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Wayback Wednesday: Playing An Older Game Second

Wayback Wednesday: Playing An Older Game Second

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 phenomenon of playing an older basketball game after its direct sequel, or one of its later successors.

Basketball video games have been around for decades now, with NBA Basketball – the very first NBA-licensed title – coming out in 1980. Furthermore, there’s been at least one annual release every year for at least a quarter of a century and counting. Every single game, good or bad, has been somebody’s first title and introduction to basketball gaming. In short, most people who are playing basketball games in 2022 haven’t been doing so since the beginning. That goes for me, too. Many gamers have hit the virtual hardwood long before I ever did in the mid 90s.

When you get into an established series, there’s a curiosity about what came before. This doesn’t just apply to video games, of course. If you catch an episode of a TV show that’s a few seasons in, or perhaps see a movie that’s part of a series or cinematic universe, you may be inclined to go back to the beginning. In basketball itself, there’s a desire to learn the history of the sport, the NBA, and other leagues…or at least, there used to be. The nature of video games makes going back to an older title after playing a newer game rather interesting, and it’s a phenomenon that I’ve experienced as both a younger and older basketball gamer. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Things That I Carelessly Lost

The Friday Five: 5 Things That I Carelessly Lost

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 – namely saves or other data and content – that I carelessly lost in various games.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s an old adage that’s been lamented in the music of Joni Mitchell and the band Cinderella alike. The sentiment usually refers to more important things in life than video games, but since that’s what we cover around these parts, I’ll appropriate it for this occasion. After all, while I think we can and should acknowledge that other losses are far more significant in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a bummer when we lose save files, data, and other content in video games. Life goes on, but it sucks to have all that progress go up in smoke.

It’s bad enough when it occurs due to a glitch in a game, but at least you can turn your anger and frustration outwards towards the developers and publisher. When you’ve carelessly done something that’s resulted in your progress being lost, it’s tougher to shift the blame onto somebody else! Even if there’s something clunky in the game that’s partly to blame, you’re stuck with the knowledge that it could’ve been avoided if you were just the teeniest bit more careful. The times when I’ve been careless with my save files are undoubtedly among my biggest regrets as far as basketball gaming is concerned. Here are five things that I’ve lost due to a lack of care and foresight.

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Monday Tip-Off: How NBA 2K23 Would Win Me Over

Monday Tip-Off: How NBA 2K23 Would Win Me Over

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 an outline of how NBA 2K23 would win me over.

Let’s be clear about this. In the grand scheme of things, NBA 2K23 doesn’t need to win me over. I’m just one person, and I’m not one of their big name influencers. The game won’t need my stamp of approval in order to sell at least ten million copies. Furthermore, given that I am a collector and still a content creator, I’ll be contributing to those sales figures anyway. In that respect, you could argue that it makes me part of the problem, but hey, like I said, I’m just one person. In short, I acknowledge that whether or not NBA 2K23 wins me over, it will be a success by almost every metric.

That goes without saying, but that’s not the issue here. This isn’t about what NBA 2K23 must do to be successful, but what it would take to get someone who has greatly preferred to play NBA 2K14 over NBA 2K21 and NBA 2K22 to get hooked on a new game once again. It’s an uphill battle, because some of the changes I’d love to see will never happen, due to business reasons. I’m obviously also very enthusiastic about this retro kick with NBA 2K14. However, I do aim to approach every new game with an open mind, and a willingness to keep playing if I’m enjoying myself. To that end, with the right changes and improvements, I could definitely be won over by NBA 2K23.

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NLSC Podcast #434: NBA 2K23 Jordan Challenge & PC News

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #434 of the NLSC Podcast!

