Monday Tip-Off: Why We Pretend & Defend Games

Talk about the NLSC Podcast, Monday Tip-Off, Wayback Wednesday, The Friday Five, and the Top 10 Plays of the Week! This is also a section for NLSC and community announcements, and other site-related topics.

Re: Monday Tip-Off: The Preview Season Sucks (And It Won't Change)

Postby Andrew on Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:07 pm

Monday Tip-Off: The Preview Season Sucks (And It Won't Change)

Yeah, I said it. I suppose I could've said it more eloquently. I could have said that the preview season has become a monumental annual disappointment. It would be more poetic to say that the preview season was once more like a succulent banquet that we couldn't wait to feast upon, but is now an unappetising meal that leaves us wanting so much more. There's a multitude of flowery adjectives and colourful similes that I could use to make my point here, but sometimes, blunter is better. And to be blunt, the preview season for basketball games now sucks.

It's been that way for a while, but it feels as though it's plumbing new depths. We're less than a month away from the release of NBA 2K22, and there's been barely any news, and seemingly even less excitement and hype. Granted, there are things in the world that are more important than a basketball video game, but that's always been the case, and escapism is a prized commodity right now. Unfortunately, a combination of relative silence and growing frustration within the basketball gaming community has turned what was once an exciting part of the year into a dull march to the release date. I hate that many of us have become so cynical and unenthused, but it's not our fault.
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Re: Monday Tip-Off: New Millennium Nostalgia

Postby Andrew on Mon Aug 23, 2021 4:28 pm

Monday Tip-Off: New Millennium Nostalgia

Although I've still got a number of very old titles I'd like to cover in my Wayback Wednesday features, at some point, I will have talked about almost all of the classics. Of course, they can be revisited in new and interesting ways, but eventually I'll have covered all of the really old basketball games that I feasibly can. However, the beauty of Wayback Wednesday is that as time moves on, everything becomes "wayback" relative to the present, and people start feeling nostalgic for a new era. As such, there'll always be something to talk about in Wayback Wednesday.

With that being said, just last year I wrote an article pondering the future of basketball gaming nostalgia. At the time, I wondered if basketball gamers would continue to feel nostalgic as the years went by. As I mentioned in that article, there is somewhat of a backlash against nostalgia in recent times, and it isn't something that everybody likes to indulge in. Almost a year and a half later, I'm seeing answers to questions that I raised in that article. I'm noticing more and more nostalgia for games that came out in the new millennium, in addition to trailblazing classics from the 80s and 90s. It's not just younger gamers who are feeling it either, as I find myself partaking in it, too.
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Re: Monday Tip-Off: Reviewing New Basketball Game

Postby Andrew on Mon Aug 30, 2021 2:22 pm

Monday Tip-Off: Reviewing New Basketball Game

In the interests of transparency, I've toyed around with the idea of writing an article like this for some time. However, after reading this delightfully meta piece over on Kotaku, I believe that it's only fair that I should credit it for inspiring me to actually go through with it. Besides, it's not as though I invited parody or satire. As it stands, The Friday Five is, shall we say, "heavily inspired" by the format of Cracked's articles (or BuzzFeed, or anyone else producing "listicle" content, I suppose). My Wayback Wednesday feature shares its name with a popular social media hashtag.

The point is that I cannot claim one hundred percent originality in my content. Of course, that's only appropriate when I discuss the approach that so many influencers and video game journalists have towards reviewing the New Basketball Game every year. So many basketball game reviews are copy and paste fare, though again, some might argue that it's apt given the genre. They seldom demonstrate insight into the sport - real or virtual - and neglect the nagging legacy issues that ardent basketball gamers want to know about. So many reviews are puff pieces and glorified press releases. I don't share them anymore, because they all sound something like this.
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Re: Monday Tip-Off: Vanilla Basketball Gaming

Postby Andrew on Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:53 pm

Monday Tip-Off: Vanilla Basketball Gaming

Over the years, there are two initiatives within our community that have gone a long way in improving the basketball gaming experience after a title is released: modding, and slider tweaks. Mods have added missing content, created new experiences such as retro, college, and foreign league rosters, and attempted to fix issues with the games wherever possible. When it comes to refining the gameplay, devising the right slider adjustments has made a huge difference for many gamers. In short, few would say that playing the game as-is - vanilla basketball gaming, if you will - is optimal.

During my time as a content creator in the basketball gaming community, I've created roster mods, and I've devised sets of slider tweaks. I've also installed other people's mods, and tried out their sliders. However, I have to admit that my basketball gaming habits have changed over the past decade or so, to the point where you might say that I'm playing a vanilla game. This isn't because I don't appreciate the hard work of our modding community, nor is it because I believe that games can't be improved upon with slider tweaks. Rather, a combination of my preferred modes, primary platform, and even my content creation habits, have led to more vanilla basketball gaming.
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Re: Monday Tip-Off: Vanilla Basketball Gaming

Postby sticky-fingers on Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:34 pm

Nice article, and totally the opposite experience for me.
Since 2K18, i play only "play now" / quick games, so i really want and try to have a better gameplay and visual experience, modding the game as hell with sliders, and mods from the community and those i create.
But playing quick games with Live 10 on RPCS3 gave me back this vanilla feeling i had before PC gaming/modding.
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Re: Monday Tip-Off: Vanilla Basketball Gaming

Postby Andrew on Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:50 am

I expect I'll gravitate back towards that now that I'm leaving MyCAREER and the connected modes behind. Although with the exhibition games I've been playing, I've been trying to create different scenarios using default assets, whether it's moving a few players around on classic teams to change the year, or makeshift retro teams in NBA Live 10's Fantasy Teams mode.
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Re: Monday Tip-Off: Why We Pretend & Defend Games

Postby Andrew on Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:11 pm

Monday Tip-Off: Why We Pretend & Defend Games

This is a difficult topic to broach without sounding snobby, or as though I'm accusing anyone who likes something that I dislike of being ignorant, easily pleased, or a shill. That line of thinking is just as toxic and unconstructive as fanboyism and shilling, and equally fallacious. We all have different tastes and expectations, as well as thresholds of satisfaction and disappointment. When someone sees fit to defend games that they enjoy, there isn't necessarily anything pretend about it. Those are their honest feelings about the game, and genuine reasons for their enjoyment.

And yet, there are times that we do pretend when we defend games. We've all done it at some point. It doesn't always mean that we don't enjoy them, but to a certain extent we're lying - both to others and to ourselves - about a game's overall quality (or lack thereof). In the most extreme cases, it is indeed shilling for a title, or at the very least fanboyism polluting the discourse. However, there are innocent and understandable reasons that we attempt to pretend that everything's fine and defend games; even when there's no drawback to being critical (or indeed, it would actually benefit us to speak out on the issues). Unfortunately, they make it difficult to curb the habit.
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Release Topics: NBA Live 08 | NBA Live 07 | NBA Live 06 | NBA Live 2005 | NBA Live 2004
Story Topics: NBA 2K19 | NBA 2K13 | NBA Live 06 (Part 2) | NBA Live 06 (HOF) | NBA Live 2004 (HOF)
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