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NLSC Podcast #371: Hold The Guacamole

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Episode #371 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

We’ve both caught the modding bug, but one of us has been far more motivated and productive than the other. Of course, that doesn’t stop us from making lofty plans for roster projects! A recent Tweet by the EA Playtesting account offers a glimmer of hope for the future of NBA Live, though we’re wary about reading too much into it. Meanwhile, polls on Twitter and Reddit have made it clear how the community feels about the prospect of shot aiming in NBA 2K22…and invited toxic responses from the online elitists. In this week’s mailbag, we’re reminiscing about ESPN NBA 2K5 and NBA Live 2005, and discussing the idea of MyTEAM being released as a standalone game.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

Monday Tip-Off: Current Gen Rec vs Next Gen Rec

Monday Tip-Off: Current Gen Rec vs Next Gen Rec

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 comparison of my experiences playing Rec games in the Current Gen and Next Gen versions of NBA 2K21.

Back in December last year, I declared that The Rec in NBA 2K21 was garbage. I stand by that opinion, and the conclusions I drew about who we should blame for the current state of the mode. In short, blame can be attributed to toxic attitudes within the basketball gaming community, but Visual Concepts themselves share responsibility given how the online scene panders to elitism and focuses on pushy recurrent revenue mechanics. The Rec went from being a hit-and-miss experience that could be quite fun at the best of times, to an absolute nightmare.

And so, I gave up on it. It was a healthy decision, especially since I wanted to move away from MyCAREER and its connected experiences. As unfortunate as it was that it took all the fun being sucked out of the mode to break my habit, it did at least prove to be adequate incentive. Of course, I did still dabble with MyCAREER in NBA 2K21 Next Gen in order to play through the story and earn a Trophy, with a view to playing the occasional online game. If nothing else, I was curious to see if anything would change, and wanted to keep tabs on the scene in order to advocate for improvements. With that being said, what is The Rec like on Next Gen compared to Current Gen?

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NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.06 Now Available

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.06

Patch 1.06 is now available for the Next Gen version of NBA 2K21. As always, it should come through automatically as long as your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S is online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console, or checking for updates manually.

The patch is smaller than the previous update, primarily consisting of likeness updates for 30 current and retro players. It also resolves a few technical issues in MyTEAM, and prepares the mode for Season 6, which is set to tip off in about eight days. To that end, the patch notes hint at Season 6 in MyTEAM having an unusual theme. A Spring theme has also been added to The City, and it will be going live shortly.

Check out all of the notes for Patch 1.06 below, and find a complete update history for NBA 2K21 Next Gen here in our Wiki. Feel free to chime in with your impressions in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

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NLSC Podcast #365: Time To Get Creative

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Episode #365 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

Deep Create-a-Player features are a must, and it’s tough not to get wistful when we see them in other sports titles. Some of the features in MLB The Show give us ideas for what we’d like to see in NBA Live and NBA 2K’s creation tools. The pain of losing functionality when servers are shut down leads us to discuss the possibility of a subscription model for basketball games. In the news this week, Ultimate Rivals: The Court has been announced. We’re intrigued, and looking forward to an NBA Jam-like game with Tim Kitzrow on the call. Time with The W also has us nostalgic for an era when microtransactions weren’t everything. In the mailbag this week, we answer a question about the necessary focus in order for NBA Live to make a triumphant return, and Frankenstein our ideal game, picking and choosing elements from a number of existing basketball titles.

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

The Friday Five: 5 Things Removed in NBA 2K21 Next Gen

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 things that have been removed from the Next Gen version of NBA 2K21.

When it comes to the things that annoy us most in the annual basketball games, legacy issues and the removal of popular features rank high on the list. For that matter, seeing legacy issues remain while cool features disappear is a common gripe born of those two complaints. Generally speaking though, we understand that there’s only so much that can be done within one development cycle, and that certain changes won’t come about until a new engine is introduced. Likewise, we know that some features are dropped due to technological reasons, or a lack of popularity.

It’s the things that are removed due to design choices and philosophy that really make us grumble, however. NBA 2K21 Next Gen was advertised as being “built from the ground up”, but it does bring back many familiar features, modes, and mechanics. A few things have fallen by the wayside with the series’ jump to the next generation, though. There may be technical reasons for their absence, but it’s inconvenient at best, and lacking in goodwill at worst. There’s a chance that we’ll see some of these things reintroduced if the demand/backlash is strong enough, but until then, here are five things from the Current Gen version that you won’t find in NBA 2K21 Next Gen.

