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Monday Tip-Off: An Open Letter from An Old Head

Monday Tip-Off: An Open Letter from An Old Head

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 an open letter to younger basketball gamers and fans from an admitted old head of 34.

Hey there, younger fans of basketball and basketball gaming! Do people still say hey for hello? I’m trying to avoid a “How do you do, fellow kids?” type of scenario here. Because let’s face it, there is a generational gap between some of us, and I’d rather not condescend to you, or look foolish with some ill-fitting slang. I’ll just stick with hey. Anyway, I’m Andrew, and to a lot of people who are into basketball and basketball video games, I would definitely qualify as an old head. At least, that’s the term I’m seeing used in a lot of online conversations to describe someone like me.

I’ll admit that at the age of 34, I still feel too young to be classified as an old head. It’s probably a fitting term, though. My all-time favourite band and television show are both only slightly younger than I am. My nostalgia is rooted in entertainment and events from well over a decade ago, and my opinions on sports, movies, television, and gaming no doubt reflect that. I’m at that odd stage where I still feel a bit rebellious towards the generations older than me, while at the same time starting to feel like a grumpy old man. Before I completely devolve into yelling at clouds however, I’d like to try bridging the gap between an old head like me and the younger generation.

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NLSC Podcast #292: MyCAREER Killed The Franchise Mode

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Episode #292 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane is back on the show this week as we catch up on the latest NBA 2K20 news, and discuss how a focus on career modes this generation has affected the course and quality of basketball gaming.

‘Tis the preview season, which means that there’s a lot of talk about bullshotting as new NBA 2K20 screenshots continue to drop. The soundtrack for this year’s game has also been revealed, not only bringing tracks from the big names, but also providing an opportunity for unsigned artists. However, the biggest news of the week is that the NBA 2K20 Demo will be released on August 21st. We speculate on what the new MyPLAYER builder might entail, what other content we can expect, and how the demo experience will translate to the full release. After noting the lack of NBA content in recent NBA 2K demos, we move on to this week’s featured discussion: has the focus on career modes adversely affected other modes, and the basketball gaming experience in general? As much as we’ve enjoyed MyCAREER this generation, it does feel as though other aspects of the games have been neglected. We consider what this might mean for the genre moving forward, and whether it’s another sign we’re no longer part of the core demographic.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 news, and the heavy focus on career modes in today’s basketball games? 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.

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Monday Tip-Off: Should NBA Live Be More Like NBA 2K?

James Harden shoots in NBA Live 19

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 an interesting and important question that continues to be hotly debated: should NBA Live be more like NBA 2K?

As NBA Live continues to rebuild and re-establish itself in the face of NBA 2K’s dominance, there is a debate among basketball gamers as to the best direction for the game. There are gamers who would prefer that NBA Live remains distinctly different to NBA 2K in focus, style, and approach, and generally reject any suggestions that Live should borrow ideas from 2K. Conversely, as noted here on Reddit, there are others who would prefer that NBA Live essentially copy NBA 2K, but for a few details here and there (such as avoiding 2K’s approach to microtransactions).

Naturally, between those two extremes are more nuanced suggestions about NBA Live doing its own thing, while also borrowing some of NBA 2K’s best ideas (and in some cases, putting its own spin on them). To that end, of course, there’s still debate as to which ideas should be borrowed, how closely NBA Live should mimic what NBA 2K is doing, and to what extent any 2K concepts should be reworked. It leaves us with the question of whether or not NBA Live should be more like NBA 2K, or as the thread over on Reddit put it, “NBA 2K re-skinned” rather than NBA Live. For me, the answer is yes…and no.

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The Friday Five: 5 Gameplay Improvements NBA Live 20 Needs

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 improvements that NBA Live 20 needs to demonstrate in terms of its gameplay.

If NBA Live 20 is to be the big release many of us are hoping it will be, it will need to improve upon an area that’s been a perennial weakness since the series returned back in 2013: its modes. The different modes of play are what give basketball games their longevity, and this year’s release from EA Sports must add long overdue features and depth to Franchise, Ultimate Team, and online modes. Deeper customisation is also a must. Of course, while these are all vital areas of NBA Live that require attention, it’s crucial that above all, the gameplay experience continues to improve.

