The Friday Five: 5 Hopes for NBA Playgrounds 2

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Re: The Friday Five: My Top 5 Unluckiest Basketball Gaming Moments

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:16 pm

October 13th: My Top 5 Unluckiest Basketball Gaming Moments

Another Friday the 13th is upon us, which is bad news for anyone who suffers from paraskevidekatriaphobia. I'm not a particularly superstitious person myself, and no Friday the 13th has given me reason to be wary of the date. In fact, given that one of my weekly features comes out every Friday, it's conveniently provided me with a ready-made topic that can be easily tied into our interests as a community that loves basketball and basketball gaming. I've previously written about some of the unluckiest moments in NBA history, unlucky moments in basketball gaming, and even my favourite players who have worn number thirteen.

For this Friday the 13th, I thought that I'd revisit that second topic with a few personal anecdotes. We've all had our unlucky moments on the virtual hardwood, and since we tend to get somewhat invested in the video games that we play, those moments can certainly be rage-inducing. I feel as though I don't do enough top five countdowns for the Friday Five, so I've decided to rank these moments according to the amount of frustration they caused me, and how unlucky they felt. Without any further ado, these are my top five unluckiest moments in basketball gaming.
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Re: The Friday Five: Ranking the MyCAREER Stories

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:41 pm

October 20th: Ranking the MyCAREER Stories

Through the course of many previous articles and episodes of the NLSC Podcast, I believe that I've made my stance on MyCAREER stories very clear. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with my view on the matter, while I can appreciate the effort that goes into them, I'm not a fan of the concept. To me, it's felt more intrusive and annoying, rather than enhancing the experience. It's obviously not going anywhere, so hopefully the approach can be improved upon in future games. To get an idea of how Visual Concepts may achieve that, it's worth reflecting upon the approach they've taken to previous MyCAREER stories, and determining which has been the best.

We've had five MyCAREER stories in NBA 2K at this point, enough to rate and rank in a Friday Five countdown. In ranking the stories, I'm taking into account the overall quality of the narrative, the likeability of the characters (including the MyPLAYER protagonist), the impact on the gameplay experience, and how well the approach fits with the RPG elements of MyCAREER. As always, please keep in mind that this is just my take, and I certainly invite you to share your rankings in the comments section below. With that being said, let's tip off the countdown with number five.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Pet Peeves (I Can't Justify)

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:27 pm

October 27th: 5 Basketball Gaming Pet Peeves (I Can't Justify)

When it comes to basketball gaming, we all have our major and minor complaints. Major complaints encompass issues that significantly affect our enjoyment of a game, and if it's an obvious design flaw, a lot of gamers are probably going to share the same view. Minor complaints, on the other hand, may not be as broad. They tend to be more a matter of personal preference, and there's likely to be more disagreement as to their importance. Beyond that, we have pet peeves, which tend to come across as being far pettier and nitpicky.

That is the nature of pet peeves, of course. They're things that are that non-issues or mild annoyances at worst to most other people, but for whatever reason, greatly bother us personally. To that end, you might suggest that most pet peeves are difficult to justify, even though they can certainly be based upon understandable and logical reasoning. However, the pet peeves that I'm discussing today are tough to justify beyond my own personal preference, and in some cases, I would have to admit that they're largely inconsequential. They do bug me all the same though, so without any further ado, here are five of my pettiest pet peeves in basketball gaming.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Pet Peeves (I Can't Justify)

Postby [Q] on Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:24 am

Oh man ordering by team name really irritates me. Obviously because of NBA live, I am very familiar with the alphabetical order of city names. Ordering by team name takes a bit more thought as the team name comes second to the city name.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Pet Peeves (I Can't Justify)

Postby Andrew on Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:33 am

Good to know I'm not the only one, then! That's a fair rationale, too.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Still Active in Games After Their Careers Ended

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:13 pm

November 3rd: 5 Players Still Active in Games After Their Careers Ended

The rosters in basketball video games are, quite obviously, affected by events that occur in the real NBA. With strange and unfortunate twists of fate, as well as other unusual circumstances, video game rosters can quickly become outdated, or contain other oddities. I discussed the unusual situation with Michael Redd in NBA Live 2003 in last week's Wayback Wednesday, as it was a particularly rare curiosity. A more common phenomenon is the continued appearance of players in the active rosters of basketball games, a year or more after they've played their final game. That's what I'm taking a look at today.

