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Monday Tip-Off: Cynicism as a New Generation Looms

Monday Tip-Off: Cynicism as a New Generation Looms

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 few thoughts on how previews of NBA 2K21 Next Gen have inspired cynicism for me, rather than excitement.

When the NBA 2K21 Next Gen trailer dropped, I was compelled to post a few Tweets outlining my initial impressions. As you can probably gather from that thread, as well as comments I’ve made in our Forum and on the NLSC Podcast, I wasn’t blown away by the trailer, or pumped up about the game. If you follow me on Twitter, take part in our Forum, read my articles, or listen to our Podcast, you’ll probably also know that I’m not the biggest fan of NBA 2K21 Current Gen, either. My disappointment with NBA 2K21 and other recent releases has set the table for some Next Gen cynicism.

Thinking back to the release of NBA 2K14 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I don’t remember feeling quite as cynical. It’s unfortunate, as I’d prefer not to feel that way. I don’t want my content to come across as jaded and overwhelmingly negative, but beyond that, as an avid basketball gamer, I want to enjoy my hobby and look forward to new games when they’re on the horizon. As NBA 2K21 Next Gen looms and we get our first glimpses and insights into the forthcoming game, my cynicism definitely outpaces my optimism in a way that it didn’t seven years ago. Today, I’m reflecting upon that, and how things have changed over the course of a generation.

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NBA 2K21 Patch 1.02 Address Pro Stick Aiming, Tuning Fixes

NBA 2K21 Patch 1.02

Patch 1.02 has been released for NBA 2K21. It is currently available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and will be available for PC and other platforms soon. As with previous official patches, it will come through automatically as long as you’re online. If you encounter any problems, try restarting your console or Steam client.

The patch adds a first boot option for Pro Stick Aiming/Shot Timing, which is also available under settings if you wish to change it later. Shot Aiming can now also be used when the Shot Meter is off, and the speed at which the Pro Stick is deflected now determines the Ideal Shot Aiming (left for a slow flick, right for a fast flick). Standing dunks using the Pro Stick have also been tuned for increased reliability, Park dribbles have been re-mapped to “holds” on the Pro Stick, and a few animations have been cleaned up, among other gameplay adjustments.

Other enhancements in Patch 1.02 for NBA 2K21 include a face update for Andrew Wiggins, as well as fixes for hangs and other issues in MyCAREER and MyTEAM. 2K Share has also now been enabled. Check out the full patch notes below, as well as here in the Forum. A complete update history for NBA 2K21 will also be maintained here in our Wiki.

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NBA 2K21 Current Gen Out Now; Modding Section Launched

NBA 2K21 Current Gen Released

The Current Gen version of NBA 2K21 is out now! Whether you’ve pre-ordered and pre-loaded, or you’re just picking up the game now, the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch versions are available to play.

With the release of a new PC game, we’re tipping off a new season of modding. To that end, I’ve launched the Modding section for NBA 2K21 in the Forum, as well as the Tutorials & FAQs board. The Modding section is for previews, releases, requests, and all other modding discussion. Any resources will be moved to Tutorials & FAQs as necessary, though members of the Contributors group may immediately create new topics in that section.

Now that NBA 2K21 Current Gen is out, I’m hoping to see a lot of gaming discussion this year. While we’re obviously a modding community, we’re also enthusiastic basketball gamers, so share your impressions, tips, stories, slider suggestions, and everything else related to playing the game. We’ve always been about more than just modding, but we have seen a decline in those other discussions over the years, so by all means get chatting about the game itself!

We’ll have plenty to say about NBA 2K21 in the NLSC Podcast, as well as our other original content moving forward. Stay tuned for that, as well as all of the great releases that are sure to come from our talented modding community. Happy 2K Day!

NBA 2K21 Demo Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, & Switch

NBA 2K21 Demo Released

The Current Gen NBA 2K21 Demo is now available to download for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. As previously noted, there will be no demo released on PC. It will however be receiving the same full version of the game on September 4th.

This year’s demo once again features the MyPLAYER Builder, giving us the ability to test out different builds for MyCAREER and its connected modes. It also allows us to shoot around in 2KU, and adjust to the new shooting and dribbling mechanics. The current Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, and All-Time Lakers and Celtics, also provide a preview of 5v5 gameplay.

