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The Friday Five: 5 Things I Miss When I Play Old Games

The Friday Five: 5 Things I Miss When I Play Old 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 things that I miss when I go back and play older basketball video games.

Retro basketball gaming is awesome, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! That isn’t to say that newer games aren’t great too, and I certainly sink hours into them as well. However, don’t let the naysayers tell you that all previous releases were inferior to their modern counterparts, and it’s only myopic nostalgia that allows you to enjoy them. Whether it’s the pervasive presence of recurrent revenue mechanics, a grind that feels more like tedious work than a fun and challenging journey, or a questionable design choice in the gameplay, newer is not always better.

By the same token however, it’s true that not everything was better in the “good old days”. Some ideas, or entire games, have aged poorly. We can also forget that even the classics have problems of their own. If nothing else, there are enhancements and additions in more recent basketball games that I miss when I go back and play old titles. Their absence doesn’t render those old games unplayable or unenjoyable, but you definitely do miss the fun and/or convenience that they added. Even if there’s an old approach that still has merit and would work fine, we’ve grown accustomed to a new way of doing things. Whatever the case, I miss these five things in old games.

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Monday Tip-Off: My 25 Favourite Basketball Video Games

Monday Tip-Off: My 25 Favourite Basketball Video Games

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 countdown of my Top 25 favourite basketball video games, in celebration of another milestone here at the NLSC.

On Saturday, I celebrated my 22nd year of running the NLSC. It’s been a long ride with plenty of ups and downs, but I’m still very glad that I accepted the gig when Tim moved on to work at EA Sports, and that I stuck it out through some rough patches to enjoy the good times. To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to rank my Top 25 favourite basketball video games. This being my 22nd Anniversary as webmaster/admin of the NLSC, I was originally going to pick my Top 22 games. Top 25 has a better ring to it though, and it also serves as a belated 25th Anniversary celebration for the site itself!

Before we get to the countdown, let me emphasise once again that it is a Top 25 of my favourite basketball video games; not the Top 25 best hoops titles. That’s a different list, and if I were being more objective, there are games I’m listing here that wouldn’t make the cut. Because I haven’t spent as much time with certain NBA 2K, College Hoops, or NCAA Basketball/March Madness titles, I don’t have as much of an affinity for them, though that may well change in the future. I haven’t “forgotten” about those great basketball video games, but they haven’t become one of my personal favourites (as yet, anyway). With that being said, here are my Top 25 virtual hardwood classics!

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The Friday Five: 5 Historically Difficult Players to Rate

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 players that have been difficult to rate over the years.

Since they became visible attributes, Overall Ratings have been the subject of much contention and debate. They aren’t nearly as important to realistic performance as individual ratings and other tendency data, yet they’re not completely irrelevant either. If a player’s Overall Rating seems too high or too low, it’s usually an indication that some (or many) of their individual ratings are off. Also, because they’re factored into rotation logic and trade value in franchise modes, it’s important that a player’s Overall Rating generally reflects their ranking amongst their peers.

It’s why in official and unofficial rosters alike, it’s necessary to pay some attention to Overall Ratings. Attributes such as “Intangibles” – found in certain NBA 2K titles – have been helpful in artificially adjusting Overall Ratings. Otherwise, it’s usually a matter of fudging a few ratings here or there so that the Overall Rating feels more accurate, without compromising realism in player skill and performance. Even so, there are some players that have been historically difficult to rate, especially without the aid of an Intangibles attribute. Looking back, these players are among the most likely to end up being overrated or underrated, at least according to their Overall.

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: July 22nd, 2023

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.

On top of the usual assortment of poster dunks, the theme of this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays is variety and Legends. From throwback rosters in NBA 2K23’s MyNBA Eras to squads of Legends in NBA Live 06 Dynasty and NBA Live 18 Ultimate Team, many of us are enjoying taking to the virtual hardwood with players of yesteryear! This week’s countdown also answers a very important question. Who is the true GOAT: Michael Jordan, M. Guard, or Roster Player? Konami’s NBA in the Zone 2 offers up a compelling argument! As for variety, nine different games are represented this week, which is awesome to see. Let’s get to the action!

