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Monday Tip-Off: Without Quality, More Is Less

Monday Tip-Off: Without Quality, More Is Less

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 some frank thoughts on how more is less when quantity outpaces quality in the content of basketball video games.

One of my recurring criticisms of NBA Live throughout the eighth generation – and it also applies to games in the seventh generation to some extent – is that they’re lacking in depth. Modes have been barebones (or “streamlined”, as promotional material likes to call it), and games have also been light on additional content and features compared to NBA 2K. While problems with NBA Live’s gameplay have ultimately been larger issues, the lack of depth unquestionably contributes to them being subpar. It’s felt like there’s been minimal effort beyond including the basics.

However, while NBA 2K can boast greater depth from its historical content to a wide variety of intricate modes, it has a recurring problem of its own. While there’s far more to the average NBA 2K release than just about any NBA Live game to date, not all of that content is well-made and of high quality. The lack of attention to detail in certain areas makes it seem as though content and features were added for the sake of padding the game and looking impressive at a glance, without implementing them properly. That may seem harsh, and it’s not my intention to imply that the developers aren’t working hard or don’t care. Still, without quality, more is undoubtedly less.

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The Friday Five: 5 Retro Modding Ideas

The Friday Five: 5 Retro Modding Ideas

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 suggestions for retro modding projects.

As the stigma fades and retro basketball gaming increases in popularity, inevitably we start thinking about modding as well. After all, classic games are a blast to revisit as-is, but mods can breathe new life into them, too. Many of the modding tools are still available for retro basketball games, along with resources and archived mods to learn techniques from (or indeed, build upon). Even with the limitations of older titles, we’re capable of creating some outstanding mods that will facilitate new experiences on the virtual hardwood.

Needless to say, there are some challenges to overcome here. The audience is smaller, so anyone engaging in retro modding will be toiling on projects that are seen and used by fewer people. To that end, there are also fewer active modders for retro games, so some of the more ambitious projects may not have the level of detail we’d like, or be truly viable. Major roster mods in particular may need to use placeholder artwork, or whatever assets are available. That shouldn’t stop us from looking into retro modding, however. There’s always lingering interest in seeing new updates for old favourites, and there are plenty of retro modding ideas that we can and should at least consider.

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NLSC Podcast #436: How To Get Into Retro Basketball Gaming

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #436 of the NLSC Podcast!

Revisiting Fox Sports NBA Basketball 2000 reminded us of how hilariously bad it is, but it also found a new way to mess with us. Not surprisingly, NBA Live 2004 holds up much better, especially with a broadcast camera mod and the 1996 season roster. We received a couple of responses to last week’s show asking about acquiring copies of NBA Live PC and other older releases, so this week, we dive into how to get into retro basketball gaming/collecting. It needn’t be expensive, nor do you need to be the crazy collectors that we are! In this week’s mailbag, we circle back to the question of what counts as retro in basketball gaming, with our listeners sharing some interesting and differing opinions on the matter.

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!

Virtual Hardwood Stories Forum Spotlight

Virtual Hardwood Stories Forum Spotlight

Times change, and different content comes in and out of fashion. However, one section of the NLSC Forum that has maintained a dedicated following throughout the years is the Stories from the Virtual Hardwood board. This is where you can share stories of your franchise and career mode games with your fellow basketball gamers, and really indulge your creativity.

There are some great active threads in the Stories from the Virtual Hardwood section at the moment, and I’d like to take a moment to spotlight them. First of all, we have “The 2K10 & Beyond Project“, a story by jubba910. This tale not only spans multiple seasons but also multiple games, beginning with the 2010 campaign in NBA 2K10. jubba910 is now up to the 2018 season in NBA 2K18, and has produced a very interesting alternate history!

Next up we have “The Wrath of the Rose” by veteran of our story section, kibaxx7. This story winds back the clock to the 1970s, with the Portland Trail Blazers’ entry into the NBA. It’s a few years in now, and has likewise produced some fun alternate history with great presentation. The tale is being told using NBA 2K14 PC and the Ultimate Base Roster.

I’ll also plug my latest story thread here, “Ain’t gonna let nobody write it, but me”. It provides running updates on my NBA 2K14 MyCAREER on PlayStation 4, in between the yearly recaps I’ve been posting in Monday Tip-Off. I’m currently in my fourth season, and expect to have it finished by the time NBA 2K23 is released.

Other regularly-updated topics include the UBR Resim by Mavsfan_1991, A Fantasy World by yeahnah, and truefaith0826‘s 1995-1996 Season. Check them out, and feel free to join in the fun yourself! Quick updates are welcome in this topic, while suggestions for telling your virtual hardwood stories can be found here. We also conducted a series of interviews with long-time contributors to the stories section some years back. Additionally, some of the best stories that have now finished can be found in the NBA Live and NBA 2K Hall of Fame boards. A big thanks to everyone who keeps the stories section going!

