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Wayback Wednesday: Yao Ming in Basketball Video Games

Yao Ming in NBA 2K16

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.

On this day in 2011, Hall of Famer Yao Ming announced his retirement from the Houston Rockets and the NBA. It brought an end to a career that was unfortunately marred by injuries, but was nevertheless successful, and marvellous to watch. While he wasn’t the first player over 7’3″ to find a home and make a legitimate contribution in the NBA, he remains the only one to achieve true superstar status. Only Rik Smits comes close, and that comparison still greatly favours Yao, to say the least. On the court, he was so much more than just an attraction, an oddity, or another very tall player.

Just as Yao Ming was a star on the court, so too did his digital counterpart find success on the virtual hardwood. Yao was a handy player to have in a Dynasty or Association game, with his combination of height and skill making him a very formidable opponent in the paint. Since it’s the anniversary of his retirement, I thought I’d take a look back at Yao Ming’s history in basketball video games, offering up a few tidbits about his virtual counterpart, and providing a few screenshots through the years.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #167

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Episode #167 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re coming up to the really slow part of the offseason, but we do have some news to discuss this week in the form of a new NBA Live 16 roster update, as well as some more 2K Pro-Am games to recap. Also, a significant rule change, and the retirement of a future Hall of Famer.

On this week’s show…

  • A new NBA Live 16 roster has been pushed through, featuring pre-Draft transactions such as Derrick Rose to New York. Unfortunately, it seems that no further offseason updates are planned at this time.
  • Development of NBA Live 17 is still underway, as EA reps have been posting photos of rookie face scans that are being conducted during Summer League play.
  • Our latest 2K Pro-Am sessions have yielded more fun and frustration, including an impressive win with a very undersized centre, and a somewhat angry dunk. A couple more community members have also recently joined in the fun.
  • The NBA has announced further changes to the Hack-a-Shaq rules. A lot of fans are criticising the decision, but we’ve got a very different take on the matter.
  • Tim Duncan announced his retirement with little fanfare, walking away from the NBA in the most Tim Duncan way possible. We reflect on the career of the player most now consider to be the greatest power forward of all-time.
  • Episode #167 of the NLSC Podcast ends with our new favourite game, Trivia Time! Play along at home and answer this week’s questions about NBA Live, NBA 2K, and NBA Jam.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NBA Live 16 Receives Minor Offseason Roster Update

Derrick Rose on the New York Knicks in NBA Live 16

While EA Sports have previously mentioned that they have no concrete plans to release any further roster updates for NBA Live 16, it seems that we may be in luck after all. A very minor offseason roster has been pushed through featuring a few of the pre-Draft moves, such as the trade that sent Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks.

The roster is dated July 7th, so it was obviously finalised before any free agent signings were made official. As such, Kevin Durant is still on the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dwyane Wade is still on the Miami Heat, Dwight Howard is still on the Houston Rockets, and so on. With many players now signing the contracts they agreed to at the beginning of free agency, those moves should be included in any future roster updates.

There aren’t any rookies in the new roster either, but if the offseason roster updates do continue, it seems possible that they might be added. As demonstrated in this Tweet from Ty Stover, Manager/Marketer at EA Sports, the team is using the Summer League to get the rookies in to have their faces scanned. That would obviously provide them with assets they can not only use with the console version of NBA Live 17, but also roster updates for NBA Live 16.

With NBA Live 17 being delayed until early 2017, pushing through offseason roster updates for NBA Live 16 is a great way to maintain brand awareness, and promote goodwill with basketball gamers. It’s something that we’ve discussed at length on the NLSC Podcast, and I’m glad to see it happening. Hopefully, EA will continue to update the rosters through the offseason, from free agent signings to this year’s rookie crop. We’ll be sure to keep you posted of any further developments. In the meantime, see below for a couple of screenshots of Derrick Rose and Robin Lopez on their new teams.

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Monday Tip-Off: Basketball Gaming in the Offseason

LeBron James dribbles the basketball in NBA 2K16

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.