Keep in mind that I'm not talking about players who have simply remained playable in video games after their retirement. With all the historical content in Ultimate Team and MyTEAM, as well as the extensive roster of retro teams in NBA 2K, there are obviously a lot of retired players who are still in the games. I'm also not counting appearances on the previous season's All-Star squads in the default rosters. This is a list of players who, for one reason or another, remained in the active rosters of video games after their careers came to an end in real life. These players facilitated a few "What If?" scenarios, and at times, made maintaining roster updates a little tricky.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Still Active in Games After Their Careers Ended

Postby [Q] on Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:28 am

It was a bit eerie to see Jason Collier's face after he had passed. Going back to older games it is a bit sad to see guys like lorenzen Wright who you know are no longer with us
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Still Active in Games After Their Careers Ended

Postby Andrew on Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:23 am

I know what you mean. It's kind of like going back and watching old WWE/WWF events. There are some Wrestlemania matches from the early 90s where most or all of the participants are now gone.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players & Their Forgotten Final Seasons

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:07 pm

November 10th: 5 Players & Their Forgotten Final Seasons

Not all NBA players get a big send-off, or season-long retirement tour. Even if they were big stars at one point, some players end up spending their latter part of their careers in relative obscurity. There are many causes of that phenomenon, from injuries and basketball-related reasons to unfortunate personal problems. Whatever the case may be, for some fallen stars, it's easy to forget the brief stints they had with certain teams towards the end of their careers. Indeed, it sometimes comes as a surprise when you look back and realise how long their careers lasted, or how recently they retired.

You'll often come to those realisations when you fire up old basketball video games. When I cover those older titles for features such as Wayback Wednesday, I'm not only reminded of the experiences I had with those games, but of what the league looked like at the time. Old games serve as a time capsule for seasons gone by, making them effective reminders of the often overlooked later seasons of many players' careers. For this week's Friday Five, I'm taking a look back at the forgotten final seasons of five players who were big names at one point, but became somewhat overlooked as their careers wound down.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Thoughts As Space Jam Turns 21

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:04 pm

November 17th: 5 Thoughts As Space Jam Turns 21

Hey, everyone who grew up in the 90s! Want to feel old? A couple of days ago, it was twenty-one years since Space Jam was released in theatres. Yes, really! Time does indeed keep on slipping into the future. In retrospect, I should've covered Space Jam for this week's Wayback Wednesday, as it fell on the actual anniversary of the film's release, November 15th. However, I completely spaced on that (no pun intended), and I've also wanted to revisit NBA Jam Tournament Edition for a while, so I did end up overlooking an obvious opportunity. As such, I'm making up for that with a bit of additional retro content for this week's Friday Five.

Even if you weren't around in 1996, chances are that you've seen, or at least heard of, Space Jam. The plot basically has some fun with Michael Jordan's stint playing baseball, suggesting that he was inspired to return to the hardwood after helping Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes defeat a group of aliens who had stolen the talent of five NBA players: Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing, and Shawn Bradley. It's popular and silly, often criticised, and also the highest grossing basketball movie of all-time. It even spawned a video game, which is also worth talking about. So, let's take a look back...way back...in five points.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Little Details Basketball Games Have Nailed

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:09 pm

November 24th: 5 Little Details Basketball Games Have Nailed

It bears repeating that it's alright to criticise basketball games. As I've previously discussed, and will no doubt touch upon again in the future, it's something that gaming communities can easily forget. Any gaming community that censors and discourages criticism is doing a disservice to the games that they're interested in, and ultimately, themselves as consumers. Constructive criticism should always be encouraged over nastiness and abuse, but we must remember that it's OK to point out the things that we dislike, while also discussing the elements that we enjoy.

By the same token, of course, it's also fine to take a break from criticising the aspects of basketball games that we don't like, to marvel at the things we do enjoy about them. In that regard, it's quite often the little things that really make the experience. Basketball games have come a long way, and while improvements to graphics, AI, controls, and so forth are often more readily apparent, there are a lot of concepts and smaller details that are very impressive in their own right. They may be subtle, but often contribute that extra bit of authenticity to the overall experience. Here are five examples of little details that basketball games have really nailed in recent years.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Quietest Additions in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:25 pm

December 1st: 5 Quietest Additions in Basketball Games

Not all additions to basketball games receive a big announcement and a lot of fanfare, be they a brand new feature, or content pushed through during the season. As demonstrated just last week, new content in particular can be added very quietly. Of course, when it comes to the preview season, both EA Sports and Visual Concepts do tend to go to much greater lengths to inform us about new additions to NBA Live and NBA 2K. It stands to reason, as along with improvements to existing features, any exciting new additions are strong selling points that are likely to move units.

With that being said, even during the preview season, there are additions that seem to fly under the radar. There are a few reasons as to why this may happen. A long time ago, the preview season wasn't as comprehensive and in-depth as it is now. There's also oversight, and underestimation of a feature's appeal. Alternatively, something may be kept under wraps to keep it a surprise, though this runs the risk of wasting a good selling point. Some additions may be kept quiet to avoid potential controversy. Whatever the case may be, there have been several additions to basketball games that have had little to no hype or promotion. Let's look at five of them.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Most Useless Features in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:50 pm

December 8th: 5 Most Useless Features in Basketball Games

We've come to expect a significant amount of depth in basketball video games, not only in terms of the modes and gameplay, but also features and functionality. Be they big or small, glamorous or mundane, frequently used or just handy to have when we need them, there are numerous features and functions that go a long way in providing a well-rounded basketball gaming experience. And then, there are the features that aren't so useful. Of course, usefulness can be subjective. If you enjoy outfitting your player in different clothing, for example, you'll find that feature a lot more useful than someone who has no interest in that aspect of the career modes.

