Wayback Wednesday: The Dunk Contest in Basketball Games

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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003’s Settings Myth

Postby dwayne2005 on Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:07 am

Andrew wrote:And fortunately, they were added the following year in NBA Live 2004.


Which is odd, because the 2003 NCAA game was virtually identical to the 2003 NBA game otherwise. I don't remember what the 2004 games interface looked like, though, but I am under the impression it wasn't the equivalent of the 2004 NBA game released a year sooner. It felt like the same game as NBA Live 2003 with different teams and sliders.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003’s Settings Myth

Postby Andrew on Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:29 am

It came out between NBA Live 2003 and NBA Live 2004.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003's Three-Point Exploit

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:47 pm

April 4th, 2018: NBA Live 2003's Three-Point Exploit

Ensuring that a basketball video game is completely free of cheesy moves and other exploits is much easier said than done. As such, even today gamers will find tricks that aren't realistic basketball strategy, but certainly effective against the CPU and other users alike. In older basketball video games, with their far more primitive AI and mechanics, simple strategies and reliable exploits tended to be the most effective means of picking up win after win. From the corner three in Double Dribble to the Outside Scorer moves in NBA Live 06, most games had at least one exploitable tactic.

As I noted in my retrospective of NBA Live 2003, the game strayed rather noticeably from the usual sim approach in most areas, and the overpowering nature of the new Freestyle Control turned gameplay into a wild shootout. One of the most powerful exploits allowed gamers to knock down three after three following a step-back, a trick that was effective even on higher difficulty levels. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: The NBA Live 96 Editor

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:31 pm

April 11th, 2018: The NBA Live 96 Editor

Although obviously far surpassed by its successors, NBA Live 96 is still one of my all-time favourite games in the NBA Live series. It was the first NBA Live title that I owned on PC, having played NBA Live 95 on the Super Nintendo (although I would later pick up the PC version of NBA Live 95 as well). It's also the game that led me to discover the NLSC when my family finally got connected to the Internet, and in turn, the hobby of modding (usually called patching at the time). As such, in addition to the fun I had with the game, it's a sentimental favourite because of its connection to my history in discovering and joining the online basketball gaming community.

The hard work of Tim, Lutz, and Brien had made it possible to mod NBA Live 95, but as I discussed in a previous article, the process could be quite fiddly, even with the tools that they created. When it came time to develop tools for NBA Live 96, they made some advances that greatly simplified the process, which delighted my teenage self and set me on a path to join the original NLSC trio and many others in the hobby of patching. One of the key tools that I soon became very familiar with was Tim's NBA Live 96 Editor. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arch Rivals Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:06 pm

April 18th, 2018: Arch Rivals Retrospective

When you think of arcade basketball video games by Midway, the titles that will most likely spring to mind are the original NBA Jam, its follow-up NBA Jam Tournament Edition, and NBA Hangtime. That stands to reason as they are some of the best games of their genre, but NBA Jam wasn't actually Midway's first attempt at making a foray onto the virtual hardwood. In 1989, four years before the debut of the original NBA Jam, Midway released Arch Rivals: a two-on-two basketball game with up-tempo gameplay, and a very casual approach to the rules of the sport.

Although not an official part of the NBA Jam lineage, Arch Rivals can certainly be considered a forerunner to Midway's more famous hoops game. Indeed, while NBA Jam is usually (and rightfully) credited as defining many of the aspects which we've come to associate with the genre of arcade basketball games, Arch Rivals is arguably the game that pioneered them. After all, while relatively subdued compared to the games that followed, Arch Rivals stands as their obvious inspiration. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arch Rivals Retrospective

Postby [Q] on Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:26 am

I remember first playing that game at 5 or 6 at the mall in a store where they had a bunch of nes consoles hooked up for people to play and demo different games. It was actually an interesting setup where there were 5 cartridges loaded up and you just hit a button to switch games.

