Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting NBA Jam Tournament Edition

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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Multiseason Play in NBA Live 99

Postby Andrew on Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:47 pm

That's a good suggestion for some future content here, so I'll definitely consider some more multi-part series for Wayback Wednesday, and maybe some spinoff features. :)
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Franchise Mode in NBA Live 2000-2003

Postby Andrew on Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:44 pm

October 4th, 2017: Franchise Mode in NBA Live 2000-2003

With GM Mode, EA Sports had experimented with altering the traditional Season experience. The expanded Season mode in NBA Live 99, with its multiseason play and dynamic features, laid the foundation for an even deeper mode. Come NBA Live 2000, basketball gamers wouldn't have to wait any longer for a multiseason mode that replicated even more aspects of the real NBA season, including free agency and the rookie draft. Needless to say, it isn't as deep as its successors, but looking back, it's still impressive to see just how much EA were able to accomplish with that first iteration of Franchise Mode.

From NBA Live 2000 through NBA Live 2003, Franchise Mode was definitely the centrepiece of NBA Live's game modes, and the most popular. It was an extremely important development in basketball gaming, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Dynasty Mode in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:06 pm

October 11th, 2017: Dynasty Mode in NBA Live

Franchise Mode was one of the best additions in the NBA Live series, delivering a multiseason experience that gamers had been wanting for some time. By NBA Live 2003 however, it was unfortunately getting stale. Despite a few noteworthy new features and AI enhancements, the experience hadn't become much deeper over the course of four years. Franchise gamers still enjoyed the mode and it remained popular, but there was also a certain amount of frustration, as we wanted to see more innovation. Fortunately, by the time NBA Live 2004 rolled around, EA Sports were ready to deliver.

The introduction of Dynasty Mode in NBA Live 2004 was part of an effort to rebrand Franchise Mode throughout all EA Sports titles, but thankfully, it turned out to be much more than a name change. It marked the introduction of a deeper mode that continued to evolve through the years, until it too fell on some rough times. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: The Association in NBA 2K

Postby Andrew on Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:56 pm

October 18th, 2017: The Association in NBA 2K

While NBA Live was offering multiseason management modes in the form of Franchise and Dynasty, NBA 2K was also providing basketball gamers with its own take on the franchise experience. The franchise modes in both games have had their ups and downs, but the 2K series has done a very commendable job from year to year, in many cases implementing features that have yet to be seen in EA's game. For those of us who were mostly playing NBA Live back in the day, we looked on in envy as 2K implemented several of those much-desired features in its modes.

As of now, NBA 2K has featured the deepest and most advanced franchise modes in basketball gaming. For many years, that franchise experience went by the name of The Association, and it admirably paved the way for MyLEAGUE and MyGM in recent games. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Michael Redd's What If in NBA Live 2003

Postby Andrew on Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:13 pm

October 25th, 2017: Michael Redd's What If in NBA Live 2003

There are a lot of reasons why it's fun to go back and play an old basketball video game. Even though our old favourites tend to be far surpassed by new titles, we can usually still find nostalgic enjoyment in the familiarity of the gameplay. It can be satisfying to dust off an old save file, and pick it up again for a while. Sometimes, it's interesting to just go through the rosters and be reminded of when a certain player was playing for a particular team. If you do that in NBA Live 2003 PC, you'll be reminded of when Michael Redd played for the Dallas Mavericks. Only, that never actually happened. Yet there he is, on the bench for the 2003 Mavs.

Did EA Sports mess up here? Was someone paying too much attention to those infamous Courtside Comedy cutscenes, and not enough to the default roster as it was being finalised? In truth, there's no error here; not at the time of the roster's creation, at any rate. Confused? Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Reconstructing Jordan's Bulls in NBA Live 2002

Postby Andrew on Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:09 pm

November 1st, 2017: Reconstructing Jordan's Bulls in NBA Live 2002

Even though it's definitely not the pinnacle of the series, NBA Live 2002 is a game that I find myself thinking about and returning to every now and again. As I've mentioned before, it's a game that I'm oddly nostalgic for, in large part because of a memorable Sacramento Kings Franchise that I finally gained closure on years later. Of course, I also had a less successful Franchise experience with the Utah Jazz, in which things got a little too wacky. As I previously remarked, if I wanted to shake things up and do something a little unusual, it might've been more fun to try to reconstruct Michael Jordan's championship-winning Chicago Bulls.

It's not too late to explore that idea, though. Just as I recreated my Kings Franchise to finish it off all these years later, I thought that it'd be fun to attempt to reconstruct the core of the Jordan-led Bulls teams. Not all of the key players from those squads are still active in NBA Live 2002, but more than a couple are available to acquire. Can it be done? Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Reconstructing Jordan's Bulls in NBA Live 2002

Postby Dee4Three on Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:28 am

You could have just tried to win with the Wizards, and pretend that the Wizards didn't take Brown didn't take Brown, instead taking Gasol. Also, his first year with the Wizards was disrupted by Jordan getting hurt. Always wondered what might have happened if he stayed healthy.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Reconstructing Jordan's Bulls in NBA Live 2002

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:37 am

They were on course for the Playoffs. I don't think they'd have been contenders or anything, but they might've made a bit of noise.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003's Elusive Post Move

Postby Andrew on Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:45 pm

November 8th, 2017: NBA Live 2003's Elusive Post Move

There's a distinct satisfaction that comes with mastering advanced moves in basketball video games. Whether it's pulling off the Dream Shake, or performing a beautiful combination of dribbling moves that leaves a defender stumbling, developing superior skills on the sticks is supremely satisfying. Sometimes, however, there's that one move that you're just never able to perform. You've seen it in trailers and other people's gameplay footage, but for whatever reason, you just can't perform the move yourself. Alternatively, it may be a contextual animation that very rarely triggers, even when you appear to do everything correctly.

For me, my white whale of basketball gaming is a post move that can be seen in the introduction video of NBA Live 2003. Try as I might, I've never been able to perform it in all the years that I've had the game (which is to say, since late 2002). What is this elusive post move? Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting NBA Jam Tournament Edition

Postby Andrew on Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:28 pm

November 15th, 2017: Revisiting NBA Jam Tournament Edition

When you talk about titles that older basketball gamers are nostalgic for, NBA Jam will invariably be one of the most popular games to come up. It basically set the standard for what came to be known as arcade basketball games, with its over-the-top, high-flying dunks, relaxed approach to the rules of the sport, and simple gameplay. The original NBA Jam was a hit in arcades and with its home ports, appealing to basketball enthusiasts and more casual fans alike. It's since spawned sequels, spiritual successors, and more than a couple of imitators with varying degrees of quality.

The original game is considered a classic and for good reason, but personally, I've always preferred its sequel, NBA Jam Tournament Edition. It's a game I looked back at in the second ever Wayback Wednesday feature, around this time two years ago. Back then, I provided a few off-the-cuff thoughts on the game over some footage I'd been sitting on for a few years. I enjoyed doing that and it was a fun way to start getting into creating some video content, but I've always wanted to revisit NBA Jam Tournament Edition with a more fleshed out retrospective. That's what I'm doing today, so let's take a look back...way back...
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