Taking a look at features of questionable usefulness, some are good ideas that just haven't been executed well, while others are pointless at best. Certain features have seen their usefulness decline over time, either due to neglect or redundancy. Whatever the case may be, sometimes you'll see a feature or function in a basketball video game, and wonder why the developers spent any time implementing it. Other times, you may wish that they spent a little more time on a feature, in order to make it more worthwhile. Without any further ado, here are five features that we've seen in basketball games - past and present - that I would rank among the most useless.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Most Useless Features in Basketball Games

Postby [Q] on Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:26 am

Your talk of promotional videos made me miss the halftime show videos, which I found particularly interesting as a teenager :lol:
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Most Useless Features in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:47 am

Covered that in Wayback Wednesday some time back. And of course, they are on our YouTube channel. ;)
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Abruptly Left the NBA

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:06 pm

December 15th: 5 Players Who Abruptly Left the NBA

Not all NBA players receive a big send-off when they call it a career. Farewell tours are generally reserved for future Hall of Famers, and even then, that's something that only happens when a player makes a definitive declaration that the current season will be their last. Even when a player leaves the NBA without a big announcement or much fanfare, it isn't necessarily a surprise. If they're getting on in years and have already enjoyed a lengthy career, there's usually no mystery as to why they've decided to hang it up, and are no longer a fixture after being around for so many years.

And then, there are the players who appear to leave the NBA quite abruptly and without any kind of statement, even when they seem to have several seasons left in them. Some quietly go overseas to play, or officially retire a few years later, but whatever the case, they'll fail to latch on with a team and then that will be the last we'll ever see of them in the NBA. While that's inevitable given the limited amount of roster spots and the constant influx of new talent, we are left wondering what happened when prominent players seemingly just disappear. Here are five such players whose NBA careers came to a rather abrupt halt.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Abruptly Left the NBA

Postby [Q] on Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:51 am

What about Sprewell? He went from capable nba player to being lowballed by Glen Taylor and needing to feed his family
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Abruptly Left the NBA

Postby Andrew on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:59 am

I guess Sprewell didn't really come to mind because his departure from the league is well-documented. I mean, Michael Jordan also left the league quite abruptly in 1993, but there wasn't too much of a mystery to it (persistent conspiracy theories aside). I was more going for players who just sort of abruptly disappeared, rather than those who left with a big announcement or a well-known reason.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Best Modes in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:44 pm

December 22nd: 5 Best Modes in Basketball Games

With the holiday season upon us and Christmas just a few days away, I'm in good spirits, and I hope that you all are, too. Generally speaking, I like to mix up the topics and tone of The Friday Five, alternating between celebration, critique, interesting trivia, and thoughtful discussion of basketball video games. With this being the season of goodwill, I'm definitely in the mood to talk about something more positive in regards to basketball gaming. After all, I'm sure that many of us will be hitting the virtual hardwood whenever we can over the next few weeks, sinking hours into our favourite game modes.

As such, this week I'm offering up my picks for the best modes in basketball gaming to date. Not to harp too much on something I've said many times before, but while the gameplay experience is paramount, deep modes are what keep us hooked on a game until the next one comes out (and sometimes, even beyond that). It's hard to pick just five, as there have been some exceptional modes in basketball games over the years, each catering to different tastes. I've personally had fun with a variety of modes throughout several releases, and I know that many of you can say the same. I would nominate these five modes as being the best of the bunch, in no particular order.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Abruptly Left the NBA

Postby [Q] on Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:07 pm

Andrew wrote:I guess Sprewell didn't really come to mind because his departure from the league is well-documented. I mean, Michael Jordan also left the league quite abruptly in 1993, but there wasn't too much of a mystery to it (persistent conspiracy theories aside). I was more going for players who just sort of abruptly disappeared, rather than those who left with a big announcement or a well-known reason.

What about Ron mercer
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Best Modes in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:39 pm

His career definitely just petered out.
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Re: The Friday Five: 2017 Year in Review

Postby Andrew on Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:57 pm

December 29th: 2017 Year in Review

It's the final Friday of 2017, which means we've also reached the final Friday Five of the year. As we've mused several times on the NLSC Podcast, the year seems to have just flown by, and it seems like only yesterday that I was writing the Year in Review for 2016, as well as our traditional New Year's greetings. Either we're all getting older, or we've just had a lot of fun over the past twelve months. Nevertheless, I'm going to assume that my calendar is correct, which means it's time to look back at the year that was here at the NLSC.

