The Friday Five: 5 Things Developers Got In Trouble For

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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Unsolved Modding Mysteries (Part 2)

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:07 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Unsolved Modding Mysteries (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my first Friday Five article about unsolved modding mysteries, the whole hobby is dedicated to figuring out the inner workings of the games we play, and discovering how we can change them. We've made many exciting discoveries which in turn have led to the creation of fantastic projects, but there are still some gaps in our knowledge. Although we're constantly looking to innovate and solve those mysteries, sometimes we have to admit defeat - if only temporarily - and file them under the heading of modding barriers that we may or may not ever overcome.

Incidentally, I originally included "blanking out career stats in NBA 2K11" on this list, as it's something I'd noticed in the Chinese roster updates and had no idea how it was done. Not only have I since been informed that it's an option in the Chinese trainer for the game, but I accidentally stumbled upon a method of doing it with REDitor II. It just goes to show that even when a game has been out for a decade, we can continue to solve modding mysteries and learn new techniques. That may mean that there's hope of finding answers to these five modding mysteries at some point, but as of now, they do remain unsolved.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Outdated Details in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:12 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Outdated Details in Basketball Games

It's difficult for basketball video games not to include a few outdated details at launch. Roster cut-off dates mean that a game's lineups will be at least slightly out of date by the time we get our hands on it. Obviously all games are eventually outdated as new players enter the league, returning players change teams, and teams introduce new branding. Mind you, it would be a rather short and uninteresting article if I simply said all hoops games have outdated details and left it at that. It would make for a decent April Fools gag, though.

Since April 1st has been and gone this year, and fell on a Wednesday besides, I'll go ahead and compile a proper list. I will however avoid including any outdated details related to rosters since as I noted they're inevitable, and often fixed through official updates. I'm also excluding old games that launched with previous season rosters, as well as lockout-affected titles. Instead, I'm focusing on other outdated details that were noteworthy at release, or in some cases, details that quickly became outdated due to events that occurred post-launch. They're not necessarily game-breaking issues, of course, but they nevertheless stand out as interesting trivia notes.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Suggestions for Social Distancing

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:19 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Suggestions for Social Distancing

These are definitely unusual and concerning times, as the world at large deals with COVID-19. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, taking the proper precautions as far as hygiene and social distancing are concerned, and that everything works out with your employment, schooling, housing, and so on. I also want to commend and thank the healthcare workers around the world who are doing an amazing job caring for patients during these difficult times. If I may borrow and paraphrase a quote from M*A*S*H, if you ask me, you're all supermen (and women).

Obviously, there are more pressing matters in the world than basketball video games right now. At the same time, many of us are naturally spending a lot of time at home, and looking to occupy our days with leisure activities, gaming being one of them. To that end, I thought that I'd offer up some suggestions if you're looking to hit the virtual hardwood while you're social distancing. With the depth of modern basketball games, we're able to sink a lot of time into them. As for older releases, at this point there are several great titles to dust off for some retro gaming. If basketball gaming is on your agenda while you're social distancing, here are some ways to stay entertained.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Suggestions for Social Distancing

Postby [Q] on Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:40 am

I wouldn't need to go back to do this, but NBA Live 10 is the only regular game I've ever hit platinum for on either PS3 or PS4. Good times!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Gaming Suggestions for Social Distancing

Postby Andrew on Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:09 pm

I remember you talking about that. That was an impressive effort!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Hilarious-in-Hindsight Moments in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:08 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Hilarious-in-Hindsight Moments in Basketball Games

I've grown fond of saying that basketball games serve as time capsules, preserving snapshots of the league when they were released. It's something that I believe, and it's one of the things that make dusting off old titles fun. Scrolling through all the teams and looking at the rosters, you're reminded of the forgotten stints of journeymen and stars alike, lineups that had so much promise but never panned out, and players who were pegged as being future stars. As I've said, basketball games become interactive almanacs of sorts, as they mark NBA milestones.

That's not all they do, however. Sometimes they can seemingly predict the future, with the virtual hardwood suggesting unexpected events that actually come to pass in real life. Of course, other occurrences are clearly not prophesising the future, which underscores how it's easy to call something a prediction in hindsight. Coincidences are amusing to note however, as are details that age poorly or become ironic when we look back at them. In either case, these moments found in various basketball video games become hilarious-in-hindsight - or at the very least, good for a smirk or a chuckle - and to that end, I have five examples to share with you today.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Mistakes Modders Make

Postby Andrew on Fri May 01, 2020 10:38 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Mistakes Modders Make

I remember when I discovered the NLSC - then called the NBA Live Series Center - back in 1997. My family had just got connected to the Internet, and I was searching on Altavista for NBA Live 96 content. That's when I found the site, and all the great work that our founders Tim, Lutz, and Brien had done, along with some other people in what was then a much smaller community. I was thrilled to find out about modding - then called patching - and marvelled at all the wonderful things that were possible. As I've said before, at long last my created Michael Jordan could have a full bio!