NBA Live’s gameplay has gone through some interesting ups and downs during this generation. NBA Live 14 felt very stiff on the sticks, with animations that looked very “last gen”. Since then, improvements have been made to the fluidity, the depth of the controls, and certain animations. Most NBA Live gamers would agree that there is still plenty of room for improvement, and I’m unquestionably in that camp. What are the most important changes and improvements that need to be made to gameplay in NBA Live 20? We compiled some great ideas in the Wishlist that we sent in to EA, but this week, I’d like to discuss five key areas where Live’s gameplay must improve.

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NLSC Podcast #283: A Chat With Izzy Snow

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Episode #283 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, my guest co-host is Izzy Snow, long-time community member, content creator, and the NBA Live 14 Gamer of the Year!

Izzy Snow joins the show to discuss his recent experiences with the full version of NBA Elite 11. This leads to a discussion of whether it was better for EA Sports to cancel the game outright, or if it would’ve been less damaging to release it and weather the bad reviews. We also talk about the current state of NBA Live and offer up some further thoughts on the issues with game modes, particularly Ultimate Team. In addition to revisiting NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360 and the question of where NBA Live needs to go from here, we also talk changes in the community, the need for competition, gaming habits as we get older, PC gaming and modding, NBA Playgrounds, and how Izzy became the NBA Live 14 Gamer of the Year back in 2014.

Tune in below!

Thanks once again to Izzy for joining the show this week, and be sure to let us know your thoughts on the topics that we discussed. 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.

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Monday Tip-Off: Are Basketball Gamers Still Sim?

NBA 2K has been drifting from the sim style

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 whether or not basketball gamers are still in favour of sim gameplay and game modes.

For many years, we basketball gamers would talk about how we wanted to see the five-on-five games become more realistic. As technology improved, we saw a steady and pleasing increase in the level of simulation basketball, with NBA 2K in particular achieving some fantastic results in developing sim gameplay. Sim gameplay is what we always emphasised in our Wishlists, and the cause was likewise championed by Da_Czar, the President of Sim Nation who now puts his knowledge and enthusiasm for realistic virtual basketball to use as a developer on the NBA 2K team.

However, despite the influence of Da_Czar, as well as other sim-oriented developers such as Scott O’Gallagher and Gameplay Director Mike Wang, NBA 2K has been drifting towards a more casual style. The change is definitely not due to a lack of knowledge, dedication, talent, or resources, as we’ve seen what NBA 2K is capable of in terms of being an outstanding basketball sim. NBA Live, despite having its roots in a sim style, has also been focusing more on the streetball side of things in The One. These changes in style are obviously being done to appease the core demographic. As such, it’s not just about whether or not the games are sim, but if we gamers are, too.

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Monday Tip-Off: Burned Out on Career Modes

Career Modes are focusing more on characters and stories (NBA 2K18 MyCAREER Trailer)

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 I’ve become burned out on career modes in basketball video games.

As I’ve mentioned on the NLSC Podcast and in a few previous articles, I’m feeling a strong desire to return to my roots as a franchise gamer. Years ago, I spent most of my time with NBA Live playing Dynasty mode, documenting my experiences in the Stories section of our Forum. Despite the strength of Association mode in NBA 2K, when I finally started to warm up to Visual Concepts’ series, MyCAREER turned out to be the mode I got hooked on. I also found myself enjoying the connected modes, primarily 2K Pro-Am. My gaming habits had certainly changed.

However, I now find myself looking to make another change, and return to the kind of experience that I played almost exclusively for so many years. That’s partly due to the fact that with MyLEAGUE and MyGM, franchise modes have never been better or deeper. They’re very appealing in their own right, but I’m also encouraged to return to them because the single player career experience has worn thin for me. While both NBA Live and NBA 2K are looking to do some tremendous things with their career modes this year, it’s coming at a bad time for me. After several years of playing them – particularly MyCAREER – I’m feeling quite burned out.

