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NLSC Podcast #444: Further NBA 2K23 Impressions & Gatekeeping Nonsense

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #444 of the NLSC Podcast!

After a full week with NBA 2K23, what are our thoughts on both versions of the game? We’ve got further impressions to share – both positive and negative – about gameplay, MyNBA Eras, and MyTEAM. One of us headed to The Rec to check out the state of the online scene, and in what may come as a surprising development, we could be seeing the return of NLSC THRILLHO! The addition of Semi-Pro difficulty leads to a discussion of preferred settings, and their impact on first impressions. We also reflect on the interesting use of Legends in NBA ShootOut 2004, and respond to a particularly nasty and condescending Tweet about playing video games as an adult. In this week’s mailbag, our listeners share their thoughts on NBA 2K23 so far.

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 The City Preview

NBA 2K23 The City Preview

The release of NBA 2K23 is imminent, but before it officially launches, the latest developer blog has given us all a preview of The City. Once again, The City will be the hub world for MyCAREER in the Next Gen version of NBA 2K23, whereas Current Gen has the GOAT Boat.

Key improvements this year include reducing the size of The City and adding fast travel options to make it easier to traverse. There are also new designs for the stomping grounds of the four affiliations, a central area for the competitive modes, and an arena for NBA games.

Once again, I’ve summarised the blog below, but be sure to read it for the full scoop and preview screenshots. You can also check out the trailer that was released. Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum! With the game almost in our hands, our post-release coverage will be tipping off very soon. As such, we invite you to stick around for everything we do here, from discussion of the game to our modding community!

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NLSC Podcast #442: The Final Countdown to NBA 2K23

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #442 of the NLSC Podcast!

It’s the final countdown to NBA 2K23! Snippets of news are coming through on a daily basis leading up to the release, though the details aren’t always substantial. We’ve got thoughts to share on the MyCAREER trailer, GOAT Boat developer blog, J. Cole cover, guest announcers, and soundtrack reveal (such as it was). We also reflect on an incredible steal of a retro collecting pickup, and respond to a Tweet that perfectly demonstrates Next Gen snobbery. In this week’s mailbag, our listeners tell us about the role players and benchwarmers that became Virtual Hardwood Legends for them, and we share a few more examples of our own unlikely stars throughout many years of basketball gaming.

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!

Monday Tip-Off: A Court to Call Home

Monday Tip-Off: A Court to Call Home

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 my thoughts on how having a personal court is an underrated feature in career modes.

As you can probably glean from how often I’ve talked about an extended playthrough of MyCAREER in NBA 2K14, I’m enjoying the experience immensely. For years I snubbed the mode, and NBA 2K14 in general. I’m not too proud to admit that I was wrong about both of them. While NBA 2K14 does have its quirks, its gameplay still holds up tremendously well in 2022. As for that first MyCAREER story, it isn’t as “on rails” or as intrusive as I’d long believed. Again, I do have some criticisms, but after finally giving it a chance, my impressions and experiences are largely positive.

On the subject of my criticisms however, there’s the matter of what I do between games in NBA 2K14 MyCAREER. I check the league leaders of course, as well as the stats for my MyPLAYER and my teammates. I keep tabs on the standings and the emerging Playoff picture late in the season, envisioning my likeliest path to the NBA Finals, and the opponent that I’ll probably face for the championship. I’ll check the news, and track career milestones. Something that I don’t do, however, is partake in a shootaround. I don’t do that because, quite simply, I can’t. For all the great aspects of NBA 2K14 MyCAREER, it unfortunately doesn’t have a court that you can call home.

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Monday Tip-Off: Free-to-Play & Triple-A Basketball Games

Monday Tip-Off: Free-to-Play & Triple-A Basketball 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 with some thoughts on the prospect of Triple-A basketball games being free-to-play (aka F2P).

It’s no secret that NBA Live, once the brand leader in sim NBA video games, has been struggling for well over a decade. It hit a low point with the failed attempt to rebrand and revamp the series with NBA Elite 11, one that it hasn’t been able to recover from to date. With its inability to topple NBA 2K, or even just make some inroads into gaining a bigger share of the market, I’ve seen people suggest that the console version of NBA Live become a free-to-play title. The argument is that it would be a lower risk, and encourage more gamers to give it a try.

Interestingly, I’ve also seen suggestions that NBA 2K become a free-to-play game. In this case, the suggestion has nothing to do with quality, but rather finance. As you’re undoubtedly well aware, the nature of NBA 2K being an annual release means that in modes such as MyCAREER and MyTEAM, there’s a reset on our progress with each new game. That means more grinding, and more money spent. With annual sports titles often being derided as glorified roster updates, it’s no surprise that a free-to-play model, or perhaps a new game every few years with subscriptions for updates in between, are ideas that have been floated. I certainly have some thoughts on that.

