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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!

The Friday Five: 5 Reasons NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is the Best Jam Game

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 reasons that I rank NBA Jam: On Fire Edition as the best release in the NBA Jam series.

We really need another NBA Jam game. I know there were gamers that skipped the NBA Jam games by EA Sports, either because they were burned by previous non-Midway Jam titles, they didn’t trust or want to support EA, or a mixture of both. I understand having that stance, but frankly, you missed out on a couple of really good NBA Jam games! They were faithful to the originals, while also bringing something new to the table. It’s because of this that NBA Jam: On Fire Edition remains my pick for the best NBA Jam game to date.

I know that’s a big claim to make, especially when the original NBA Jam still holds up today. Tournament Edition was a fantastic follow-up to that, and though Midway lost the Jam moniker, NBA Hangtime was a worthy sequel to TE. NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC and NBA Hoopz were also fine games in Midway’s branch of the lineage; Acclaim’s titles, not so much. In short, there is some stiff competition for NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, yet I do believe that it stands above the rest. While EA were struggling with NBA Live by the early 2010s, they made great use of the NBA Jam license, creating the definitive Jam experience with NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.

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NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Servers Online; Roster Update Available

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Servers Online; Roster Update Available

As discussed in Episode #430 of the NLSC Podcast, the long-dormant NBA Jam: On Fire Edition servers have been unexpectedly reactivated. If you fire up the game on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Xbox One, you’ll be able to establish a connection, and accept the online terms and conditions. After that, you’ll be able to see the leaderboards, as well as the number of users who are currently online.

You’ll also be able to download the last roster update for the game, if you don’t already have it. This requires going to the Online Arena, which will prompt the game to check the rosters, and then update them if need be. The roster updates added a handful of players from the Class of 2011 to the game, including Kyrie Irving. It also accounted for player movement accurate as of the 2013 season, and updated a handful of ratings.

Note that to access the Online Arena on Xbox 360/Xbox One, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription. If you don’t have an active subscription but just want to grab the update, you can always purchase a one month subscription and then cancel the renewal. While you’ll lose access to the Online Arena, you’ll keep the updated rosters as long as you don’t delete your data.

Obviously this also means that online multiplayer is available once again, though judging by the reported number of users online, you may have difficulty finding a game. Of course, if word spreads and the NBA Jam: On Fire Edition servers remain active, the scene could soon be jumping again. If so, there may be opportunities to unlock some of the online Trophies/Achievements, if you haven’t already done so.

We’ll keep an eye on the situation with the NBA Jam: On Fire Edition servers, and report on any further changes. In the meantime however, this unexpected but very welcome development has provided an opportunity to download a long-lost update, and potentially breathe new life into a fantastic release. If you own NBA Jam: OFE and are missing the updated rosters, I’d recommend looking into this ASAP!

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: May 14th, 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.

This week marks the one year anniversary of the reboot of the NLSC Top 10 Plays, and we have a great countdown to celebrate the occasion! From a long bomb in Double Dribble to a classic Jason Kidd behind-the-back pass in NBA 2K19 using the 1995 season mod, there’s plenty of flair on display. There’s also a very rare defensive highlight from NBA Live 2003, and yes, an assortment of jaw-dropping dunks! A big thank you to everyone who has gotten involved with the Top 10 over the past year. It’s not going anywhere, so please keep the highlights coming!

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 #425: Sliding Back Into 1995, With Stildo33

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #425 of the NLSC Podcast!

Ken (aka Stildo33) returns to the show to talk about replaying the 1995 season in NBA 2K19 MyLEAGUE! In addition to a little trash talk, there are reflections on some of the favourite games so far, exciting upcoming matchups, and learning new skills on the virtual hardwood. We also talk about the importance of fine-tuning gameplay sliders, and some of the issues that NBA 2K19 had out of the box. A couple of ideas for future Parsec tournaments are also floated for your consideration! With the preview season of NBA 2K23 looming on the horizon, and the continued hope that EA Sports will return with a new basketball game at some point, we also touch on some of our Wishlist items.

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 Tips & Tricks You May Not Remember

The Friday Five: 5 Tips & Tricks You May Not Remember

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 basketball gaming tips and tricks that you may not remember.

