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The Friday Five: 5 Traditions 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 looks at five traditions that you may have noticed in basketball video games.

Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings, basketball gamers! I’m sure that most folks around these parts are spending time with loved ones, as am I (I scheduled this a day in advance, so presumably that’s what I’m doing!). If you’ve decided to check in and read this week’s Friday Five, I definitely appreciate it! It’s always my intention to bring you features that entertain, spotlight, and advocate, and hopefully I’ve been able to achieve that goal throughout the year. Since it’s both Christmas Day and the last Five of the year, however, I’m opting for a lighter topic this week.

Given that it’s Christmas time, my thoughts have turned to traditions. Apart from spending time and eating Christmas lunch with my folks, one of the traditions that I’ve adopted for the holidays is pulling out old favourites for some retro gaming. Some of that is in aid of content for the NLSC, but I like to break out classics across a variety of genres: Donkey Kong Country, Sid Meier’s Pirates, Jazz Jackrabbit, Epic Pinball, and even a more recent favourite like Fallout 3, just to name a few. Basketball video games themselves have a few traditions, so in the spirit of familiar things that bring us warmth and joy – not just at Christmas, but all year round – here are five examples.

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Monday Tip-Off: The State of Official Rosters

Monday Tip-Off: The State of Official Rosters

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 some thoughts on the state of official rosters in basketball games, particularly NBA 2K.

No matter whether you’re a developer working on the official rosters or a gamer who’s making unofficial updates for the community, it can often be a thankless job. There’s no chance of pleasing everyone when it comes to player ratings, especially given the overinflated importance that Overall Ratings are often ascribed. With over 400 active players along with historical content, it’s very easy to overlook a detail here and there, no matter how meticulous you are. I’m not sure that I’ve ever released a roster for NBA Live PC that didn’t have at least one small oversight.

The feedback that you’ll receive as a roster maker in the community, or indeed as the developer in charge of handling the official rosters, isn’t always constructive or very pleasant. We’re quick to sneer at a perceived bias or lack of knowledge, forgetting that we’re all prone to the same biases and knowledge gaps, to say nothing of human error. At the same time, we’re slow to give credit where it’s due. With that being said, there are some troubling trends when it comes to the official rosters in modern games, in particular NBA 2K. Without meaning to be insulting or self-righteous, it doesn’t feel like the rosters in recent titles have the same level of authenticity as they once did.

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NBA Live 19 Demo Available August 24th; Full Details

The NBA Live 19 Demo arrives August 24th

We’re just a few days away from the release of the NBA Live 19 demo, which will be hitting the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace on August 24th. As per developer Cornell Gunter, the demo launches at midnight, so there’ll be no need to create an international account to skip the wait.

Although the NBA Live 19 demo will obviously be far more restricted compared to the full version of NBA Live 19, it will offer a substantial glimpse at the game. We’ll be able to play through The Rise, take part in LIVE Events, customise our court and The One player, run through drills and scrimmages, and play 1v1. Play Now will also be available, with NBA Play Now featuring the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, and WNBA Play Now featuring the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx.

Other modes of play, such as Franchise and Ultimate Team, will not be available. It remains to be seen whether the NBA Live 19 demo will receive updates and additional content as was the case last year, but we’ll be sure to keep everyone posted of any such developments. In the meantime, check out the full breakdown below, courtesy of the EA Support website.

Are you looking forward to the NBA Live 19 demo? What are your thoughts on how the game is shaping up this year? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NBA Live 19 section of the NLSC Forum.

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The Friday Five: 5 Options That Would Be Handy

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 options that would be handy to have in NBA Live and NBA 2K.

When we’re compiling our Wishlists and sending feedback to EA Sports and Visual Concepts, it’s important that we prioritise. For example, a major gameplay flaw is far more important to address than a largely inconsequential cosmetic feature. Likewise, the functionality and user-friendliness of the menus is more important than the colour (though legibility and presentation obviously counts for something). Nevertheless, it’s also a good idea to point out features and options that aren’t necessarily vital, but in their own way, add something to the overall experience.

After all, sometimes it’s the little things that really make a game enjoyable. Some options are essential, such as difficulty settings, gameplay sliders, and controller configurations, but features such as atmosphere settings, an accelerated clock, stats normalisation, and other such options can really enhance the experience. We can still enjoy the games without them, and in the grand scheme of things, they probably don’t have a huge effect on Metacritic scores and general reception, but they’d nevertheless be welcome additions. Future versions of NBA Live and NBA 2K could be enhanced with the addition of handy options such as these.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #229

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Episode #229 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the latest updates for NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, recap an eventful week of basketball gaming, and catch up on some NBA news.

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.07 provided a significant content update for NBA Live 18, including new rosters and 3v3 play in Live Run. The gameplay itself also continues to improve.
  • A handful of new players have been added to the All-Time teams and historical squads in NBA 2K18. Unfortunately, some of the biggest names are still absent.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming was full and eventful! Although we had some rough sessions of 2K Pro-Am, we did pick up a few victories (including some in The Playground), continued our respective MyCAREERs, and had fun with NBA Live 18 online and offline. We also discuss shooting mechanics in NBA 2K18.
  • We wrap up Episode #229 of the NLSC Podcast with some NBA talk, including the Celtics’ winning streak coming to an end, the Thunder/Warriors clash, and Derrick Rose’s future.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.