On Thursday we reported on NBA Playgrouds' new Enhanced Edition, a welcome refresh of an already enjoyable arcade basketball title. We did, however, pick up on the strange means by which developer Saber Interactive was introducing it. It was a new edition, but also an update, with more content, but in two editions. It's a bit of a mess, but we're finally starting to understand where it all started.
Saber Interactive confirmed on its own Facebook page that online play was ready to go back in June, but the size of the update needed to support the version planned for Switch didn't meet Nintendo's exacting standards. Size was a key issue, with the patch pushing the game's file size from 7.4 GB to 9.6 GB - an issue Nintendo simply wouldn't budge on. Saber is said to have offered the idea of introducing a second patch in July that would have reduced this number, but Ninty wasn't into reducing game files by patch either.
So, to get around the red tape, Saber launched a brand new version of the game with the patch already weaved into its code. The new version - which includes new player cards (including NBA legends and some YouTubers, bizarrely), a new mode and some technical tweaks - topped out at just 7.6 GB. So while it has led to two versions of the same game appearing on the eShop, at least now we know why.
What do you guys make of the NBA Playgrounds Enhanced Edition fiasco? Will you return for a rematch/try it out for the first time, or eschew it in favour of NBA 2K18? Let us know...
If you have purchased the original Playgrounds, you CAN download the Enhanced version for FREE as I did.
Then, just delete the original version from your system and keep the newer one.
So you don't have to "double dip" if you already have the original version.
@mattmayatt Is it? Convince me.
Just waiting for the free Shaq Fu sequel....
I thought this was probably the reason why it was done this way. I'm grateful for the developer for taking the time to find a solution, and I'm enjoying the game.
I am actually having much more fun with the game now. Was worth the wait.
Oh Nintendo Life...
@BensonUii I only played it docked.
I think nintendolife guys suck at this game that's why they give so much trash to this game! I think it's a fantastic game! xD
Not sure I get why the file size was an issue, when there are games bigger than 9.6GB on the system (looking at you, LA Noire and Resi Revelations). Or is it that 2.2GB for the patch alone is too big? Isn’t the multiplayer mode for Doom bigger than that?
@peloxbol Hey! As a "Nintendo Life Guy" I:
1) Do not indeed suck at this game (watch video above).
2) We have to be fair and report things as they are. NBA Playgrounds had a lot of potential but compared unfavourably to the original NBA Jam. The original version was rushed out and it clearly showed, but I still bought it full price on release. I am very happy the developers came clean and are still working hard to make things right for everyone.
@gcunit It isn't. The game is just okay at best. Might be fantastic if you are a huge fan of NBA Jam, but that is the only scenario I can think of.
@BensonUii runs fine in handheld for me.
Bought this game on day one, it was a lot of fun, but doesn't play quite like NBA Jam. Either way, the more arcade style sport games, the better!
Has anyone tried out the enhanced edition? I've downloaded mine, but haven't played it yet. The game does have a learning curve to it.
The alternative theory I'd heard folks muttering was that they released this patch as a new separate game in order to once again be featured prominently on the eShop store? 😉
@Shiryu You still have to correct your article! Since existing owners DO NOT have to double dip and can download the new edition for FREE and new owners can just download the Enhanced Edition right away.
@Shiryu That looks like footage taken from Xbox or PS4. I know it has the Switch loading screens but my updated version of the game doesn't look as sharp as this video, graphically.
Still a decent game though and worth it for €10.
You may as well bust out your 32-bit / 16-bit consoles and play NBA Jam or Hangtime. They're better
Game is a blast. I personally love it, but seems pretty divisive.
@Jeronan I can not edit an article that wasn't written by myself, but I am sure @Dom will get on that.
@blockfight I assure you it was taken directly from my Switch at 720p output.
Sorry my bad. Must have had blinders on lol and misinterpret your post.
So, they could have just released one patch that took it from 7.4GB to 7.6GB. Size argument still makes no sense.
@tourjeff this is the most Nintendo thing I've ever heard.
I think the fact that everyone in the media is writing about the process and not the update itself is a fiasco!
I didn't buy the game at release, and I spent so much time looking online to find out if the changes made it worth buying, but...
I COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING BUT THESE STUPID ARTICLES ABOUT THE PROCESS!
Nothing about the actual update.
I finally bought it based on Saber's notes and am glad I did.
I've already played it more than 2K.
It's not Jam.
It's a more complicated game. That's bad and good, but mostly good as it means the game is its own thing.
Glad I got it!
The addition of the shot meter and faster load times are big. I would have hated it without those.
@cyrus_zuo I didn’t play the game before the enhanced edition so I don’t know how it was before, but one of my biggest gripes with the game so far is the shot meter. It forces you to look at something that’s not your player, and IMO is an unnecessarily complicated mechanic for a game of this type. Maybe I’m expecting it to be NBA jam/hangtime too much, but I just wish it was a little bit more streamlined. At $10 though it’s a good game and I do enjoy it anyway.
I’m curious to know what people think of this game? I’m tempted by the price, but my entire history with basketball is tied up to NBA Jam.
Complicated? Exaggeration these days from the young journalists!
I just want to clarify that it isn't a fiasco since people that already has the game can download this "new" version for free and those that doesn't have it well they can just buy this new version instead.
@progx: It is really the same game with more tournaments, more players and a few tweaks (like a spotlight on the area to rebound the ball). I am proud to report Ainge drilled the first 3-pointer I took after a several month hiatus from this game.
Folks, this is not the definitive edition, nor is it NBA Jam, but it's a fun game and a unique offering on the Switch. And for $10 (its sale price, act fast), it is an absolute steal if you like arcade sports games (and particularly if you've follow the NBA or did as a kid).