The Friday Five: 5 Frustrating Restrictions in Basketball Games

The Friday Five: 5 Frustrating Restrictions in Basketball Games

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 frustrating restrictions that we’ve encountered in various basketball video games.

There are obviously going to be restrictions in basketball video games, some of which we’ll find frustrating. In some cases, those restrictions are due to technical limitations. Others are design choices, and those are the ones that we find more bothersome, as we know it didn’t necessarily have to be that way. In all fairness though, these restrictions can sometimes be for the best. If not for some of them, games would be unbalanced and far less enjoyable. When cleverly implemented, restrictions can prevent exploits and ensure that games are challenging, without ruining the fun.

Striving for realism in sim games also results in restrictions that can be frustrating, but ultimately in an enjoyable way, since they reflect obstacles that teams and players do actually face in real life. To that point though, we’re bound to grumble when we’re restricted in a way that doesn’t accurately represent an NBA rule. As for frustrating restrictions that are simply design choices, there have been some over the years that just haven’t been good ideas. Alternatively, they’re good and sensible ideas in theory, but were poorly executed. Some of those restrictions are recent or rare, but others are recurring issues that we’ve been encountering in basketball games for generations.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began (Part 2)

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began (Part 2)

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 taking a look back at some more NBA returns that were over before they began.

As I’ve said so many times before, as an avid fan of basketball and basketball video games, I love trivia concerning both. It’s even better when that trivia intersects, which is why I write articles covering familiar faces in strange and familiar places, players with more video game appearances than NBA games played, phantom stints that were captured in games, and NBA returns following extended absences. That last idea was a suggestion that was spun off of another article, which looked at NBA returns that were over before they even began.

In this case, I’m talking about situations where players almost became familiar faces back in familiar places, but didn’t end up donning an old jersey once more. This is in contrast to comeback attempts that fell short, as there have been some big names that mulled NBA returns, only to remain in retirement. Today however, I’m looking at the players whose returns to their former NBA teams did actually happen on paper, but ended before a reunion could truly begin. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Cover Players That Won Titles The Same Year

The Friday Five: 5 Cover Players That Won Titles The Same Year

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 cover players that won NBA titles in the same season their game came out.

Last week, I listed five players who graced video game covers in the same year that they made the NBA Finals. More specifically, I was referring to players who made the Finals, but were ultimately the runners-up. Obviously, cover players who won titles while being the face of a game technically qualify as examples for last week’s list as well. However, I did want to draw a distinction between the cover players who “only” made it to the Finals that same year, and those who actually won titles. While both are accomplishments and interesting trivia, the latter is naturally rather more special.

To that end, the number of cover players that won titles in the same year is smaller than the already select group of names who made the Finals while being the face of NBA Live, NBA 2K, or another title. As I noted last week, publishers like EA and 2K are no doubt more interested in a player’s popularity and marketability than whether they’ll be in the Finals, or NBA Champions. I have no doubt that they’re happy when it does occur, but given that it’s a gamble even if they ink a deal with a player from a contender, it’s a bonus boost to the brand at the end of the day. NBA Champion cover players are something that a handful of titles can boast however, including these five.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K10 PC Disc Woes

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K10 PC Disc Woes

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 some strange issues I’ve had with my copies of NBA 2K10 PC.

My approach as a collector of basketball video games has been to acquire titles that I have an interest in playing, and of course covering here in Wayback Wednesday. A working copy is therefore far more important to me than “complete in box”. As you’d expect, it’s been much cheaper, too! As I’ve shown, my collection includes multiple versions of titles across the different platforms that I own. Sometimes I’ve doubled up on the same platform with alternate covers, repurchased games I once traded in, and have spare copies of a few games that I’ve stumbled across on sale at bargain prices.

And then, there’s NBA 2K10 PC. I picked up a second copy of the game, not on a whim because I’d seen it at a bargain price, but because mine had simply stopped working. Well, it kind of worked; sometimes, if I was patient and lucky enough. When I found a copy of NBA 2K10 going cheap on eBay, I snapped it up, and it appeared that all was well. And then, the same issues began occurring with that copy too. Of all the games in my collection, these disc woes are rather unique. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 5)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 5)

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 taking a look back at another ten players that became familiar faces back in familiar places.

If you’ve been checking out my Wayback Wednesday features for some time now, you probably know the drill when it comes to this topic. For those who are new or perhaps missed the first four instalments, this is a series in which I profile stars and other noteworthy NBA players who returned for a second stint with a team that they previously played for. In other words, they’re the familiar faces back in familiar places. It’s a counterpart to my familiar faces in strange places series, which profiles players in stints that were unusual and sometimes forgotten.

As always, I’m looking at these familiar faces back in familiar places through the lens of basketball video games. I do so because we are a basketball video game site, and as I’m so fond of saying, basketball video games serve as interactive almanacs. When you’re a retro basketball gamer, you’ll often stumble across familiar faces in familiar places and strange places alike, reminding you of stints that may not be talked about all that much. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #419: All Kinds of Madness This March

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #419 of the NLSC Podcast!

