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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 Podcast #408: The Worst Basketball Video Game Ever

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #408 of the NLSC Podcast!

The NLSC NBA Live 10 Tournament has drawn to a close, and we must say, it was a success! We’re looking forward to future tournaments with games such as NBA Jam and NCAA Basketball 09. However, one game that we definitely won’t be using is Kidz Sports Basketball. After playing it together, we’re inclined to call it the worst basketball game ever made. Thankfully, we’ve also played some much better games as of late, including NBA 2K13, NBA in the Zone, and Basketball Classics. There’s also some modding news to recap, and a few teasers of our own to drop! In this week’s mailbag, we’re talking about fighting with friends and family over disagreements on the virtual hardwood.

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: January 1st, 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!

Welcome to 2022, basketball gamers! I hope you had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve, and are ready for more fun basketball gaming content. To that end, we’re tipping off a new year with a fantastic edition of the NLSC Top 10 Plays featuring some vicious dunks, cold-blooded daggers in the clutch, and a cool replay angle that we don’t really see anymore. As I said in my 2021 rewind, the Top 10 is always an entertaining watch in my book, but this week’s countdown should really motivate you to get on the sticks and have some fun creating highlights of your own. If you do, you know where to get them featured!

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 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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Monday Tip-Off: The Helping Hand of Default Assets

Monday Tip-Off: The Helping Hand of Default Assets

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 reminder of the importance of default assets in our modding endeavours.

Since the very beginning, one of the primary goals of our modding community has been to add content to games. When we were founded as the NBA Live Series Center, this usually meant adding players such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley to the rosters of NBA Live PC. Once Legends and historical teams became a staple of NBA video games, there were other missing players to add. We’ve also sought to expand the selection of classic teams, as well as create retro season and all-time rosters, NCAA and foreign league total conversions, and many other fantastic projects.

The biggest projects have generally required several new assets to be created, in particular year-specific jerseys and courts, and missing player faces. Needless to say, the workload is much lighter if several assets that we need are in the game by default. At the same time, it’s something that we can take for granted. Not only can the default assets facilitate a range of modding projects – both minimalist and large in scope – but we can use them to quickly assemble fun scenarios on the virtual hardwood. Modding has opened up a world of possibilities with basketball video games, but I can’t stress enough the importance of content being readily available within the default assets.

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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.

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.

Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting Fantasy Teams & Quick Pick Play

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, I’m taking a second look back at Fantasy Teams in NBA Live, which debuted as Quick Pick Play.

Although I have many titles and aspects of old basketball games that I want to cover here in Wayback Wednesday, sometimes I do have to revisit topics. As much care and passion as I put into my features, there are times when I don’t do a topic justice, or my opinion changes after some further retro gaming sessions. It’s why I’ve seen fit to post new retrospectives of NBA Live 06 and NBA Live 10. Sometimes my opinion doesn’t change much – as was the case with NBA Live 07 – but another look with fresh eyes can yield something you didn’t notice before, and alter your perspective.

I would definitely say that that’s the case with Fantasy Teams and Quick Pick Play, a mode featured in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of NBA Live 08 through NBA Live 10. I don’t necessarily disagree with what I wrote when I covered Quick Pick Play four years ago, but I’ve developed more of an appreciation for it since then. With that in mind, let’s take another look back…way back…

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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.

Monday Tip-Off: What Your Shot Chart Says About You

Monday Tip-Off: What Your Shot Chart Says About You

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 at what your shot chart says about your style of play on the virtual hardwood.

Well, that’s a trashy, clickbait headline if ever I’ve used one! Then again, is it still a clickbait title if it’s kind of making fun of clickbait and trashy, vapid headlines? Arguably, yes. What if I’m truly intending to run some hopefully thought-provoking experiments and share the results? Probably still a bit cheesy! Anyway, have you ever really looked at your shot chart after a game? If you haven’t, there’s no shame. After all, whether you won or lost, hit a statistical goal, or achieved some measure of progression in a mode, tends to be the more pertinent and interesting information.

And yet, it’s interesting to look at our shot chart. As in a real NBA game, it says a lot about how we shot the ball and ran our offense. To that end, it can provide insights into how we won or lost. In video games, it also illustrates some common gaming habits, the reasons for which are interesting to delve into. I’ll admit that I haven’t made a habit of looking at my shot chart after games in recent years, probably because I’ve been focused on grinding for VC and Badge XP rather than playing a sim style in MyCAREER. However, in the interests of experimenting, exploring theories, and self-reflection, I decided that I’d see what my shot charts look like these days.

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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.

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: December 4th, 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!

December is upon us, and ’tis the season to make memories on the virtual hardwood! As this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays demonstrates, you don’t need to be playing Season 3 in NBA 2K22’s MyTEAM in order to celebrate clutch moments. On top of the usual assortment of nifty moves and emphatic dunks, the latest countdown features some impressive gamewinning buzzer beaters. It’s clear that in addition to a love of soaring to the rim and throwing it down, our community has ice water in their veins when the game is on the line.

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.