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NLSC Podcast #437: NBA 2K23 First Look, NBA in the Zone, and…Garfield Kart?

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #437 of the NLSC Podcast!

Following up on last week’s show about retro collecting, we have some further recommendations, and a possible new recurring segment. We also make good on two promises: to test multiplayer in Garfield Kart, and to play NBA in the Zone and NBA in the Zone 2. Garfield Kart was of course life-changing, but Konami’s classics proved to be very interesting releases to revisit. The NBA 2K23 First Look Trailer has given us a glimpse of the Next Gen version in action, and we certainly have some thoughts ahead of next week’s gameplay news. A recent video from Agent 00 resonated with us, and aptly summed up the politics of content creation. Finally, we’re opening up this week’s mailbag to discuss 2K fatigue.

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 6)

The Friday Five: 5 Players In More Video Games Than NBA Games Played (Part 6)

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

When it comes to trivia like this, I’m always concerned about running the topic into the ground. I always want my features to be fresh and interesting, and going back to a particular subject does invite repetition, while potentially appearing to be lacking in imagination. At the same time, I want to be thorough, covering all of the relevant and interesting examples. It’s why I’ve repurposed some topics that I originally planned as Friday Five series into longer lists for Wayback Wednesday. Since this one goes back a few years and has five instalments already, I figured I’d keep the ball rolling.

Meta musings about my “process” aside, I do have another five examples of players who appeared in more video games than NBA games. It’s not an unprecedented phenomenon – obviously, since we’re up to Part 6 – but it’s still somewhat unusual. You’d expect there to be more examples of players who made the NBA yet were left out of games, but that’s become rarer thanks to official roster updates. Alternatively, you might expect players who fall just short of officially debuting in the NBA to be absent from video games entirely. When the timing is right though, those players get to play on the virtual hardwood, while having some interesting stories in real life.

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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!

NBA 2K23 PC Will Be Current Gen

NBA 2K23 PC Will Be Current Gen

Bad news for anyone hoping that NBA 2K23 PC would be making the jump to next Next Gen: IGN has confirmed that the PC version will once again be a PlayStation 4/Xbox One port.

This isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing given that this will be the third consecutive year that the PC has missed out on a Next Gen port. While NBA 2K21 PC remaining a Current Gen port wasn’t unexpected given that it was released two months before the Next Gen consoles launched, there were hopes that the PC would be getting the PlayStation 5/Xbox Series X version of NBA 2K22. The precedent here was NBA 2K15 PC, which made the Next Gen jump the year after the PS4 and X1 launched.

Unfortunately, that precedent hasn’t been repeated with the ninth generation. NBA 2K isn’t alone here, as the PC version of WWE 2K22 was likewise a PS4/X1 port. Madden 22 PC was also ported from the Current/Prior Gen version. Although these are different series and Madden is obviously from another developer/publisher entirely, many gamers suggested that this was a red flag for NBA 2K on PC as well. Sadly, that prediction turned out to be correct.

If there is a silver lining to the announcement, it’s that there’ll likely once again be high compatibility with existing mods and modding tools. However, it naturally also means that NBA 2K23 PC will miss out on any enhancements to gameplay and modes that are exclusive to Next Gen. Your mileage will vary as to whether that’s a worthwhile trade-off.

In any case, we will be covering both the Current Gen/PC and Next Gen versions of NBA 2K23 when they’re released on September 9th. For now though, feel free to vent in the comments below, or here in the NLSC Forum!

Monday Tip-Off: Disposable Games & Always Online Pains

Monday Tip-Off: Disposable Games & Always Online Pains

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 my thoughts on the approach of the annual games becoming disposable, and the increased reliance in “always online”.

I’ve been working in IT since 2005, providing technical support and PC repairs. In that time, I’ve noticed a change that has likewise been a trend with other devices, from phones and televisions to major appliances. While hardware repairs are still sought out and provided, we’ve trended towards being a throw-away society. Expense or difficulty in performing repairs makes buying a replacement – presumably a newer model – a more common and desirable solution. Buying a new system also seems more likely than upgrading existing hardware, again due to convenience or feasibility.

