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NLSC Podcast #431: Heroes in a Half-Court

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #431 of the NLSC Podcast!

The release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has demonstrated the popularity of retro-style gameplay with modern sensibilities. It leads us to consider how this could apply to the virtual hardwood, with Basketball Classics being a great example. We also lament the lack of a new NBA Jam title, and reflect on the shortcomings of the NBA Playgrounds games. Mention of Konami also sends us down the rabbit hole to discuss some of our favourite games from the company, basketball or otherwise. Our Lakers vs. Celtics Tournament will be tipping off soon, and we’re also keen to continue our co-op sessions on Parsec. In an update on our NBA 2K19 MyLEAGUE and NBA 2K14 MyCAREER games, we’re talking sliders, streaks, and the growing legend of Terry Hanson. This week’s mailbag features a discussion about the influence that playing real hoops has on basketball gaming, basketball book recommendations, and the best classic seasons to watch.

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 #423: Heighten The Basketball Gaming Parabola

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #423 of the NLSC Podcast!

International Basketball 2009 may be one of the top three worst hoops games we’ve ever played, but on the bright side, it’s given us a new catchphrase! We also threw it way back this week by revisiting NBA Basketball for Intellivision, while having some more fun with NBA Live 2001 and NBA Hangtime over Parsec. In this week’s NBA 2K14 MyCAREER update, a two-time champion is traded, and Terry Hanson continues to impress. As for NBA 2K19 MyLEAGUE with the 1995 season mod, it continues to be a blast, with plenty of trash talk! The mailbag also returns this week as we discuss your suggestions for future content, as well as our Holy Grails of basketball video game collecting.

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 Games Where Everyone Can Dunk

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 basketball video games where every player is able to dunk.

I realise the three-pointer is in vogue these days, but I’m all about a flashy dunk. In fact, I’m old enough to remember when the debate was between dazzling dunks and basketball bloopers! To be fair, it’s not as though the dunk has gone completely out of style. Dunks still make the highlight reels, and many gamers who play MyCAREER and its connected modes want a build that can throw it down just as well as stroke a three. Sure, it’s only two points like any other shot within the three-point arc, and analytics insists twos are bad, but many of us are still suckers for spectacular slams.

In real life, while it’s assumed that everyone who makes it to the NBA can probably dunk – even if it’s just a rim grazer – not everybody does. Smaller players who threw it down in college tend to dunk far less in the NBA, where there are bigger and stronger defenders crowding the paint. Sim games usually reflect this, with a combination of ratings and animation packages that ensure specific players will only ever perform layups. Arcade titles naturally take liberties with reality, but even a few sim-oriented games aren’t very strict about which players can slam it home. If dunks are your thing, here are five basketball video games where every player is able to throw it down.

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NLSC Podcast #390: Well, It’s No Garfield Kart!

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Episode #390 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 reflecting on a major milestone, we turn our attention to the new 2K NextMakers program. It’s not something we’re likely to be a part of, and we have our concerns about its effectiveness. Meanwhile, our first game of NBA Live 10 in a few weeks produced one of the most memorable moments either of us have ever experienced on the virtual hardwood. We also continue to marvel at the detail in the last great NBA Live release. Elsewhere, prices are rising for video game collectors, and it’s beginning to affect hoops titles as well. There’s some NBA 2K22 news, but it’s difficult to muster excitement about go-karts in MyCAREER. In this week’s mailbag, we discuss the status of two former NBA 2K developers, and roster inaccuracies.

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 #384: A Couple of Pre-Ordering, PC Nerds

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Episode #384 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 cover players, release date, and pre-order bonuses for NBA 2K22 have been revealed, confirming leaks and speculation, and drawing some boorish comments about one player in particular. Unfortunately, the PC version will be a prior gen port once again this year, and we have some thoughts to share on that. Despite the remarks of one wannabe content creator, PC gamers have a right to be dismayed…and to play NBA 2K, for that matter. The lack of a demo on all platforms is likewise disappointing. Elsewhere, a Tweet mentioning a partnership between LeBron James and EA has people talking, though we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves (again). We also touch on Steam Deck, and some listener responses to last week’s mailbag topics.

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 #382: A Community Connected

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Episode #382 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 haven’t been able to get enough of Parsec as of late, but we’re not the only ones taking a shine to it. More members of the community are participating in head-to-head games, with Parsec facilitating clashes in NBA 2K17 and NBA 2K19 using retro season and classic team mods. Speaking of retro season mods, which is our favourite so far? As for NBA Live 10, it’s still on our agenda, as we’ve got plenty more ideas for Fantasy Teams mode! Fresh NBA 2K22 rumours give us something else to talk about this week, though we still miss the longer and more exciting preview seasons of yesteryear. In this week’s mailbag, we answer a question about the new Space Jam game, which leads us to reflect on some other esoteric games starring basketball players.

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 #378: The Hangar & The Workshop

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Episode #378 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.

Having sorted out our issues with Parsec, we’ve enjoyed a full week of basketball gaming. From epic clashes with video game legends in NBA Live 10 to co-op play in NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, we’ve had a lot of fun on the virtual hardwood and blacktop this week! Spotlighting recent modding developments leads to us discussing various ideas for retro rosters, as well as philosophies for rating players. We also react to the recent leaks regarding the cover players for the standard and Legend editions of NBA 2K22. In this week’s mailbag, we’re looking back at the NBA 2K21 Next Gen trailer, and discussing some interesting issues with licensing and likeness rights.

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 Games with the Wrong Vibe

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 basketball video games that had the wrong vibe about them.

