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NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: January 15th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

The theme of this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays is clutch moments and alley-oops, as you’ll find some big buzzer beaters and spectacular lobs throughout the countdown. There are some other great plays mixed in of course, along with a sneak peek at a work-in-progress mod for a classic PC release. In fact, to do this week’s highlights justice, the video runs 20 seconds longer than usual. Of course, this also allows you to enjoy even more of “Keep’n It Live” from the NBA Live 99 soundtrack!

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

NLSC Podcast #409: A Chat With Stildo33

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #409 of the NLSC Podcast!

Stildo33 joins the show to talk about his amazing retro season roster mods for NBA 2K19 PC. We discuss some of the challenges of making such large projects, and a few of his plans for future updates. Like us, Stildo33 has also been having a blast with Parsec, and is all about bringing the community together with the app. He also recalls one of his most memorable battles on the virtual hardwood, which actually saw him and a friend get physical over a three day period! We also discuss the shutdown of the NBA 2K20 servers and what it means for MyCAREER gamers, as well as some other fond basketball gaming memories.

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: What I Learned From Basketball Gaming in 2021

Monday Tip-Off: What I Learned From Basketball Gaming in 2021

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 look back at what I learned from my basketball gaming in 2021, and what it means for my forays onto the virtual hardwood in 2022.

It’s the start of a New Year, which means plenty of resolutions all around. They’re not for everyone, but I understand the appeal of a clean slate and definitive start date. I admire and support any self-improvement efforts, and with the difficulties of the past couple of years in particular, a desire for a fresh start is more than understandable. Whether you’re committing to some new endeavour, or continuing something that you started last year, I wish you success and satisfaction. I also thank you for joining us here at the NLSC for another year of basketball gaming!

Speaking of which, 2021 turned out to be something of an illuminating year for me as far as my basketball gaming habits. I made some changes to my routine, both going back to my roots and trying out some new experiences. It involved breaking out of what had become a comfortable rut, in order to seek more fulfilment and enjoyment out of the games that I was playing. It wasn’t easy to break habits that carried a certain level of comfort and familiarity, but admitting that it was nevertheless a rut that I was very weary of finally prompted an overdue change. As such, I’m anticipating further good times on the virtual hardwood in 2022, while avoiding modes I’m done with.

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NLSC Rewind 2021

NLSC Rewind 2021

Welcome to the NLSC Rewind for 2021! It’s been another challenging year for many of us around the world, but fortunately, we’ve had basketball gaming to provide some much-needed distractions. Here at the NLSC, it’s been another year of great mod releases and basketball gaming discussion. We’ve also aimed to cover a wide variety of topics in our original content.

As always, it’s been our goal to cover both the positive and negative aspects of the games we play. From holding publishers accountable and criticising practices that impact our enjoyment, to celebrating the fun we’re having and brainstorming new ideas for future games, we’ve strived to be fair, thorough, informative, and hopefully entertaining. Above all, we want our original content to share interesting facts, ways to enhance your basketball gaming experiences, and advocate for our fellow gamers. Whichever mode and game that we each prefer, we should all get the most out of it.

This NLSC Rewind is a collection of “editor’s picks” for our 2021 content. Obviously, I encourage everyone to dig through our entire archives if you’re enjoying what you’re reading, watching, and listening to with our articles, videos, and podcasts. However, these recommendations represent content that I’m particularly proud of, and believe are worth a second look or listen; or a first one, if you missed them when they were originally posted! Seeing as how we’re celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, I decided that I’d make 25 picks for each of our weekly features. As we prepare for a brand new year of basketball gaming, join me as I rewind 2021 here at the NLSC!

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The Friday Five: 5 Strange Glitches You May Have Missed

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 strange glitches in various basketball video games, which you may not be aware of.

As is the case with other genres, some glitches in basketball video games are well-known. In fact, some of them achieve infamy, such as the “Jesus Bynum” glitch in the NBA Elite 11 demo. Some glitches are helpful, and so we seek them out to gain additional XP or in-game currency. Other glitches are game-breaking; we hope we’ll never encounter those and are furious when we do, especially if we end up losing our save files with hours of progress (paid and No Money Spent). And of course, there are the harmless and amusing glitches that are just entertaining when they happen.

Not every glitch becomes common knowledge, of course. If you never experience something for yourself and you’re not particularly involved in online discourse, you may not know about a prominent bug in a popular title. Even when it comes to the most infamous glitches such as the aforementioned Bynum bug, not everyone who has seen them in action has experienced them in their own game. Sometimes it’s a rare and specific set of circumstances that causes the issue, which is why it’s so difficult for developers to fix them in patches. To that end, here are five strange glitches that I’ve encountered that might’ve flown under your radar, or you may have forgotten.