Modding was a hobby that I got into before I ended up taking over the NLSC, and while I haven't been as active in that regard in recent years, I've continued to dabble here and there. Right now I'm working on an NBA 2K11 roster update, with an eye to getting it out soon. Of course, plenty of people have come to discover the NLSC over the years, and I always get a kick out of seeing them experience the same thrill I had when I first learned about modding. New people are always trying their hand at it, and while mod-specific tutorials and guidance will always provide the most help, I'd like to offer up some advice about common modding mistakes, and what to do instead.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Team Changes That Drastically Impacted Games

Postby Andrew on Fri May 08, 2020 11:06 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Team Changes That Drastically Impacted Games

There's a reason that many basketball fans enjoy the NBA offseason almost as much as the regular season and Playoffs. All of the movement, all of the team changes that we inevitably see, are exciting to read and talk about. Will a blockbuster trade or big signing be the difference that helps a team to get over the hump? Won't it be strange to see a player wearing a different jersey this year, especially after spending most (or all) of their career with their former team? After particularly crazy offseasons, we're all eager to see just how much the league will be shaken up.

Needless to say, these team changes also affect the licensed NBA video games. After all, we'll see those new rosters in the forthcoming games, and when the face of the real NBA changes, so does the experience on the virtual hardwood. All player moves contribute to that feeling of change, but some players unquestionably have a bigger impact than others. They're the ones that shift the balance of power, making teams far more popular to play with, and more difficult to play against. Their impact can also reach much further, affecting a game's branding and even influencing which teams appear in a demo. These players' team changes have been among the most impactful.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Bizarre NLSC Forum Moments

Postby Andrew on Fri May 15, 2020 2:51 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Bizarre NLSC Forum Moments

The current NLSC Forum has been around since 2002, and the original boards were active for a few years before that. As with any online community, we've had our fair share of ups and downs, running gags and memes, highly contentious moments, and other fun times. When you've been around a community for a number of years, as I and a few others have been, there are moments where you mutter to yourself that you're too old for this...stuff. Not only that, but looking at the drama that some people cause, you can't help thinking that they're also too old for that...stuff.

However, some moments are just too bizarre not to be enjoyable in a twisted kind of way. In some cases, they become part of the community's collection of memes, or find themselves enshrined in the Hardwood Classics section of the Forum. It's often said that everyone is brave behind a keyboard, and adopts a different persona online. Now, there is definitely some truth to that, but I also get the impression that some people are just as difficult in the real world as they are in cyberspace. With that in mind, I feel sorry for the people they interact with on a daily basis! Still, they have given us some amusingly bizarre moments to look back upon, as these examples demonstrate.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Games With Untapped Modding Potential

Postby Andrew on Fri May 22, 2020 2:15 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Games With Untapped Modding Potential

At the NLSC, our modding community prides itself in doing all that it can to change and enhance the experience provided by basketball video games. We started doing it from the beginning of the NBA Live series with NBA Live 95 PC, and brought the hobby to NBA 2K when it came to the platform. As long as we've had the necessary tools, knowledge, and perseverance, we've created all kinds of projects from current rosters to retro season and NCAA total conversion mods. We've updated player and team art, changed menus and presentation elements, and even made new soundtracks.

Name an NBA Live or NBA 2K game that's come out on PC, and you'll be able to recall a memorable mod. However, for all our hard work and creativity, there are a few games that stand out as having untapped modding potential. Whether we couldn't figure something out or the necessary tools were developed too late in a game's life cycle, there are some titles where we could've perhaps done more. On top of that, because of our focus on NBA Live and NBA 2K, there are a couple of other games that we didn't pay attention to, leaving them with untapped modding potential of their own. Here are five games that we could've done more with (and perhaps still could).
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Expensive Basketball Games to Collect

Postby Andrew on Fri May 29, 2020 2:15 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Expensive Basketball Games to Collect

For the serious collector, retro video games can be an expensive hobby. There are some rare titles that don't come cheap, and among them, you'll find a few basketball games. Because licensing and likeness rights make remakes and re-releases highly unlikely when it comes to hoops games, anyone who wants to own a legal copy of these rarities will have to search high and low, and pay a hefty price. One exception is Street Hoop for Neo Geo. While original copies can still demand a large sum, it has since been re-released digitally on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Such is the benefit of a game that doesn't feature any licensed players. Of course, the most widely released NBA games usually aren't expensive to track down and acquire, unless they're in mint condition. Annual sports games aren't big money-makers on the second hand market, so with the exception of PC releases of NBA 2K being removed from Steam, older basketball games are readily available (and affordable). As I said though, there are a few rare hoops titles that are difficult to find, and quite expensive to obtain when you do locate a copy. I fancy myself a collector of basketball video games, but I'd need to be much wealthier to consider picking up these expensive titles.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Times You Can Play Before The Main Menu