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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!

Monday Tip-Off: Guess It Is A Barbie Dress-Up Game

Monday Tip-Off: Guess It Is A Barbie Dress-Up Game

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 my observations of how, contrary to what Ronnie 2K once said, NBA 2K has become a Barbie dress-up game.

There’s an online maxim to the effect of “the internet doesn’t forget”. In short, it refers to how the comments and content that we post online is there in perpetuity, and may reflect poorly upon us when it’s rediscovered years later. Celebrities have lost face (and gigs) when old Tweets have resurfaced. Everyday people have had difficulty in their offline lives after they’ve gone viral for the wrong reasons. I’ve been contacted by a few former community members asking if we can scrub their posts from the Forum, as they don’t want youthful silliness to affect their future job prospects.

Controversy has a way of following people long after they’ve apologised and atoned, or indeed, allegations have been proven false. As they say, mud sticks. However, one might suggest that that’s fair if the person in question has remained unapologetic, and the problematic situation persists. It’s certainly fair to keep bringing up an issue that people try to sweep under the rug. That happens far too often within the basketball gaming community, where outrage over persistent problems is fleeting. It’s why every so often, I’ll bring up the time that Ronnie 2K made a snarky comment about NBA 2K not being a Barbie dress-up game; especially now that it’s kind of turned into one.

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NBA 2K22 Patch 1.12 Out Now

NBA 2K22 Patch 1.12 Out Now

Patch 1.12 is out now for both the Next Gen and Current Gen versions of NBA 2K22. As always, it should come through automatically as long as you’re online. If it doesn’t, try checking for new updates manually, or restarting your console. The patch should also be out soon on PC.

In addition to likeness updates on Current Gen and fixes for both versions, the patch updates NBA 2K22 for Season 7 in MyTEAM and MyCAREER, tipping off this Friday. Fixes include some rare gameplay bugs, a problematic animation transition on Next Gen, and errors with a Trophy/Achievement not unlocking.

Please see below for the full release notes for NBA 2K22 Patch 1.12. Additionally, you can find an update history for Next Gen and Current Gen over in our Wiki. Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments, as well as take the discussion to our NBA 2K22 Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: The Community, Or The Wrong Parts of It?

Monday Tip-Off: The Community, Or The Wrong Parts of It?

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 some thoughts on blaming the entire basketball gaming community for changes and additions that only a vocal minority asked for.

Even though everyone in the basketball gaming community shares a common passion, we’re not always on the same page. We’re divided along several lines: mode of choice, online or offline gaming, ideal controls and mechanics, how much realism the games should have, and so on. This makes it impossible for anyone to speak on behalf of the entire community, and no one person’s vision alone is right for basketball gaming. In turn, developers have many voices to listen to – some offering up conflicting feedback – and so are guaranteed to disappoint a contingent of the fanbase with certain choices.

While we collectively understand that, in our disappointment and indeed our outrage, it’s difficult to accept. When we’re disappointed and angry – whether it’s about video games or anything in life – we want to lay blame. We point the finger at developers, the suits, and even ourselves. In all three cases, that blame isn’t entirely misplaced. However, when it comes to blaming ourselves, we’re talking about a much larger group; a group that has less control than the other two, and is less likely to be wholly in agreement. As such, when we blame what we see as an undesirable aspect of NBA 2K on the community, we’re often pointing the finger at the wrong parts of it.

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NBA 2K22 Patch 1.11 Out On Next Gen & Current Gen

NBA 2K22 Patch 1.11 Out On Next Gen & Current Gen

Patch 1.11 is out now for both the Next Gen and Current Gen versions of NBA 2K22. As always, it should come through automatically as long as you’re online. If it doesn’t, try restarting, or checking for updates manually.

The new patch prepares both versions of NBA 2K22 for Season 6 in MyTEAM and MyCAREER. It also fixes a few problems, including a hang in MyNBA, an error displaying levels in MyCAREER, and an issue with takeovers being available for player builds that shouldn’t have them. As usual, non-specified stability fixes are also apparently included.

Check out the full notes for NBA 2K22 Patch 1.11 below, as well as in our Current Gen and Next Gen update histories. Feel free to share any impressions in the comments, as well as take the discussion to the NBA 2K22 section of the Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: The Greed of Attribute Upgrades

Monday Tip-Off: The Greed of Attribute Upgrades

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 my candid thoughts on the greed involved with the attribute upgrades in NBA 2K’s MyCAREER.

So, you may have two questions. First, why am I still talking about MyCAREER when I’ve moved on from the mode? Second, do I think that I’m revealing some shocking truth here? To answer the first question, I am still playing the mode in NBA 2K14. Additionally, having spent many years playing MyCAREER, I have thoughts on how it can improve. I want it to be as good as it possibly can be for everyone who plays it, and I believe in advocating for my fellow gamers. If nothing else, if you’re feeling frustrated with the situation, it may help to know that you’re not alone.

