Andrew wrote:Glad to know I'm not the only one. It's a bit of extra amusement when you're blowing out the CPU, and the benchwarmer comes into the game.
Yes, October 16th is my birthday. Today, I’m no longer an old man of 30, but an older man of 31. Appropriately enough, I’m eating cake as I write this Five; Boston Mudcake, despite the fact I’m a Chicago Bulls fan. All in all, I’ve had a pretty relaxed day today, not quite as productive as I’d normally like to be, but hey, I had the opportunity to take a day off, and it’s my birthday.
I hadn’t really prepared a topic for this week’s Five, beyond the fact that I knew that I was going to call it my Birthday Five, and talk about something that was somehow related to my birthday, while still tying it in to the stuff we cover here at the NLSC. So, what I’ve decided to do is talk about some of the ways I feel that we change as we get older, as it pertains to being a basketball fan, and a player of basketball video games. These are my reflections, on my 31st birthday, about growing up. Well, growing older, at any rate.
Have you grown impatient waiting for the 2016 NBA season to begin? Fortunately, the wait is almost over, as we’re less than a week away from opening night! The NBA’s 70th season tips off on October 27th, with the Chicago Bulls hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending champion Golden State Warriors taking on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Oracle Arena. Another year of exciting basketball, dazzling highlights, and intriguing stories all around the league; if you’re a hoops fan, chances are you’re feeling pretty pumped right now.
With the offseason behind us and the pre-season drawing to a close, the time has come to start making some predictions about what’s going to happen in the NBA this year. Earlier this week, the GMs of all 30 teams chimed in with some of their predictions for the season, along with their ratings and rankings. Since this is the last Friday before the new season tips off, I thought I’d use this week’s Five to join in the fun, and offer up five predictions for the 2016 NBA season.
Normally, this is the type of article that I would write after the most recent release has been out a little longer, but with NBA Live 16 selling a disappointing amount of copies, and NBA Live 17 really having to move the needle and make an impact, I figured I’d start early on some constructive feedback. While I do feel that NBA Live 16 is an improvement over NBA Live 15 and has some good elements and concepts, there is much that needs to be done with NBA Live 17, especially in terms of making it a deep and fully featured NBA sim.
Now, this is all stuff that I’ll be discussing in further detail in future editions of The Friday Five, as well as other articles and of course, the NLSC Podcast. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive Wishlist article, covering every point in-depth, and listing absolutely every improvement that needs to be made in NBA Live 17. Rather, it’s meant to highlight some of the key improvements and additions that I believe need to be made next year. With that said, let’s take a look at the five things that in my opinion, NBA Live 17 absolutely has to do.
While there’s still much to discuss on the NBA Live and NBA 2K front, I wanted to talk about some real basketball in this edition of The Friday Five, as we’re just over a week into the 2016 NBA season. There are some interesting stories developing through the first four to six games of the new season, and as a result, a few questions spring to mind. Since a few of them relate back to the predictions I made before the season tipped off, I thought I’d throw them out there, and perhaps make a few more predictions.
Now, it should be acknowledged that it’s still early days, with teams having between 76 and 78 games left to play in the regular season. What happens in November doesn’t always matter come April, or indeed, June. All the same, it’s interesting to take a look at the early trends and noteworthy statistics, and wonder about what’s going to happen next. As such, here are five questions I’d like to put out there after the first week (and a bit) of the 2016 NBA season.
Another Friday the 13th is upon us! For those of us who aren’t superstitious, it’s just a day like any other, perhaps even a day of good fortune since the weekend is right around the corner. For those who suffer paraskevidekatriaphobia, however, it’s a day of bad omens and misfortune, and we’ve had three of them in 2015. And yes, despite what my spell checker claims, that is in fact a real word that describes a fear of Friday the 13th. I Googled it.
In previous editions of the Five that have fallen on a Friday the 13th, I’ve discussed unlucky moments in NBA history, and some of my favourite players to have worn the number thirteen. This time, I’m going back to the theme of bad luck, as I examine some of the unluckiest things can happen to us when playing basketball video games. Of course, these things don’t require a supposedly cursed day to occur; unfortunately, they can strike at any time, on any given day.
