay snippets. Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

Additionally, the MyNBA2K17 app is now available for Android and iOS devices. At present, we can play MyTEAM Mobile and scan our faces, however we won’t be able to see the scans until The Prelude is released. Nevertheless, if you’d like to take a peek at how face scanning works this year, you can go ahead and install the app.

Got any thoughts on dynamic commentary in NBA 2K17, or impressions of MyNBA2K17 so far? Feel free to share them in the comments below, and join in all of the discussion that’s taking place in the NBA 2K17 section of the NLSC Forum.