How much would you pay for a sealed copy of Lakers vs. Celtics? Here’s a hint: it’ll set you back more than the Championship Edition of NBA 2K23! Speaking of which, in the wake of the NBA 2K23 preview season tipping off, we discuss the cover reveals, pre-order bonuses, and the return of the Jordan Challenge. With the news that the PC version will be Current Gen once again, we consider the possible reasons for the decision, and the future of the series on the platform. We also talk about some interesting NBA Live rumours, and the underrated NBA Inside Drive series. In this week’s mailbag, the community reacts to the news about NBA 2K23 PC, and suggests new games for the Jordan Challenge.

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!

NBA 2K23 PC Will Be Current Gen

NBA 2K23 PC Will Be Current Gen

Bad news for anyone hoping that NBA 2K23 PC would be making the jump to next Next Gen: IGN has confirmed that the PC version will once again be a PlayStation 4/Xbox One port.

This isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing given that this will be the third consecutive year that the PC has missed out on a Next Gen port. While NBA 2K21 PC remaining a Current Gen port wasn’t unexpected given that it was released two months before the Next Gen consoles launched, there were hopes that the PC would be getting the PlayStation 5/Xbox Series X version of NBA 2K22. The precedent here was NBA 2K15 PC, which made the Next Gen jump the year after the PS4 and X1 launched.

Unfortunately, that precedent hasn’t been repeated with the ninth generation. NBA 2K isn’t alone here, as the PC version of WWE 2K22 was likewise a PS4/X1 port. Madden 22 PC was also ported from the Current/Prior Gen version. Although these are different series and Madden is obviously from another developer/publisher entirely, many gamers suggested that this was a red flag for NBA 2K on PC as well. Sadly, that prediction turned out to be correct.

If there is a silver lining to the announcement, it’s that there’ll likely once again be high compatibility with existing mods and modding tools. However, it naturally also means that NBA 2K23 PC will miss out on any enhancements to gameplay and modes that are exclusive to Next Gen. Your mileage will vary as to whether that’s a worthwhile trade-off.

In any case, we will be covering both the Current Gen/PC and Next Gen versions of NBA 2K23 when they’re released on September 9th. For now though, feel free to vent in the comments below, or here in the NLSC Forum!

NLSC Podcast #429: It’s Lit, Fellow Kids!

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #429 of the NLSC Podcast!

Is it worse to be called a moron by Steve Kerr, or hear Grant Hill go full “How do you do, fellow kids?” and call something lit? Suffice to say, the past week has delivered some awkward moments in virtual commentary! Conversely, Twitter produced some surprisingly positive (but certainly welcome) interactions. Playing NBA Live 06 PC also reminded us of a unique animation, and our frustrations with canned moments in recent titles. In light of confirmation that Madden 23 will be another last gen port, we speculate on what to expect from NBA 2K23 PC. We also discuss unfortunate generated player tattoos, choosing a retro season mod to play with, and whether a squad of Christian Laettners is better than a team of Andrew Langs.

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!

Wayback Wednesday: Go-To Moves in NBA Live 08

Wayback Wednesday: Go-To Moves in NBA Live 08

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 Go-To Moves in NBA Live 08.

These days, unique signature animations and a variety of animation packages are staple features of sim basketball games. We’re a long way from the days of every player having the same shooting form, the same dribbling style, and in some rare games, a handful of signature moves for star players. That’s not to say that every player in the game has unique mo-capped animations, but the most distinctive styles are usually accounted for. Of course, there were some intermediate steps between everyone using the same animations, and the signature styles of today.

NBA Live began taking steps towards player differentiation by including a second jumpshot animation intended for big men, as well as slower and simpler dribbling moves for weaker ballhandlers. The next step was Freestyle Superstars. Both of these forms of player differentiation were based on qualifying ratings, which sometimes made it difficult to assign players appropriate attributes and still have the desired movesets and animations. After signature jumpshot styles were added in NBA Live 06 for Xbox 360 and expanded upon in NBA Live 07, NBA Live 08 introduced Go-To Moves. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K10 PC Disc Woes

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K10 PC Disc Woes

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 reflecting on some strange issues I’ve had with my copies of NBA 2K10 PC.