Since NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 have been out for about a couple of months now, there’s been plenty of talk about the good and bad in each game, and what each series should look to do in the next release. While that’s a subject we can (and no doubt will) continue to discuss in great detail with lengthy Wishlists, there are some common themes in our feedback which can be summarised in a short list of must-haves. That’s what this week’s Five is all about: an overview of the things an NBA game must have, to be a great release. In my opinion, at any rate.
Before I begin, I should mention that I’m focusing more on core features than core mechanics, or presentation. Things such as life-like animations and player models, realistic performance and strategy, appealing presentation, good controls and so on…I’m taking that as read, because those are fundamental elements of a basketball video game’s foundation. These are the things that I believe NBA games must have on top of all that; I hope that explains where I’m coming from with my list. With that said, let’s tip things off with item number one…
By this point in the season, I’m guessing that a lot of basketball gamers have gotten stuck into one of the franchise modes in NBA Live 16, NBA 2K16, or perhaps even one of the older basketball games. I don’t have a Dynasty, MyLEAGUE, or MyGM game going at the moment, but hopefully I’ll get into one before the year is out. As I’ve mentioned many times before in the Friday Five, I’ve been a big fan of franchise modes for many years, and have a lot of fond memories of playing through seasons, messing around with my roster, and winning virtual championships.
Making a great trade or signing is something that can really help create a special franchise experience. It’s adding that final piece of the puzzle, or acquiring a new superstar that gives your team an entirely new look. It’s finding a bargain, or creatively wheeling and dealing to maximise the value that the CPU gives you in return. It’s a deal that makes you better, and increases the “fun factor”. With that in mind, I’m counting down the top five trades and signings that I’ve made in basketball games over the years. Let’s get started with number five…
Last week, I counted down the top five best trades and signings that I’ve made in the franchise modes of basketball games. It was fun to reminisce about some of the deals that really made the games more fun for me, even if a few of them were correcting earlier mistakes. And speaking of mistakes, that’s what I’m taking a look at this week: the trades and signings that didn’t pan out nearly as well as I hoped they would.
Just as a great trade or signing can make a franchise game even more enjoyable, a bad move can greatly detract from the overall experience. A series of bad deals often leads to frustration and boredom, with a roster that’s too thin, too stacked, or just too strangely put together. To paraphrase a certain animated ski instructor, if you make a lot of questionable moves, you’re gonna have a bad time. In that spirit, I’m counting down what I feel are the top five worst trades and signings that I’ve made when playing through the franchise modes of basketball games. Let’s tip things off with number five…
In this community, we know basketball, and we know basketball video games. When it comes to virtual hoops, I think it’s fair to suggest that we have some people in our community who are pretty good on the sticks. Nevertheless, as much as we know about basketball – the real thing, and its virtual equivalent, be it NBA Live or NBA 2K – there are some mistakes that we’re prone to making. As those mistakes add up, so too do our losses, whether it’s to the CPU in one of the franchise modes, or to other users online.
So, in this week’s Friday Five, I thought I’d list some of the mistakes that we’re prone to making, and offer up some advice on how to avoid them. These are the things that I try to keep in mind when I’m playing NBA Live or NBA 2K; both the pitfalls I’d prefer to avoid, and the strategies I employ to try and do so. Without any further ado, here are five mistakes that we make when we play basketball video games…and a few ways that we can avoid them.
Since next Friday is Christmas Day, and then we’re out of Fridays for the year 2015, I thought I’d write my year in review column this week. Scary as it may be to think about, I’d say we’re close enough to the end of the year for a retrospective. It’s been another fun and successful year here at the NLSC, and I’m intending to do my best to ensure that trend continues into 2016. For now though, I’d like to take a look back at the year that was.
For this retrospective, I’ll be listing some of my favourite editions of The Friday Five and episodes of the NLSC Podcast from 2015, and reminiscing about some of the other big moments we’ve had here at the NLSC during the past 12 months. I hope you’ll find it an appropriate way to cap off the year – even if we do still have a little less than two weeks left of it – and that you’ll enjoy my editor’s picks as far as the Five and Podcast are concerned. With that said, here’s my 2015 Year In Review!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings, everyone! Christmas Day is almost over here in Australia, but if you’re on the other side of the world, you might just be waking up to a day that’s hopefully filled with lots of good food, thoughtful gifts, and good times with family and friends. There are also five games on the NBA schedule today, so for the final Friday Five of 2015, I’m posting an abbreviated column with my predictions for this year’s Christmas Day games.
Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season, and safely made it through all your celebrations. While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, I’ve always found the beginning of a new year to be an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button as it were, and set some goals while making a fresh start. After taking a bit of a break towards the end of December, it feels good to get back to work with renewed energy in January.
2015 was another fine year for us here at the NLSC, and I’m pleased with the content that we were able to provide. However, I’m always aiming to make things bigger and better, week by week, month by month, year by year, and to that end, I’m looking forward to striving for that goal in 2016. Since this is the first time New Year’s Day has fallen on a Friday since I started writing The Friday Five, I thought I’d use today’s column to outline a few goals that I have for the site this year.
In case you weren’t aware, long-time NBA referee Joey Crawford will be hanging up his whistle at the end of the season. Crawford, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, told the Delaware County Times that he hopes to return to the court in March, but will be calling it a day once the season is done. In the article I’ve linked to there, it’s noted that Joey Crawford is held in high regard by the NBA family, mentioning that he even received the Golden Whistle Award. I have to admit, that really, really puzzles me.
That’s not to say that Joey Crawford has never done his job properly. We tend to focus on the negatives; the one time out of ten that there’s controversy, instead of the other nine times that were unremarkable. Still, to simply acknowledge that Joey Crawford is “controversial” and “colourful” is putting things very mildly, to say the least. From incorrect and downright strange calls, to diva-like and attention-seeking behaviour, to needlessly interfering with the play and even losing his temper, some of Crawford’s worst antics have sullied the sport. So, for this week’s Five, I’m listing the best of his worst, namely five times that Joey Crawford was a terrible referee.
In recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, Arcane and I have been discussing the future of NBA Live, particularly how it’s a case of “now or never” when it comes to certain features and improvements. Likewise, back in October of last year, I engaged in a little early Wishlist talk in The Friday Five, with a piece titled 5 Things NBA Live 17 Absolutely Has To Do. Suffice to say, we have some strong feelings about what we feel the series has to achieve with this year’s iteration, as do other members of the basketball gaming community.
Since it is just about time to start creating our official Wishlist threads, I thought I’d use this week’s Five to revisit the topic of what needs to be done with NBA Live. There’s obviously going to be some overlap with the previous discussions, as I haven’t changed my mind about what I believe are the most important areas that Live needs to improve in. That said, on this occasion, I’m focusing on five features that I’d like to see return, and prioritising them in the form of a Top 5 countdown. Without any further ado, let’s tip things off with number five.
Since we’re getting into Wishlist season, last week’s edition of The Friday Five covered five features that I’d like to see return in NBA Live. I’m continuing with that theme this week as I count down the top five gameplay improvements that I’d like to see, preferably beginning with NBA Live 17. While I really want to see the game modes get deeper and some more bells and whistles added, NBA Live’s gameplay still needs some polish and enhancement, as it’s obviously an important aspect of the core experience.
That’s not to say it needs a complete overhaul, or that the current tech isn’t capable of doing the job. I’ve seen some good things from the IGNITE engine, and there’s been a noticeable improvement over the past three years. However, there are definitely some much needed improvements and additions that need to be made to NBA Live’s gameplay, to get it to the level it really needs to be at. So, without any further ado, here are the top five gameplay improvements that I want to see in NBA Live, beginning with number five.
With last week’s announcement of the starters and this week’s unveiling of the reserves, we now know the 24 players who will be competing in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played in Toronto on February 14th. Barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, there’ll be a lot of deserving talent putting on a show at the NBA’s 65th midseason classic. Of course, should a few of them have to withdraw, there are a handful of players who have a case to take their place. And that’s where the topic of All-Star snubs comes in.
I have to admit that it was a bit difficult to put together a top five list of All-Star snubs this season. Outside of a couple of noteworthy names, almost all of the standout performers have either been voted in by the fans, or selected by the coaches. Additionally, there are only a couple of selections that you could really argue against, and even then, they’ve got a case to be there. Still, there’s no reason to avoid a topic just because the choice is difficult, so without any further ado, here are my picks for this year’s top five NBA All-Star snubs.