I liked basketball but this was before I followed the NBA and due to my age I just found it really funny that you could punch other players. It was pretty fun for me back then
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arch Rivals Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:52 am

Ah, I remember stuff like that. The NES version definitely wasn't the best, but it's an admirable conversion of the arcade game.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Michael Jordan in 1-on-1

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:42 pm

April 25th, 2018: Michael Jordan in 1-on-1

Today is Tim Duncan's 42nd birthday. Not only is the future Hall of Famer one of the greatest players in NBA history, he also graced the cover of one of the best games in the NBA Live series: NBA Live 2000. Of course, he shared the cover with an insert of Michael Jordan, who made his first official appearance in the series as a member of the newly added roster of Legends. April 25th also marked a milestone in Michael Jordan's career, as on this date twenty-five years ago he captured his seventh straight scoring title, tying a record set by Wilt Chamberlain.

With those themes in mind, it seems logical to take another look back at NBA Live 2000. I've already posted an in-depth retrospective of the game, but I thought that I'd take a closer look at one of its featured attractions: Michael Jordan in 1-on-1. Making its debut in NBA Live 2000, it made sense to brand the mode with Michael Jordan's name in order to help it stand out to gamers. It certainly did just that, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arcade Modes in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Wed May 02, 2018 10:55 pm

May 2nd, 2018: Arcade Modes in NBA Live

By definition, NBA Live has always been a sim title. Granted, the level of realism hasn't always been satisfactory, and in the case of certain releases - NBA Live 2003 in particular - the style of gameplay has skewed a little towards being arcade. However, there are several distinct features and concepts that define the arcade basketball game genre, such as exaggerated dunks, a lack of rules, and a more casual, "video game" approach to the setting and gameplay. Whatever shortcomings any NBA Live or NBA 2K title may have, they are - by design and concept - sim titles. Games like NBA Jam, NBA Street, and NBA Playgrounds, on the other hand, are arcade games.

With that being said, there have been a couple of times over the years that NBA Live has tried to cater to the desire for an arcade experience. This was achieved through the Arcade mode gameplay setting in NBA Live 99 and NBA Live 2000. The experience was still far more sim-oriented than games like NBA Jam or NBA Street, but it was still noticeably wackier and less realistic than usual. It was an interesting attempt to cater to varied tastes among basketball games, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arcade Modes in NBA Live

Postby [Q] on Thu May 03, 2018 1:37 am

I remember as a kid I loved playing Live 95 or 98 and switching to arcade mode so I could run around shoving opponents and sending them flying
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arcade Modes in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Thu May 03, 2018 11:20 am

The best use of the old hand check button!
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arcade Modes in NBA Live

Postby [Q] on Thu May 03, 2018 2:48 pm

What's crazy is that you didn't have control of that in 95 so you just had to sprint into people
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Arcade Modes in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Thu May 03, 2018 2:55 pm

Oh yeah, in the PC version. No steal button, either. NBA Live 98 was the first PC release with fleshed out controls.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live on PC Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed May 09, 2018 8:23 pm

May 9th, 2018: NBA Live on PC Retrospective

It's been over ten years since a PC version of NBA Live was released. For a long time, the series was the only NBA game that was consistently released on PC as well as the consoles, but beginning with NBA Live 09, it's been a console exclusive. In hindsight, the writing was on the wall as the last couple of PC releases were problematic, not to mention ports of the previous console generation. Although the NBA 2K series would make its way to PC - the very year NBA Live left it, in fact - there is still interest in seeing EA's game return to the platform. Unfortunately, so far our Wishlist requests and petitions have not yet yielded the desired outcome.

Hopefully, as the NBA Live series continues to rebuild and re-establish itself, we'll see a PC release again one day. After all, through to around 2006, the PC version of NBA Live was arguably the definitive version of the game. It certainly helped put us on the map, and carve out a niche in the basketball gaming community with all of the work we put into modding the games. This week, I thought I'd reflect on the history of NBA Live on PC, in the hopes that its legacy will continue with a new release some day. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: CustomArt in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Wed May 16, 2018 9:27 pm

May 16th, 2018: CustomArt in NBA Live

As I mentioned in my retrospective of NBA Live on PC, modding was a big part of what made those releases the definitive versions of the game through to around the mid 2000s. The modding scene was able to become as large and successful as it did due to EA Sports' willingness to make the game files easier to modify. While we were never provided any official tools, changes such as the adoption of DBF files, as well as the organisation and relative consistency of the art file formats, kept the modding community productive and our Downloads database filled with great updates.