I wouldn’t blame you if you’re looking at this week’s topic and thinking that I’ve lost my mind, talking about a basketball game having the wrong kind of “vibe”. What kind of a metric is that? Allow me to explain myself, as I think many of you will actually be able to relate. I’m sure that at some point, we’ve all eagerly picked up a new hoops title, only to feel disappointed in it. However, that disappointment goes beyond our complaints about gameplay, modes, graphics, animations, and so on. Something about the game just feels…off. Some problems may be more conceptual than technical.

As such, this can be a very personal reaction, and thus highly subjective. Furthermore, although it’s more common for games with a lot of issues to have the wrong vibe, it can also happen with titles that are generally considered to be good, if something about them just doesn’t gel with you. To that end, while I expect I’m not alone on a couple of the examples I’m sharing here, I suspect that not everyone will agree with all of them. That’s fine; as I said, it’s highly subjective, and I’d be interested to hear other examples from my fellow basketball gamers. With that being said, for one reason or another, these five games just didn’t have the right vibe for me.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC 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 the PlayStation version of NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC.

Although I grew up playing both simulation and arcade basketball games, by the late 90s I’d lost interest in the new arcade titles. This was partly due to finding the sim games more appealing, but the arcade genre also seemed to be losing steam. I still loved NBA Jam Tournament Edition and NBA Hangtime, but Acclaim’s NBA Jam games weren’t impressive, and I didn’t keep up with Midway’s titles. It’s unfortunate, because there were some good arcade basketball games being released in between the original classics by Midway, and the launch of EA Sports’ NBA Street series.

The good news is that running Wayback Wednesday features gives me an excuse to track down some old games and check them out all these years later. As I’ve said before, some games are gems, while others were worth skipping the first time around. They’re all fun and interesting to sample though, but the better games always make for more exciting additions to the collection. This week I’m covering a game that I would have liked to have played more of when it was released: Midway’s NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Thoughts on MyTEAM Seasons

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 thoughts on the new Seasons approach adopted in NBA 2K21’s MyTEAM.

One of the major changes in NBA 2K21’s MyTEAM was the adoption of Seasons. For those unfamiliar with the concept, MyTEAM Seasons run for about six weeks, with each Season featuring its own theme, content, and Challenges. While modes of play such as Domination remain unaffected by Seasons, and Triple Threat Offline simply gains new rewards as each new Season begins, Season-based content such as The Agenda has a time limit. If you have any unfinished business on The Agenda by the time a new Season begins, too bad; it’s a new day in MyTEAM.

The Seasons approach is not unique to MyTEAM and NBA 2K, of course. It’s a form of the “games as a service” model that mobile and Triple-A games alike are using with ever-increasing frequency, which invites cynicism because of the way those mechanics utilise FOMO to push microtransactions, season passes, and so on. Less cynically, however, it’s a way to keep content fresh and not overwhelm late adopters with an overabundance of content. I’m generally in favour of Seasons in MyTEAM, but I do have a few criticisms and concerns that I’d like to discuss. Along with a few other aspects of the mode, the approach could be even better in NBA 2K22.

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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.

NLSC Podcast #362: Putting the Ball in the Basket

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Episode #362 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 bevy of retro season roster mods are being produced at the moment, which we’re excited to see. The fact that there are a couple of 2005 season mods out or in the works reminds us that time is marching on, and our nostalgia is getting old! We also have some advice for getting big projects done and released. Meanwhile, NBA 2K21 Current Gen and Next Gen have both received new patches, so we briefly discuss some of the changes. This week’s main discussion is a deep dive into shooting mechanics: the history and evolution, the best and worst concepts, and everything in between. In the latest mailbag, we discuss the forthcoming Space Jam sequel, and consider another What If scenario.

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 #343: The Making of a Classic (Part 2)

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Episode #343 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

Part 2 of our latest chat with Josh and Dave from Namo Gamo continues our conversation about the traits of good and bad basketball games, and how they factored into the development of Basketball Classics. We also talk about the one game that we’d want to be stuck on a desert island with, which Donkey Kong Country title is objectively the best, and how to handle custom ratings in basketball video games. There’s also one last tidbit about future features in Basketball Classics, and possibly a few more nods to a certain Simpsons-themed platformer.

What’s your take on this week’s conversation? 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. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

NLSC Podcast #339: NBA 2K21 Impressions, NBA Live Hopes

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Episode #339 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

NBA 2K21 Current Gen is here! After getting a taste of the game with the demo, we’ve got further impressions to share after getting our hands on the full version. We’re going in-depth on shooting, dribbling, player movement, and other mechanics with comparisons to both NBA 2K20 and the demo, while touching on changes to modes. In our early appraisal of NBA 2K21, we also describe some of the changes and fixes we’d like to see, and note some of the community’s reactions. In other news, Scott O’Gallagher and Rob Jones joining EA Sports has us feeling optimistic about NBA Live. We talk about what it could mean for the series, and the importance of listening to the right voices moving forward. Finally, we catch up on some other hoops games we’ve been playing, including Dunk Lords, PBA Basketball Slam, and the original NBA Playgrounds.

What’s your take on this week’s conversation? 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. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

NLSC Podcast #333: Just Two Creatures of Habit

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Episode #333 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

Would you pay $16,000 for a promotional copy of NBA 2K15? Someone on eBay is hoping that you will! We’ve spent considerably less on recent additions to our collections, which we were excited to pick up. Speaking of collectables, a few copies of Slam City with Scottie Pippen have also popped up on eBay, leading us to reflect on that somewhat forgotten game. Meanwhile, an influx of new gamers in NBA 2K20’s online scene has further emphasised the need to implement proper ranking and matchmaking measures (and inspired another rant). We also discuss what it takes to change our gaming habits on the virtual hardwood, and how some of those habits were formed in the first place.

What’s your take on this week’s conversation? 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.