That leads into the answer to the second question. Gamers – and not just basketball gamers, mind you – have a tendency to be temporarily outraged at injustices, only to quickly move on and seemingly forgive and forget; at least until the issue affects them once again. It’s important that we keep discussing these matters, and that we get to the heart of the issues. It’s no secret that all of the modes in NBA 2K that utilise Virtual Currency are a cash grab, because recurrent revenue mechanics are the major money-makers for publishers. I’ve previously discussed the rising cost of MyCAREER, but the greed goes beyond that when you realise attribute upgrades are now pointless.

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The Friday Five: 5 Concepts That Changed NBA 2K Forever

The Friday Five: 5 Concepts That Changed NBA 2K Forever

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 concepts that ended up changing NBA 2K forever.

I’m no psychologist, but I’d hazard a guess and say that most of us have experienced an aversion to change at some point in our lives. Whether it’s apprehension of new surroundings, nostalgia goggles, or just plain comfort with the current arrangements, we’d prefer things not to change. Not to get too deep here – again, I’m no psychologist – but it’s important to accept change as part of life, and be able to adjust and grow. Of course, not all change is desirable, and change for change’s sake can prove to be a bad idea. Given the choice, it would’ve been preferable to leave things as they were.

We’ve seen a lot of these changes in basketball video games over the years. Many have been for the best, representing revolution and evolution within the genre. Others haven’t panned out so well. In the case of the latter, some of those concepts have only lasted a game or two before the developers scrapped them in favour of a new and better solution; or perhaps, returned to an old approach that still works best. Other concepts unfortunately stick around despite their negative impact, or at the very least, mixed results. For better or worse, these concepts have forever changed the NBA 2K series as we know it, either from a mechanical or philosophical standpoint.

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NBA 2K22 Next Gen Patch 1.9 Out Now

NBA 2K22 Next Gen Patch 1.9 Out Now

Patch 1.9 has come through for NBA 2K22 Next Gen. As always, 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 updates manually.

As with the Current Gen patch, the latest update prepares the game for Season 4 in MyTEAM and MyCAREER. It also features various likeness updates, including new face scans and tattoos. On the gameplay front, user interceptions now require a press of the Steal button to be successfully completed, and the CPU will now call a wider variety of plays. Bug and stability fixes have also been implemented across the game’s modes.

You can find the full notes for Patch 1.9 below, as well as in our NBA 2K22 Next Gen update history. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: Vale, NBA 2K20 Servers & Content

Monday Tip-Off: Vale, NBA 2K20 Servers & Content

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 NBA 2K20 servers being shut down, and the bigger picture of losing content and modes along with online support.

On December 31st, the NBA 2K20 servers were shut down as scheduled. Of course, this isn’t anything new for the series. 2K originally guaranteed 18 months of online support for all of its titles, before extending that period to 27 months following the deactivation and reactivation of NBA 2K14’s servers. These Terms of Service aren’t hidden – beyond the fact that many of us never read the EULA in full, of course – and if you’ve been playing the NBA 2K series for some time, you’re familiar with the drill. As unfortunate as it is, it’s understandable given the way that the userbase moves on.

The problem is that over the years, bigger chunks of the game are disappearing when online support ends. It used to be that we’d lose the ability to set up online games, use the in-game file sharing functionality, and receive any official roster updates. It was still a blow, but the games were largely intact. Now that there’s a larger focus on the connected experience and live service content, server shutdowns are making major modes inaccessible. Even primarily offline moves can be affected, if your save file utilised any online content when it was created. MyCAREER is the big one though, and the shutdown of the NBA 2K20 servers has exposed a troubling approach.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Way Back in NBA 2K19

Wayback Wednesday: The Way Back in NBA 2K19

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the MyCAREER story in NBA 2K19, which was titled “The Way Back”.

Since NBA 2K19 is now going on four years old and its servers have been shut down, I believe that it now fits the bill for wayback content. Hey, that’s the rule I set when I looked back at the story of DJ in NBA 2K18 in 2020, and as I said at the time, it’s my feature, so I’ll make and break the rules as I see fit! Besides, we’ve had a couple of fairly well-written and acted MyCAREER stories since then. In particular, The Long Shadow in NBA 2K21 was a strong candidate for the best tale the mode has ever had. With that in mind, it’s worth looking back at NBA 2K19’s story to see how it holds up.

After all, when NBA 2K19 came out, The Way Back was likewise one of the best stories we’d played through in MyCAREER. The journey of AI didn’t just take us from college to the NBA, but around the world. I’ll throw out an obligatory spoiler warning as we take a look back…way back…at The Way Back…

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