The 2016 NBA season is in the books, as the Cleveland Cavaliers made history by coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors, putting a damper on the Warriors’ own historical campaign. For basketball fans – or at least, those of us who are mostly interested in the NBA – so begins the wait until next season, with the Draft, Summer League, and potential offseason movement breaking up the monotony along the way. With the Olympic Games being held this year, we’ll also get to watch another international basketball tournament.

For those of us who are also basketball gamers, we have a few things to look forward to as well. It will be some time before we hear anything about NBA Live 17, and we likely won’t hear much about NBA 2K17 for at least a couple of months yet, but nevertheless, we have a new game coming out in September. Until then, we obviously have several years’ worth of games at our disposal, which can help us get our basketball fix while we wait for the new releases, and the 2017 NBA season.

So, what does the offseason look like when it comes to basketball gaming, and what are some of my own plans?

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NBA 2K17 Features Previewed On NBA 2KTV Season 2 Finale

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In addition to handing out this year’s “Hey Guys” awards, the Season 2 finale of NBA 2KTV has given us a sneak peak at some of the features we can expect to see in NBA 2K17. In addition to running down the three different pre-order bundles, the episode also details a couple of noteworthy tidbits.

It appears as though Locker Codes in NBA 2K17 will be timed, rather than limited to a set number of users. This is certainly good news, and addresses a problem that I’ve previously commented on in-depth. In short, it should allow more users – especially those outside of North America – to have a decent chance at claiming Locker Codes. Of course, the quality of the rewards remains to be seen.

Similarly, MyTEAM will feature timed free agent cards, giving gamers more of an opportunity to play with some of their favourite players for at least a couple of games. It’s essentially the same concept as the short term player cards in NBA Live 16’s Ultimate Team, which can come in handy when your team needs a boost in a tough challenge. The developers have also been working on signature animations, and have added full control over get back animations, using the right stick.

Perhaps most exciting is the less-than-subtle hint that NBA 2K17 will be supported by a companion app that allows users to scan their faces into the game, again similar to what NBA Live 16 has done. As someone who’s struggled to get the face scan to work using the PlayStation 4 camera, but found the NBA Live 16 app to be very effective and user-friendly, this certainly comes as very good news.

Your thoughts? Have your say in the comments below, and feel free to join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum. If you’d like to watch the Season 2 Finale of NBA 2KTV, you can find it embedded below, or here on NBA 2K’s YouTube channel. Be sure to watch it in-game if you’d like to snag some VC and other rewards.

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Monday Tip-Off: My Recent Experiences with 2K Pro-Am

Tipping Off in the Joel Anthony Arena in 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K16

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.

If you’ve caught some of the recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast hosted by Arcane, Kenny, and myself, you’ll have heard us talking about our recent games of 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K16. I realise that audio content isn’t for everyone, and a written article can sometimes be better at starting discussion, since it’s easier to directly quote and respond to each other’s points. To that end, I thought I’d follow on from Kenny’s first official edition of The Sunday Substitute with some of my own thoughts on 2K Pro-Am.

As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a big online gamer. I prefer the franchise mode experience, and I’ve come to quite enjoy the card collecting, team building modes as well. However, playing basketball video games online is significantly more fun when it’s done with friends, so I’ve really enjoyed getting together with Kenny, Arcane, and some other members of our community for a few games each week. As Kenny noted in the Forum, our record isn’t stellar, but we have a good time…for the most part.

So, what are my overall impressions of 2K Pro-Am to date, and what would I like to see done moving forward?

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #162

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Episode #162 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s been a quiet week for basketball video game news, but Arcane, Kenny, and I do have a couple of tidbits to talk about, as well as our latest experiences in 2K Pro-Am, and the 2016 NBA Finals. Also, a new segment makes its debut!

