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NLSC Podcast #371: Hold The Guacamole

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Episode #371 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.

We’ve both caught the modding bug, but one of us has been far more motivated and productive than the other. Of course, that doesn’t stop us from making lofty plans for roster projects! A recent Tweet by the EA Playtesting account offers a glimmer of hope for the future of NBA Live, though we’re wary about reading too much into it. Meanwhile, polls on Twitter and Reddit have made it clear how the community feels about the prospect of shot aiming in NBA 2K22…and invited toxic responses from the online elitists. In this week’s mailbag, we’re reminiscing about ESPN NBA 2K5 and NBA Live 2005, and discussing the idea of MyTEAM being released as a standalone game.

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.

NLSC Podcast #370: MyTEAM Card Tricks

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Episode #370 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 last week’s show, we were inspired to spend some more time with NBA Live 2001, and have a few more thoughts to share. A couple of options from the game also bring to mind suggestions for additional roster management functions and MyNBA settings. Our main discussion this week focuses on MyTEAM, specifically issues with overpowered cards. We note how it encourages NBA 2K’s pushy recurrent revenue mechanics, waters down the gameplay with an homogenised experience, and misrepresents NBA history. Notably, the issues also extend beyond MyTEAM into MyCAREER. In this week’s mailbag, we’re talking about Blacktop, as well as the idea of trash talking 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.

NBA 2K21 Patch 1.10 Released; MyTEAM Fixes & New 2K Beach

NBA 2K21 Patch 1.10

Patch 1.10 is now available for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of NBA 2K21. As always, the update should come through automatically as long as your PC or console is online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console or Steam client, or checking for updates manually.

Similar to the recent patch for NBA 2K21 Next Gen, the latest Current Gen patch includes player likeness updates and fixes for various issues in MyTEAM. Although the specific players aren’t mentioned in the notes, it’s a safe bet that they’re the same ones that were updated on Next Gen. It also adds new decorations to 2K Beach in MyCAREER, and prepares the mode for some upcoming events.

The full notes for Patch 1.10 for NBA 2K21 Current Gen can be found below, and a full update history for the game has been documented here in our Wiki. Initially the patch caused some issues with corrupted saves (at least on PC), but it appears that a hotfix has since resolved the issue. If you’re still encountering difficulties, feel free to discuss them and any other impressions of the patch in the comments below, as well as here in the Forum. You may also want to contact 2K Support regarding any issues with corrupted files or missing VC.

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Monday Tip-Off: Ready (To Not Be) Player One

Monday Tip-Off: Ready (To Not Be) Player One

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 more thoughts on the online scene in NBA 2K. Specifically, in order to improve the quality of play, gamers must be ready to not be Player One.

I’m fortunate in that I’m not completely reliant on the online scene to enjoy basketball video games. I grew up gaming in a time before online play was common – or for that matter, possible – on the virtual hardwood. Dynasty was my mode of choice in NBA Live, and I’ve also racked up many hours playing single player MyCAREER in NBA 2K. I’m therefore able to enjoy the offline experience, which is vital given that the online scene in NBA 2K has a myriad of problems, ranging from technical issues and design flaws to toxic attitudes and a sloppy style of play.

At the same time, while I find it easy to eschew the online scene, I would prefer it to be better than it is. Obviously I’d like to jump in on occasion, having developed an appreciation for it over the past generation. Even if I’m not partaking in it myself, I’d still like to see the scene thrive and be the best possible experience for those who are playing it; especially gamers who play exclusively online. I’ve previously discussed vital changes that the developers need to implement, such as proper matchmaking. Today however, I want to focus on the problem of how so many gamers aren’t ready to drop their Player One mentality online, and how that could possibly be remedied.

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Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K8 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K8 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 College Hoops 2K8 on PlayStation 3.

College Hoops 2K8 is a title that generally makes basketball gamers feel wistful, the same way football gamers look back at ESPN NFL 2K5. Both games marked the end of their respective series, and were very highly regarded. They have an enduring popularity, as gamers who enjoyed them when they were new are still able to dust them off and play them today, especially College Hoops 2K8 with all of its roster customisation. Indeed, gamers have continued to make new rosters for College Hoops 2K8 for many years afterwards, some of which are still available.

As I look back at College Hoops 2K8, it seems accurate to say that it’s many people’s favourite college basketball game. As with College Hoops 2K7, I’m coming from the position of someone who wasn’t able to play it when it was new, and also didn’t spend a lot of time with its NBA counterpart at the time either. I therefore don’t have any nostalgia for it, and while I am able to make comparisons to NBA 2K8, there isn’t quite the same novelty as there was when comparing NBA Live 08 and NCAA March Madness 08. Nevertheless, it’s unquestionably a significant title, and a great release that’s well worth remembering. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Current Gen Rec vs Next Gen Rec

Monday Tip-Off: Current Gen Rec vs Next Gen Rec

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 comparison of my experiences playing Rec games in the Current Gen and Next Gen versions of NBA 2K21.