As was the case last year, your created build will carry over into the full version of NBA 2K21. Note however that there is a limit of five quick games in the demo, so you won’t be able to play it indefinitely before the full game is released. We can also only play one game with each MyPLAYER that we create in the builder. Like last year, it’s a very limited taste.

Got any thoughts on the NBA 2K21 Demo? Share them in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

Update: I originally reported that the Nintendo Switch did not receive the demo, which isn’t the case. Thanks to the official NBA 2K Reddit Twitter account for the correction!

Monday Tip-Off: Unfinished NBA 2K20 Business

Monday Tip-Off: Unfinished NBA 2K20 Business

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 sticking with or returning to NBA 2K20 after NBA 2K21 is released, in order to take care of unfinished business.

As I’m writing this, I haven’t pre-ordered NBA 2K21. That may change by the time you’re reading it, because I do intend to buy the Current Gen version of the game. In fact, I’m leaning towards getting the Mamba Forever Edition, in order to save money on the PlayStation 5 release later this year. The only reason I haven’t pre-ordered as yet is because there’s still time to do so, and it doesn’t matter whether you pre-order several weeks or just a few days in advance. They’re not going to run out of copies, and I’ll receive the bonuses either way.

Of course, with the release of NBA 2K21 looming, the clock is ticking on NBA 2K20. In fact, as this article is going live, we’re on the cusp of NBA 2K21’s demo being released. That means pretty soon, we’ll all be turning our attention away from NBA 2K20…or will we? The game has already received content beyond the usual cut-off, thanks to the NBA’s hiatus and restart; a situation that also means that NBA 2K21 will be released with this season’s rosters, and before the 2020 Playoffs are even over no less. With that in mind, I could definitely see myself sticking with NBA 2K20 a little while longer, or at least going back to it after trying out its successor.

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NBA 2K20 Free on PlayStation Plus, Discounted on Steam

NBA 2K20 is free on PlayStation Plus in July

As announced at the end of June, the PlayStation 4 version of NBA 2K20 is currently free for all PlayStation Plus subscribers. The offer is available through to August 3rd, so if you haven’t picked up this year’s game and want to check it out on PS4, now’s your chance to get it.

While there’s no legal way to get NBA 2K20 for free on PC – and please note that we don’t support the pirated version in our community – the game is also currently discounted on Steam. The Standard, Digital Deluxe, and Legend Editions of NBA 2K20 PC are all on sale at 85% off. Once again, if you don’t have the game and want to check it out before NBA 2K21 comes out, it’s a good opportunity to do so.

If you do pick up the PC version, don’t forget to check out the many mods in our Downloads database! You can also keep tabs on all the releases and work-in-progress mods in the NBA 2K20 Modding section of the Forum. I also invite you to go back and tune into Episode #313 of the NLSC Podcast, where Derek and I discuss our further impressions of the game, six months after its release.

NLSC Podcast #330: The Price of Upgrading

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #330 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

The three cover players and their editions of NBA 2K21 have been revealed, and it turns out our predictions were pretty good! We react to the choices, and some of the community’s opinions on them. We’ve also discovered that the Next Gen version will have cross-platform VC and MyTEAM progression, but more controversially, a $10 price increase. Breaking down the pre-order bonuses also suggests that the approach to microtransactions and grinding won’t be much different this year. With confirmation that NBA 2K21 PC is a Current Gen port, we weigh up the pros and cons, and what it means for our modding community. Elsewhere, reactions to Madden 21’s Franchise mode have made us wonder about the future of franchise gaming in basketball titles. Finally, we’re noticing some new waves of nostalgia among younger and older hoops gamers alike.

What’s your take on this week’s conversation? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

Damian Lillard Revealed As First NBA 2K21 Cover Player

Damian Lillard NBA 2K21 Cover Announcement

The first cover player for NBA 2K21 has been revealed! Damian Lillard has been announced as the cover player for the Current Gen version of the game. Dame has previously graced the cover of NBA Live 15, as well as the Chinese exclusive NBA 2K Online 2. He is the seventh player to appear on the covers of both NBA Live and NBA 2K.

