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NLSC Podcast #445: Is NBA 2K23 The Greediest 2K Ever?

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #445 of the NLSC Podcast!

The greediness and pushiness of microtransactions in NBA 2K23 is under fire this past week, as the honeymoon period with the game appears to be drawing to a close. We’re certainly inclined to agree with that critique, though it’s disheartening to see people shilling and shouting down valid criticism. While we’re still enjoying NBA 2K23, there are concerning issues from gameplay balance online, to the expense of MyTEAM packs and upgrades in MyCAREER. Meanwhile, the quickness in patching a happy accident with MyNBA Eras rosters while leaving other issues untouched highlights a continued lack of goodwill. We also recall a cool feature in the Japanese-exclusive NBA Starting Five 2005, and open up the mailbag to get the community’s thoughts on the approach to VC in NBA 2K23, as well as find out what they’ve been playing so far.

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 Franchise & Career Mode Disappointments (That Are Realistic)

The Friday Five: 5 Franchise & Career Mode Disappointments (That Are Realistic)

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five disappointments that you’ll encounter in franchise and career modes, which are nevertheless realistic.

Franchise modes allow us to greatly influence a virtual NBA. Even if we only have control over one team, our ability to have them overachieve significantly changes the league’s landscape. We have much less control in career modes, but once our player has levelled up and is capable of record-breaking domination game in and game out, the NBA is at our mercy. However, while we can have seasons for the ages and amass large collections of virtual trophies, there are some aspects that are still beyond our control. Needless to say, that can be frustrating, and disheartening.

On the other hand, it maintains a semblance of realism, even if our results and stats are pushing the boundaries of believability. The challenge of franchise and career modes, and indeed the overall fun and enjoyment we get from their journeys, often hinges on us not getting everything we want. There should be surprising and unlikely outcomes, at least from time to time. We should miss out on opportunities, even if we’re well prepared for them. The disappointments – the trials and tribulations – make our successes and getting what we want all the more gratifying. To that end, here are five realistic disappointments that actually serve to enhance franchise and career play.

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NLSC Podcast #444: Further NBA 2K23 Impressions & Gatekeeping Nonsense

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #444 of the NLSC Podcast!

After a full week with NBA 2K23, what are our thoughts on both versions of the game? We’ve got further impressions to share – both positive and negative – about gameplay, MyNBA Eras, and MyTEAM. One of us headed to The Rec to check out the state of the online scene, and in what may come as a surprising development, we could be seeing the return of NLSC THRILLHO! The addition of Semi-Pro difficulty leads to a discussion of preferred settings, and their impact on first impressions. We also reflect on the interesting use of Legends in NBA ShootOut 2004, and respond to a particularly nasty and condescending Tweet about playing video games as an adult. In this week’s mailbag, our listeners share their thoughts on NBA 2K23 so far.

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 #443: NBA 2K23 First Impressions

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #443 of the NLSC Podcast!

NBA 2K23 is out now worldwide, and we’ve been spending plenty of time with both versions of the game since they launched! As such, this week’s episode is all about taking a deep dive into our first impressions of NBA 2K23, and discussing the pros and cons as we currently see them. From gameplay, graphics, and the Jordan Challenge, to MyNBA Eras, MyTEAM, and roster accuracy, we’ve got plenty of thoughts to share with our fellow basketball gamers. We also compare the Next Gen and Current Gen versions, discuss the forthcoming modding season as it tips off, and share our outlook on playing NBA 2K23 consistently in the months to come.

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!

Wayback Wednesday: 10 Years of Embracing NBA 2K

Wayback Wednesday: 10 Years of Embracing NBA 2K

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 reflecting on ten years of embracing NBA 2K, after growing up playing NBA Live.

Just in case there’s any confusion, no, this isn’t a tenth anniversary for NBA 2K. As the special edition of NBA 2K19 reminds us, the series is already twice as old as that! However, 2022 marks ten years that I’ve personally been embracing NBA 2K as a key part of my basketball gaming experience. If you’ve grown up with NBA 2K and never played NBA Live when it was the brand leader, this undoubtedly sounds strange. Why would I need to warm up to NBA 2K, and come around on embracing it? As a keen basketball gamer, shouldn’t I want to play the game that’s been on top for years?

Of course, but for an older gamer like me who grew up with NBA Live, embracing NBA 2K and its approach to sim basketball took some time. There was bias and a comfort zone to push past, not to mention availability and preferred platform. While I have my criticisms – and it’s important that we do constructively criticise any game we play, basketball or otherwise – I have grown to truly appreciate and enjoy the NBA 2K series. It’s been ten years since I’ve fully committed to embracing NBA 2K, so it feels as though some reflections are in order. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #442: The Final Countdown to NBA 2K23

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #442 of the NLSC Podcast!