To state the obvious, success in basketball games comes from employing basketball strategies; at least to some extent. Older games have more primitive mechanics, arcade titles facilitated strategies that wouldn’t work in sim games (or real life, for that matter), and even newer releases aren’t entirely free of exploits. Still, then and now, most tips and tricks for basketball games adhered to concepts that also applied to real hoops: take the open shot, pound the ball inside for higher percentage looks and to draw fouls, position yourself properly, take advantages of mismatches, and so on.

Those are all important points to remember, and they generally apply to all basketball games, new and old. Of course, because they are video games at the end of the day, there are predictable moments and useful tricks that are more “video game tactics” than “basketball strategies”. Outside of exploits such as Curry slides and zigzag cheese, these have become less common as games have become more sophisticated. Trying to play old games with a realistic approach that’s more suited to modern titles can work, but you’ll have more success if you use some antiquated tips and tricks. Here are five examples of such strategies, some of which you may have forgotten.

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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 Presentation Options NBA 2K Should Have

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 presentation options that I’d like to see added to NBA 2K.

Since the early days of the genre, sim basketball games have made it a point to have presentation that resembles a real broadcast. From getting real commentators to call the action on the virtual hardwood, to studio shows and stats overlays, there’s been a constant push to include as much authenticity as the current technology will allow. Some of those presentation elements can be adjusted in the game options, such as the frequency of instant replays, muting the commentary, or toggling fun features such as slow motion dunks in the oldest NBA Live titles.

Indeed, NBA Live has had some great presentation features and options that NBA 2K should implement, but for whatever reason, has yet to do so. On top of that, there are several other ideas that would enhance presentation and provide customisation options that neither NBA Live nor NBA 2K has featured to date, and have rarely appeared (if at all) in other NBA titles in years gone by. These features may not be vital, but could nevertheless have an impact on our basketball gaming experience through adding more immersion, quality of life customisation, or just plain fun. Whatever the case, adopting these presentation options would be beneficial in future NBA 2K releases.

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NLSC Podcast #421: Arcade Basketball Games Are On Fire!

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #421 of the NLSC Podcast!

We love sim basketball titles, but we also have a great deal of affection for arcade games as well. Recent sessions with the underrated NBA Hangtime, and a brief stream of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, lead us to reflect on some of the best and worst releases in the genre. As always, we also catch up on other games we’ve been playing over the past week, including NBA 2K22, NBA Showdown, and NBA 2K14. One of us has also added a true gem to their collection, leaving the other to feel a tad envious! In this week’s mailbag, we’re talking about our go-to plays in various basketball video games, and one-off hoops titles that deserved a sequel (or possibly even a series).

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 #420: The Legend of Keyon Dooling

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #420 of the NLSC Podcast!

Inspired by QB1120’s stories of Keyon Dooling in NBA 2K7, we fired up the game to see what the fuss was all about. Turns out, we have a newly-minted Video Game Legend! We also connected with Brent and NBA Live Girl for a 4-player session of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition that none of us wanted to end. After recapping some other recent adventures on the virtual hardwood, we talk about the reason we’re able to play so many basketball video games: our passion for collecting. We open up the mailbag to talk about the games that our listeners wish that they owned, as well as some of the purchases that they regret.

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 #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!

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: March 19th, 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.

With March Madness underway, there are some timely virtual college basketball highlights in this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays! This includes an NCAA mod for NBA 2K22 on PlayStation 5, and some great plays from our College Hoops 2K8 Tournament. As for the virtual NBA highlights in this week’s countdown, we’ve got some retro mods for NBA 2K13 and NBA 2K19 on display, and an encore performance at the number one spot. There’s also a very unique game spotlighted at number ten, and some new community members contributing to the countdown for the first time.

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 #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 #416: Three Games & An Island

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #416 of the NLSC Podcast!

In an exciting development, NBA Live 2001 enthusiasts Nate and Roger are on Parsec, which means a 2v2 showdown is in our future! Speaking of Parsec, our recent sessions have given us a new appreciation for a couple of often-criticised games in the NBA Live series. Our NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Tournament also wrapped up, and it ended in spectacular fashion. Dipping into our collection as we often do leaves us wondering: which three games would we take with us to an island we’d be stuck on indefinitely? We share our answers, and open up the mailbag to see which games the community would pick. With February drawing to a close, we also look ahead to March Modness.

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!