@mattmayatt Yeah. Convince me too. I think $9.99 is a deal. But only if we are talking about a game that's actually fun and I seem to be hearing mixed messages on how enjoyable this game is.
I enjoy it more than 2k. Still confused what's new, they had online (eventually) on the original?
@UmbreonsPapa It's really fun. Crazy dunks and the players are fun. The controls work well for the most part. Online got a bit tiring (once it finally arrived) because most people would just jack up 3s all day but you could still play with great shot blockers and get around it. I think it's worth $10, I spent probably about 6-10 hours on it.
@Sinton Feels similar to NBA Jam except there's a penalty for shoving. Although you can still do it, just not as frequently.
This is a really bad article with a really bad headline...
I need to know a lot more, like "is it any good now?".
Does for me also, have only redownload new version yesterday.. not played that code yet..
@Shiryu Cool. Maybe I need to clean my glasses next time I play this game 😃
My friend has this. I really need to check it out sometime and compare it to NBA Jam.
@dequesi The article is fine, but I’d also like to see an article with what you describe.
@coolaggro Thanks a bunch. That really was helpful
the new version is free (except the paid DLC that unlocks all of the characters that were available in the new version), so its worth the second copy.
but why does the newer version create a new save file for itself when it reads the save data file for the older version.
it seems as though i got the DLC for free since i purchased the original version of the game...
I got the updated version and I’m a bit disappointed to be honest .. the graphics look dated and I miss a love of detail and smoother animations, also the gameplay and controls could have taken more time to be refined I think - the game never plays fluid enough and it really feels a bit too „arcade/Simple“ - but maybe that’s because I played so much NBA2k lol didn’t have a chance to test the multiplayer tho - my expactations are high tho because I can imagine that in multiplayer it is a lot of Fun!
Seems like they improved load times which were really my only issue with the original version of the game... Only thing is that the loading/controls screen really makes me want an official set of black Joy-Con!
I don't get the file size issue ? Please explain ? Lots of third party files are huge. Help!?
It’s a fun arcade game which because of the shot meter does not feel as fast as NBA Jam. This is also the reason why you will need a couple of matches to get the hang of shooting.
Unlocking new players is fun but I do not think I will ever get all of them.
@nab1 The game didn't originally have the shot meter, and played better for it, for the reason you mentioned. However, people didn't understand the mechanics of the game and so that meter has done a great job of illuminating it. Now that we know, you just go into options and turn the shot meter off.
No point dragging down the game over an optional feature.
@Rubbercookie Ok, I see. I tried not looking at the meter, and maybe it's just that I need to play more to get to the shot mechanic, but my problem is that the "sweet spot" for releasing a shot doesn't seem to match a specific animation frame. Like, in NBA Jam IIRC, the sweet spot was at the peak of the jump, but so far it seemed to me that by the time I hit the peak in this one, the meter had already passed the green part, and I couldn't find a way (yet) to consistently figure out when to release just by looking at the animation. Again, maybe it's just that I need to play more or find a specific character.
Regardless, I still think they over-thought the whole shot mechanic for an arcade sports game, to me this is more suited for something more sim-like. Personally I would have preferred a more traditional approach.
Singleplayer this game is really bad. AI is really unfair, which makes the game unplayable.
Did they fix the "shot timing" mechanic that never works and instead makes your Switch buzz so loud it can be heard in the next room?
NBA Playgrounds was the first and only game I ever deleted from my Switch. I've downloaded this new one for free, and trust me, I want to like this game, but the original version was like a high school team trying to take on the NBA champions without even getting their fundamentals right first.
Fiasco? My ass. I’m sure saber is super frustrated that the new sku made it back onto the eshop top charts. I’m sure a patch would have done the same for the original.
Oh wait no. No it wouldn’t have.
@nab1 It's as you say, the proper shot timing is at the apex of the jump.
The better you time it the higher chance you'll score, but player stats govern the success rate and how lenient the timing window is.
A player with awful 3-pointer stats will require very precise timing, and even then only hit the mark in say 15% of your perfectly executed attempts. Shot meter reveals that low chance, feedback right, and once you have it you turn the meter right back off and play normally.
Now when you miss nine out of ten three-pointers with that same player you won't have to wonder if maybe you were supposed to release earlier or later, you know you're spot on but that the chance is still low.
Layups are normally lenient (wide sweet spot), but rate degrades gradually the further off your timing is. Say 60% at perfect, 10% at the very edge. Good players will score more often (it's easier and the percentage is higher), but all of them may still miss even if your timing is perfect.
Nearly all games have thorough mechanics like this, even arcadey ones (check the ghost AI in pac man) - only difference here is they told us about it. Random chance will confuse you, but your timing was correct all along - check player stats to up your game.
Oh and, the way NBA 2K18 did feedback was so much better.
Love this game
People should pick this up.
@Rubbercookie Thanks for all the info, really appreciate it. I am getting better the more I play it, and unlock new players. Now I just wish the announcers weren't so hell-bent on berating whoever misses a shot And it's odd to play with announcers turned off.
Game is great way better than Jam - All Jam has is the nostalgia factor going for it. I recently played Jam on vacation (arcade) and it has not aged well. It was just the only arcade basketball game at the time and defined what arcade basketball should be - Playgrounds is a superior game in every respect and way deeper than Jam with some Mario Kart tricks (12 point shot anyone) to allow for comebacks via the lottery.
I have probably had more fun playing playgrounds online than any other sports game I can think of and even the spammer 3 strategy can be stopped if you are smart about it, can block shots and take advantage - the game is that deep.
For 10 bucks it’s a no-brainer, this game is worth 30 easily as a cart.
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