My approach as a collector of basketball video games has been to acquire titles that I have an interest in playing, and of course covering here in Wayback Wednesday. A working copy is therefore far more important to me than “complete in box”. As you’d expect, it’s been much cheaper, too! As I’ve shown, my collection includes multiple versions of titles across the different platforms that I own. Sometimes I’ve doubled up on the same platform with alternate covers, repurchased games I once traded in, and have spare copies of a few games that I’ve stumbled across on sale at bargain prices.

And then, there’s NBA 2K10 PC. I picked up a second copy of the game, not on a whim because I’d seen it at a bargain price, but because mine had simply stopped working. Well, it kind of worked; sometimes, if I was patient and lucky enough. When I found a copy of NBA 2K10 going cheap on eBay, I snapped it up, and it appeared that all was well. And then, the same issues began occurring with that copy too. Of all the games in my collection, these disc woes are rather unique. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: My Basketball Video Game Collection (2022 Edition)

Monday Tip-Off: My Basketball Video Game Collection (2022 Edition)

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 look at my basketball video game collection, as of 2022.

Back in March, I tweeted out a photo of my entire physical basketball video game collection, with some follow-up screenshots of the digital releases I own. I’m proud of my collection and satisfied in how I’ve been able to amass it, so I was pleased with the reception. While collecting is something that I do for my own enjoyment – and create content for the NLSC, of course – I was naturally hoping that my fellow hoops gamers would be impressed and get a kick out of the photo. I wanted it to inspire nostalgia, intrigue, and yes, a slight touch of good-natured envy. I’d say mission accomplished!

Given the old maxim of a picture being worth a thousand words, I could just leave it at those Tweets. However, I would like to talk a little more about my basketball video game collection, and provide a comprehensive listing as it’s impossible to get every title to be clearly visible in one photo. There are also a few digital releases that I didn’t display in my follow-up screenshots, including a couple I neglected to mention since they’re standalone releases and not on a digital platform such as Steam, Xbox Live, or the PSN Store. Finally, it’s been almost seven years since I wrote about my basketball video game collection, and I’ve been able to make some exciting additions since then.

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Wayback Wednesday: Attract Mode & The Secrets of NBA Jam TE

Wayback Wednesday: Attract Mode & The Secrets of NBA Jam TE

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 secrets in NBA Jam TE that were actually revealed by the attract mode screens.

If you’ve never known a time before YouTube, social media, and readily accessible information on just about anything you can name, it may be difficult to imagine not having detailed knowledge of a game’s secrets. That’s how it used to be, though. We had to buy (or photocopy!) official hint books and strategy guides, or consult game magazines for tips and cheat codes. Some secrets went undiscovered for years, or gave rise to urban legends. Discussion was limited to your circle of friends, which meant information travelled slower than it can nowadays.

To that point, there are details about some of my favourite video games – basketball and otherwise – that I didn’t know until I finally got online in the late 90s. Of course, when it comes to some games, there are details that I could’ve and should’ve known, but remained ignorant of because I was young and impatient, and thus not properly observant. These include a few secrets in NBA Jam TE on PC, which is one of my all-time favourite basketball games. I don’t know how I missed this information the first time around, and you’ll probably wonder too as we take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Hacking MyCAREER in Older Games

Monday Tip-Off: Hacking MyCAREER in Older 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 by recounting the fun I’ve recently had with hacking MyCAREER in older games.

Here at the NLSC, our stance on hacking modes such as MyCAREER and MyTEAM has been the same as our policy on piracy: we don’t support it. Since we already walk a fine line with modding, we try to stay on the right side of both the law and our host’s terms of service, in order to avoid any unwanted repercussions. On top of that, there’s also the matter of fairness. While we can understand wanting to stick it to a Triple-A publisher by hacking MyCAREER or MyTEAM for content and in-game currencies, it’s also upsetting the competitive balance, and ruining things for your fellow gamers.

