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NLSC Podcast #326: Letting It All Out This Week

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Episode #326 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Dee4Three and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

This week, we’re letting it all out as we discuss a variety of topics! We begin with the impending return of the NBA, and our thoughts on the format to finish out the season. On that note, is this really the end of Vince Carter’s career? Elsewhere, a long-lost spin-off of SimCity has us wondering whether any more forgotten and unreleased basketball games will make it out into the wild. The rare version of NBA Jam with Michael Jordan springs to mind. Recent events also lead us to share some strong opinions on the use of Patreon in the modding community, and the focus on making money through the hobby. With EA Play on the horizon, we wonder once more about the future of NBA Live, and express some frustration. We also touch on representing the ABA on the virtual hardwood, and what would make for acceptable downloadable content in basketball games. Oh, and there’s a potentially divisive opinion about the Oklahoma City Thunder’s branding.

What’s your take on this week’s topics? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K10 Draft Combine

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K10 Draft Combine

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 the NBA 2K10 Draft Combine.

Our journey to the league in NBA 2K’s career modes has taken many forms. We’ve played in Rookie Showcase games, guided Freq from high school through to the pros, experienced a college career with Pres, and took a long road through China and the G League as AI. We’ve even made it to the NBA after leaving basketball behind to be a DJ, and then drawing attention in a streetball tournament. The Draft Combine has been featured in a couple of stories (including NBA 2K20’s tale), serving as another way to prove ourselves on the virtual hardwood and raise our Draft stock.

In the very first iteration of career mode – then called My Player – the combine was the starting point for the whole experience, tipping things off before the full game was even released. The NBA 2K10 Draft Combine offered gamers a sneak peek at the mode as well as an opportunity to get a head start, though only on console. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Errors That Were Never Fixed

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 errors in various basketball video games that were never fixed.

Post-release support for basketball video games has come a long way. Official roster updates are now the norm, and while there are complaints about their quality, they at least add new content to the game, and update modes where custom rosters can’t be used. We no longer have to petition the developers to create bug fixes, and it’s much easier to provide feedback about errors that arise. Modern NBA Live and NBA 2K titles do have their problems, but we’re more likely to see resolutions, as well as content updates that keep them fresh throughout the year.

This wasn’t always the case, especially on consoles. Before the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 era, patches and updates were mostly a perk of PC releases. Even then, they weren’t as plentiful or detailed as they are now. There were a lot of errors that we just had to put up with, as there was no way that they were going to be fixed until the next game came out; assuming they didn’t become legacy issues, of course! Mind you, even when games did receive official patches, they would sometimes introduce new errors that were never followed up on with further fixes. Some of these errors were just cosmetic, some we could fix ourselves, but all were annoying in their own way.

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NBA Playgrounds Receives New Patch, Hot N’ Frosty DLC

Kawhi Leonard in NBA Playgrounds

It’s been a while, but NBA Playgrounds has received a new patch, as well as some paid downloadable content. Both are currently available for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of the game. If the patch does not download automatically, try restarting your Steam client or console. At this time, Saber Interactive are still working on getting all of the latest updates to Nintendo Switch users.

As well as making a few fixes, Patch 1.4 adds a total of 45 new players to the NBA Playgrounds roster, with the selection including both current and former players. Additionally, 15 more players are now playable on a second team, though as before, those cards must be collected separately. Five more YouTubers also join the Playgrounders squad, and support for voice chat has been added. Please see below for the full player listings and patch notes.

The new paid DLC, titled “Hot N’ Frosty”, is available for $9.99 USD across all platforms. It adds eight Class of 2017 rookies to packs, three new basketballs, and three new playgrounds with their own tournaments: Toronto, Miami, and Rio de Janeiro. See below for more details, as well as a trailer.

While it’s great to see NBA Playgrounds receive more content, it’s also disheartening to see that the new tournaments are being offered as paid DLC. The offline experience has been lacking in depth since launch, forcing gamers to attempt a tedious grind to unlock players once they’ve completed all the tournaments. With that in mind, Saber previously released roster unlock DLC to a mixed reaction from NBA Playgrounds gamers.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you’re looking to join in the discussion about NBA Playgrounds in the NLSC Forum, you’ll find the official topic here under the Other Basketball Games board.

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NBA Playgrounds Roster Unlock Now Available

Saber Interactive has released a Roster Unlock add-on for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of NBA Playgrounds. The add-on allows gamers to automatically unlock all current players, as well as every free player that will be added to the game in the future. It’s available at a cost of $9.99 USD.

In a previous interview, Matthew Karch indicated that a pay-to-unlock add-on was a heavily requested feature, and mentioned that it would be something they would be exploring, despite his general aversion to such an approach. However, several gamers have expressed their displeasure with the move on social media, blasting the decision on the game’s official Facebook and Twitter.

If I may offer my own take on the matter, while I am leery of microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics, I do feel there is merit to offering the Roster Unlock add-on. One of NBA Playgrounds’ biggest weaknesses is its lack of offline content. If you’re chiefly an offline gamer, it becomes a massive grind to level up and earn packs once you’ve completed the Tournaments. Naturally, if you’ve already gone through the tough grind, you may feel a bit cheated by the release of the add-on, and there are always going to be concerns about online balance. A move like this is always going to be controversial, but the sparse amount of offline content almost makes it a necessity.

An important point to remember here is that a lot of NBA Playgrounds gamers did ask for this, despite Saber’s initial reluctance to adopt microtransactions. While the move is not going to be to everyone’s liking, I personally feel that NBA Playgrounds is a game that’s still worth supporting, especially if new content can continue to be added. Whichever decision they made on this issue, one side of the fanbase was not going to be happy. It’s a problematic approach in some respects, but arguably a necessary evil, and something that was indeed heavily requested.

What’s your take on add-ons such as this? Is it appropriate here, given the lack of modes and offline content in NBA Playgrounds? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion of the game here in the Forum!

The Friday Five: 5 Lost Official Downloads for 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 official downloads for basketball games that have been lost over time.

In our community, we know the pain of lost files. Mods, especially big projects, have been hosted all over the place throughout the years. As a result of sites being closed down and files being deleted from free hosting services after a period of inactivity, we’ve lost a lot of releases, especially from the early days. We’ve salvaged and re-uploaded files whenever possible, but there are a lot of mods that are seemingly gone for good. Of course, in theory, it is possible to create new versions of those mods which may be just as good as, or even better than the originals. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with official downloads, such as patches and downloadable content.

Just as we’ve tried to preserve our database of unofficial patches and mods over the years, we’ve also done our best to keep a repository of official downloads. If you browse our Downloads database, you’ll find a bunch of the old official patches for NBA Live on PC, as well as demos, manuals, and so on. There are some official downloads that we haven’t been able to salvage though, which means if you don’t already have a copy of them installed or backed up somewhere, you’re out of luck. This week’s Five is a list of five official downloads that have been lost to time…at least as far as I’m aware.

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