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: July 15th, 2023

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.

This week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays is all about poster dunks; I’m confident that there won’t be any objections! We’re tipping things off with Charles Barkley attacking the rim in NBA Fastbreak ’98 – the forerunner to the NBA 2K series – and then running through a variety of titles right up to NBA 2K23 Next Gen. There’s also an array of ankle breakers, slick passes, and other great moves along the way, and something a little different capping off the countdown in the number one spot. Without any further ado, let’s get to the action!

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.

NBA 2K15 Mod Releases: Ante Up Court & Tool Re-Uploads

NBA 2K15 Cover Art

New in today’s mod releases for NBA 2K15 is a lighting update for the Ante Up court. I’ve also re-uploaded a couple of gregkwaste’s tools that were missing from the database, namely the Explorer and 3D Importer/Exporter. Download them all at the links below!

gregkwaste
NBA 2K15 3D Importer/Exporter
NBA 2K15 Explorer

Botytec
Ante Up Court

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 Mod Releases bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

NLSC Podcast #480: Is NBA Live 15 Overlooked?

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #480 of the NLSC Podcast!

NBA Live 15 generally wasn’t well-received when it was released, but might it be somewhat overlooked today? A fun session playing the game over Parsec prompts us to take a deep dive into all of its pros and cons. Suffice to say it’s a mixed bag, but it might just work its way into our rotation! We also connected to play NBA Live 06 PC with a 2012 season roster, and were reminded of what a special release it was. In this week’s mailbag, we join the community in talking about how we play basketball in real life. Which players would we compare our style of play to, and does that at all influence the creation of our players in career modes?

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 #478: Highlights, Rumours, & Regrets

NLSC Podcast Logo

From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #478 of the NLSC Podcast!

Games that we wish we played more, seasons that we wish we finished, and saves that we wish we still had, are common tales among basketball gamers. This week, we join the community in reminiscing about some of our biggest basketball gaming regrets! A misconception about a job listing also prompts us to address the subject of NBA Live rumours, as well as clickbait content. Additionally, we touch on whether a theoretical future NBA Live should be sim, arcade, or a sim-arcade hybrid. We also reflect on some spectacular highlights in last week’s NLSC Top 10 that had us all buzzing, and provide an update on reaching Year 6 in NBA 2K14 MyCAREER.

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: NBA 2K23 MyCAREER Sucks

Monday Tip-Off: NBA 2K23 MyCAREER Sucks

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 frank discussion of how MyCAREER absolutely sucks in NBA 2K23.

Whenever I talk about playing NBA 2K14 MyCAREER or upload videos, I anticipate a few different responses. There are lovely people who take an interest in that journey, and the updates that I share. It’s prompted a few people to reflect on the fun that they had with NBA 2K14, and either resolve to dust it off, or wistfully wish that they still could. And of course, there’s the occasional person scoffing at the idea of not playing the latest game. “There are people still playing NBA 2K14? Why?” Incidentally, I do actually play NBA 2K23, but not MyCAREER, because it sucks.

Part of me wishes that I could phrase that sentiment more eloquently, and less like a clickbait video. It’s always my aim to be constructive and analytical when I assess a basketball video game and its features, avoiding hyperbole and insulting phrasing as much as possible. In this case however, it’s a suitably succinct way of expressing the view that MyCAREER in NBA 2K23 has a strong case for being the absolute worst iteration of the mode to date. It’s not altogether surprising, as in many ways it’s a culmination of years of discouraging design choices. That doesn’t make it any less disappointing though, especially when earlier games provided superior experiences.

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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: May 6th, 2023

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.

Our awesome community frequently submits a variety of highlights for the NLSC Top 10 Plays, but sometimes, it’s hard to go past a dunk! This week we have another countdown that’s all about slams, from vicious posters to jaw-dropping alley-oops. You’ll see Dee and I connecting in AND1 Streetball, from a session we discussed in Episode #475 of the NLSC Podcast. The NBA Live 2001 Legends are also changing things up with some Vinsanity in NBA 2K3, as everyone takes to the air to strut their stuff. Seven different games are on display this week, so let’s get to the action!