It’s the final countdown to NBA 2K23! Snippets of news are coming through on a daily basis leading up to the release, though the details aren’t always substantial. We’ve got thoughts to share on the MyCAREER trailer, GOAT Boat developer blog, J. Cole cover, guest announcers, and soundtrack reveal (such as it was). We also reflect on an incredible steal of a retro collecting pickup, and respond to a Tweet that perfectly demonstrates Next Gen snobbery. In this week’s mailbag, our listeners tell us about the role players and benchwarmers that became Virtual Hardwood Legends for them, and we share a few more examples of our own unlikely stars throughout many years of basketball gaming.

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!

NBA 2K23 Guest Announcers Revealed; News Schedule

NBA 2K23 Guest Announcers Revealed; News Schedule

2K has revealed that NBA 2K23 will feature three special guest announcers: Richard Jefferson, Mike Fratello, and Ray Clay. Richard Jefferson will be part of the rotating booth, while Mike Fratello will be announcing during Jordan Challenge and past Eras in MyNBA, and Ray Clay will reprise his role as the Chicago Bulls’ PA Announcer in Jordan Challenge games.

The reveal is the first in a series of daily news drops, leading up to NBA 2K23’s release next week on September 9th. MyCAREER and soundtrack news will be coming in the next couple of days, followed by details on apparel and arena enhancements, motion capture, Jordan Challenge gameplay and other gameplay content, ratings reveals, and previews of The City and Season One in MyCAREER and MyTEAM.

See below for a full breakdown of the upcoming news schedule, as well as videos of the new special guest announcers discussing their role in this year’s game. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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NBA 2K23 Pre-Order Guide

NBA 2K23 Pre-Order Guide

It won’t be long now before NBA 2K23 is in our hands. In case you weren’t aware, the game is set to launch on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch on September 9th. That means there’s still time to pre-order NBA 2K23 if you haven’t done so already.

Obviously, pre-ordering the game will grant you a variety of bonuses, depending on the version that you opt for. As previously announced, there are five editions of NBA 2K23: Standard, Digital Deluxe, Michael Jordan, Championship, and WNBA, the last of which is exclusive to GameStop in the United States and Canada. Each has its own cover art, price point, and again, pre-order bonuses. Today, I’m providing a guide as to which version of NBA 2K23 to pre-order, if indeed you have the need and desire to pre-purchase a copy of this year’s game.

To that point, this isn’t intended to instruct anyone to pre-order NBA 2K23, or shill for the expensive special editions. In fact, I’ll also be laying out why you don’t need to pre-order NBA 2K23 at all, and why the Standard Edition may be sufficient if you are intent on pre-ordering. Depending on the mode you play, whether you’re a collector and/or content creator, and your general enthusiasm for the series and forthcoming game, the value of reserving a copy and receiving the individual pre-order bonuses will vary. You should always aim to be a savvy consumer, and it’s my aim to help my fellow basketball gamers to make an informed decision in that regard.

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Monday Tip-Off: Hyped for NBA 2K23, But…

Monday Tip-Off: Hyped for NBA 2K23, But...

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 a few thoughts on how I’m getting hyped for NBA 2K23, but my optimism isn’t completely unbridled or unconditional.

Yes, I’ll admit it. Over the past few weeks, I’ve started getting hyped for NBA 2K23. That’s not to say that I don’t have my concerns, or that I’m uncritically accepting that everything I’ve read in the developer blogs will come to pass. I’ve been playing and covering basketball video games for too long to believe that everything will be just as good as advertised. Nevertheless, there are aspects of NBA 2K23 that look very good on paper, and so I’m getting hyped. Well, certainly more excited than I have been in a number of years, at any rate.

Honestly, that feels great! I love basketball and basketball video games, so I never want to feel negative about my hobby. Obviously, over the past twelve months or so, I’ve found great enjoyment in making old favourites (and a few new favourites) part of my gaming rotation once again. I don’t expect that to change, regardless of whether or not NBA 2K23 lives up to the hype. However, I absolutely want to be impressed and enraptured by new releases as well. After primarily using my PlayStation 5 to play a PlayStation 4 game for the better part of the last couple of years, I’m hyped by the distinct possibility that NBA 2K23 could end up monopolising my gaming time.

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NLSC Podcast #441: NBA 2K23 MyTEAM, The W, & Other Wins

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #441 of the NLSC Podcast!

The latest developer blogs delivered some more great news about NBA 2K23, this time concerning MyTEAM and The W. As release day looms, we’re allowing ourselves to feel optimistic. We also revisited NBA Live 2001 this week, while dusting off an old retro season mod. It produced a dramatic win, but we were reminded that the game can be very hit and miss! A session with NBA Inside Drive 2003 yielded a fun Easter egg, though a reply to a Tweet about it prompts us to defend retro basketball gaming once again. There are also a couple of recent retro pickups to reflect upon, updates on our NBA 2K19 MyLEAGUE and NBA 2K14 MyCAREER games to share, and a mailbag question about using players out of position.

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!

