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NLSC Podcast #437: NBA 2K23 First Look, NBA in the Zone, and…Garfield Kart?

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #437 of the NLSC Podcast!

Following up on last week’s show about retro collecting, we have some further recommendations, and a possible new recurring segment. We also make good on two promises: to test multiplayer in Garfield Kart, and to play NBA in the Zone and NBA in the Zone 2. Garfield Kart was of course life-changing, but Konami’s classics proved to be very interesting releases to revisit. The NBA 2K23 First Look Trailer has given us a glimpse of the Next Gen version in action, and we certainly have some thoughts ahead of next week’s gameplay news. A recent video from Agent 00 resonated with us, and aptly summed up the politics of content creation. Finally, we’re opening up this week’s mailbag to discuss 2K fatigue.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

Virtual Hardwood Stories Forum Spotlight

Virtual Hardwood Stories Forum Spotlight

Times change, and different content comes in and out of fashion. However, one section of the NLSC Forum that has maintained a dedicated following throughout the years is the Stories from the Virtual Hardwood board. This is where you can share stories of your franchise and career mode games with your fellow basketball gamers, and really indulge your creativity.

There are some great active threads in the Stories from the Virtual Hardwood section at the moment, and I’d like to take a moment to spotlight them. First of all, we have “The 2K10 & Beyond Project“, a story by jubba910. This tale not only spans multiple seasons but also multiple games, beginning with the 2010 campaign in NBA 2K10. jubba910 is now up to the 2018 season in NBA 2K18, and has produced a very interesting alternate history!

Next up we have “The Wrath of the Rose” by veteran of our story section, kibaxx7. This story winds back the clock to the 1970s, with the Portland Trail Blazers’ entry into the NBA. It’s a few years in now, and has likewise produced some fun alternate history with great presentation. The tale is being told using NBA 2K14 PC and the Ultimate Base Roster.

I’ll also plug my latest story thread here, “Ain’t gonna let nobody write it, but me”. It provides running updates on my NBA 2K14 MyCAREER on PlayStation 4, in between the yearly recaps I’ve been posting in Monday Tip-Off. I’m currently in my fourth season, and expect to have it finished by the time NBA 2K23 is released.

Other regularly-updated topics include the UBR Resim by Mavsfan_1991, A Fantasy World by yeahnah, and truefaith0826‘s 1995-1996 Season. Check them out, and feel free to join in the fun yourself! Quick updates are welcome in this topic, while suggestions for telling your virtual hardwood stories can be found here. We also conducted a series of interviews with long-time contributors to the stories section some years back. Additionally, some of the best stories that have now finished can be found in the NBA Live and NBA 2K Hall of Fame boards. A big thanks to everyone who keeps the stories section going!

Monday Tip-Off: Zero-Sum Thinking & Basketball Gaming

Monday Tip-Off: Zero-Sum Thinking & Basketball Gaming

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with my thoughts on how there’s too much zero-sum thinking in the basketball gaming community.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, zero-sum thinking involves perceiving situations as a zero-sum game; in other words, a scenario where a gain for one side means a loss for the other. Needless to say, this leads to a belief that mutual gain and benefits are impossible. Our success must come at the expense of someone else’s failure, and every situation involves a winner and a loser. Obviously there are zero-sum games and scenarios where this is true, but a bias towards zero-sum thinking does result in fallacious assertions.

Needless to say, zero-sum thinking occurs in a number of matters, many of which are more serious than basketball gaming. However, since that’s what we cover here at the NLSC, that’s the context I’m discussing here today. If you’ve observed or partaken in the discourse in the wider basketball gaming community, you’ll have encountered zero-sum thinking, even if you didn’t recognise or label it as such. Again, it’s hardly unique to basketball gaming, and is inevitable when passionate people have different ideas about their hobby. That doesn’t mean we can’t call it out though, because it does foster toxicity, and doesn’t help in the development of better basketball video games.

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NLSC Podcast #435: How EA Could Sell Us On NBA Live 24

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #435 of the NLSC Podcast!

