NBA Live 95 Retrospective

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NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:19 pm

NBA Live 95 Retrospective

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As I've mentioned on many occasions, NBA Live 95 is a title that's often remembered fondly by long-time basketball gamers. Beyond its significance as the first game in the NBA Live series, it's also generally considered to be a classic for the way it advanced the genre. Even after 25 years, it holds up remarkably well considering how far basketball video games have come. I always feel nostalgic when I dust off NBA Live 95, but I also find that I'm impressed by the quality and how much fun it can still be, given its age. Let's look back 25 years to where it all began.


It's an all-new retrospective of NBA Live 95! There were a number of things I didn't cover in my original retrospective for the 20th Anniversary, so I wanted to make sure I discussed them this time around. What I originally thought was going to be a slight update turned out to be pretty much a brand new article, but no complaints here. NBA Live 95 is well worth remembering and reminiscing about!

Check it out here!
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby [Q] on Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:01 am

Man, i spent so much time on this game as a kid. This definitely helped form my opinions on teams and players I liked to play as. As a result Reggie Miller and Grant Hill were some of my favorite players then. I definitely had problems with the game once the next year came about, as I tried moving players around and I enjoyed playing with Shaq on my hometown Lakers, it was frustrating to not have Kobe and the superstars not already in the game. Sometimes I'd put Trevor Ruffin on the team for a bald #8 to play with.

Also I'd add some Grizzlies and Raptors players to the Slammers and Jammers but it wasn't really the same.

Sometimes it was really fun to turn off rules and Sprint into people to get the ball, NBA Jam style haha

And yes that "Three!" always got me pumped whenever I needed that clutch bucket
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:50 pm

I wonder if it's the same with kids these days, video games influencing their favourite players and so forth. On one hand, the games are bigger than ever as far as sales and mainstream popularity, but then the NBA itself is also far more accessible with League Pass, highlights on YouTube, and so forth.

My cousin and I played a "no rules" game in our Houston Rockets season in NBA Live 95, in order to break up the monotony of a long season. Hakeem Olajuwon ended up with 95 steals in that one, propelling him to the top of the steals leaders (and jumping tens of places to do so) in just one game!
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby bigh0rt on Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:21 pm

I got this game (along with Madden 95) for Christmas, with my brother, for SNES. It was, by far, the most fun I had had playing a basketball video game to that point. Previously I had played Double Dribble, Bulls vs Blazers, etc. but Live 95 was so much faster and smoother and fun. It had cool dunks, Dennis Rodman's hair, goggles on players, and a cool camera angle compared to the aforementioned Bulls vs Blazers. When I think about it I still get tremendous nostalgia about the players I loved growing up like Shawn Kemp, Dan Majerle, Mitch Richmond, Reggie Miller, et al. This game really sparked my love for NBA video games which ultimately led me to the NLSC in 2005, a full decade later. I remember tweaking in game options and team strategy, even though at age 10/11 I had no idea what they meant (like playing Motion offense, and setting Crash Boards On/Off).
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby Pdub on Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:50 am

Yeah I think I remember ordering it by mail over the phone. I don't even remember how I even learned that they were making an NBA game for PC. It was perfect at the time since I was really into basketball and getting more into the NBA. It helped me learn the teams I never had a chance to watch. Those blocky player likenesses were spot on, though. Provided you had enough imagination.
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby [Q] on Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:32 am

Lol Rodman's hair. I remember it was white most of the time but occasionally they'd make it a different color. That was kind of annoying that he was on the Bulls and never rocked the white hair again so it was always a treat then it wasn't white in the game
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:07 pm

Rodman's changing hair (and portrait) was definitely one of the nifty features of those early games. It's funny that it's never been done as an Easter egg with all the historical content in NBA 2K, especially as the same principle could presumably be used for current players who change their hairstyle on occasion.
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby bigh0rt on Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:45 am

I remember loving using Cliff Robinson because he had a headband, too.
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Re: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:27 am

That was another cool detail; Chris Gatling had one too. Unfortunately there's only one head/face model in the game that has a headband so modding options were limited, but like Rodman's hair, it felt ahead of its time.
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