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:18 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Times You Can Play Before The Main Menu

Given all the modes and options that are available in basketball games, as well as the need to select teams before entering a game, a main menu has generally always come between the title screen and gameplay. That isn't unique to the genre, of course. Most games can't be played until you've reached the main menu and made some selections. Even most of the very early video games and classic platformers of the 8-bit era didn't go immediately into gameplay. If nothing else, we were presented with basic options such as the number of players, or asked to press Start to get the ball rolling.

There are exceptions, of course. In a way, they're the video game version of a cold opening for a TV show. It hasn't been especially common in basketball video games, but there are titles that drop us right into gameplay before we ever see the main menu. Many of these instances only occur the first time we boot up a game (or if we reinstall it with no user data present), but a selection of games have allowed us to participate in some form of gameplay before the main menu is displayed. It's not something that we usually consider vital to the experience, but they have been fun ideas that give us something to do, while showing off new tech and features. These include things like...
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Times You Can Play Before The Main Menu

Postby [Q] on Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:09 am

Man, I really liked the shootaround during the load screen. It was a hell of a lot better than just waiting for the game to load.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Times You Can Play Before The Main Menu

Postby Andrew on Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:16 am

It was a good idea that they seemed to move away from. In NBA 2K, it's one of the reasons I find Pro-Am more fun than Playground/Park. Shooting around in the team arena while you're waiting to be matched up with another team, followed by a quick loading screen, is far less boring than standing around lined up at Got Next, waiting for the game to end and yours to begin.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Times You Can Play Before The Main Menu

Postby [Q] on Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:06 am

They should allow you to "get next" and then shoot on an empty hoop while you wait for a game in the park, which is what most people do irl
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Times You Can Play Before The Main Menu

Postby Ermolli on Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:23 am

The opening of NBA 2K11 was special and a welcome surprise. The presentation, the atmosphere and Jordan asking you if you were ready was fantastic, the hype to play the game couldn’t have been any higher. I don’t think it could be replicated.

I also enjoyed the shootaround before loading the modes. I liked to try different moves and shots so I could later use them during a game, it also helped me get into the mood to play the game. It was a good idea by EA which also FIFA had (playing one on one against the keeper), it was an innovative way to get used to the controls while also having fun. Such a shame they abandoned that.

I haven’t played 2K on consoles for a while but I remember getting anxious for the game to finish installing since it felt like it took forever to load the menus. It was fine to play with the exhibition teams for a while but after 15 minutes I got bored and did something else. I guess that with the newer consoles having SSD maybe the demo games will be over.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Times You Can Play Before The Main Menu

Postby Andrew on Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:28 pm

[Q] wrote:They should allow you to "get next" and then shoot on an empty hoop while you wait for a game in the park, which is what most people do irl


That'd be a good idea. It'd sure beat standing around and doing nothing.

Ermolli wrote:The opening of NBA 2K11 was special and a welcome surprise. The presentation, the atmosphere and Jordan asking you if you were ready was fantastic, the hype to play the game couldn’t have been any higher. I don’t think it could be replicated.

I also enjoyed the shootaround before loading the modes. I liked to try different moves and shots so I could later use them during a game, it also helped me get into the mood to play the game. It was a good idea by EA which also FIFA had (playing one on one against the keeper), it was an innovative way to get used to the controls while also having fun. Such a shame they abandoned that.

I haven’t played 2K on consoles for a while but I remember getting anxious for the game to finish installing since it felt like it took forever to load the menus. It was fine to play with the exhibition teams for a while but after 15 minutes I got bored and did something else. I guess that with the newer consoles having SSD maybe the demo games will be over.


Good point. One would certainly hope for faster load and installation times, but it'll probably mean those demos are no longer necessary.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Differences in PC & Console Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:43 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Differences in PC & Console Basketball Games

Our choice of gaming platform remains one of the pettiest parts of the hobby. Gamers who prefer PlayStation or Xbox to the exclusion of all other consoles will snipe back and forth with each other, comparing specs, exclusives, and anything else that will allow them to feel like their personal preference is intellectually (and even morally) superior. The other big and perpetual gaming war, of course, is PC vs. Console. I'm sure that you're familiar with all the arguments, stereotypes, and insults that are flung back and forth as everyone engages in frothing-at-the-mouth tribalism.