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: April 15th, 2023

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.

As you can tell from the thumbnail, a modded-in Super Mario appears in this week’s NLSC Top 10 plays; only appropriate, given that the new film is out! johnz1’s NBA Jam: Legends On Fire Edition is another mod that’s on display, with Michael Jordan throwing down a signature slam. There’s a highlight from our NCAA Basketball 10 Tournament – also hosted by Dee – and of course, another dazzling array of devastating dunks to enjoy. A total of nine different games are featured this week, and it’s always fun to see such variety in the countdown. Let’s get to the action!

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: April 1st, 2023

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.

Obviously, a lot of sites love to run joke articles and other such gags for April Fool’s Day, so you’d be forgiven for thinking something might be screwy with this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays. I can promise you that isn’t the case; not because we don’t like fun, but because we don’t want to take any attention away from the awesome highlights that the community continues to send in! There’s a little bit of everything from six different titles this week, including a great two-way play from our NCAA Basketball 10 Tournament, jaw-dropping dunks, and cold-blooded play in the clutch. Don’t be a fool! Tip off your weekend of basketball gaming with another spectacular Top 10!

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 #470: Quality Time on the Virtual Hardwood

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #470 of the NLSC Podcast!

Which basketball video games rank among our most-played all-time? This week, we join the community in reminiscing about the various titles that we’ve racked up the most hours in over the years. We’re also able to talk about the NBA Jam: Legends On Fire Edition mod at last, and it’s no surprise that the community shares our enthusiasm for it! johnz1 will also be joining us to talk about the mod next week, so stay tuned. The Elite 8 of our NCAA Basketball 10 Tournament is in the books, so we reflect on the action thus far, and look ahead to the Final Four. We also pay tribute to the late, great Willis Reed.

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: Wish I Could Play It, Now That I Can’t

Monday Tip-Off: Wish I Could Play It, Now That I Can't

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 reflections on wishing that I could play certain modes in older titles, now that it’s impossible.

The notion that we want what we can’t have, and that we don’t appreciate what we do have until it’s gone, are very old proverbs indeed. It’s a concept that’s been discussed at length, and portrayed in various works. In a rather infamous episode of Scrubs, J.D. discovers that he doesn’t want to be with Elliot after pining for her all season. Glam metal band Cinderella even had a power ballad literally titled “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)“, which was used rather superbly – even movingly – in an episode of South Park. It’s a sentiment that we can all relate to.

As far as basketball video games are concerned, this is an inevitable part of server shutdowns. There was a time when that only applied to online multiplayer, but thanks to server-side content and connected experiences, single player modes are now also affected. Of course, there’s still plenty to enjoy in older basketball games, especially when you go back to before online content was ubiquitous. Over the past generation though, and even going back to the generation before that, there are modes that I wish I could still play. On top of that, there are modes that I wish I could play for the first time – or at least finally explore in-depth – now that that’s no longer possible.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Final NBA Live Games on PS1

Wayback Wednesday: The Final NBA Live Games on PS1

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 the final few NBA Live games that were released on PS1.

The launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S has resulted in an interesting situation as far as multi-generation support is concerned. Obviously, the ninth gen consoles are receiving the flagship version of NBA 2K as far as technical innovation and features. However, the eighth gen version – which is also the one ported to PC – hasn’t been completely left behind. With NBA 2K23 in particular, 2K made a point of trying to implement as many features from the new gen version into the prior gen release. There also continues to be cross-generation support in MyTEAM.

Looking back through decades of console launches and multi-generation releases for basketball video games, outmoded platforms haven’t always received this kind of love and attention. It helps that nowadays the gap isn’t quite so wide, and the architecture is far more similar to the previous gen. The limited availability of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S has also left many gamers stuck on the previous generation longer than planned. When it comes to the final NBA Live games for PS1 back in the day, they didn’t stack up to their new gen successors quite as impressively. At the same time, they had some strong points of their own. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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