A Tweet from the official EA Sports account has sparked rumours of a new college basketball game. We’re trying not to get ahead of ourselves, but we’re definitely interested! Speaking of March Madness, our College Hoops 2K8 Tournament continues to produce epic showdowns as it enters the Elite 8. NCAA Basketball 10, NBA Live 10, NBA Live 2001 and NBA Jam: On Fire Edition have also been in the rotation, as more community members jump aboard the Parsec train. After previewing some forthcoming mods for NBA 2K19 and NBA 2K10, we open up the mailbag to discuss PC gaming setups. The community shares stories of how they’re enjoying PC basketball gaming, from hardware and peripherals to where their rig is set up to play.

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 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 5)

The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 5)

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 Part 5 in an ongoing series listing players that appeared in more video games than actual NBA games.

Due to the interactive almanac aspect of basketball video games – yes, there’s that phrase again – they’re a great way of remembering players long after they’ve retired. If you spent a lot of time poring over the rosters in old games, either while modding or perhaps playing a franchise game, you might even find that you’re able to recall the names of benchwarmers from years ago, without even firing up those titles. Even if you can’t recall them off the top of your head, once you dust off an old game and start browsing the rosters, even the most obscure names will likely come back to you.

Indeed, you’ll probably only recall some of the most obscure names because of the time you spent on the virtual hardwood. As is evident by this being the fifth article covering this topic, there are a number of players who made their way into the official rosters of video games despite never actually playing in the NBA. If you follow the NCAA or foreign leagues, some of these players may be familiar due to their stints and accomplishments elsewhere. Most of us probably remember them as names in the Free Agents Pool, or on the deep bench in the default rosters. Those players do have some interesting stories though, especially when they end up being in multiple titles.

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NLSC Podcast #417: Picking an All-Virtual Hardwood Team

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #417 of the NLSC Podcast!

Our College Hoops 2K8 Tournament is set to tip off! Talking about college basketball games leads us to ponder whether EA Sports’ best move would be to revive their NCAA series before they attempt another comeback with NBA Live. We also reflect on the madness of collecting retro basketball games, the size of our respective collections, and the current prices in retro video game stores and on eBay alike. We’re also interested in spending more time with a cancelled Sega Genesis game starring Shaquille O’Neal that was leaked a few years back. This week’s mailbag topic is all about picking our All-Virtual Hardwood teams. We share our selections, along with the community’s picks.

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 #412: Community Wishlist For NBA Live 23

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #412 of the NLSC Podcast!

After last week’s show, we’ve been moved to revisit NBA Live 2001 and NBA Live 2002. Though both were controversial releases in our community, they definitely have their bright spots. Speaking of old NBA Live games, work continues on our All-Time Teams Roster for NBA Live 96 PC. There’s also been an exciting development as far as modding NBA Live 10 on PlayStation 3. As for the future of the series, while NBA Live 23 hasn’t been announced, it’s clear that we’re not the only basketball gamers hoping that the series will return. We discuss the likelihood of it finally happening this year, and revisit our expectations. We then open up the mailbag to discuss the community’s Wishlist for a hypothetical NBA Live 23.

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 2K10 Official PC Rosters Added To Archives

NBA 2K10 Cover Art

Too many files go missing over the years, be they unofficial mods or official updates. It’s our goal to preserve files whenever we can, and to that end, we invite everyone to make use of our upload facilities to add any files from your archives. In that spirit, I’ve uploaded the official rosters for the PC version of NBA 2K10.

You can find the official rosters for NBA 2K10 PC here. In addition to the final update from May 7th 2010, you can find older updates under the dropdown menu above the Download button. I believe that all of the updates are accounted for, dating back to the first two in October 2009. Simply place them in your NBA 2K10 saves folder, and load them as necessary.

Unfortunately, while we’ve been able to preserve official updates for the PC versions of NBA 2K10, NBA 2K11, NBA 2K12, NBA 2K13, and NBA 2K14, we don’t have any updates for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 versions of those games. If anybody still has those files to share, we’d certainly welcome them being added to our Downloads database!

Once again, we’d also like to preserve community-made mods whenever possible. If you happen to have any stored in your backups, please feel free to upload them as well. Just make sure that they’re credited to the original author. As always, if you have your own work to share, by all means utilise our upload facilities! Whether a mod is for the latest game or an old favourite, it has a place here.

NLSC Podcast #407: Christmas Special 2021

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Episode #407 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.

It’s our 2021 season finale, which means it’s time for a (slightly belated) Christmas special! We recap our recent Parsec sessions, which featured NBA Live 99 and NBA in the Zone 2. There’s also a matter with the Top 10 Plays of the Week that we feel the need to address. After that, it’s time for the listener mailbag! This week, we join our listeners in sharing some of our favourite Christmas-related basketball and basketball gaming memories, and special moments playing with friends and family. In the spirit of the season, it seems that the virtual hardwood has brought many of us closer to the people we love.

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.