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NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.05 Now Available

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.05

In addition to the update for Current Gen, the Next Gen version of NBA 2K21 has received Patch 1.05. It should download automatically as long as your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S is online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console, or check for updates manually.

The patch includes 24 player likeness updates, court and home jersey updates for the Los Angeles Lakers, and a City jersey update for the New York Knicks. The effectiveness of fading three-pointers off the dribble has also been reduced, per community feedback. Various fixes have also been made in MyNBA, MyTEAM, and MyCAREER/The City. More songs have also been added to the soundtrack.

For a full breakdown of Patch 1.05 for NBA 2K21 Next Gen, please see below for the patch notes. You can also find a complete update history here in our Wiki. Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in the NBA 2K21 section of our Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: “It’s Business” Is Not An Excuse

Monday Tip-Off: "It's Business" Is Not An Excuse

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 rebuttal to the idea that the fact developing video games is a business is somehow an excuse for lousy practices.

Video game development is a business. There is a business side to the creation of video games that, to the companies developing and publishing them, is just as crucial as the artistic side. There, I admitted it. In fact, I never denied it. If a business doesn’t turn a profit, it doesn’t keep operating for very long. If a product isn’t profitable, it’s going to have a very short shelf life. This is basic economics, so even when we’re grumbling about questionable practices regarding design and recurrent revenue mechanics, we understand that video game developers need to make money. But

But, there are good ways and bad ways to do business, even when it comes to the often downright predatory and exploitative practice of microtransactions. The goal of turning a profit does not excuse issues with the product itself. There is nothing wrong with expecting value for money and satisfaction with your purchase, and speaking out when you feel that a product has failed to deliver in that regard. When the pursuit of profits – especially through recurrent revenue mechanics – actively interferes with the quality of a product, it’s fair to criticise developers for compromising the experience. Saying “it’s business” is no excuse for design choices that are anti-consumer.

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Monday Tip-Off: The Reddit Post That Tried to Warn Us

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 a Reddit post that tried to warn us about some looming issues with the direction of the NBA 2K series.

There’s a Reddit post that I’ve mentioned and linked to in quite a few articles since it was made in the official NBA 2K subreddit back in 2018. That post was titled “The ‘MMO-ification’ of NBA2K and the perils of ignoring player retention: Thoughts from a former MMO developer“, and it was very well-received. After all, this wasn’t just a random gamer speaking out in frustration, or even a prominent content creator or pundit. This was someone who worked in video game development, and saw first-hand how certain approaches affected both gamer enjoyment, and a game’s success.

The criticisms this former EVE Online developer made were astute, and they were on the money about it only being the beginning. Their post touched on matters that many reviewers, and even content creators and community leaders, tend to ignore. It spoke about design philosophies – matters beyond tech and specific game features – that were responsible for problems in the games, and painted a worrying picture for the future. Today, I’m revisiting that Reddit post, and picking out some relevant quotes that identify problems that were troubling in NBA 2K18, and have remained so in its successors. As you’ll see, the insights of that Reddit post were almost prophetic.

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Monday Tip-Off: Ain’t No Love in the Heart of The City

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 my thoughts on how The City is perpetuating a troubling issue with MyCAREER and its connected modes.

Adding an open world environment to MyCAREER has, unsurprisingly, been a rather divisive decision since The Neighborhood debuted in NBA 2K18. Some gamers loved the idea, and were wowed from the very first reveal trailers. Others aren’t so keen on the concept, seeing it as a waste of time. Now that The City has taken its place in NBA 2K21 Next Gen, gamers who loved The Neighborhood have been delighted by an even larger hub world. Those who disliked The Neighborhood have no love for The City for many of the same reasons as before, only now on a much grander scale.

Of course, even if you love The City, the feeling isn’t mutual. There’s an aspect of The City that is, to quote a salient Reddit post, “downright contemptuous of players and hostile towards newer players”. Unlike The Neighborhood, The City isn’t welcoming to everyone; well, not immediately, anyway. This year, we have to prove that we’re worthy of taking part in the main hub world of MyCAREER, making use of all the familiar facilities that we’ve had at our disposal these past few years. To me, the title of Bobby Bland’s song – or for that matter, the Jay-Z song from the NBA 2K17 soundtrack, which sampled it – aptly describes The City’s cold, elitist heartlessness.