Pre-orders for the Current Gen version of the game will begin July 2nd, and the game is slated for release in October. As of this post, no details about pre-order bonuses has been released, but that information will likely be coming soon. We can assume that they will be quite similar to last year’s bonuses, except with Damian Lillard-themed content.

With one cover reveal down, we have two to go over the next couple of days. As per ESPN, the next two covers will be for the Next Gen and Legend editions of the game. Zion Williamson has been a popular prediction after being featured in the announcement trailer, while a lot of gamers are picking Kobe Bryant for the Legend Edition.

Check out the cover art below, as well as a reveal trailer! What are your thoughts on 2K choosing Dame for the Current Gen release? Who are your picks for the Next Gen and Legend Edition covers? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: Going Digital (Before I Had To)

Monday Tip-Off: Going Digital (Before I Had To)

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 reflections on going digital with basketball games, and making that move before I needed to.

These days, the PC version of NBA 2K is exclusively available as a digital release. Even if you happen to find a physical copy – and they do exist in some regions – it just amounts to a card with a Steam key. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach. On the plus side, digital games save shelf space, and because developers don’t need to press discs, distribution is quicker and cheaper. In a niche demographic such as PC basketball gaming, that’s an important factor in companies seeing the platform as viable and less of a hassle to release on.

The downside is that we need to download everything when we want to install the game. Depending on the quality of our connection and the size of any data limits on our Internet plan, that may not be an ideal scenario. Digital releases are also at risk of being removed from platforms like Steam, whereas physical copies obviously remain in circulation. Beyond convenience and availability, there’s just something satisfying about having a physical copy that you can hold in your hands or display on a shelf. We don’t always have a lot of choice, especially on PC these days, but I actually found myself going digital with basketball games before it was necessary.

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Monday Tip-Off: What I Learned From Uninstalling Games

Monday Tip-Off: What I Learned From Uninstalling Games

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 hard lessons I learned after uninstalling NBA 2K games on PlayStation 4.

I’m a collector of basketball games, both for my own enjoyment and to create content for the NLSC. To that end, there are some games that I own on multiple platforms, which allows for interesting comparisons; especially when it comes to older titles. With the current generation of NBA 2K games, I’ve made a point of buying them on both PC and PlayStation 4. The PC version has been there for single player gaming, as well as dabbling with mods if and when I so choose. The PS4 version has been for online gaming, as that’s where my friends (and a larger portion of the userbase) are.

Aside from differences such as the online scene and modding capabilities, the PC and PS4 versions – and the Xbox One release for that matter – are identical. Of course, my PC offers another advantage over my PS4: more storage space. It wasn’t until I picked up an external drive for my PS4 that I was able to maintain a much bigger library of installed games. Before that, I’d been uninstalling games as they went on the shelf, in order to play titles that were currently in my rotation. Once I added that extra storage, I was able to reinstall every NBA 2K title that I own for PS4. Unfortunately, I found out that uninstalling those games had a few drawbacks.

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NLSC Podcast #317: The Perks of PC & The Merriness of Modding

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #317 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Dee4Three and I are discussing modding projects we’re working on (and the joy that it brings us), the benefits of PC basketball gaming, and the recently revealed specs for the next generation of consoles.

March Modness may be over, but we’re still in the mood to mod! In addition to discussing projects that we’re currently working on, we talk about how important the modding scene has been to the PC version. Specifically, we note that it’s drawn gamers from consoles to PC, and made them aware of the perks of PC basketball gaming. We also reflect on satisfying modding discoveries, and how mods stand out in other original content. As the preliminary specs for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox Series X have been revealed, we also take the opportunity to look ahead to the next generation. The specs sound impressive – and very much like a gaming PC – but will it matter if design philosophies don’t change?

Tune in below!

What are some of your favourite mods? Do you game on both PC and console, or do you prefer one over the other? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

NLSC Podcast #304: Talkin’ ‘Bout Next Generation

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #304 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! With 2019 and the decade drawing to a close, not to mention a new generation of gaming looming on the horizon, Dee4Three and I discuss the past ten years in basketball gaming, the current generation, and our thoughts as we look ahead to next gen.