NBA 2K23 MyTEAM Removes Contracts, Adds Modes

NBA 2K23 MyTEAM Removes Contracts, Adds Modes

Following on from the insight into WNBA content, the latest NBA 2K23 developer blog provides a deep dive into MyTEAM. There are several additions and enhancements this year, including a highly requested change: the removal of contracts!

This change has been cited as an effort to enhance the fun and accessibility of the mode. Other enhancements include the addition of new modes such as Triple Threat Online: Co-Op, and single player Clutch Time. Various reward systems have been revamped, and player lock is available throughout MyTEAM’s modes. The era-specific presentation from the revamped Jordan Challenge and MyNBA Eras will also be utilised in various Challenges and Domination games.

As always, I recommend checking out the NBA 2K23 MyTEAM blog for the full scoop, but I’ve also summarised the key information below. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in our Forum!

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Monday Tip-Off: The Whole World in One Basketball Game

Monday Tip-Off: The Whole World in One Basketball 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 by pondering whether it would be feasible to include the whole world in one basketball game, most likely NBA 2K.

Since 2010, the NBA 2K series has done an impressive job of fleshing out its extra content. The old All-Decade teams and Draft Class squads were dropped (though the former would eventually return) in favour of classic teams, beginning with those that were included as part of The Jordan Challenge. The roster of retro squads has since expanded, with All-Time teams also being added. We’ve also seen Olympic teams, EuroLeague teams, and now the WNBA represented in NBA 2K. If the series was to expand its bonus content further, what else could it possibly include?

How about the whole world in one basketball game? Yes, I’m talking about a FIFA-like representation of other prominent professional leagues, in addition to the NBA. Now, I believe that the NBA should always be the priority given it is NBA 2K, and expanded bonus content isn’t a vital improvement. Still, it’s an intriguing possibility, especially with NBA 2K’s dominance in the basketball gaming space. Outside of management titles, or indie efforts such as PBA Basketball Slam, it’s unlikely to see other leagues licensed for their own games. However, the success of NBA 2K, and strength of the NBA brand, could buoy an all-encompassing pro basketball title.

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NLSC Podcast #440: MyNBA Eras in NBA 2K23 & Other Wonderful Throwbacks

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #440 of the NLSC Podcast!

MyNBA Eras have added a feature to the franchise experience in NBA 2K23 Next Gen that we once thought wouldn’t ever be possible. Although we do have some concerns about the quality of certain elements, and its absence in Current Gen is a bummer, we’re definitely impressed and excited! That joy carried over to our retro gaming this week, as we were able to resolve some technical issues for a better experience. Another instalment of Dee’s Deals provides a roundup of some very fairly-priced classics for aspiring collectors. We also reflect on the lineup of basketball games circa 2002-2003, once again lamenting the lack of choice we have some twenty years later. In this week’s mailbag, our listeners tell us which MyNBA Era they’re most excited to play in NBA 2K23.

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!

NBA 2K23 MyNBA Includes Multiple Eras

NBA 2K23 MyNBA Details

The latest NBA 2K23 developer blog provides an in-depth preview of MyNBA in Next Gen. Suffice to say, it dropped some pretty big news!

In addition to the traditional franchise experience with current rosters, MyNBA in NBA 2K23 will include three historical eras: the Magic vs Bird Era, the Jordan Era, and the Kobe Era. These eras will allow us to jump into the past and play through to the modern day and beyond, with the league evolving as it did in real life. The presentation will also be era-specific, similar to the effects featured in the revamped Jordan Challenge.

Although the default historical rosters won’t be entirely complete and without any missing players, custom rosters and Draft Classes will be available in NBA 2K23 MyNBA. Additionally, eras are a Next Gen exclusive feature, and thus unfortunately will not be available in Current Gen’s MyLEAGUE mode.

You can find my summary of the key points of the developer blog below, along with 2K’s official breakdown/trailer for the mode. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments, and join in the discussion here in the Forum!

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The Friday Five: 5 Reasons to Love Generated Rookies

The Friday Five: 5 Reasons to Love Generated Rookies

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five reasons to love generated rookies in franchise and career modes.

When multi-season franchise modes were introduced, the annual Draft was naturally an aspect of the league that needed to be replicated. Since college players couldn’t be licensed, the solution was to have generated rookies; fictional Draftees that the game would automatically create using randomised names and appearances (or in a few NBA Lives, pre-made faces). It was a good solution, but from the very beginning, we sought to replace generated rookies with real prospects. We found ways of doing so through modding, and eventually NBA 2K introduced in-game Draft Class editing.

The ability to edit Draft Classes was an important and most welcome addition to the array of customisation options in NBA 2K. To that end, it should absolutely remain a staple of NBA 2K’s in-game roster editing tools. However, there’s something special about generated rookies. In my opinion, they can be just as fun, and sometimes even more fun, than injecting real future Draftees into your game. Judging by some of the responses I’ve had on Twitter when discussing Terry Hanson, I’m not alone there! If you’re wondering what’s so special about generated rookies, and why anyone might prefer them to real prospects, here are five reasons to love those fictional players.

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