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Tag Archives: Pro-Am

Monday Tip-Off: When Good Intentions Become Gatekeeping

Jordan Rec Center in 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 NBA 2K19’s approach to Pro-Am and the Jordan Rec Center, and how good intentions have turned into gatekeeping.

For the past couple of weeks, our official NLSC squad – the one that has gone by the names of both THRILLHO and GrindTime – have brought back our Friday night tradition of getting together to play online. We’ve been playing a few games in the Jordan Rec Center in NBA 2K19, and while the experience has had its usual ups and downs, it’s been more fun than Pro-Am in NBA 2K18. Even at a measly 64 Overall – I’m currently refusing to buy VC to upgrade quicker – it’s been fairly enjoyable. The fact that the rest of the guys have been grinding more frequently certainly helps.

However, the experience could be a lot better and more appealing; not just for us, but for NBA 2K gamers in general. The problem is that in NBA 2K19, there’s a barrier to enjoying Pro-Am games, and getting to play at all for that matter, which wasn’t there in years past. This year, five users per side are required to start a game of Pro-Am, or a walk-on game in the Jordan Rec Center. Previously, three users per team was the minimum required to get a game going. 2K is obviously aiming for a particular type of experience with this decision, but the approach has resulted in those modes being far less accessible, essentially gatekeeping and promoting a sense of elitism.

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More Details on The Neighborhood in NBA 2K19

The Neighborhood in NBA 2K19

In the wake of yesterday’s trailer, a couple of previews have been posted which provide further details on The Neighborhood in NBA 2K19. Both Game Informer and Forbes have posted articles explaining some of the changes, additions, and improvements this year. As always, I recommend reading the entire articles for the full scoop, but I’ll try to summarise the key points as best I can.

  • Archetypes will be more balanced. Defensive Archetypes will have better offensive ratings than last year, and Archetypes have generally been re-worked to remove some of the disadvantages of choosing certain styles of play.
  • In the full version of NBA 2K19, we’ll be able to see the maximum rating for each attribute as we’re creating our players, and note how they change as we select the Archetype, height, weight, and so on. It was a late addition, so it won’t be featured in The Prelude.
  • MyPLAYERs still start at 60 Overall, but there will reportedly be less of a grind this year. The difficulty multiplier returns, and all Badge drills will award XP.
  • The Neighborhood has been redesigned to be more centralised and is now square-shaped, for less running around. We can also proceed directly to the practice arena following games.
  • Pro-Am Walk On has been replaced by the Jordan Rec Center. “Got Next” is still in effect in The Playground.
  • Haircuts can be previewed first, and no longer cost VC. Vehicles such as skateboards and bicycles can be purchased from a new shop (“Wheels”) as you level up.
  • A special MyTEAM store will allow you to create a MyTEAM card based on your MyPLAYER.
  • There are several more mini-games including dodgeball (which can grant a lot of VC), trampoline basketball, and a daily trivia contest. There will also be revolving live events, each with different themes. We’ll also experience transitions from day to night over six hour periods in The Neighborhood.
  • This year’s story – in which the cutscenes are skippable – will take players through the Chinese League and G-League before making it to the NBA.
  • MyCOURT is basically the same, though you don’t have to return there to change clothes, and there’s no B-Fresh this year.
  • A daily prize wheel can be spun for a chance at various prizes including shoes, VC, and XP (apparently now called MyPoints). Daily challenges have also been incorporated, with big rewards.
  • The new Crew mode will be 3v3 and allow you to team up with two friends to take on various challenges.

Once again, be sure to check out the aforementioned articles for additional details and comments from the developers! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in our NBA 2K19 Forum.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #165

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Better late than never! Our server move is complete, so here is Episode #165 of the NLSC Podcast. This week, Arcane, Kenny, and I discuss more ups and downs while playing 2K Pro-Am, the 2016 NBA Draft, a wild start to the offseason, and more.