2017 was another eventful year across the board, especially as we had three new games to play. Those releases had their highs and lows, with a little bit of controversy and a couple of surprising additions along the way. In our community, we saw a lot of great mods released for games new and old, and some interesting discussions take place in the NLSC Forum. We maintained our regular schedule of original content throughout the year - for the most part - and managed to cover some topics that have been on the To Do list for some time. We're looking forward to our 22nd year in operation in 2018, but before that, let's take a look back at what happened in 2017.
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Re: The Friday Five: Top 5 Legends Needed in NBA 2K

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:40 pm

January 5th: Top 5 Legends Needed in NBA 2K

There's no denying that the NBA 2K series has done some incredible things with its historical content over the past eight years. Beginning with the Jordan Challenge and NBA's Greatest, and continuing with the addition of several more historical squads including the 1992 Dream Team, we've had the opportunity to indulge our nostalgia, as well as play out so many Past vs. Present scenarios on the virtual hardwood. The presence of so many Legends has also unquestionably benefitted MyTEAM, allowing us to put together some amazing fantasy squads that are a lot of fun to play with.

Of course, it's difficult for Visual Concepts to achieve complete accuracy when it comes to the historical content in NBA 2K. Unlike current players, who are all covered by the licensing agreement with the NBA Players Association, Legends are not automatically licensed to be included in video games. Several Legends - or in the case of Legends who have passed away, their estate - have retained the rights to their likenesses, and for one reason or another, have declined to appear in the games. Obviously that's a legal barrier that needs to be cleared, but assuming it's possible, here are the Top 5 Legends that need to be added to NBA 2K's historical teams.
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Re: The Friday Five: Top 5 Legends Needed in NBA 2K

Postby [Q] on Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:26 am

Is Webber in the game now? I remember he was a popular request
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Re: The Friday Five: Top 5 Legends Needed in NBA 2K

Postby Andrew on Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:39 am

Chris Webber's in the game on the 2002 Kings, and All-Time Kings roster. Otherwise I'd definitely put him in the Top 5 over Mase.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things a New NBA Jam Needs to Have

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:55 pm

January 12th: 5 Things a New NBA Jam Needs to Have

Tim Kitzrow's Tweet confirming that a deal for a new NBA Jam is "in the works" comes as promising news for those of us who love the long-running arcade basketball game series. While we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves until a new game is officially announced, it's good to hear that EA Sports apparently has interest in making further use of the trademark. The 2010 reboot was a solid and somewhat underrated game, maligned due to its association with NBA Elite 11. On Fire Edition meanwhile was one of the best, if not the best, arcade hoops titles released to date.

It's been over six years since OFE came out though, and while it was nice to get a new arcade game in the form of Saber Interactive's NBA Playgrounds, we need a Jam for the current generation. Hopefully a deal will get done and a new game will be in the pipeline, but if that happens, there are a few things it will need to have. The downside of NBA Playgrounds is that it's light on features, and in some respects, old school in a way that doesn't hold up. A new NBA Jam game needs to avoid those shortcomings, as well as some problems that have presented themselves over the course of its own lineage. Here are a few suggestions on how that could be achieved.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things a New NBA Jam Needs to Have

Postby [Q] on Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:03 am

I completely agree with needing subs. It adds a bit of strategy to the game, otherwise I'm just picking the 2 players that happen to be rated the best on the team.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things a New NBA Jam Needs to Have

Postby Andrew on Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:07 am

Exactly. I liked having a choice of players in Jam 2010 and OFE, obviously, but there was rarely an incentive to sub (and I don't recall the CPU ever doing so, either). Add some sort of injury or fatigue system, and you'll need to manage your duo well so that you've got them for the fourth quarter. It also means you get to play with more players, because at some point you'll likely have to...unless you're really good at avoiding being knocked down or conserving energy. That'd be hard to do and win, I'd imagine, but that right there could be another challenge.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Filmmakers Who Should Write MyCAREER Stories

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:55 pm

January 19th: 5 Filmmakers Who Should Write MyCAREER Stories

Ah, MyCAREER stories. While I've gone on record several times saying that I'm not a big fan of the concept, I also believe there's a way that they could be done better in future games. Basically, it comes down to having more story branching options, and perhaps even a couple of different starting points. A wider variety of dialogue options and meaningful choices would really enhance the role playing aspect of MyCAREER, as well as provide an opportunity for everyone to have a more unique experience. If there's going to be a story, let the gameplay drive it, and simply use the cutscenes and other elements as added flavour.

