The Friday Five: 5 Reasons NBA Live Flopped on PS4/X1

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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Coincidental Names in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 01, 2022 4:46 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Coincidental Names in Basketball Games

Something that I'm sure is readily apparent across my various articles is that I'm a fan of interesting trivia and obscure tidbits. Whether it's the players that appeared in more video games than real NBA games, phantom stints captured on the virtual hardwood, rare features, or other unusual facts, I find them fascinating, and enjoy talking about them. Strange and humorous coincidences would definitely fall under that umbrella. To that end, today I'm talking about coincidental names that I've encountered in various basketball games over the years.

Generally speaking, the default rosters of an NBA game likely won't have too many coincidental names. At least, nothing out of the ordinary, or anything that doesn't reflect a real life coincidence, such as the time there were two players called Marcus Williams in the NBA. "Coincidence" is also a word that we use, shall we say, quite flexibly. Sometimes "coincidences" have flimsy connections, or are in fact deliberate and thus not coincidental at all. To that point, I'm taking some liberties with the term, as I suspect some of these coincidental names were intentional. They are fun though, so if you'll indulge me, here are five coincidental names that I've encountered.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Coincidental Names in Basketball Games

Postby RayRay_953 on Sat Apr 02, 2022 6:13 am

I always found it hilarious when the 2K generated names turn out to share a real-life coincidence. Speaking of coincidence, you could trace another example back to the generic players from 2K11 onward. Two of the generic player names also share names of real-life players: John Brown and Robert Williams. Obviously, the generic players have nothing in common other than their names, but it's definitely a coincidence nonetheless!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Coincidental Names in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Sat Apr 02, 2022 11:25 am

Well-spotted! Roster Player doesn't look like such a bad name after all. If nothing else, it's probably not going to turn out to be anyone's name in real life!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Side Effects of Unlicensed Players You May Not Know

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 08, 2022 3:09 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Side Effects of Unlicensed Players You May Not Know

The vast array of historical content in NBA 2K is more than we could've dreamed of in the late 90s and early 2000s. Even the Legends and All-Decade teams that came along in NBA Live 2000 were obviously a big deal in their day. While there are issues with accuracy and detail, having retro content in the games is better than not having it at all. With that being said, players that remain unlicensed are definitely conspicuous by their absence. I'm sure that you're aware of the key names, with Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, and Rasheed Wallace, being among the most frequently mentioned.

Their absence has an obvious effect on the historical content that has been included, and what can't be included. The 2000 Portland Trail Blazers and 2004 Detroit Pistons don't look complete without Sheed in the lineup. We didn't get any challenges based on the 1993 NBA Finals in The Jordan Challenge, as they'd be pointless without Sir Charles. As it stands, the '85 76ers were an oddball retro team, as Chuck was a rookie on that squad. There are other teams that won't be officially included because Miller, Barkley, and other players are unlicensed. That's widely known and understood, but there are other side effects of 2K being unable to come to terms with certain players.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Side Effects of Unlicensed Players You May Not Know

Postby RayRay_953 on Sat Apr 09, 2022 6:05 am

I think it's interesting to examine the unlicensed players in the recent basketball installments. There are many other instances that you can find related to the five examples that you mentioned.

As you mentioned, Jordan's jersey can't be found in the United Center in the NBA LIVE installments, but I believe a banner and jersey for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (another player LIVE doesn't have the rights to use) can be seen in the later Live games (I've seen it in the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Live 16 for sure). Speaking of Live, they can't include the likeness or anything related to these players, but Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are explicitly name-dropped in The One during your rookie season in Live 18. There's also a commentary line in 18 that rarely plays after a five-second back-in foul is called, with Jeff Van Gundy calling it "The old Mark Jackson-Charles Barkley rule."

Another example of unlicensed content squeaking its way into basketball games is NBA 2K11. When reading the Jordan Challenge description for the 1991 Finals series against the Lakers, it talks about Jordan's double-clutch layup against A.C. Green (explicitly mentioned by name), with Green not even being featured in the game. In the song, Better Than You, the old Raptors arena, The Skydome is mentioned in the lyrics. Toronto had already long since moved to the Air Canada Centre, and none of the classic teams other than the late '90s Bulls and 1990 Pistons used their authentic arena names.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Side Effects of Unlicensed Players You May Not Know

Postby Andrew on Sat Apr 09, 2022 1:03 pm

Good looking out on Kareem's jersey being in the rafters! There's definitely some inconsistency to stuff like that. Those mentions on commentary are good examples of exceptions as well. I recall MJ being mentioned a couple of times in NBA Live 19's commentary, on top of the Charles Barkley mention that you noted. A.C. Green being mentioned in the description when he's not anywhere in the game is a great one too!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Presentation Options NBA 2K Should Have

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 15, 2022 2:20 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Presentation Options NBA 2K Should Have

Since the early days of the genre, sim basketball games have made it a point to have presentation that resembles a real broadcast. From getting real commentators to call the action on the virtual hardwood, to studio shows and stats overlays, there's been a constant push to include as much authenticity as the current technology will allow. Some of those presentation elements can be adjusted in the game options, such as the frequency of instant replays, muting the commentary, or toggling fun features such as slow motion dunks in the oldest NBA Live titles.