Barring a very surprising announcement, NBA Live won’t be back in 2022. However, EA Sports has a golden opportunity to make a triumphant return with NBA Live 24 in 2023. The question is, how do they sell it to basketball gamers, and meet their expectations? We posed the question to the community, and received many enthusiastic answers as to what would encourage gamers to switch back to NBA Live, or double dip with NBA Live and NBA 2K. An old story about Julius Erving and the Utah Jazz also prompts us to consider interesting scenarios for a “What If” roster mod, and we recap a fun co-op session of NBA Inside Drive 2003 over Parsec.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

Monday Tip-Off: Guess It Is A Barbie Dress-Up Game

Monday Tip-Off: Guess It Is A Barbie Dress-Up Game

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with my observations of how, contrary to what Ronnie 2K once said, NBA 2K has become a Barbie dress-up game.

There’s an online maxim to the effect of “the internet doesn’t forget”. In short, it refers to how the comments and content that we post online is there in perpetuity, and may reflect poorly upon us when it’s rediscovered years later. Celebrities have lost face (and gigs) when old Tweets have resurfaced. Everyday people have had difficulty in their offline lives after they’ve gone viral for the wrong reasons. I’ve been contacted by a few former community members asking if we can scrub their posts from the Forum, as they don’t want youthful silliness to affect their future job prospects.

Controversy has a way of following people long after they’ve apologised and atoned, or indeed, allegations have been proven false. As they say, mud sticks. However, one might suggest that that’s fair if the person in question has remained unapologetic, and the problematic situation persists. It’s certainly fair to keep bringing up an issue that people try to sweep under the rug. That happens far too often within the basketball gaming community, where outrage over persistent problems is fleeting. It’s why every so often, I’ll bring up the time that Ronnie 2K made a snarky comment about NBA 2K not being a Barbie dress-up game; especially now that it’s kind of turned into one.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Lasting Impact of NBA Live 13

Wayback Wednesday: The Lasting Impact of NBA Live 13

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at the fall of NBA Live 13, and its lasting impact on the NBA Live series.

When I covered NBA Elite 11 and NBA Live 13 for our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live content, it wasn’t the easiest article to write. Not only was it delving into major low points for the series in the midst of celebrating a milestone, but it’s talking about games that didn’t come out and most of us have never played, apart from the NBA Elite 11 demo. Of course, the full version of NBA Elite 11 has since leaked online, which has given gamers the opportunity to play it via emulation. There are some mixed opinions, but the general consensus is that it’s on par with the demo.

To that end, there’s a reasonably clear picture of NBA Elite 11: a full preview season, a widely-panned demo, leaked copies in the wild that people got their hands on, and a ripped version that finally gave more gamers a hands-on look. Conversely, NBA Live 13 remains more of a mystery. The previews were mostly vague about details before they stopped, and not much else has been revealed about the cancelled game except that it wasn’t close to being good enough. Still, despite being canned, NBA Live 13 had a lasting impact on the series and community. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: The Community, Or The Wrong Parts of It?

Monday Tip-Off: The Community, Or The Wrong Parts of It?

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with some thoughts on blaming the entire basketball gaming community for changes and additions that only a vocal minority asked for.

Even though everyone in the basketball gaming community shares a common passion, we’re not always on the same page. We’re divided along several lines: mode of choice, online or offline gaming, ideal controls and mechanics, how much realism the games should have, and so on. This makes it impossible for anyone to speak on behalf of the entire community, and no one person’s vision alone is right for basketball gaming. In turn, developers have many voices to listen to – some offering up conflicting feedback – and so are guaranteed to disappoint a contingent of the fanbase with certain choices.