Back in December last year, I declared that The Rec in NBA 2K21 was garbage. I stand by that opinion, and the conclusions I drew about who we should blame for the current state of the mode. In short, blame can be attributed to toxic attitudes within the basketball gaming community, but Visual Concepts themselves share responsibility given how the online scene panders to elitism and focuses on pushy recurrent revenue mechanics. The Rec went from being a hit-and-miss experience that could be quite fun at the best of times, to an absolute nightmare.

And so, I gave up on it. It was a healthy decision, especially since I wanted to move away from MyCAREER and its connected experiences. As unfortunate as it was that it took all the fun being sucked out of the mode to break my habit, it did at least prove to be adequate incentive. Of course, I did still dabble with MyCAREER in NBA 2K21 Next Gen in order to play through the story and earn a Trophy, with a view to playing the occasional online game. If nothing else, I was curious to see if anything would change, and wanted to keep tabs on the scene in order to advocate for improvements. With that being said, what is The Rec like on Next Gen compared to Current Gen?

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NLSC Podcast #367: Courting Controversy

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Episode #367 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.

The surprising quality of Garfield Kart (of all things) leads us to consider how to make a good rip-off, and where so many NBA Jam clones have come up short. However, our main topic this week is controversial and unpopular basketball gaming opinions. We share a few of our own potentially divisive takes, and react to the fantastic responses we received on Twitter when we invited our followers to share theirs. As it turns out, some opinions may be more popular than some people think! Additionally, we touch on how people are discouraged from sharing unpopular opinions – or just opinions in general – particularly valid criticism. In this week’s mailbag, we return to the question of when releases should and likely will end for Current Gen.

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.

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.06 Now Available

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.06

Patch 1.06 is now available for the Next Gen version of NBA 2K21. As always, it should come through automatically as long as your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S is online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console, or checking for updates manually.

The patch is smaller than the previous update, primarily consisting of likeness updates for 30 current and retro players. It also resolves a few technical issues in MyTEAM, and prepares the mode for Season 6, which is set to tip off in about eight days. To that end, the patch notes hint at Season 6 in MyTEAM having an unusual theme. A Spring theme has also been added to The City, and it will be going live shortly.

Check out all of the notes for Patch 1.06 below, and find a complete update history for NBA 2K21 Next Gen here in our Wiki. Feel free to chime in with your impressions in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

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NLSC Podcast #366: A Lifetime On The Virtual Hardwood

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Episode #366 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.

A recent modding disaster inspires us to reflect on some of our past follies, and the need to adopt good modding practices. In particular, we note the appeal of a fresh start, and how it distracts us from what’s already on the workbench. Our main discussion topic this week is something we’ve been thinking about for a while: the stigma against older basketball gamers, and adult gamers in general. We discuss the issue of age-appropriate hobbies, the benefits of gaming regardless of age, and how long we see ourselves hitting the virtual hardwood. In this week’s mailbag, we’re talking about putting the fun back into the sim titles, and an interesting scenario regarding the three-point line.

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.

The Friday Five: 5 Odd Create-a-Player Features

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 odd features that can be found in various Create-a-Player modes over the years.

One of the most basic staples of roster customisation in basketball games – and most sports games for that matter – is Create-a-Player. Whether you want to add a real player that’s missing from the official roster, insert your own avatar into the game, or spice things up with a fictional character, it’s there to indulge your creativity. Despite being a staple of roster editing, Create-a-Player has been missing from a few games, including NBA Live 14 through 16, and NBA Live 18 before a patch added it post-launch. Other than that, most games from the mid 90s onwards have included it.

Create-a-Player modes have usually offered a standard set of features as far as the ratings, bio data, and other attributes that can be assigned. As the graphics of hoops games have improved, so have the face creation tools. Generally speaking, apart from an option here and there for added depth, most 5v5 sim-oriented basketball titles have very similar Create-a-Player facilities. With that being said, there have been a few games with creation modes that have included some odd features and options, ranging from design choices and limitations to unexpected content. You know the drill: I’ve got five such examples to discuss, so let’s begin!

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NBA 2K21 Patch 1.09 Released; MyTEAM & Cosmetic Updates

NBA 2K21 Patch 1.09

Patch 1.09 is now available for NBA 2K21 Current Gen! As of this post, it’s come through on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If it hasn’t downloaded for you, try restarting your console, or checking for updates manually. The patch should be available on PC soon. When it does come through, you might need to restart your Steam client if it doesn’t download automatically.