The underlying narrative and its characters should also be solid. In that respect, NBA 2K18's MyCAREER mode has been, to be blunt, a big disappointment. From the somewhat absurd background of DJ to the multitude of annoying and unlikeable characters (again, looking at you, B Fresh), this year's story has been grating. It's felt like a step backwards from NBA 2K17, which was written and directed by Creed's Aaron Covington. Bringing in a Hollywood screenwriter again might help in NBA 2K19 and beyond, but who should Visual Concepts work with? Just for fun, here are five filmmakers whose take on MyCAREER might be interesting to say the least.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things NBA Live 19 Needs To Have

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:58 pm

January 26th: 5 Things NBA Live 19 Needs To Have

Wishlist season is upon us, so we're currently collecting constructive feedback to send along to the development team at EA Tiburon! As always, one of our goals with the Wishlist is to prioritise our feedback, so that the team has a good idea of what we most want to see fixed, improved, and added in the next edition of NBA Live. I'm currently working on my list, and I encourage everyone to start posting their ideas as soon as possible. NBA Live 19 is already in pre-production, so the sooner we submit our Wishlist, the more likely it is to have a positive impact on this year's game.

To get the ball rolling, and to give you an idea of what I feel are the most pressing issues as we look ahead to NBA Live 19, I've decided to compile a list of the five things I believe the game needs to have. Opinions will certainly vary, which is why we have the Wishlist to get a good cross-section of what the community wants, but basically, I'd describe these as the five areas where significant improvements will help NBA Live take the next step. NBA Live 18 was a reasonably successful comeback for the series, but to stay on the right path and take the game to the next level, this is an overview of what I feel the development team should focus on.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things NBA 2K19 Needs To Have

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:25 pm

February 2nd: 5 Things NBA 2K19 Needs To Have

As I mentioned last week, Wishlist season is upon us. These days, we don't just collect feedback for NBA Live, but also the NBA 2K series as well. Our NBA 2K19 Wishlist topic is open for constructive feedback, which we'll be looking to pass along to the development team at Visual Concepts as soon as possible. As with NBA Live 19, NBA 2K19 is already in pre-production, so it's important that we get our Wishlist in as soon as possible, in order for it to have the best chance of making a positive impact on this year's game from 2K Sports.

While it's impossible to compile a comprehensive Wishlist in just five points, I do have some ideas about what I'd like the general areas of focus to be for NBA 2K19. I certainly don't pretend to speak for all basketball gamers - as I said last week, our Wishlist itself is intended to get a good cross-section of what the community wants - but having spent a considerable amount of time with NBA 2K18, and the series in general over the past six or seven years, I do believe that I have some suggestions that would benefit NBA 2K19. While the game is obviously wildly successful, I also feel that there's ample room for these technological and conceptual improvements.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things NBA 2K19 Needs To Have

Postby Daex on Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:11 pm

Hi Andrew. I have trouble understanding why are you jumping on a bandwagon with incorrect facts about Good release. The issue at hand is recognized widely among people who actually understand how the system works to be visual only. Good releases are NOT worse than slightly late/early. It is NOT beneficial to aim for slightly early/late to reach higher %. The confusion stems from the fact that "Good" releases are more or less "Excellent" releases that game decided you will miss. Detailed analysis is provided by 2k Labs, where this is proven by the fact when you have absolutely perfect timing every single time, number of "Good" shots that will go in is 0. If you in fact try to aim for slightly early/late, you will hit significantly less shots than if you were aiming for good/perfect.

I honestly don't see how can anyone who understands the mechanic think that there is something wrong with it. If there weren't such mechanic in place, theoretically you could learn Ben Wallace's release perfectly and shoot 100% from 3pt line with him. Game prevents this, by saying on some of your "Excellent" shots - "Sorry, you can't hit all your 3pt shots" and tells you "Good".

The problem is in perception and communication, I personally believe best resolution is to remove "Excellent" release altogether (or "Good" ones, it's all the same). If all "Excellent" shots were simply called "Good" too, you wouldn't notice this perceived "problem".

Now there's a separate argument to be had about competitive skill floor/ceiling versus simulation, but I don't think outside of deeply competitive modes such as this e-league thing (and maybe not even there) that we will ever see all perfectly timed shots going in again.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things NBA 2K19 Needs To Have

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:34 pm

I do actually get the mechanics. I just don't think it's the best solution.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Worst Classic Teams in NBA 2K

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:02 pm

February 9th: 5 Worst Classic Teams in NBA 2K

Since being added as part of the Jordan Challenge back in NBA 2K11, classic teams have become a staple of the NBA 2K series. Although they aren't necessarily a focal point of the games, it's gotten to the point where they aren't thought of as being bonus content, but an essential feature. The selection of classic teams has grown from ten Chicago Bulls squads and their opponents to a variety of memorable teams from the 60s through to the modern era. Squads include champions, their Finals opponents, and an assortment of other teams of note. We now even have All-Time teams to play with.