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Court Battles in NBA Live 19; Trailer & Developer Blog

Court Battles in NBA Live 19

The latest trailer and developer blog for NBA Live 19 have provided us with details on Court Battles, a new competitive mode in The One. Court Battles involve taking on your friends and the rest of the NBA Live community on their own One Courts. This involves competing in games against an AI version of a user’s squad to earn unique bonuses and rewards, with an ultimate goal of “controlling” as many courts as possible. A breakdown of the key points is as follows:

  • Court Battles are comprised of Campaigns, which include both a “defend” and “attack” phase. Your AI squad defends your court, while you play the games attacking other courts.
  • Defending your court includes setting the custom rules, defensive lineup, attacker handicap (a restriction placed on the attacking team to make their games more challenging and aid in your defense), and a game plan for your AI squad.
  • There will be 38 custom rules at launch, with more settings being added throughout the year.
  • Players available for your squad are earned through The Streets World Tour, LIVE Events, and levelling up in terms of Court Hype and number of controlled courts.
  • As mentioned, the ultimate goal is to control as many courts as possible (in addition to your own), in order to level up and earn better rewards. Bonuses are rewarded for controlling your own court, facing a more difficult opponent, and so on.

Be sure to read the entire blog for the full insight! You can also watch the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube.

As always, feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion taking place in this topic in the NBA Live 19 section of our Forum.

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Information on LIVE Run, 5v5 Online, & Hype in NBA Live 19

NBA Live 19: LIVE Run

The NBA Live 19 demo will be dropping in less than ten hours, but before then, we have some new information about this year’s game. This insight comes straight from Executive Producer Seann Graddy, in a developer blog posted over on the official website.

Specifically, the blog provides some further details on LIVE Run, 5v5 online play, and the Hype system in NBA Live 19. A breakdown of the key points is as follows:

  • Changes to 3v3 LIVE Run go beyond the new global courts. Games are now played to 11, with baskets counting for one and two points rather than twos and threes.
  • Hype is intended to set The One players apart from each another, since reaching 99 Overall will be an attainable goal with persistence. Hype has six tiers (Rookie, Pro, All-Star, Superstar, Legend, Icon), with each tier having five levels.
  • Raising your Hype earns new gear, as well as players for your squad and other rewards. You’ll also get a badge displaying your Hype level in online lobbies.
  • 5v5 LIVE Run will be more of a traditional Pro-Am experience, with five minute quarters and full rules, including fouls. It also benefits from the addition of the new global courts.
  • Private games on our One Court will allow for custom rules, including additional points for dunks and layups, and other variations on the Pro-Am format. More rule sets will be added post-launch.

Be sure to read the blog for the whole scoop! Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, and join in the discussion taking place here in our NBA Live 19 Forum.

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Companion App for NBA Live 19 Now Available (Android & iOS)

NBA Live 19 Companion App Artwork

As an update to the previous bulletin, the NBA Live Companion App has now been updated for NBA Live 19. The new version of the app should be pushed through automatically for those who downloaded it last year and still have it installed. Otherwise, it’s available through Google Play and the App Store.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the companion app, it is used to scan your face into the game. The app can be used for both the demo and the full version of the game, with the face data that you scan in for the demo carrying over to the full version of NBA Live 19, should you pick it up. Progress made in the demo will also carry over.

The NBA Live 19 demo is slated for release at midnight on August 24th. If you download it, be sure to share your impressions with the community in the NLSC Forum! Also feel free to share the results of your face scans in this topic.

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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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Monday Tip-Off: NBA Content in NBA Live 19

Joel Embiid in NBA Live 19

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 what has to happen with the NBA content in NBA Live 19, from gameplay to game modes.

The NBA Live 19 demo will be out later this week, and I for one am excited. While NBA Live 18 took many steps in the right direction, there was still a certain amount of roughness and room for improvement. From everything we’ve seen and heard so far, it seems that NBA Live 19 has made another pleasing leap forward. While I do expect that there will still be ways in which the game can get even better in the future, it’s shaping up to be a good year for NBA Live as it continues to make its way back to being a viable alternative for sim basketball gamers.

To that end, however, there is an area that is of some concern: the NBA content. So far, the previews have mostly focused on The One, with a particular emphasis on The Streets World Tour. While this is a tremendous hook for NBA Live 19 and has clearly led to some positive buzz, many of us are a little concerned about the NBA side of the game. Although NBA Live does need to have its own appeal and approach, there are certain aspects where it needs to go head to head with NBA 2K, namely in terms of being a realistic and enjoyable NBA sim. From modes to gameplay, a lot of us are hoping that NBA Live 19 is as good on the NBA hardwood as it is in The Streets.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #258

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Episode #258 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! We’re back on the air after taking an unexpected break last week, giving us a fortnight of news to discuss. Join Arcane and I as we chat about the recent developments in basketball gaming including female Create-a-Player in NBA Live 19, the first developer blog for NBA 2K19, and the big announcement regarding NBA 2K Playgrounds 2.