One of the most significant developments in modding was CustomArt, introduced in NBA Live 2003 PC. The feature simplified the process of installing mods, while also providing in-depth customisation options. Should NBA Live return to the PC at some point, it's definitely a feature that it needs to have, and it would also be great to have it natively supported in NBA 2K PC as well. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: X-Factor Players in NBA Live 07

Postby Andrew on Wed May 23, 2018 8:30 pm

May 23rd, 2018: X-Factor Players in NBA Live 07

It's fair to say that NBA Live 07 is a standout release in the NBA Live series, albeit for the wrong reasons. The Xbox 360 version of the game is widely considered to be one of the worst basketball games ever, and the PC/PlayStation 2/Xbox version's reputation isn't much better. It notably experimented with three different shooting buttons, an idea that was interesting, but proved to be overkill. Looking back on it now, it wasn't the best way of implementing advanced shooting controls. Despite the game's struggles, however, it was trying new ideas that at least had good intentions.

An example of that would be the X-Factor players in the prior gen version of NBA Live 07. A Freestyle Superstars mechanic that tried to expand upon the concept of player differentiation, it didn't quite catch on, though traces of the idea have been reworked more successfully in subsequent games. As such, it's a significant step in developing more sophisticated gameplay, and one that deserves credit for paving the way to future progress. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Three-Point Shootout in NBA Live 98

Postby Andrew on Wed May 30, 2018 6:59 pm

May 30th, 2018: Three-Point Shootout in NBA Live 98

I've already talked a little about the three-point shootout in my Wayback Wednesday feature on All-Star Weekend Mode, as well as my retrospectives of NBA Live 98 and NBA Live 2005. However, it occurred to me that I've yet to dedicate a feature solely to the contest, which made its debut in NBA Live 98. Although a three-point shootout had been featured in other basketball video games, the mode found in NBA Live 98 was, at the time, the best representation of the event on the virtual hardwood. As an item on the Wishlist, its addition was warmly welcomed by basketball gamers.

Despite lacking in some of the presentation and flair seen in later games, NBA Live 98's version of the three-point shootout was still thoroughly enjoyable. A fun change of pace, the mode was certainly missed when it was removed in later games. It's a mode that's worthy of its own retrospective, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K9 on PC Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:29 pm

June 6th, 2018: NBA 2K9 on PC Retrospective

The fact that LeBron James is appearing in his eighth consecutive NBA Finals series hasn't just sparked fierce debate among basketball fans in the endless Greatest of All-Time debate. It's also a sign of how quickly the last few years have flown by, with LeBron's tenure with the Miami Heat already becoming a distant memory. Another fact that may leave you wondering where the time has gone is the number of NBA 2K games that have come out on PC, which now stands at ten. It feels like only yesterday that the series was a newcomer to the platform, but it has indeed been a decade.

Currently the only sim-oriented title that's still being released on PC, NBA 2K has kept basketball gaming alive on the platform. When it was announced that NBA 2K9 would be coming out on PC, it came as tremendous news for a community that had felt abandoned by EA Sports. Since we've had a decade of NBA 2K gaming on PC at this point, I feel it's worth reflecting upon the game that brought the series to a new audience of basketball gamers. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: The Dunk Contest in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:28 pm

June 13th, 2018: The Dunk Contest in Basketball Games

The Slam Dunk Contest is the main event of All-Star Saturday Night, and with the notable exception of the 1998 All-Star Weekend, it's been a fixture of the festivities since 1984. Although not every contest has been better than the last - and indeed, some years have been downright disappointing - it's still provided us with many memorable examples of spectacular aerial artistry. It only stands to reason that we want to take part in the dunk contest in basketball video games, and fortunately for us, several titles over the years have afforded us that opportunity.

Implemented in a variety of ways over the years, the dunk contest has proven to be a fun mini-game to jump into whenever it's been available to play at any time. Along with the Three-Point Shootout, it's also deepened the franchise and career experiences by representing the most prominent events of the All-Star Weekend. The main event of the NBA's midseason classic has an interesting history when it comes to the virtual hardwood, so let's take a look back...way back...
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