When it comes to basketball video games, it’s fair to say that most of us tend to be after a realistic experience…at least when it comes to the five-on-five games. The level of commitment to the sim style varies from gamer to gamer, but unless you’re playing a game like NBA Jam or NBA Street, you probably want to see at least some amount of realism in your virtual hoops. When NBA Live or NBA 2K fall short of our expectations in that regard, you can be certain that there’ll be loud cries of “That’s not sim!” Our desires can be succinctly summed up with Da_Czar’s catchy creed: Don’t play video games, play basketball!
As I’ve discussed before, however, while most of us have a good understanding of the elements that make a basketball video game realistic, we don’t always appreciate what realism truly means. In the real world, there are mistakes and imperfections, annoyances and disappointments, risks that don’t yield rewards. Whether we like it or not, negative outcomes are a part of basketball – at least for one team on every play, and ultimately, the game – and when it comes to video games, it’s important that those unpleasant realities are represented. They’re frustrating of course, but it’s important to remember that the five annoyances I’m discussing today are, in fact, realistic.
With the All-Star Weekend upon us, we’re essentially at the midway point of the 2016 NBA season. Normally I discuss a topic related to the NBA’s midseason classic in the Five that precedes the All-Star Weekend, but this year, I wanted to do something a little different. This time, I wanted to look back at some predictions I made at the start of the season, and see how I’m faring so far. If you’re a regular listener of the NLSC Podcast, you know how well my NBA predictions generally turn out!
That said, I’m actually not doing too badly. While there’s still quite a few games left to play, several weeks during which time a lot of things can change, a couple of my predictions aren’t too wide of the mark. One has turned out to be a jinx, and two are looking quite precarious, but the other two stand a good chance of being correct. So, without any further ado, let’s revisit the five predictions I made for the 2016 NBA season, and see how each of them are looking at the halfway mark.
We’ve tipped off our Wishlists for both basketball games, and as I do every year, I’ve been making sure to put out a few reminders about the best way to provide feedback. The most common mistake when posting suggestions for NBA Live or NBA 2K is failing to provide relevant details: saying things like “deeper modes”, “better gameplay”, or “improved AI”. While these are certainly things that we do want to see, they don’t describe what we specifically want to see improve, or the problems that need to be addressed. It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering “tasty food”; there isn’t nearly enough information to work from.
Basketball has a lot finicky nuances that we want to see realistically portrayed in NBA Live and NBA 2K, and when our expectations aren’t being met, we need to be able to identify all those annoying quirks in the AI. Those moments of frustration we have when we’re playing a game, because the CPU is doing something that’s not quite right? Those are the issues that we need to bring up. To demonstrate what I’m talking about, here are five of what I feel are the worst problems with AI in basketball video games, along with some relevant examples.
There are a lot of things that feel good when you’re playing a basketball video game. Knocking down a three-pointer, whether it’s a wide open shot or you’re drilling it right in the face of a defender. Throwing down a dunk, especially when you see a brand new animation, or when the slam caps off a big scoring run. Great defensive plays that end with a crafty steal, intimidating block, or an embarrassing shot clock violation for your opponent, also feel pretty good. When you’re playing a basketball video game, you can sometimes get just as excited as you do when you’re watching or playing the real sport.
That’s what makes basketball video games such a satisfying experience. I mean, we wouldn’t be playing them, talking about them, modding them, and yes, even complaining about them, if we weren’t getting something out of them, and they didn’t hold any value to us. In this week’s Friday Five, I wanted to talk about some of the specific moments in basketball video games that I find to be the most satisfying. These are the moments that go beyond the thrill of simply nailing a triple, or rocking the rim.
The cover players for NBA Live and NBA 2K are admittedly an insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, it’s a subject that still manages to capture our attention every year, before the official announcements are made. In between talking about what we want to see out of NBA Live and NBA 2K, and speculating on each game’s features and improvements as we learn about them, we usually find ourselves asking: who’s going to be on the cover?
It’s a fun talking point, even if it does have little bearing on the games themselves. Throughout the years, we’ve seen some huge names lend their likenesses to the cover art of NBA Live and NBA 2K, as well as a few unorthodox choices for cover players. Since it’ll be a few months until the preview season really gets underway, I thought that for this week’s Five, I’d throw out some predictions as to who we might see on the covers of NBA Live and NBA 2K…perhaps as soon as this year.
Tha2KProphet wrote:Andrew Wiggins?