On this week’s show…

  • It took a little longer than we had hoped, with more interruptions than we anticipated, but we’ve moved to our new home. We’re looking forward to bigger and better things!
  • There wasn’t a lot of gaming news to catch up on this week, but we put out another reminder that there are a couple of days left to pick up NBA 2K16 for PS4 through PlayStation Plus.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: our latest 2K Pro-Am experiences, including a shameful confession. Also, a spooky tale (or not) about NBA Live 97 Super Nintendo cartridges that seem to have a mind of their own.
  • We offer up a few thoughts on the 2016 NBA Draft, which saw Ben Simmons taken first overall, and a great pun related to the Chicago Bulls’ recent moves.
  • It’s been a crazy start to the offseason, with notable names changing teams and a lot of money being thrown around. We react to the latest free agency talk, from Mike Conley’s historic deal to further speculation on Kevin Durant’s future.
  • Episode #165 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with a new edition of Trivia Time!

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.

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The Friday Five: 5 Issues with MyCAREER/Pro-Am’s Grading Logic

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.

I’m on a real 2K Pro-Am kick lately, as I’ve really been enjoying getting together with Arcane, Kenny, and other members of our community to play a few games each week. However, while we do have a lot of fun at the Joel Anthony Arena – whenever we’re lucky enough to play there – we also have our fair share of frustrating moments. As I mentioned in Monday Tip-Off, some of our problems are self-inflicted, but there are a few issues that I would say do stem from gameplay imbalance and quirky logic. Obviously, these problems also affect the MyCAREER experience as well.

Apart from the story-driven approach, issues with the grading logic are one of my biggest complaints when it comes to MyCAREER (and now Pro-Am as well). Having recently gone back and played a few games of my memorable MyCAREER in NBA 2K13, I was frustrated to realise that I’m still experiencing some of the same problems in NBA 2K16. In order to enhance the MyCAREER and Pro-Am experience in NBA 2K17, I believe that the following five issues need to be addressed.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #163

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Episode #163 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! The 2016 NBA Finals are nearing their end, and we’re still at least a few weeks away from getting much in the way of detailed NBA 2K17 news, but Arcane, Kenny, and I still have some fun topics to talk about this week.

On this week’s show…

  • Following on from last week, we react to the rest of Team 2K being revealed. Do we think it will result in any additional in-game content?
  • If any new classic teams are added to NBA 2K17, what are some of the teams we’d like to see included?
  • Would we like to see the ability to select different courts – such as classic and alternate courts – in addition to selecting jerseys before gameplay?
  • In our Week in Basketball Gaming: the challenges of having a 5’7″ power forward in 2K Pro-Am, a couple of enjoyable games, and our future plans.
  • Moving on to the real NBA, we recap and discuss the latest action from the NBA Finals, and make our predictions for the rest of the series.
  • We also discuss LeBron James’ legacy. Are fans and sportswriters being too hard on The King, and selling his career short?
  • In a very cool decision, ESPN and TNT have come to an agreement which will allow Craig Sager to work the sidelines for Game 6 of the Finals.
  • Episode #163 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with the second instalment of our new segment, Trivia Time! Will Arcane and Kenny break their tie this week?

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.

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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 #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.

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Road to the Playoffs: A Much Needed Inclusion for 2K PRO-AM

During the holiday period it was announced that there will be a Road to the Playoffs competition involving NBA 2K16’s PRO-AM mode; and this news came as a pleasant surprise to me. After the last few attempts I had to play the mode with my friends failed, due to the lack of matchups on the server, I was resigned to giving up on 2K PRO-AM altogether and focus on MyPARK in order to show off the talents of MyPLAYER. However, it is my hope that this announcement will drive more traffic to what I believe is a great mode. After all, the lack of participation in 2K PRO-AM was really the only thing that kept it from being better than MyPARK… at least in my opinion.

With every 2K PRO-AM game there’s a great sense of occasion. You’re playing for your team, in the uniforms you’ve designed, and if you’re playing at home, you’re playing on your court in front of your fans. The stadium aspect alone can give you bragging rights over your competitors, since you can have a full house or an empty stadium depending on your progress in MyCAREER. But the thing I love most about 2K PRO-AM is that it’s you and your friends against the world; the way basketball should be. Representing the different parks is fine, but it often feels like your wins are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the overall result.

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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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