Wayback Wednesday: Reimagining The Jordan Challenge

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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003 Soundtrack

Postby Andrew on Thu May 23, 2019 12:42 am

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2003 Soundtrack

Music is an integral part of video games, no matter the genre. It creates atmosphere, pumps you up to play, and forges a connection with gamers. As such, it's no surprise that a game's soundtrack becomes a significant part of our nostalgia, leading us to seek out tracks on YouTube or Spotify, or contributing to the rush we feel when we fire up an old favourite once again. Many games have brought us original scores that have subsequently become iconic, but the inclusion of licensed songs has led to a lot of debates about the best soundtracks in video games.

That debate has naturally produced a variety of answers when it comes to basketball games, but there's one playlist in particular that a lot of gamers mention: the NBA Live 2003 soundtrack. Many of its tracks have come to be associated with the game, and the album release was certified platinum, a first for a video game score. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: The Lost Retro Teams

Postby Andrew on Thu May 30, 2019 12:07 am

Wayback Wednesday: The Lost Retro Teams

It's easy to take the retro teams in NBA 2K for granted. They've been a staple of the games since the introduction of The Jordan Challenge back in NBA 2K11, to the point where a lot of gamers no longer consider them bonus content; they're something we expect to see in the games. There was a time, however, when it didn't seem likely due to the hurdle of likeness rights. Indeed, a few years before 2K made it a reality, EA Sports made some preliminary steps towards including retro teams in NBA Live 08, ultimately scrapping the idea when they couldn't license all of the players.

While it does seem like the concept of retro teams is here to stay - and there are plenty of ideas for new ones that could be added - not all of the previously included squads remain in NBA 2K. Over the years, a total of ten retro teams have been cut after being included in at least one game, though four of them would be replaced by a squad from around the same era. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Release Topics: NBA Live 08 | NBA Live 07 | NBA Live 06 | NBA Live 2005 | NBA Live 2004
Story Topics: NBA 2K19 | NBA 2K13 | NBA Live 06 (Part 2) | NBA Live 06 (HOF) | NBA Live 2004 (HOF)
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: A Long-Lost NBA Live 07 Preview

Postby Andrew on Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:44 pm

Wayback Wednesday: A Long-Lost NBA Live 07 Preview

The NBA Finals often brings us our first glimpse of the upcoming sim titles, though for the moment, both EA Sports and Visual Concepts are remaining tight-lipped. I've previously reflected on how the preview seasons seemed longer and more exciting in years gone by, and that was certainly the case in the mid 2000s. Back then, a lot of sites (including the NLSC) were on a mailing list for preview assets from EA. As the 2006 NBA Finals began, we received a press release detailing a simulation of the series in NBA Live 07, some prior gen screenshots, and new gen gameplay.

Unfortunately, we then received a directive from EA Sports that the feature and all of the media needed to be immediately pulled, as they contained something that wasn't meant to be seen yet. As such, it would be a few weeks before we received any media that we could publish, and that 2006 Finals simulation in NBA Live 07 was lost to time. It's something I've kept in my archives though, and since the Finals are upon us, it seems like a good time to bring it out of the vault. So, what was the result of the simulation, and why was the feature pulled? Let's take a look back...way back...
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Release Topics: NBA Live 08 | NBA Live 07 | NBA Live 06 | NBA Live 2005 | NBA Live 2004
Story Topics: NBA 2K19 | NBA 2K13 | NBA Live 06 (Part 2) | NBA Live 06 (HOF) | NBA Live 2004 (HOF)
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Reimagining The Jordan Challenge

Postby Andrew on Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:49 pm

Wayback Wednesday: Reimagining The Jordan Challenge

The Jordan Challenge was a significant milestone in basketball gaming. In celebrating the career of Michael Jordan, it achieved what once seemed impossible: adding actual retro teams, rather than just a collection of Legends on Decade All-Star squads. Retro teams would be established as the norm, and the mode also paved the way for NBA's Greatest the following year in NBA 2K12. The Jordan Challenge is a mode that I've profiled in a Wayback Wednesday feature, as well as gone back and finished. It's a lot of fun, and a great achievement in one of the best NBA 2K titles.

With that being said, The Jordan Challenge isn't perfect. As I've previously noted, the ten challenges do lack variety. Three of them are set in the 1990 season, recycling the 1990 Chicago Bulls and taking up spots that could've gone to other memorable games from MJ's career. It doesn't ruin the mode, but looking back, the inability to license certain players did limit it somewhat. With that in mind, I'm doing something a little different for this week's Wayback Wednesday, and reimagining The Jordan Challenge with some additional and alternative games. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Release Topics: NBA Live 08 | NBA Live 07 | NBA Live 06 | NBA Live 2005 | NBA Live 2004
Story Topics: NBA 2K19 | NBA 2K13 | NBA Live 06 (Part 2) | NBA Live 06 (HOF) | NBA Live 2004 (HOF)
NLSC: Podcast | The Friday Five | Monday Tip-Off | Wayback Wednesday | 20th Anniversary of NBA Live | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


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