While we collectively understand that, in our disappointment and indeed our outrage, it’s difficult to accept. When we’re disappointed and angry – whether it’s about video games or anything in life – we want to lay blame. We point the finger at developers, the suits, and even ourselves. In all three cases, that blame isn’t entirely misplaced. However, when it comes to blaming ourselves, we’re talking about a much larger group; a group that has less control than the other two, and is less likely to be wholly in agreement. As such, when we blame what we see as an undesirable aspect of NBA 2K on the community, we’re often pointing the finger at the wrong parts of it.

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NLSC Podcast #411: A Chat With Nate & Roger, NBA Live 2001 Enthusiasts

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #411 of the NLSC Podcast!

We have two more guests from the community this week, as we’re joined by Nate and Roger. The duo run the NBA Live 2001 Highlights account on Instagram, and also have a YouTube channel. They discuss their love of NBA Live 2001, which they’ve been enthusiastically playing for over 20 years. Suffice to say, they certainly know the game inside and out! From generic jumping ratings and a unique Create-a-Player feature to gameplay mechanics and the most effective strategies, there’s plenty to reflect on. Nate and Roger also talk about other old basketball video games that they play, and their thoughts on recent NBA 2K games. We also reminisce about some of the players that we grew up watching, especially those who became Virtual Hardwood Legends.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

NLSC Podcast #409: A Chat With Stildo33

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #409 of the NLSC Podcast!

Stildo33 joins the show to talk about his amazing retro season roster mods for NBA 2K19 PC. We discuss some of the challenges of making such large projects, and a few of his plans for future updates. Like us, Stildo33 has also been having a blast with Parsec, and is all about bringing the community together with the app. He also recalls one of his most memorable battles on the virtual hardwood, which actually saw him and a friend get physical over a three day period! We also discuss the shutdown of the NBA 2K20 servers and what it means for MyCAREER gamers, as well as some other fond basketball gaming memories.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

The Friday Five: 5 Things We Need to Stop Saying In 2022

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 we need to stop saying in 2022.

And so, we’ve come to the end of 2021! It’s been a challenging couple of years with a global pandemic and whatnot, so hopefully better times await us all in 2022. Around these parts, we’ve obviously had basketball video games to keep us occupied. We get a lot of joy out of our hobby, but there are obviously moments of frustration as well. As I’ve said before, it’s necessary to cover all aspects of basketball gaming. We should celebrate and enjoy our passion for the virtual hardwood, and at the same time, voice our criticisms and concerns. Positive or negative, it’s vital that we have our say.

However, there are some things that we should stop saying, and with 2022 upon us, it’s a prime opportunity to cut them from the discourse. I don’t say this as a way of impeding freedom of speech, and it certainly won’t be a rule enacted in our Forum. I just believe it’s in our best interests, because thought-terminating cliches ultimately pollute the conversation. They stifle discussion of important issues, and are needlessly divisive. As always, I’m under no delusion that one article will eradicate these tired and trite phrases from the basketball gaming community. Nevertheless, if we see less of them in 2022, the quality of conversations about virtual hoops should improve.

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NLSC Rewind 2021

NLSC Rewind 2021

Welcome to the NLSC Rewind for 2021! It’s been another challenging year for many of us around the world, but fortunately, we’ve had basketball gaming to provide some much-needed distractions. Here at the NLSC, it’s been another year of great mod releases and basketball gaming discussion. We’ve also aimed to cover a wide variety of topics in our original content.

As always, it’s been our goal to cover both the positive and negative aspects of the games we play. From holding publishers accountable and criticising practices that impact our enjoyment, to celebrating the fun we’re having and brainstorming new ideas for future games, we’ve strived to be fair, thorough, informative, and hopefully entertaining. Above all, we want our original content to share interesting facts, ways to enhance your basketball gaming experiences, and advocate for our fellow gamers. Whichever mode and game that we each prefer, we should all get the most out of it.

This NLSC Rewind is a collection of “editor’s picks” for our 2021 content. Obviously, I encourage everyone to dig through our entire archives if you’re enjoying what you’re reading, watching, and listening to with our articles, videos, and podcasts. However, these recommendations represent content that I’m particularly proud of, and believe are worth a second look or listen; or a first one, if you missed them when they were originally posted! Seeing as how we’re celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, I decided that I’d make 25 picks for each of our weekly features. As we prepare for a brand new year of basketball gaming, join me as I rewind 2021 here at the NLSC!