However, some of the classic teams are puzzling inclusions. That's not to say they're bad teams - it's not as though Visual Concepts have seen fit to include the 1973 76ers or 2012 Bobcats - but they lack the appeal of other retro squads. In the case of some classic teams, the specific season has been an odd choice, or the loss of likeness rights and subsequent removal of players has rendered them far less appealing. Whatever the case may be, these classic teams are prime candidates to be removed, or replaced with more interesting squads whose rosters may be more complete. Without any further ado, here are my picks for the five worst classic teams in NBA 2K.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 2)

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:55 pm

February 16th: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 2)

Since I talked about some of the worst classic teams to be included in NBA 2K in last week's Friday Five, it only makes sense to switch focus to some of the retro teams that I'd like to see in future games. There are quite a number of old teams that would be fun to play with in NBA 2K, and indeed, I posted five I was hoping to see added way back in August 2016. As it happened, a couple of the teams I mentioned have since made their way into the game (along with one from around the same era), so it seems that we should never say "never".

As such, this is part two of what will probably end up being a series of articles on the retro teams that I'd like to see added in future NBA 2K games. While some teams are sadly unlikely due to an inability to license specific players, I'm making my picks based on the assumption that Visual Concepts would be able to find a way to come to terms with them. After all, it's a list of teams I'd like to see in the game, not strictly a list of teams I think we feasibly could see. With that out of the way, and considering that I'd still like to see my previous suggestions added, let's take a look at five more retro teams that I'd like to see in NBA 2K's roster.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Underrated Basketball Video Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:40 pm

February 23rd: 5 Underrated Basketball Video Games

Underrated and overrated are tricky terms, often used very much subjectively. They suggest that the majority view is incorrect, which may certainly be the case, but can also indicate a strongly held minority view that isn't without its own bias. Basically, whenever the matter of something being overrated or underrated is discussed, we need to ask "by whom?" After all, if the consensus is that someone or something is in fact underrated or overrated, then technically, they cease to be either. Indeed, that's when someone or something that's underrated can become overrated, and vice versa.

Discussions about semantics aside, it's certainly possible to give too little credit and overlook, or to give too much credit and overhype. We're looking at the former today, with a list of five underrated basketball video games. Now, that's not to say that these titles haven't received any acclaim at all, or that they've never been popular. However, either due to certain controversies or other games that were released in the same era, they're not ranked or rated as highly as they perhaps should be; at least in my opinion. As always, keep in mind that this is intended to start the discussion, not stand as a definitive list. With that being said, let's get to the Five!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Underrated Basketball Video Games

Postby [Q] on Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:01 am

I actually don't mind having recent classic teams unless if their roster is still largely intact today. Doing a 73-9 warriors team would be interesting but it's pretty similar to the current tram while we are far enough removed from say the 2013 grizzlies to where you can say oh yeah I remember when Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, and Rudy gay teamed up with gasol and conley
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Underrated Basketball Video Games

Postby Dee4Three on Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:22 am

I agree with Q about relatively recent classic teams as long as they are intact. However, it shouldn't take away from the appropriate teams that should be added from the past (Like them choosing the 84-85 76ers over the 82-83 76ers), and other odd choices. I'd rather them get the gameplay down, though.

Andrew, you should do an article on the Double Dribble reboot that came out for Sega Genesis. While it didn't have real players, the gameplay was pretty appealing. It lacked in modes as well. But, I actually enjoyed the game.

Another good one would be Dick Vitales Awesome Baby College Basketball, which took the camera view for NCAA Basketball ((From behind, with no crowd). It actually players pretty well for it's time.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Underrated Basketball Video Games

Postby Andrew on Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:52 am

That's the thing, though. There are still some players missing from those recent teams. I do get the reasons for adding them, but some just feel like filler.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Underrated Features in the NBA Live Series

Postby Andrew on Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:47 pm

March 2nd: 5 Underrated Features in the NBA Live Series

As we compile our Wishlist for NBA Live 19, it's important that we focus on the big features and the most pressing issues with the game. The most significant fixes and improvements to the experience will come through the development team focusing on the key aspects of controls, strategy, AI, authenticity, options, functionality, and the game modes. In other words, the most desirable changes and additions will be to the core elements of the gameplay, and the game's biggest features. We don't want EA to focus on inconsequential details. For example, fluid, realistic gameplay and a deep Franchise mode make a difference; the colour of the menus does not.

However, sometimes the little things go a long way in enhancing the experience, and making NBA Live more fun. When compiling a Wishlist, it's crucial that we point out those features as well, and how they can get better. To that end, I've been thinking about some of the features in previous NBA Live games that kind of fly under the radar, and are perhaps somewhat underrated. They may not be the flashiest features, or absolutely essential to the core experience, but if nothing else, they're good ideas that I'd like to see return or retained in future NBA Live titles. Here are five such underrated features that the NBA Live series has had at one time or another.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Underrated Features in the NBA 2K Series

Postby Andrew on Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:57 pm

March 9th: 5 Underrated Features in the NBA 2K Series

Following on from last week's column, which looked at five features of the NBA Live series that could be considered underrated, I'm now taking a look at NBA 2K. Visual Concepts' series of sim-oriented basketball video games has received a lot of praise over the past decade, and for good reason. The NBA 2K series has earned a lot of critical acclaim and sold millions of copies on the strength of its gameplay, deep game modes, and overall attention to detail. Even though we have our criticisms, NBA 2K has definitely had its strong points that are well-known and enthusiastically praised.