After a quick rundown of Patch 1.09 for NBA 2K20, we get right into this week’s featured discussion. The end of the decade and announcement of the Xbox Series X has prompted us to reflect on the past ten years of basketball gaming, in particular the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One generation. We compare it to previous generations, noting the positives and negatives. As we look ahead to next gen, we discuss what we’re hoping to see, and what not to see. From troubling trends to imaginative innovations, it’s a discussion of where the hobby is at, and where it should be. Along the way, we’re even able to draw some parallels to the real NBA.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on basketball gaming over the past ten years, and two gaming generations? What are your expectations of next gen? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

NBA 2K20 Demo Coming August 21st (PS4, X1, & Switch)

NBA 2K20 Demo

2K has announced that the NBA 2K20 Demo will be available on August 21st 2019, going live at 12:01 AM Pacific Time. It will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, but not PC. Contrary to the limitations in The Prelude in previous years, it seems as though we’ll be able to try out more than one build before the full game is released.

Starting on August 21st at 12:01 am PT, you can get an early start on your MyCAREER while testing out the new MyPLAYER builder and hitting the court two weeks ahead of the game’s launch by downloading the NBA 2K20 Demo. In the NBA 2K20 Demo, you can try out multiple MyPLAYER configurations to create the player that best fits your play-style, which will be carried over to NBA 2K20 at launch on September 6th. The NBA 2K20 Demo will be available exclusively on Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

This certainly comes as good news, as previous glimpses of the game via The Prelude offered little in the way of replay value, forcing gamers to choose one Archetype to trial in a single playthrough of the early stages of MyCAREER. Providing the opportunity to test out more than one Archetype has been a common request, so it’s nice to see 2K taking the community’s suggestion on board. As yet, there’s no word on whether or not any changes have been made to Archetypes this year.

Another controversial issue that has dogged The Prelude in recent years is that its gameplay settings are juiced up, providing an inaccurate snapshot of what to expect in the full game. This is obviously something we won’t know until after we’ve played both, but hopefully this year’s demo will take a more honest approach.

What are your expectations for the NBA 2K20 Demo? Have your say in the comments below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

NBA Live 20 Confirmed; Console-Only Release

City Uniforms in NBA Live 19

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate, EA has released their Q4 and annual report for the 2019 financial year. At the same time, they announced their upcoming titles for the 2020 financial year, beginning with the Q1 and Q2 releases in the latter half of 2019. As expected, NBA Live 20 is among the EA Sports titles.

Unfortunately for those of us who have been hoping for a return to PC – especially after Madden 19 was released on the platform – the report confirms that NBA Live 20 will be a console-only release. This isn’t unexpected, as developers have told us that the goal is to reestablish the series before expanding to other platforms.

Madden 20 and FIFA 20 are slated to be released on PC however, indicating that EA Sports is not abandoning the platform. This suggests that if NBA Live continues to improve and ultimately thrive, a PC release may one day be a possibility once more. It’s something that we’ll continue to push for.

In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, as well as in the NLSC Forum. We’ll continue to cover the console releases of NBA Live as we’ve been doing since the move away from the PC platform in 2008, in addition to our coverage of NBA 2K, NBA Playgrounds, and basketball gaming in general.

Monday Tip-Off: Double-Dipping With Basketball Games

Michael Jordan Card in MyTEAM (NBA 2K19)

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 few thoughts on double-dipping with basketball games on multiple platforms.

As someone who grew up playing a variety of video games on both computers and consoles, I’ve never cared for PC vs Console wars. I’ve enjoyed the hobby on both platforms, with the benefits that they each provide. Whether I’ve played a game on PC or console depends on whether or not it’s available on all platforms, the hardware I’ve had at my disposal, and if multiplayer is involved, which platform my friends are on. Of course, there are some games that I’ve enjoyed so much that I ended up double-dipping and buying them on a second platform as well.

Needless to say, basketball games are among the titles I’ve double-dipped with. In fact, when it comes to NBA 2K, I’ve double-dipped in recent years with the PC and PlayStation 4 versions; the former for single player gameplay and modding, and the latter for online play with the other members of the NLSC squad. While it’s worked out for me, in particular helping out with content creation and news coverage, I have to admit that one version of the game has usually somewhat gone to waste. With the amount of time we can sink into basketball games these days, it’s difficult to get the most out of a title on two different platforms. This year, I’m trying to remedy that.

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