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NLSC Podcast #407: Christmas Special 2021

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Episode #407 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

It’s our 2021 season finale, which means it’s time for a (slightly belated) Christmas special! We recap our recent Parsec sessions, which featured NBA Live 99 and NBA in the Zone 2. There’s also a matter with the Top 10 Plays of the Week that we feel the need to address. After that, it’s time for the listener mailbag! This week, we join our listeners in sharing some of our favourite Christmas-related basketball and basketball gaming memories, and special moments playing with friends and family. In the spirit of the season, it seems that the virtual hardwood has brought many of us closer to the people we love.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

Monday Tip-Off: So, What Do You Actually Dislike?

Monday Tip-Off: So, What Do You Actually Dislike?

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 my thoughts on a phenomenon that I’m sure bugs a lot of passionate content creators: a dislike on a carefully produced YouTube video.

One of the lessons that I’ve learned in the twenty years that I’ve been running the NLSC is that not everyone will like you, or the content that you produce. The reasons for this vary, and aren’t necessarily a reflection of your work. Maybe you had a heated discussion that resulted in perpetually simmering ill feelings. Perhaps an incident led to you blocking them or banning them from your platform, or they left, blocked, or unfollowed you in a huff. Alternatively, your style and presentation just isn’t for them, or they strongly disagree with your views and opinions.

It can be a tough pill to swallow. Unless it’s your intention to produce particularly provocative content that trolls or takes a contrarian stance for the sake of it, usually you hope that an audience will like your work and agree with you. This is especially true of opinion pieces, where it’s easy to assume that you’re not only speaking for yourself, but for many others who share your views and perhaps don’t have the words or platform to express them. It can be surprising to receive pushback in the form of a dislike or dissenting comment, even though it really shouldn’t be. What’s far more surprising – and frustrating – is when the content is not controversial, or poorly made.

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NLSC Podcast #404: Cheese Not Found

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Episode #404 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

After an intense battle, the Semi-Finals of the NLSC NBA Live 10 Tournament are over, and the Finals match-up has been set. Once again, we note the importance of competing until the final buzzer. Following on from last week’s revisiting of NBA Live 96 PC, we played NBA Live 97 PC over Parsec, and basked in the radical 90s goodness of its presentation. We also played NBA Live 16, and tested a work-in-progress mod for NBA 2K16. Meanwhile, the latest patch for NBA 2K22 Next Gen has cut down on cheese, and some gamers aren’t happy. Conversely, we’re all for it, and push back on the suggestion that the game shouldn’t be realistic. We also reflect on the importance of shot timing mechanics.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 06 PC Dynasty Re-Made On Xbox 360

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 06 PC Dynasty Re-Made On Xbox 360

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, it’s a highlight reel from my re-creation of my NBA Live 06 PC Dynasty with the Chicago Bulls on Xbox 360.

My Chicago Bulls Dynasty in NBA Live 06 PC remains one of my all-time favourite experiences, in one of my all-time favourite basketball video games. This year, I’ve come to appreciate the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 as well, though the game is of course lacking Dynasty mode. Nevertheless, the Xbox 360 version has recently been my retro kick. Just for fun, I re-created the roster from Year 1 of my PC Dynasty on Xbox 360. I ended up playing a game against the San Antonio Spurs, the team that I defeated in that first season to clinch the Bulls’ seventh championship. As I recorded some highlights from the game, you can join me as I take a look back…way back…

As always, I’m never sure how long a retro kick will last. Between this re-creation, the 2006 All-Star Game, and some other games that I’ve played in the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 however, I’ve really enjoyed revisiting it. Although its lack of depth made for a shaky start to the seventh generation, it’s frankly an underrated game that deserves more credit for its gameplay and graphical advancements. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the highlights. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video content!