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off the show with another discussion on the lack of updates for NBA Live 16 through the end of the regular season and Playoffs, and what we’d like to see EA do during the offseason in the lead up to NBA Live 17.
  • 2K Sports are unveiling Team 2K, their talent lineup for NBA 2K17 which includes cover player Paul George. We speculate on the silhouettes in the teaser image.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming, we reflect on last week’s 2K Pro-Am session, where we discovered that contrary to what Homer Simpson once said, there are actually sweeter and more satisfying things than winning by default.
  • Turning our attention to the 2016 NBA Finals, we reflect on the first two games, and make our predictions for the rest of the series. Sorry, Cleveland Cavaliers fans.
  • As it stands right now, who is the Finals MVP? What does it mean for Stephen Curry’s legacy – and the Michael Jordan comparisons – if he doesn’t have a big series?
  • With the season winding down, we tally our final scores for Bold Predictions. We’re hoping to do better next year.
  • Episode #162 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with a brand new segment: Trivia Time! Andrew is the quizmaster, as Arcane and Kenny square off in answering three trivia questions. This week, the questions cover NBA Live and NBA Jam.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NLSC Podcast – Episode #160

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Episode #160 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join, Arcane, Kenny, and I as we recap some recent NBA Live and NBA 2K news, answer a handful of mailbag questions, and react to the latest results from the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Live 16 has been added to The Vault for EA Access members. Xbox One users will also be able to play NBA 2K16 for free this weekend.
  • Patch V6 has been released for the PC version of NBA 2K16, and not everyone is happy about it. We personally have no complaints.
  • A couple of tidbits about NBA 2K17 were revealed over the past week, specifically some of the talent who are mo-capping dunks for this year’s game from Visual Concepts.
  • Do we think footplanting is too exaggerated in NBA 2K16? What are our thoughts on “body blocks/steals”?
  • Will NBA 2K17 expand upon the features in MyLEAGUE Online?
  • We discuss some features that have gone missing from basketball games over the years, and out of a list of three, we pick which one we’d like to see return.
  • Similarly, we’re presented with a choice of three old basketball games to remake: NBA Fastbreak ’98, NBA In the Zone 2, and ESPN NBA 2K5. Which would we each choose?
  • How do we choose a team for franchise modes when we want a change from controlling our favourite NBA team?
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: Dusting off an old favourite, reviewing a very old game, and more 2K Pro-Am action.
  • Moving on to the 2016 NBA Playoffs, we talk about the Conference Finals, and share a few thoughts on Draymond Green’s controversial kick.
  • We wrap up Episode #160 of the NLSC Podcast with this week’s round of Bold Predictions.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

NBA Live 16 Now Available in The Vault

Derrick Rose with the layup in NBA Live 16

NBA Live 16 is now available in The Vault, a library of games that is available to Xbox One users who have an EA Access subscription. If you’re on Xbox One and you have an active EA Access subscription, now is your chance to check out NBA Live 16 if you haven’t already.

For those who are unaware, EA Access is a subscription service that costs $4.99 US per month, and includes early access to games, an instant game collection as new titles are added to its library (“The Vault”), and a 10% discount on digital purchases from EA, including full games, pre-orders, and downloadable content.

There is no equivalent program for PlayStation 4 users, as EA Access is a partnership between EA and Microsoft, but the NBA Live 16 demo is still available to download from the PlayStation Store. It includes access to LIVE Pro-Am, and allows you to level your player up to an 80 Overall, which carries over to the full game if you decide to pick it up.

If you do use EA Access to give NBA Live 16 a try, we of course invite you to share your impressions and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum! We’d also welcome your contributions to the NBA Live 17 Wishlist, which you can find in this thread.

A Starting Guide for Being a Better Teammate in NBA Live Pro-Am

When it comes to NBA Live Pro-Am, I’m not the greatest. I shoot just over 30% from beyond the arc and I’m pretty bad at defending the perimeter. However, I take pride in the fact that I’m a low maintenance teammate. On offence, I always look for good shots and generally pass the ball when they’re not there for me, and I always run back on defence and contest shots to the best of my ability. I might not be the most skilled, but I like to think my general awareness of my surroundings makes up for that. The same cannot be said about some of the people I’ve had to share a team with.

Teammates in Pro-Am can make or break a game. Sometimes you can get a good mix of people who are both skilled and are willing to play the game in the right spirit. Then you get those who may be one, but not necessarily the other. In light of this, I’ve decided to come up with a few suggestions on how to be a better teammate in NBA Live Pro-Am.

Please note that while I’m having a rant against people who are generally bad teammates, I’m by no means perfect. I’ve been guilty of all these annoyances at least once, and it’s okay to slip up every now and then. These suggestions are directed to those who are repeat offenders.

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