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NLSC Podcast #406: What A Croc!

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Episode #406 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.

Crocs have been added as footwear in NBA 2K22’s MyCAREER, and we’re…underwhelmed. This leads us to discuss 2K’s priorities, and how we’d prefer that they make fairer deals with historical players, not to mention finally license some prominent absentees. Voting has closed on the game for the next NLSC Tournament, and one of us may have put our hand on the scales. While we’ve been enjoying playing a variety of older titles as of late, certain games do make us miss enhancements from newer releases. To that point, we reflect on how it took an unusually long time for NBA 2K to adopt right stick dribbling controls, and an overlooked mechanic in NBA Live. We also cover some recent retro roster modding developments, and resolve to keep playing the games that we  find the most appealing in 2022.

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: December 18th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

You can always count on some crazy dunks being included in the NLSC Top 10 Plays, and true to form, there are some exciting slams this week! From NBA in the Zone 99 – a game making its first appearance in the countdown – to NBA 2K22 Next Gen, gamers have had fun throwing it down, as we tend to do. There are also a couple of wild long bombs, including the top play from NBA Live 2001 which proves that an accidental button press needn’t be a disaster!

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Worst Aspects of My Favourite Modes

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 lists the five worst aspects of my favourite modes across years of playing various basketball video games.

When it comes to the quality of basketball video games, gameplay is paramount, but modes are still crucial. Deep modes can’t be enjoyed without great gameplay, but the gameplay won’t be nearly as interesting and engaging long-term without modes that keep us hooked. Fortunately, the modes in basketball games have come a long way. They’ve gone from a basic single NBA season – or just three rounds of the Playoffs – to comprehensive multi-season franchise modes, career modes with connected online team play, and card-based team building modes.

Of course, whether you’re talking about gameplay or game modes, perfection is an impossible goal. As is the case with the experience on the sticks, ideally the franchise, career, card collecting, and other modes will be relatively bug-free and enjoyable, but for a few quirky issues or missing features here and there. Although I was a long-time franchise gamer after the concept was introduced, over the past decade I’ve branched out into other ways to play basketball video games. I’ve had literally thousands of hours of fun with my favourite NBA Live and NBA 2K titles, but reflecting on those fantastic experiences, these are some of the worst aspects of my modes of choice.

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NLSC Podcast #405: Slow Motion, Signature Style

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Episode #405 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.

An eye-catching statistic regarding the Lakers this year, and some other recent NBA observations, explain a lot about The Rec (and why we’re happy to avoid the online scene). Unfortunately, even the franchise experience in NBA 2K22 hasn’t been appealing, due to the gameplay feeling dry. On the plus side, NBA 2K17 has been fun to dust off, and it leads us to reflect on one of our all-time favourite basketball video games. We once again note that gameplay mechanics aren’t automatically good just because we’re able to get used to and master them. Elsewhere, preliminary plans for the next NLSC Tournament have begun, with the community voting on the game. A new roster with fixed retro teams is also worth checking out on PlayStation 5. In this week’s mailbag, we’re talking about slow motion dunks, signature moves, and other old school features that we miss and would love to see return.

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 Top 10 Plays of the Week: December 11th, 2021

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

It’s time to enjoy some virtual hardwood highlights in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is a weekly feature curated by Derek (aka Dee4Three) spotlighting the best plays from the basketball gaming community, which includes a few of our own memorable clips from time to time. Submit your clips in the Forum, or hit up Derek on Twitter!

Although the NLSC Top 10 Plays is open to highlights of all kinds, it’s tough to go past a great dunk. As I’ve said before, there’s something immensely satisfying about dunking on the virtual hardwood, especially as games have added more animations and better physics to set up jaw-dropping posters. This week’s countdown includes some tremendous high-flying moments, from merciless facial dunks to crazy alley-oops. As always, it’s great to see a variety of titles represented, and awesome mods being showcased. Also, it seems Dee4Three and I aren’t the only ones going back to NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360! Remember, the point is to have fun with basketball games, and this Top 10 is intended to celebrate that joy.

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 spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood or blacktop. All basketball games are welcome, new and old! Also, be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

The Friday Five: 5 Predictable Moments in Basketball Games

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 moments in basketball games that are very predictable.

In real basketball, there’s a phenomenon of knowing a shot is going in as soon as it leaves your hands. It just feels right, the arc looks perfect, and it’s almost like there’s a sixth sense about it. Of course, that confidence isn’t always well-founded, in which case you may end up looking like Nick Young! We can get a similar feeling when we see someone else shoot the basketball, either on TV or when we’re on the court. It’s why we’re so surprised to see the great shooters and clutch performers miss attempts that we were absolutely sure would splash through the net.

