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Monday Tip-Off: Gameplay vs. Game Modes

MyCAREER in NBA 2K17 with the Denver Nuggets

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 look at the debate regarding the importance of gameplay vs. the importance of game modes, in basketball video games.

For the most part, we basketball gamers can generally agree that we want to see the games that we play get better and better with each release. Of course, we’re not always on the same page as far as the specific improvements are concerned. At the very least, we may prioritise them quite differently. We need to realise that these differing points of view are equally valid; it’s perfectly fine to like different aspects of the games, and as such, have a keener interest in seeing them improve compared to others. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to see your fellow basketball gamers talking about something that doesn’t interest you, and not feel that they’re missing the point.

Perhaps the best example of this is the whole gameplay vs. game modes debate. It’s fair to say that most basketball gamers would agree that both gameplay and game modes are the most important aspects of any given release, but disagree on the importance of those aspects in relation to one another. I’ve recently seen a few comments that have derided the importance of game modes, and over the years, there have been more than a couple of remarks that have downplayed the necessity of getting the gameplay experience right. To that end, I thought that I’d offer up my thoughts on the debate regarding gameplay vs. game modes.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #205

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Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we share some more thoughts on NBA Playgrounds, reflect on a touching moment in our modding community, and catch up on the latest results from the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • A new member in our Forum who’s going through a difficult time made a mod request, which was quickly fulfilled. We’ve got a good thing going.
  • Following on from last week’s Podcast and Sunday Substitute article, we provide some updated impressions of NBA Playgrounds. One of us is a little more positive this time around!
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has not only consisted of some games of NBA Playgrounds, but also a fun run of 2K Pro-Am victories, and successful MyTEAM challenges.
  • We wrap up Episode #205 of the NLSC Podcast with some thoughts on the 2017 NBA Playoffs, which have reached the Conference Finals. Zaza Pachulia not surprisingly gets a mention.

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #203

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Episode #203 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Kenny and I are your hosts this week, and our conversation covers the latest NBA Playgrounds news, Beluba’s plans for NBA 2K’s shooting mechanics, NBA Live 18’s direction, and the latest from the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Playgrounds has a confirmed release date of May 9th. Polygon’s preview provided us with some new info on the game, and we’re still very much looking forward to it.
  • Mike Wang (aka Beluba) posted an insight into his plans for shooting mechanics in future NBA 2K games, specifically his desire to wean gamers off automatic makes on Green releases. We give our thoughts on the matter.
  • Following on from this week’s Monday Tip-Off article, we discuss whether it would be a good idea for NBA Live 18 to take a more traditional approach, in order to capitalise on the dissatisfaction some gamers have with certain aspects of NBA 2K’s direction.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming includes a head-to-head showdown in MyTEAM, expanding collections, and a refreshingly enjoyable run in both 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK.
  • The 2017 NBA Playoffs roll on into the second round. LeBron reaches a milestone, prompting thoughts from the (alleged) resident bitter insecure hater. Also, Paul Pierce’s retirement, Tony Parker’s injury, Isaiah Thomas’ big night, and some predictions.
  • We wrap up Episode #203 of the NLSC Podcast with some quick thoughts on the new BIG3 league, which recently completed its draft.

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #202

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Episode #202 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we talk about the NBA Playgrounds roster reveal, Hassan Whiteside’s dissatisfaction with his ratings in NBA 2K17, insights into MyTEAM pack odds, and the latest action from the 2017 NBA Playoffs. And as always, we recap our past week in basketball gaming!

On this week’s show…

  • The roster for NBA Playgrounds has been revealed. Some of the inclusions and omissions were rather surprising, but we’re still looking forward to the game.
  • Hassan Whiteside isn’t exactly satisfied with his ratings in NBA 2K17, and he wasn’t shy about letting his feelings be known on Twitter. We wonder whether other players have felt similarly insulted over the years.
  • A post over on Reddit has shed some interesting insights into pack odds in MyTEAM. We once again give our thoughts on the fairness of packs in NBA 2K17.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming has featured disappointment over the lack of a 2K TV screenshot in MyCAREER, new MyCOURT digs in the woods, and MyTEAM challenges. A discussion of Freestyle2: Street Basketball also leads us to reminisce about the days when the market was awash with hoops titles.
  • We wrap up Episode #202 of the NLSC Podcast with a recap of the recent action from the 2017 Playoffs, as well as our thoughts on three point guards: Rajon Rondo, Damian Lillard, and Chris Paul.

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #199

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Episode #199 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and I as we get together to talk about some recent NBA Live 18 news, reflect on our past in week in basketball gaming, and react to a huge performance by Devin Booker.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Live 18 will be on display and playable at EA Play 2017. Are we optimistic, and what kind of details are we expecting to come out of the event?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: a return to 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK in NBA 2K17 yields unexpectedly enjoyable results. Also, strange player movement in MyCAREER, MyTEAM challenges, and a new MyLEAGUE game.
  • An itch to mod an old favourite has resulted in the release of an updated 1996 season roster for NBA Live 2004.
  • The Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker turned heads and set records when he scored 70 points against the Boston Celtics. We react to the performance, and some of the things that have been said about it.