As I said last week, however, it's often the little things that really make the basketball gaming experience special. The big features are important and they're obviously what sell the games, but the smaller details often provide enhancements in many areas, be it greater accessibility or fun ways to play the game. At the same time, there are features that aren't necessarily small, but still somewhat overlooked, or just not given their due for how enjoyable, helpful, or innovative they are. With that being said, here are five of the more underrated features in the NBA 2K series. Hopefully, the ones that are absent from recent releases can be implemented again at some point.
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Re: The Friday Five: My Top 5 Favourite NBA 2K Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:11 pm

March 16th: My Top 5 Favourite NBA 2K Games

In the five years that I've been writing The Friday Five, I've covered a lot of topics. I'm always thinking of what to write about next, and when some topics come to mind, it occurs to me how I should've discussed them a long time ago. Such is the case with today's column, which is a countdown of my Top 5 favourite games in the NBA 2K series. I covered my Top 5 favourite games in the NBA Live series almost three years ago, so it's about time I compiled a similar list for NBA 2K. I've admittedly changed my mind a little in regards to my top NBA 2K games, while my list for NBA Live does remain the same as of now.

As always, I have to stress that this countdown is a list of personal Top 5 favourites. It isn't meant to be an unbiased, definitive list of the five best games in the series so far. These rankings are influenced by my own enjoyment and overall satisfaction with each release, not just an evaluation of their quality. It's a list that's intended to start the conversation, not end it. If you disagree, that's fine; it'll be interesting to compare notes in the comments section once I've finished having my say. Without any further ado, these are my Top 5 favourite games in the NBA 2K series, at least as of March 2018.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Reasons We Still Need Offline Content

Postby Andrew on Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:49 pm

March 23rd: 5 Reasons We Still Need Offline Content

It's no secret that basketball video games have been placing more and more focus on their online experiences. Whether it's new content being pushed through for single and multiplayer challenges, head-to-head showdowns, or modes that allow you to team up with friends and take on other squads, online content has become a big part of basketball gaming. It's an area where NBA Live and NBA 2K will continue to expand and innovate, and with the popularity of online multiplayer gaming, as well as a desire for dynamic experiences, it's vital that both titles do just that.

Unfortunately, the focus on the online aspects of NBA Live and NBA 2K can leave the offline experience out in the cold. While some gamers may suggest that its time has past anyway, I don't think that's true. As much as NBA Live and NBA 2K need to follow the current trends and provide appealing online modes and content, the offline portion of the game should not be ignored. Offline single player modes and content still have their place in basketball video games, so it's important that they aren't ignored moving forward. If EA and 2K need to justify spending time on those areas, here are five reasons why we still need offline content.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Annoying Stats Bugs in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:13 pm

March 30th: 5 Annoying Stats Bugs in Basketball Games

Stats in basketball video games are perhaps just as important as they are in the real NBA. Sure, we want to see life-like animations, realistic strategy, and play games that feel good on the sticks, but accurate scores and statistics are a major factor in having as much realism as possible in a sim-oriented title. Even if you're a gamer who takes a more casual approach to the accuracy of simulated and user-generated stats, chances are you're interested in the stat-tracking aspect of basketball games, especially if you enjoy putting up big numbers on the virtual hardwood.

Unfortunately for gamers who care about stats one way another - whether it's posting huge numbers every game, or enjoying a realistic style of gameplay with more true-to-life performances - various games have featured annoying bugs related to the in-game statistics. From undesirable sim engine results to errors with stat tracking and displays, these glitches have adversely affected some aspect of the numbers that are accumulated on the virtual hardwood. Be it a lack of accuracy or just a feeling of accomplishment that you feel cheated out of, here are five of the most annoying stats bugs that have been encountered in basketball video games.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Annoying Stats Bugs in Basketball Games

Postby Dee4Three on Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:14 am

The most annoying one for me is...

Up until 2K12, they didn't count rebounds off of blocks. In the NBA, that's always been the rule.

So if Anthony Davis gets a block, and the ball is picked up by Jrue Holiday, that's a rebound for Jrue because it's still recovering the ball off of an attempted shot.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Could Be On Multiple All-Time Teams

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:26 pm

April 6th: 5 Players Who Could Be On Multiple All-Time Teams

Despite a couple of omissions, the All-Time squads were a very welcome addition in NBA 2K18. I'm hoping that those teams will remain in the game moving forward, as they provide an opportunity to play with a variety of retro players who don't have their own historical squads. I also hope that players such as Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, and Reggie Miller can be included at some point. Their omission has led to the inclusion of some less than ideal players on the All-Time teams, including a few active players who are certainly good, but lack the same historical significance.