Indeed, NBA Live has had some great presentation features and options that NBA 2K should implement, but for whatever reason, has yet to do so. On top of that, there are several other ideas that would enhance presentation and provide customisation options that neither NBA Live nor NBA 2K has featured to date, and have rarely appeared (if at all) in other NBA titles in years gone by. These features may not be vital, but could nevertheless have an impact on our basketball gaming experience through adding more immersion, quality of life customisation, or just plain fun. Whatever the case, adopting these presentation options would be beneficial in future NBA 2K releases.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Avoid Virtual Hardwood Burnout

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 22, 2022 2:59 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Avoid Virtual Hardwood Burnout

No matter how much we love a hobby or activity, we will get tired of it eventually. Obviously we're passionate about basketball video games (and the real sport) around these parts, but there are times when the virtual hardwood brings us more frustration than joy. That's usually when burnout has set in, and suffice to say, it's not a good feeling. You want to keep playing as you definitely haven't lost your interest in virtual basketball, but it's hard to fire up a game and hit the court with the same enthusiasm. Somehow, an enjoyable pastime has become work; a chore.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid virtual hardwood burnout! I'm speaking from experience here, as I've felt that burnout in recent years. Changing up my habits has allowed me to really enjoy basketball gaming again, and not just sink a lot of time into it. There is a difference, and it's something that you really notice when you realise how addictive grinding can be. It's all too easy to get stuck in a comfortable rut, so it helps to have a few methods of breaking out of one. These suggestions may seem obvious, but when you're deep in that rut, you can easily overlook your options. If you're feeling burnout with your basketball gaming right now, consider these tips!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Tips & Tricks You May Not Remember

Postby Andrew on Mon May 02, 2022 8:07 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Tips & Tricks You May Not Remember

To state the obvious, success in basketball games comes from employing basketball strategies; at least to some extent. Older games have more primitive mechanics, arcade titles facilitated strategies that wouldn't work in sim games (or real life, for that matter), and even newer releases aren't entirely free of exploits. Still, then and now, most tips and tricks for basketball games adhered to concepts that also applied to real hoops: take the open shot, pound the ball inside for higher percentage looks and to draw fouls, position yourself properly, take advantages of mismatches, and so on.

Those are all important points to remember, and they generally apply to all basketball games, new and old. Of course, because they are video games at the end of the day, there are predictable moments and useful tricks that are more "video game tactics" than "basketball strategies". Outside of exploits such as Curry slides and zigzag cheese, these have become less common as games have become more sophisticated. Trying to play old games with a realistic approach that's more suited to modern titles can work, but you'll have more success if you use some antiquated tips and tricks. Here are five examples of such strategies, some of which you may have forgotten.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 12)

Postby Andrew on Fri May 06, 2022 8:20 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 12)

This is one of my longest-running series of Friday Five articles, yet somehow, I haven't posted a new instalment since 2019! It's not that I haven't had any ideas for retro teams that I'd like to see added to NBA 2K, either. In fact, I had ten further suggestions when I posted Part 11 in this series, all ready to be written about. I even had screenshots prepared for those articles. Indeed, the series has been on the shelf for so long while I discuss other topics here in The Friday Five, that it only felt right to get brand new screenshots using a newer game!

With that out of the way, what other retro teams could I possibly suggest that haven't been mentioned already? Obviously I've covered a lot of ground so far, and a few of the teams I suggested in earlier instalments have actually been included since. I'm not claiming credit here, but since I was genuinely keen to see those retro teams be added to the games, I'm pleased that it happened! Once again, I've been delving into some unorthodox suggestions, since 2K already made the wise decision to expand beyond conventional choices of champions, their opponents, and other celebrated squads. Without any further ado, here are five more retro teams that'd I'd really like to see.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 13)

Postby Andrew on Sat May 14, 2022 3:45 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K (Part 13)

This isn't the first time I've revisited the topic of retro teams that I'd like to see in NBA 2K in back-to-back weeks. Although I do like to spread out sequel articles in the name of variety, sometimes I'll stick with a topic if the next part is in the can, and it still feels relevant. Parts eight to eleven of this series came out in consecutive weeks back in 2019, and as I mentioned in part twelve, I've already shelved the topic for so long that I needed to take new screenshots from the latest game. Also, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post the thirteenth instalment of the series on Friday the 13th!

With that being said, let's get into the next five retro teams that I'd be in favour of the developers adding in future NBA 2K games. Actually, I'm cheating and suggesting six teams in a list of five, but you'll see why when you get there. As I've previously noted, since 2K has ventured beyond the parameters of iconic teams, such as former champions, their opponents, and other perennial powerhouses, my lists have likewise explored some more unorthodox choices. My aim is to suggest teams that are fun to play with, historically significant in some way, and would allow for some handy new assets to be included for modding projects. I believe these five - uh, six - fit the bill.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Reasons NBA Live Flopped on PS4/X1

Postby Andrew on Fri May 20, 2022 2:10 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Reasons NBA Live Flopped on PS4/X1

Unlike certain content creators and other haters in the basketball gaming community, I don't delight at NBA Live's shortcomings, or gleefully dance on its grave. While NBA 2K has provided many of us with hours upon hours of entertainment on the virtual hardwood and blacktop, we've also seen the drawbacks that come with a lack of competition in the genre. If you're a fan of football games - NFL, that is - you've known the pain of not having alternatives even longer than basketball gamers. Even if the lone game is satisfactory, the lack of choice still stings.

Of course, it's not quite the same situation. Madden's monopoly comes from EA Sports having the clout and money to secure an exclusive contract when the NFL were offering it. NBA 2K's monopoly, meanwhile, has been solidified by EA's inability to produce a viable alternative. We're more than a decade removed from NBA Live being the top-selling basketball game, and longer still from when it was easily the gold standard in the genre. Its attempts to rebuild during the PS4/X1 generation were largely disappointing, and have left the series in a tenuous position. These five factors are the chief reasons that those NBA Live games flopped.
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