The patch addresses a few issues in MyTEAM, including Dark Matter cards not displaying their Overall Ratings. New player likenesses have also been included, and the decorations for 2K Beach in MyCAREER have been updated as well.

See below for the full release notes for Patch 1.09, or find them here in our NBA 2K21 Current Gen update history. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

March 15th Update: The patch is now available for PC as well.

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Monday Tip-Off: Are Short Quarters The Standard?

Monday Tip-Off: Are Short Quarters The Standard?

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 games being designed around playing on short quarters rather than the regulation length of 12 minutes.

Playing on 12 minute quarters rather than shorter settings has been a point of pride for me over the years. Well, pride may be too strong of a word – it’s not really any kind of accomplishment, after all – but I always felt fulfilled when I could play through a full 82 game season with regulation quarter lengths. The downside is that even in my favourite franchise experiences, I usually didn’t play more than a couple of seasons unless I resorted to simulating. As I’ve grown older and gained new responsibilities, I’ve had to make peace with the idea of simming games.

It’s been harder to warm up to the idea of playing on short quarters, though. It just doesn’t feel right; it’s not “sim”. If nothing else, I don’t like that the minutes per game averages for my team don’t line up with the rest of the league. The addition of an accelerated clock in various NBA Live titles over the past generation, as well as the ability to normalise stats in NBA 2K’s franchise modes, has provided a solution here. Of course, in MyCAREER, longer quarters allow for more Badge progress in short order, and there’s no normalisation option for stats. Caring too much about that does seem like folly however, as it feels like games are designed for short quarters.

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NLSC Podcast #365: Time To Get Creative

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Episode #365 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.

Deep Create-a-Player features are a must, and it’s tough not to get wistful when we see them in other sports titles. Some of the features in MLB The Show give us ideas for what we’d like to see in NBA Live and NBA 2K’s creation tools. The pain of losing functionality when servers are shut down leads us to discuss the possibility of a subscription model for basketball games. In the news this week, Ultimate Rivals: The Court has been announced. We’re intrigued, and looking forward to an NBA Jam-like game with Tim Kitzrow on the call. Time with The W also has us nostalgic for an era when microtransactions weren’t everything. In the mailbag this week, we answer a question about the necessary focus in order for NBA Live to make a triumphant return, and Frankenstein our ideal game, picking and choosing elements from a number of existing basketball titles.

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.

The Friday Five: 5 Divisive Artistic Choices

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 artistic choices in basketball video games that proved to be divisive.

It’s likely that at some point, you’ve heard the fable of “The miller, his son, and the donkey.” It’s the go-to fable whenever you want to illustrate that you can’t please everyone; or, to use the wording of the moral that’s appended to certain versions of the fable, “if you try to please all, you please none.” The fable is talking about actions, but the message holds true for art and entertainment as well. Whether it’s a video game, tabletop game, film, TV series (or an individual episode thereof), album, song, poem, drawing, painting, or whatever…nothing receives universal acclaim.

After all, it’s impossible for a single work to cater to everyone’s individual taste with its artistic choices. Of course, some artistic choices tend to evoke more extreme responses and opinions than others. They’re the proverbial “love it or hate it” artistic choices, with very little in between. It’s also interesting that some of the most divisive aspects of basketball games are generally inconsequential artistic choices that don’t inhibit the core gameplay experience. Atmosphere is still important though, and a gaudy art style can be off-putting. With that in mind, here are five of the most divisive artistic choices that we’ve seen in various aspects of basketball video games.

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The Friday Five: 5 Cheats with Major Drawbacks

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 cheats that have major drawbacks.

Cheaters never prosper, as the saying goes. Of course, that saying predates video games, where cheating often leads to great success! Doom II sure felt like a walk in the park when my cousin and I punched in IDDQD and IDKFA for invincibility and all the items. There are a couple of adventure games I probably wouldn’t have ever finished if not for a walkthrough, and the Konami code has benefited many a gamer over the years. Alright, it’s kind of cheating yourself and it’s far more satisfying when you beat a game legitimately, but the point is that cheats are indeed effective.

Well, some of them. Some cheats are more like Easter eggs, unlocking weird effects and bonus content that don’t actually help you win. Some are definitely just for fun, but even then, there can be drawbacks. As is the case in other genres, employing cheats in basketball games may not allow you to make any progress. The effects of some cheats are a letdown, while others may actually make the game more difficult. Whatever the case may be, you’re better off avoiding these codes and activities if you want to enjoy basketball gaming to its fullest. Here are five such examples, and the drawbacks that you can expect to experience.

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