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NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.04 Now Available

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.04

Patch 1.04 is now available for NBA 2K21 Next Gen. As always, it should come through automatically as long as your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S is online. If it doesn’t, try checking for updates manually, or restarting your console.

It is much smaller than the previous patch, consisting of bug fixes and a cosmetic update. The following patch notes were shared via Twitter:

  • Updates to the new Holiday City
  • MyNBA: Fixed a number of hangs/issues reported by the community relating to custom rosters and/or custom team designs

I’ve added the Patch 1.04 notes to the NBA 2K21 Next Gen update history in our Wiki. As always, feel free to leave any impressions in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.03 Now Available

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.03

Patch 1.03 for NBA 2K21 Next Gen is now available, and it’s considerably larger than the last update for Current Gen! As with other official patches, it should come through automatically as long as your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S is online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console, or checking for updates manually.

On top of updates to courts, jerseys, and player likenesses, Patch 1.03 for NBA 2K21 Next Gen includes several fixes and gameplay tweaks. Charge and block animations have been tightened up to minimise sliding, and CPU defenders now recognise the direction of a flipped screen. Green Release windows are now smaller on heavily contested shots, and an exploit with double teams has been fixed.

An assortment of bugs have also been resolved in MyNBA and other modes. The City has been updated with a holiday theme, which includes new jerseys in The Rec. Check out all of the patch notes below, as well as here in our Wiki. Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments, and join in the discussion here in the Forum.

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NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.02 Now Available

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.02

Patch 1.02 has come through for NBA 2K21 Next Gen. It should download automatically as long as your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S is online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console, or checking for the update manually.

The latest patch features several likeness updates, including newly drafted rookies. It also resolves some issues with the game hanging, decreases the frequency of contact dunks and alley-oops, and improves layup selection AI. Performance in The City has also been improved, attributes are correctly boosted in MyCAREER from 95-99 Overall, and VC is now awarded for playing G League games in MyNBA.

There are many more fixes and tweaks in Patch 1.02 for NBA 2K21 Next Gen, as outlined in the notes below. Feel free to add any thoughts in the comments, and join in the discussion here in the Forum! A complete update history for NBA 2K21 Next Gen can be found here in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast #350: What’s My Age Again?

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Episode #350 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

We’re celebrating our 50th episode as a duo, which leads us to reflect on some famous number 50s in NBA history. After that, it’s down to business with a discussion of the latest news surrounding NBA 2K21 Next Gen. From server issues to a widespread ban, there’s a lot to catch up on, and we have a lot to say. We also talk about stat padding in online games, and how it’s led to what we feel is an unappealing style of play. Recent events also prompt us to discuss ageism in basketball gaming, and troubling practices in the modding community. This week’s mailbag topics cover recycled faces in NBA 2K, and the idea of petitioning 2K to make certain changes.

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 mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

NLSC Podcast #349: The Quest for a Next Gen Console

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Episode #349 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are out, and so is NBA 2K21 Next Gen! Unfortunately neither of us are able to play the game yet, but one of us has had some luck in our quest for a Next Gen console. In the meantime, we discuss the gameplay videos we’ve seen, impressions from the community, and an aspect of the new MyNBA mode that isn’t quite what we were expecting. Circling back to last week’s show, we answer a question about there still being room for improvement on this generation. We’re also intrigued by EA Sports expanding their portfolio, and what it might mean for college basketball games. In this week’s mailbag, we discuss the style of play in the NBA 2K League and its impact on online play, as well as the issue of various historical players being underutilised outside of MyTEAM.

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 mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.01 Updates Likenesses, Fixes Issues

NBA 2K21 Next Gen Patch 1.01

NBA 2K21 Next Gen is out now, and has just received Patch 1.01. The update is live for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, and should come through automatically as long as you’re online. If it doesn’t, try restarting your console or checking for the update manually.

Patch 1.01 for NBA 2K21 Next Gen is essentially the Day 1 patch, and includes several likeness updates for players and coaches. It also improves face scans using the mobile app, fixes and tunes gameplay, and resolves technical issues in MyCAREER, MyTEAM, MyNBA, The W, and The City.

See below for the full patch notes. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum. I’ve also created an article in our Wiki to document the update history for NBA 2K21 Next Gen, which you can find here.

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