So it goes with products such as video games, too. There is inevitability to this, of course. Nothing lasts forever, and manufacturers and software developers naturally want to sell new products. More than ever before though, basketball games are being designed to be disposable. The reliance on server-side content, necessitating an “always online” approach, is the reason for this. While this content has enhanced titles and eventual server shutdowns are understandable, the way that it’s made games more disposable is nevertheless unfortunate. If nothing else, it’s a tremendous blow to a community that does have a contingent of retro gamers who like to dust off old titles.

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NLSC Podcast #430: Return of the Server

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #430 of the NLSC Podcast!

During a session of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, we made the exciting discovery that the servers appear to be reactivated! We’re hoping it isn’t temporary, and note a few other games we’d like to see receive online support again. A vague Tweet from EA has invited those of us hoping for NBA Live’s return to speculate once more. This leads us to discuss our concerns about influencers giving a new NBA Live game a fair chance, if and when it comes out. A clip from the archives prompts us to reflect on The Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K11, and the attention to detail that was paid to Michael Jordan’s return to video games. We also answer a question about whether games have become too realistic, and open up the mailbag to talk about our favourite highlights, real and virtual.

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 #429: It’s Lit, Fellow Kids!

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #429 of the NLSC Podcast!

Is it worse to be called a moron by Steve Kerr, or hear Grant Hill go full “How do you do, fellow kids?” and call something lit? Suffice to say, the past week has delivered some awkward moments in virtual commentary! Conversely, Twitter produced some surprisingly positive (but certainly welcome) interactions. Playing NBA Live 06 PC also reminded us of a unique animation, and our frustrations with canned moments in recent titles. In light of confirmation that Madden 23 will be another last gen port, we speculate on what to expect from NBA 2K23 PC. We also discuss unfortunate generated player tattoos, choosing a retro season mod to play with, and whether a squad of Christian Laettners is better than a team of Andrew Langs.

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: Signature Skills in NBA 2K

Wayback Wednesday: Signature Skills in 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 taking a look back at Signature Skills in NBA 2K.

A key improvement as basketball video games have evolved is the way in which different player abilities are represented. Indeed, the difference between an old basketball video game that shows its age and a title that holds up extremely well is that in the former, every player tends to play the same. Whether it’s their speed, shooting ability, or another part of their game, they might as well be generic. Of course, in games like Double Dribble, they were! It worked there, but NBA games that utilised real players needed to accurately represent their skills and athleticism.

This led to the implementation of player ratings, many of which became standard across basketball video games. As games became more sophisticated, ratings alone weren’t enough. Player-specific moves and animations, as well as tendencies, helped games take the next step. There needed to be a mechanic that went beyond ratings, though; something that represented an uncanny knack or specialised skill. These days, NBA 2K achieves this through the use of Badges. Before Badges however, we had Signature Skills. In some ways, they were better than their successors. If nothing else, they paved the way for them. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: April 16th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

I’ll be honest: although it would be seasonally apt, there aren’t any Easter eggs spotlighted in this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays. However, you will see ridiculous lobs, crazy circus shots, and some of the best dunks that you’ll find on the virtual hardwood! The 1995 season mod for NBA 2K19 is also on display, along with NBA Fastbreak ’98 (aka NBA Action 98), the forerunner to NBA 2K. A total of nine different games are featured in this week’s countdown, once again demonstrating that revisiting old favourites produces great highlights, and a lot of fun.

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

NLSC Podcast #422: NBA Live 2000 Is Still Shak’n the Floor

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #422 of the NLSC Podcast!