As an artificial representation of the sport, basketball video games naturally contain some telltale signs that make them far more predictable than real life. Predictability isn’t always a bad thing of course, particularly when it’s a favourable outcome. Even when it isn’t, you’re at least able to brace yourself for the outcome, perhaps avoiding getting your hopes up. However, like a spoiler for a film, TV show, or indeed a video game with an in-depth narrative, it can detract from the experience by removing a sense of anticipation, with certain actions feeling inconsequential. For better or worse, here are five of the most predictable moments found in basketball video games.

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Wayback Wednesday: 1998 Bulls vs Lakers in NBA Live 06 Xbox 360

Wayback Wednesday: 1998 Bulls vs Lakers in NBA Live 06 Xbox 360

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, it’s a highlight reel from a makeshift 1998 Bulls vs Lakers matchup in NBA Live 06 for Xbox 360.

Yes, the retro kick continues! Although I could easily play this matchup with proper faces and jerseys in NBA 2K22, there’s something really fun about makeshift rosters. Of course, given the lack of modding options for the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06, a minimalist approach to re-creating a 1998 Bulls vs Lakers game is the best I can do! It nevertheless resulted in an extremely enjoyable retro gaming experience. Even with animations that are showing their age and lack variety, there were a couple that felt “Jordanesque”! Since I had such a blast, I kept the recording and created another highlight reel. Join me as I take a look back…way back…

Although NBA Live 06 PC is the better all-around release, the Xbox 360 version is far more impressive than I once thought. It has its limitations, but it holds up as a fun game to revisit. Normally I’d use it to indulge my nostalgia for the mid 2000s, but on this occasion, I’m celebrating the late 90s and The Last Dance as well. It’s a shame that we can’t mod the Xbox 360 version, but as you can see, you can still have a great time with a little effort and imagination. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this reel, and may perhaps be inspired to give NBA Live 06 or another old game a second look. In the meantime, be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more video content!

NLSC Podcast #404: Cheese Not Found

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Episode #404 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 an intense battle, the Semi-Finals of the NLSC NBA Live 10 Tournament are over, and the Finals match-up has been set. Once again, we note the importance of competing until the final buzzer. Following on from last week’s revisiting of NBA Live 96 PC, we played NBA Live 97 PC over Parsec, and basked in the radical 90s goodness of its presentation. We also played NBA Live 16, and tested a work-in-progress mod for NBA 2K16. Meanwhile, the latest patch for NBA 2K22 Next Gen has cut down on cheese, and some gamers aren’t happy. Conversely, we’re all for it, and push back on the suggestion that the game shouldn’t be realistic. We also reflect on the importance of shot timing mechanics.

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.

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 06 PC Dynasty Re-Made On Xbox 360

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 06 PC Dynasty Re-Made On Xbox 360

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, it’s a highlight reel from my re-creation of my NBA Live 06 PC Dynasty with the Chicago Bulls on Xbox 360.

My Chicago Bulls Dynasty in NBA Live 06 PC remains one of my all-time favourite experiences, in one of my all-time favourite basketball video games. This year, I’ve come to appreciate the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 as well, though the game is of course lacking Dynasty mode. Nevertheless, the Xbox 360 version has recently been my retro kick. Just for fun, I re-created the roster from Year 1 of my PC Dynasty on Xbox 360. I ended up playing a game against the San Antonio Spurs, the team that I defeated in that first season to clinch the Bulls’ seventh championship. As I recorded some highlights from the game, you can join me as I take a look back…way back…

As always, I’m never sure how long a retro kick will last. Between this re-creation, the 2006 All-Star Game, and some other games that I’ve played in the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 however, I’ve really enjoyed revisiting it. Although its lack of depth made for a shaky start to the seventh generation, it’s frankly an underrated game that deserves more credit for its gameplay and graphical advancements. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the highlights. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video content!

NLSC Podcast #403: These Labours Of Love

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Episode #403 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 second game of our Semi-Finals series in the NLSC NBA Live 10 Tournament was marred by some technical issues, but we had much better luck with other games during a Parsec session. We recap one of the wildest games of NBA Jam Tournament Edition that we’ve ever played, using a fantastic 2014 season roster mod. Another highlight came when we revisited the PC version of NBA Live 96, and couldn’t help gushing about the presentation. Double Dribble also got a run (CORNER THREE!), though it did show its age. In this week’s mailbag, we discuss the arguments for and against paid mods, and how to avoid burnout when working on big modding projects.

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.