To that end, recounting my experiences hacking a MyCAREER save probably seems quite hypocritical. Here I am preaching fairness, while going against our own rules and community philosophy; talk about double standards! If you’re grumbling, I can appreciate where you’re coming from. However, there is a distinct difference between hacking to gain advantages in the connected modes of MyCAREER while the servers are still online, and messing around with an offline save years later. In fact, that’s a distinction that we can perhaps draw in our rules moving forward, because at a certain point, hacking MyCAREER for your own enjoyment does become fair game.

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Wayback Wednesday: Our First Virtual Championship

Wayback Wednesday: Our First Virtual Championship

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 discussing an achievement that I’m sure is very nostalgic for many basketball gamers: our first virtual championship.

Achieving closure in basketball video games, and most sports titles for that matter, is different to other genres. After all, they can be played in many ways, not all of which have a predefined completion condition. In contrast, games with a storyline or final level/mission/quest can be played through and clearly beaten. Whether they’re linear or non-linear, there’s an end point where the story is over and the final main objective has been completed. There’s less ambiguity as to whether or not you’ve finished such a game, and to that point, gained a sense of completion and closure with it.

NBA games, especially the sim titles, technically do have an ultimate goal of winning a championship in season, franchise, and career modes. However, they can also be enjoyed without ever completing a campaign. You may just play with and against friends in exhibition games, or tournaments that you organise. There are the online team play modes, with no schedule or structure. You can have countless hours of fun on the virtual hardwood without ever vying for an NBA championship. There is something special about getting a ring in video games though, especially hoisting the virtual Larry O’Brien trophy for the first time. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K14 PC include a custom soundtrack, updated retro player faces, and a new version of the College Hoops 2K22 mod. Download all of the latest NBA 2K14 file additions at the links below!

NIKEAIRDRIP
Clean Chill Songs 2022

IceCr
Larry Johnson Face (Updated to v2.0)
Alonzo Mourning Face (Updated to v2.0)
Gary Payton Face (Updated to v3.0)

nick15
College Hoops 2K22 (Updated to v2.0)

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 File Additions bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 98 Demo on a 486

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 98 Demo on a 486

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 reminiscing about the time I tried to get the NBA Live 98 demo to run on my family’s aging 486 PC.

As a teenager in 1998, making do with a 486 DX2/66 IBM compatible PC, there were few things I wanted as much as a shiny new Pentium. I mean, I wanted the Chicago Bulls to be featured on the Game of the Week, to win as many games as possible, and ultimately, take home the NBA Championship. I wanted to stay up late on weekends to watch the NBA and WWF, and play games. I wanted to create rosters for NBA Live 96, and upload them to my Geocities site, the NBA Live Domain. There was a girl at school I wished I was more than friends with. But yes, I wanted a Pentium.

How did that turn out? Well, I got to see quite a few Bulls games that year, many of which they won, and of course they went on to win their sixth NBA title in June. I did fill my weekends with basketball, wrestling, and video games. I continued to hone my skills as a modder, and the NLD began to develop a small but dedicated following. The girl at school…well, let’s not bring the mood down, here! We also didn’t get a new PC until a couple of years later, which led to me attempting to run the NBA Live 98 demo on our rapidly aging 486. How did that go? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #412: Community Wishlist For NBA Live 23

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #412 of the NLSC Podcast!

After last week’s show, we’ve been moved to revisit NBA Live 2001 and NBA Live 2002. Though both were controversial releases in our community, they definitely have their bright spots. Speaking of old NBA Live games, work continues on our All-Time Teams Roster for NBA Live 96 PC. There’s also been an exciting development as far as modding NBA Live 10 on PlayStation 3. As for the future of the series, while NBA Live 23 hasn’t been announced, it’s clear that we’re not the only basketball gamers hoping that the series will return. We discuss the likelihood of it finally happening this year, and revisit our expectations. We then open up the mailbag to discuss the community’s Wishlist for a hypothetical NBA Live 23.

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!