Personally, I believe that gamers game. Give me a platform, a game, and ask me to play it and tell you what I think, and I'll give it a shot! If PC gaming or a specific console works for you and you're happy with your choice, more power to you. I'll admit to being Team Nintendo during the Nintendo vs. SEGA war of the 90s, but when it comes to PC and console, I've actually always played games on both. I do that because certain titles and series have been exclusive, but I've also played the same basketball games on multiple platforms, and noticed some interesting differences between releases. There have been quite a few, but here are five noteworthy ones.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Differences in PC & Console Basketball Games

Postby [Q] on Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:58 pm

I remember having the PlayStation versions of Live 2000 and 2004 and although I enjoyed them, I had a sneaky suspicion that the PC versions were the better experience.

It was convenient however as I could play on the TV and not on the computer which was in my mom's bedroom and I couldn't get access to that all the time
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Differences in PC & Console Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:34 pm

That is the trade-off with consoles. Sometimes more convenient, and of course standardised hardware. The PC versions were definitely the best versions though, for modding if nothing else.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Differences in PC & Console Basketball Games

Postby Ermolli on Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:07 am

Finding a version of NBA Live 95 on Live 06 caught me off-guard. I didn't have the chance to play the original version so it was a welcomed surprise, definitely played a fair amount of time with it. I have fond memories of playing Dynasty mode, updating rosters by myself, playing against one of my brothers with Live 95 and playing to death the demos of Burnout Revenge and NFL Street. It’s one of my favourite Live for sure.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Differences in PC & Console Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:16 am

NBA Live 06 for PC is still my favourite game in the series, and the last well-rounded release in my view. NBA Live 09 and NBA Live 10 are up there, but they are missing a few things in their modes. All-Star Weekend being completely absent from NBA Live 10 takes it down a few points in my book.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Times Last Gen Games Surprised Us

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:17 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Times Last Gen Games Surprised Us

With the PlayStation 5 reveal event bringing us the official announcement of, and first look at NBA 2K21, we're heading full steam ahead into the next generation. There are obviously plenty of questions yet to be answered, and more than a couple of concerns to be allayed. While NBA 2K14 wowed us pre-launch with the OMG Trailer, many of us were disappointed by the absence of staple features such as full roster editing, the traditional franchise mode, a standalone Playoffs mode, and other aspects missing from the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version (until NBA 2K15 brought them back).

There's also the question of whether the PC version of NBA 2K21 will be a port of the last gen or next gen release. Glancing back at what happened with NBA 2K14, we had to wait a year until the PC port caught up to the new generation. And of course, we have to wonder what will happen with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which will become last gen upon the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. It seems almost inevitable that they'll become afterthoughts in terms of quality and content, but if we look back through the years, there are a few times that last gen games surprised us with new features and content. Here are five such examples!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Funny Basketball Game Commentary Moments

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:09 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Funny Basketball Game Commentary Moments

Commentary is an important part of presentation in basketball video games (and most sports games, for that matter). When it's done well, it adds to a feeling of authenticity, helping to create the illusion that you're watching a real game. It's an area of sports video games that has greatly improved over the years, with more lines of dialogue, better reaction logic, and other enhancements thanks to improved technology. At the same time, it can still get rather repetitive after a while, and so there are many gamers who prefer to play basketball games with the commentary turned off.

There's nothing wrong with that, and in fact, switching off commentary actually adds a certain amount of realism and immersion in career modes, where you obviously wouldn't be able to hear the commentators while on the court. However, if you do turn off the commentary, you can miss out on some funny moments. From witty lines and Easter eggs to the occasional mistake left in by accident, there are some very amusing gems. I can't recall anything quite as hilariously bad and sloppy as the outtakes that were left in the DLC for WWE 2K17, but the virtual hardwood has still provided us with some funny moments from the people calling the action.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Outdated Details in Basketball Games (Part 2)

Postby Andrew on Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:09 pm

The Friday Five: 5 Outdated Details in Basketball Games (Part 2)

Developers tend to do a great job of updating basketball video games for the season they're set in. As I noted in my previous Friday Five covering this topic, they have the benefit of being sent updated artwork from the NBA, so they're able to account for branding changes that aren't yet officially announced. To that end, apart from missing transactions that occur after the cut-off date, and the absence of rookies and other players who haven't signed in time, most games don't have too many outdated details. These days, official updates are also far more comprehensive.

With that being said, sometimes games end up shipping with a variety of outdated details. Perhaps a change was announced too late for it to be included, and in the case of older games especially, it may not be something that can be patched. Oversights happen, and inaccuracies can be caused by strange circumstances. I've come up with another five examples, which I'm sharing with you all today. Please note that once again, I'm avoiding the obvious examples related to cut-off dates or the old practice of releasing games with a previous season's roster, and only noting things that were or became outdated details when a game was new and current. Let's begin with...
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