Thanks to DOSBox, Lakers vs. Celtics is still playable on a Windows 10 PC in 2022! We reflect on the game that tipped off what became the NBA Live series, and some of the incredible features it had for a title released in 1989. Speaking of classic basketball games from EA Sports, we also revisited NBA Live 2000. Suffice to say that we were blown away by how well it held up, not to mention the quality of the faces. Our College Hoops 2K8 Tournament drew to a close with an epic game that had some entertaining real life parallels, and the finale has us looking forward to future tournaments. We also recap another fun week in basketball gaming, which included playing the 1995 season in NBA 2K19, Year 3 of NBA 2K14 MyCAREER rolling on, and firing up Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball, a literal interactive almanac.

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!

Monday Tip-Off: And The Adventure Continues…in NBA 2K14

Monday Tip-Off: And The Adventure Continues...in NBA 2K14

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 look at how the adventure of my NBA 2K14 MyCAREER continues, and my future goals with the mode.

On the NLSC Podcast, Dee4Three observed that he hasn’t seen anyone warm up to a game as quickly and enthusiastically as I have with NBA 2K14. It’s a fair statement! There are other games that I’ve developed more of an appreciation for, but few of them have gone from “I accept it’s good, but it’s not for me” to “This is one of my all-time favourite games” the same way that NBA 2K14 has. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia for a era in the NBA I liked better, the fact that it’s one of the last games that came out when I was in my 20s, or my lukewarm reaction to NBA 2K22, but that’s how I feel.

Actually, that’s selling the game short. Those are definitely factors, of course, but the PlayStation 4/Xbox One version of NBA 2K14 was simply a tremendous game. I had my reasons for not playing it as much back in the day, but to that point, I’m making up for some lost time now. However, it’s surprising that I’m spending that time playing MyCAREER, given my burnout on the mode. I even titled my recap of getting into it last year as “One MyCAREER For The Road“, figuring that it would close the book on my interest in career mode play. Instead, I’ve found myself picking it up again. The adventure continues, and I honestly don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about that.

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File Additions for NBA 2K15

NBA 2K15 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K15 feature a re-upload of a 2009 season roster mod. The original author is currently unknown, but shout out to sticky-fingers for preserving it. Download the 2009 season roster at the link below!

Unknown
2008-09 Roster for NBA 2K15

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

NLSC Podcast #414: Pump Us Up, Don’t Leave Us Deflated

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #414 of the NLSC Podcast!

Does the community still feel the same excitement and anticipation for the latest release every year? We open up the mailbag to discuss the titles that basketball gamers felt the most hyped about, as well as the factors that have dampened our enthusiasm over the past decade or so. We also recap another fun week in basketball gaming, which included a return to Fantasy Teams in NBA Live 10, heroics from Steve Kerr in NBA Live 95, a surprising challenge playing NBA Live 2003 PC co-op, and a new take on NBA Live 15. There also the latest games from our NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Tournament to recap, and a tale of retro collecting disappointment to share.

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!

Monday Tip-Off: The Jerseys I’ve Worn In MyCAREER

Monday Tip-Off: The Jerseys I've Worn In MyCAREER

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 retrospective of the teams’ jerseys that I’ve ended up wearing in my various games of MyCAREER.

Retrospectives are usually the domain of Wayback Wednesday, but this is a topic that feels more suitable to tipping off the week with. Kenny has previously reflected on some of his most memorable experiences in MyCAREER, which highlights how many different jerseys his MyPLAYERs have worn. Now that I’ve mostly moved on from the mode, I also find myself looking back at my favourite MyCAREER games, and my preferred approach. Suffice to say that I wasn’t as adventurous as Kenny as far as playing around with different builds, or taking my talents to different teams!

With that being said, I did end up wearing a few teams’ jerseys throughout my various MyCAREER games. I’m glad that I did. As is the case with my franchise gaming over the years, the temptation of playing with the Chicago Bulls and leading them back to the top has been too strong to pass up. However, just as I’ve enjoyed dabbling with using other teams in season and franchise modes, eschewing the Bulls’ jerseys for another uniform in MyCAREER has also been rewarding. While I like the ability to choose my destination, there’s authenticity in the Draft having uncertainty. Thanks to donning a variety of jerseys, I’ve made some great memories in MyCAREER games.

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