[Q] wrote:PG was a good pick. I could see draymond or klay if they win it all again
In this week’s Monday Tip-Off, I discussed our fondness for continuing to make patches for older basketball video games. As I said in that article, there’s a lot of nostalgia in going back and updating an old game, and it can also be a very rewarding experience, especially when there’s still a contingent of basketball gamers playing older releases. I certainly know a thing or two about that, as I was still releasing multiple roster patches for the last four PC versions of NBA Live up until a few years ago. As you may have noticed, I’ve also released a couple of smaller patches in recent weeks.
Since I’m still in the mood to talk about patches, I thought that for this week’s Friday Five, I’d take a look at five of my favourite patches that I’ve made for the NBA Live series. I’d talk about my work on NBA 2K, but I only have one release for that series: an open source roster with some minor edits and additions. Needless to say, when it comes to patching, I have a much longer history with NBA Live, and a much bigger catalogue of releases. So, without any further ado, here are my five favourite patches that I’ve made over the years.
The 2016 NBA regular season is winding down, and we’re still a couple of months away from getting a steady stream of concrete information about NBA Live 17 and NBA 2K17. In recent weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about what I’d like to see in the upcoming games, both on the NLSC Podcast and in the Friday Five, and I will continue to do that. However, I thought I’d change things up in today’s Five, and talk a little about fashion. Well, on-court fashion in the NBA, at any rate.
This week, I’m talking about NBA jerseys that tend to be unpopular, or make a lot of “worst NBA jerseys” lists, that I actually happen to like. I can’t defend them all as outstanding or timeless designs, as some of them are definitely products of their era, but I still like them all the same. I know that I’m definitely not alone in liking some of these jerseys, but some fans might declare it to be a sign of bad taste. Nevertheless, here are five unpopular NBA jerseys that I don’t dislike the same way a lot of people do.
Last week I listed five unpopular NBA jerseys that I personally like, so this week I’m going the other way and looking at five popular jerseys which I’m not that keen on. I’ve seen these jerseys make a few “best NBA uniforms” lists and be talked about favourably by my fellow NBA fans, so for the purposes of this feature, I think it’s fair enough to call them popular. For the record, I certainly don’t dislike them just because they’re popular, but regardless, I’m in the minority as far as my opinion of them is concerned.
Please note that there are no sleeved jerseys on this list – remember, I did say “popular”! – but rest assured that those designs still rank among my least favourites, well ahead of the uniforms I’ve listed below. I should also make it clear that I don’t necessarily think that these are all bad designs from an objective point of view; they simply don’t appeal to me. With that said, here are five popular NBA jerseys that I dislike, for one reason or another.
With this being April 1st, I originally considered posting some kind of April Fool’s Day gag. However, since we have visitors from all around the world, chances are that not everyone would see the column before 12 PM, which would actually make me the April fool. I’ve decided to stick with the theme of getting fooled though, because when it comes to basketball gaming, and indeed video games in general, some people are sadly out to trick their fellow gamers, and waste their time.
Although it’s often fairly easy to debunk what TV Tropes refers to as an “Urban Legend of Zelda“, sometimes it’s harder to get gamers to actually believe the truth rather than the rumour. After all, you heard it from your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend that it was true, and why would they lie? Other genres of video games lend themselves to more outlandish and infamous fake secrets, but since basketball games have featured hidden and unlockable content, they’re not immune to their own hoaxes and rumours. Without any further ado, here are five codes and rumours that fooled basketball gamers.
As I've mentioned in a previous edition of The Friday Five, one of the unluckiest things that can happen in basketball gaming is the loss of a favourite save game. Whether you accidentally delete or overwrite it, or you intentionally delete it thinking you'll never play it again, at some point you'll grumble to yourself "I wish I still had that file". Many of us learn the hard way to always make backups, and not to delete anything unless we're absolutely, positively sure...and even then, probably keep a backup of it somewhere, just in case.
It's been a while since I've lost a saved game, as I developed the habit of always saving my games in two slots, just in case. I also regularly make backups, so it's been many years since I've lost anything that I wanted to keep. However, in the couple of decades that I've been playing NBA Live, there have been a few saved games that I've thoughtlessly deleted, or neglected to copy over to new computers. In this week's Friday Five, I'm taking the opportunity to lament the loss of those saved games, and memorialise them.
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