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.

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Monday Tip-Off: The Basketball Gaming Grind

Playing basketball on MyCOURT in NBA 2K17

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 how basketball gaming can be a bit of a grind.

As much as we enjoy basketball gaming around these parts, I don’t think many of us would argue that it isn’t a grind at times. Whether it’s playing through a full NBA season, building a collection of quality cards in the team building modes, or turning our avatars into superstars, it’s a lengthy process. This is especially true if you’re playing with full length quarters. The obvious solution is to set shorter quarter lengths, and make use of the simulation function in modes where it’s available, but for various reasons, those options aren’t always desirable. Even if you do streamline the experience, the chances of burnout are high.

That’s because we pack so much basketball gaming into a single year, in order to get the most out of a title before the next one is released. With other genres of video games, you can generally take your time, and discover the replay value at your leisure. Most games can easily be finished in a much shorter time than it takes to complete one full season playing on twelve minute quarters. Even if you do feel as though you’ve had a full and satisfactory experience with a basketball game, within a year you’ll be starting from scratch and having to do it all over again. The question is: what changes could be made so that basketball games feel like less of a grind?

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #198

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Episode #198 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Kenny and I as we reflect on NBA 2K17 six months in, catch up on what we’ve been playing recently, and discuss a couple of topics related to the real NBA.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA 2K17 has been out for around six months now. After many, many hours playing it, what are our favourite and least favourite aspects of the game?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: 2K Pro-Am and MyPARK have lost their appeal for us. On the bright side, we’ve been having more fun with MyLEAGUE, MyTEAM, and MyCAREER.
  • The practice of resting players in nationally televised games has prompted some harsh remarks from all-time greats. We offer up our thoughts on the matter, and some of the backlash.
  • Larry Sanders has returned to the NBA. Will he be able to pick up where he left off a couple of years ago?

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.

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The Friday Five: 5 Crazy Ideas for Basketball Games

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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 unorthodox ideas for basketball video games.

While everyone is entitled to their opinion, when it comes to suggestions for basketball video games, there are some ideas that probably don’t need to be explored. At the very least, certain suggestions probably shouldn’t be high up on the list of priorities. For example, I don’t really see the point of Create-a-Fan, and a Referee Mode would be better suited to a professional wrestling game (and even there, I’ve found that the novelty has worn off fairly quickly). That being said, there’s no harm in throwing out some off-the-wall ideas that certainly could be fun.

It’s important that we focus on the important issues with gameplay, game modes, and functionality, and as a gaming community, I believe that we do a good job with our feedback. We have laundry lists of serious and well-thought out constructive suggestions on how the games can improve, but there’s always room to throw out some more creative ideas for extra content and features. Some of these suggestions are a little out there, but could have merit if implemented properly. In the spirit of innovation and trying something different, here are five somewhat crazy (but still reasonably practical) ideas for future basketball video games.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #196

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Episode #196 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re back on the air after skipping last week, as we wanted to wait until the NBA trade deadline had passed so that we could discuss any deals that went down. There’s quite a few other things to talk about as we catch up this week, including suggestions to improve 2K Pro-Am, a busy week in basketball gaming, and the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.

On this week’s show…

  • A solid, well-thought out list of suggestions for improving 2K Pro-Am was posted over at Operation Sports. It’s certainly a topic that interests us, so we take a look at the ideas, and throw out a few suggestions of our own.
  • Visual Concepts recently did something very cool with Make-A-Wish, though some unfortunate wording was used to promote it on Twitter.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: We played a little bit of everything this week! Thoughts on Park After Dark #3, Kenny’s impressions of NBA Live 16, comparisons between LIVE Pro-Am and 2K Pro-Am, and updates on what we’ve been doing in MyCAREER and MyTEAM.
  • The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend came, disappointed, and went. You might think we’re turning into grumpy (grumpier?) old men, but a lot of people seem to share our sentiments.
  • As it turned out, the biggest trade happened during the All-Star Game, and not at the trade deadline.
  • We wrap up Episode #196 of the NLSC Podcast with a quick discussion of recent NBA news and results, including injuries and the Playoff push.

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #195

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Episode #195 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane, Kenny, and I as we discuss the latest controversy with Locker Codes in NBA 2K17, recap a tough week in 2K Pro-Am, and look ahead to the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA 2K17 celebrated Valentine’s Day with a Locker Code for a Kevin Love MyTEAM card, but the limited quantity didn’t exactly leave gamers swooning. We react to the controversy, and discuss what 2K could have done instead.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: NLSC THRILLHO enjoyed an exciting overtime win in 2K Pro-Am, but also weathered some tough, tough losses. Also, a milestone performance in MyCAREER, and expanding collections in MyTEAM.
  • A couple more significant trades have taken place, and it sounds as though a few more are in the works. We give our thoughts on the Toronto Raptors acquiring Serge Ibaka, and the Denver Nuggets trading away Jusuf Nurkic.
  • With the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend just about ready to get underway, we offer up our predictions for all of the events.
  • We wrap up Episode #195 of the NLSC Podcast with a quick discussion of Ben Simmons. Will he make his debut this season, or shut it down until next year?