It's not just the absence of a few big names that makes some of the active players on the All-Time teams stick out like a sore thumb, however. There are historical players already in the game that could feasibly appear on a couple of other All-Time squads, replacing active players who aren't stars of the same magnitude. While it could be argued that they didn't have as big of an impact with those teams, or that their stints were too short, some All-Time teams do include players who had a very short tenure with them. With that in mind, here are five players who are not currently on multiple All-Time teams, but I believe could and should be.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Unlucky Moments in Modding

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:38 pm

April 13th: 5 Unlucky Moments in Modding

With apologies once again to anyone who suffers from paraskevidekatriaphobia, it's Friday the 13th today, which means it's time for another Friday Five column talking about unlucky moments! I've been writing the Friday Five for a few years now, and in that time, we've had more than a couple of Friday the 13ths. In previous columns, I've discussed my favourite number thirteens, unlucky moments in basketball games (as well as a few of my own examples in that regard), and unlucky moments from NBA history, including one that actually took place on the date in question.

Of course, a big part of basketball gaming in our community is the hobby of modding, and it certainly has its unlucky moments as well. I've previously discussed one of my unluckiest moments in modding, but there are definitely more examples that I could name. I'm sure that a lot of modders have experienced at least one of these moments at one time or another, leading to them kicking themselves and cursing out their bad luck. If there's one upside to such unfortunate moments though, it's that they can be learning experiences, albeit very frustrating ones. Without any further ado, here are five unlucky moments in modding!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Improvements Both NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Need

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:26 pm

April 20th: 5 Improvements Both NBA Live 19 & NBA 2K19 Need

The NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 Wishlists that we've submitted, in my opinion, comprehensively cover the most important suggestions for fixes, enhancements, and additions for both games. Each game has its own list of improvements that we're hoping to see added in the next release; for NBA Live 19, I would suggest that it comes down to further polish to gameplay and more depth to modes. NBA 2K19, on the other hand, needs a slight course correction after some missteps in NBA 2K18. With that being said, while the games have their own issues, there are currently some that are common to both series, and areas in which they can both improve.

Please note that I'm not suggesting that these are necessarily the most important issues that must be addressed in both NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19. As I said, our Wishlists demonstrate that both games have a long laundry list of things that can be added or enhanced, and several are specific to one series or the other. Indeed, I've already discussed some of the specific things that NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 need to have in previous Friday Five columns. These are just areas where both games have some common problems and room for improvements, though the respective solutions may differ slightly. With that being said, let's get to the first item on the list.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Reasons Playoffs Mode is Essential

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:49 pm

April 27th: 5 Reasons Playoffs Mode is Essential

The 2018 Playoffs are well underway, with one second round match-up already set and all other first round series currently on the brink of being decided. The race for the Larry O'Brien trophy is kicking into high gear, with most of us having fun either cheering on teams and players that we like, or cheering against the ones that we don't. I'm sure that quite a few gamers are replicating the excitement of the postseason on the virtual hardwood, having reached that point in modes like MyLEAGUE, MyGM, Franchise, or MyCAREER, or alternatively playing through a standalone tournament in Playoffs mode.

Of course, while it's long been a staple of NBA video games, the standalone Playoffs mode has been left out of several titles. Despite the Playoffs being the only mode of play in NBA Live's forerunner, the aptly titled NBA Playoffs series, it's been missing from several of EA Sports' subsequent hoops titles, including NBA Live 18. It was also dropped from a few games in the NBA 2K series, but fortunately it's currently available as an option in the MyGM/MyLEAGUE menu. While other modes may be more popular - and let's face it, bigger money earners - it's essential that a standalone Playoffs mode remains in NBA 2K, and returns in future NBA Live games.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 3)

Postby Andrew on Fri May 04, 2018 8:35 pm

May 4th: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 3)

With a large roster of retro teams already in NBA 2K, you'd think it might be tough to suggest new squads to include. A lot of the obvious teams are already in the game, as Visual Concepts has managed to license a lot of the great championship teams, their opponents, and other prominent and successful squads. It's getting to the point where they are adding some more unorthodox but still interesting teams to the game, which opens up the door for some potentially unusual suggestions. With that in mind, there are quite a few NBA Legends who could be celebrated with squads that would make fun and intriguing additions to the selection of retro teams in NBA 2K.

Please note that as per the title of this column, this is Part 3 in an ingoing series where I list the retro teams that I'd like to see in NBA 2K. While not all of the teams that I mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 have been added to the game, I've already discussed them, and my desire to see them in NBA 2K still stands. I'm looking to discuss a new list of retro teams each time, so in no way do my latest picks cancel out the ones that I've previously mentioned. I'm also making these suggestions under the assumption that Visual Concepts will be able to license most (if not all) of the key players, though in many cases, they're already in the game. With that being said, let's get to the list!
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