On this week’s show…

  • EA Sports has announced the addition of Female Create-a-Player in NBA Live 19. It’s a cool addition to The One, though predictably, there have been some childish reactions to the news.
  • While we still want to hear about the NBA side of things in NBA Live 19, a few other interesting tidbits have been revealed, including court customisation. A recent interview also acknowledged the possibility of NBA Live returning to the PC platform.
  • The first NBA 2K19 developer blog delivered some great news about MyLEAGUE, MyGM, and MyLEAGUE Online. While we’ve been conditioned to take developer blogs with a grain of salt, it seems that a lot of great work has gone into the franchise experience this year.
  • Looking back at last year’s preview season, we expect the flow of information to be steadier from here on out. We talk a little about some of the details we want to hear about.
  • We now know that 2K Sports will be publishing NBA Playgrounds 2, now titled NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. It remains to be seen what it’ll mean for the game, and we do have some concerns. Also, we’d like to see EA bring NBA Jam back.
  • Episode #258 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with a quick chat about some recent NBA news, including Dwyane Wade’s future and new team branding.

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.

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Custom Courts in NBA Live 19, Gameplay Footage, Other Details

NBA Live 19: WNBA

Although an official announcement has yet to be made, a few more tidbits about NBA Live 19 have been revealed. The information comes courtesy of Shacknews – who have posted an extended preview of the game complete with raw gameplay footage – and influencers including Will OS and NBA Live Girl. A few other gameplay videos, and videos discussing details that have leaked, have also been posted.

It seems that we’ll be able to create our own custom courts in The One this year, in a manner very similar to the hometown blacktop in NBA Street Homecourt, as well as the custom courts in NBA 2K’s MyTEAM and 2K Pro-Am modes. More details are no doubt forthcoming in an official announcement and preview. Speaking of courts, the video from Shacknews also provides us with as glimpse of the custom Joel Embiid court, which was listed as one of the pre-order bonuses.

The video also confirms that quarters have been added to games in The Streets, which were previously all played under the “First to 21” win condition. In addition to uncut gameplay, it also provides an overview (and naturally, spoilers) of The Rise, the story that provides the backdrop to The One in NBA Live 19. The hour long video runs from the beginning of the story at Quai 54, through the Draft Combine and concluding at the NBA Draft itself.

Also of interest, Sports Gamers Online recently had a chance to interview NBA Live 19 Creative Director, Connor Dougan. Connor was actually asked about a PC version of NBA Live, and while he confirmed it isn’t happening this year, he expressed his support for the idea, even mentioning modding. It was cool to hear, so be sure to check out the interview for his full comments!

With NBA Live 19 just six weeks away, more information should hopefully be coming through fairly steadily. We’ll certainly try to stay on top of the news, but for now, check out some of the videos below, and feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. As always, we also invite you to join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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NBA Live 19 Will Feature Female Create-a-Player

NBA Live 19: WNBA

After teasing a special announcement with a short video featuring the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker, EA Sports has revealed that NBA Live 19 will feature female Create-a-Player functionality. Although the WNBA was featured in its own Play Now mode in NBA Live 18, this marks the first time that NBA Live will allow gamers to create female players.

As explained in an article over on Game Informer, female avatars will be playable in LIVE Run, LIVE Events, and The Streets World Tour, using the same progression system as their male counterparts. They will not be playable in The League however, and at this time, there is no equivalent WNBA career mode. Creative Director Ryan Santos has confirmed that it’s something that has been discussed, and may be in the game as soon as next year.

Although there won’t be a dedicated career or season mode for the WNBA, the league’s players will still have a presence in The Streets, along with any female ballers that gamers create. Their inclusion in the mode was hinted at in the very first teaser for NBA Live 19.

EA has also released a new gameplay trailer to celebrate the announcement. Watch it below, or catch it here on YouTube. A few new screenshots have been released, which you can also find below.

What are your thoughts on the latest development regarding NBA Live 19? Would you be interested in more WNBA content, such as a career or season mode? How is the game shaping up? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion taking place here in the NLSC Forum.

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