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.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #194

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Episode #194 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss this week’s news and events, including the newly announced NBA 2K eSports league, problems in 2K Pro-Am, and an unfortunate incident involving Charles Oakley.

On this week’s show…

  • 2K Sports is partnering with the NBA for an official eSports league. It’s a cool concept, but will it ultimately benefit a majority of the userbase?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: We’ve had very little success getting matched up for games in 2K Pro-Am following Patch 1.10, though we did hit up MyPARK and a couple of Walk-On games. Also, Playoff success in MyCAREER, and the early stages of building a powerful MyTEAM squad.
  • New York Knicks legend Charles Oakley was thrown out of Madison Square Garden in controversial fashion. Seems most observers are on Oak’s side, and we find it hard to disagree there.

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.

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The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for Ultimate Team in NBA Live

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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.

We’re coming to the end of my series of Friday Five articles on the key improvements and additions I’d like to see in NBA Live 18 and beyond. Having covered gameplay, Dynasty, Rising Star, LIVE Pro-Am, and roster editing, it’s now time to talk about Ultimate Team. Ultimate Team has been a fairly solid mode since it was introduced to the series in NBA Live 14, and reasonably popular. There’s definitely still room for improvement though, and since the card collecting/team building modes are such a big part of sports games these days, I do have a few suggestions on how it can improve.

Before I begin, I want to give an honourable mention to pack odds. Fair odds and value are always an important issue when it comes to the team building modes, and although Ultimate Team’s packs aren’t too unfair, they could stand to be a little better. Whether it’s the packs bought from the store, or reward packs that are earned by completing a challenge, I’d like to see some guaranteed rare cards, especially when Legends are up for grabs. With that being said, here’s my list of five suggestions that I believe would enhance Ultimate Team in future NBA Live games.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #191

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Episode #191 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re tipping off a new year of podcasts with some speculation on the future of NBA Live, a recap of what’s been happening with NLSC THRILLHO these past few weeks, and a couple of other topics.

On this week’s show…

  • Early 2017 should be an eventful time for basketball gaming, with NBA Live 17 currently slated for release in Q1, and 2K Sports holding eSports tournaments for NBA 2K17.
  • When do we think we’ll start receiving some NBA Live 17 news? Are we standing by our previous predictions?
  • All things considered, is it likely that EA Sports will end up skipping the scheduled Q1 release and simply go ahead with NBA Live 18 later this year?
  • What frustrates us the most about NBA Live and NBA 2K?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: Win #100, another epic overtime win, and some big numbers in 2K Pro-Am. Also, some MyTEAM tales and tips.
  • We wrap up Episode #191 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk. Russell Westbrook is still averaging a triple-double, Kyle Korver has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the 2017 All-Star Weekend looms.

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.

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The Sunday Substitute: Getting Sucked Into MyTEAM…Again

The week is in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, which means it’s time for the Sunday Substitute! It’s the article where I get some valuable minutes while the star is resting on the bench. I might not have the time to do this every week, but I like to think I’m still making a contribution to the team. Today’s subject is MyTEAM in NBA 2K17 and why I’ve become addicted to the mode once again.

After my experience with NBA 2K16, I constantly told myself I wouldn’t get sucked into MyTEAM in NBA 2K17. The amount of money I spent buying packs (yes, I spent real money), the lack of value in those packs, and the amount of times I drew Jarnell Stokes deterred me. I was resolute; MyTEAM would not get me in NBA 2K17!

Sure, I played the mode casually here and there, completing Domination and the odd challenge, but I thought I was doing okay. I wasn’t hooked. But in the past week and a half, MyTEAM has consumed my 2K experience once again. I completed every Weekly Challenge and every Moments Challenge I was eligible for, as well finishing Historic Domination.

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The Friday Five: My 5 Goals for NBA 2K17

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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.

As I write this, I’ve finished pre-loading NBA 2K17 PC, and am waiting for the Day One patch for the PlayStation 4 version to finish downloading. With any luck, it won’t be long before I’m playing one or the other (most likely the PS4 version), and getting the ball into the air for the Early Tip-Off Weekend. I spent some time playing through The Prelude last weekend, and I’m feeling very optimistic that I have an enjoyable year of NBA 2K gaming ahead of me.

While I’m preparing to get my hands on the full version of NBA 2K17, I’ve been thinking about some of the things that I want to do with this year’s game. With so many deep and robust game modes, there should be something for every basketball gamer, and perhaps more than any of us can truly sink our teeth into in the space of a year. Of course, with NBA Live 17 not coming out until early 2017, I won’t be splitting my time between EA and 2K on the virtual hardwood, at least for a few more months. With that in mind, here are five goals that I have for NBA 2K17.

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