Wayback Wednesday: The Inactive Players in NBA Live 96 PC

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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Jam vs NBA Street

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:37 am

That's what I liked about EA's games. Between the Remix Tour and then Road Trip in OFE, they managed to avoid that. The Real AI made the gameplay a bit less repetitive as well.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Jam vs NBA Street

Postby [Q] on Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:16 am

Even in OFE I think I got tired of it while going through it again against all of the robots. I couldn't get myself to play against robots 29 times in a row lol
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Jam vs NBA Street

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:19 am

That's fair. Honestly though, I feel like Street can be just as repetitive in its modes (though they have more variation that the original Jam games, where it's basically just beat everyone on the ladder). I do really like Homecourt for example, but the Homecourt Challenge does wear a bit thin after a while.
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Super Dunk Shot Teams

Postby Andrew on Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:32 pm

Wayback Wednesday: Super Dunk Shot Teams

One of the first games I covered in a video retrospective for Wayback Wednesday was World League Basketball. It's the PAL release of Sculptured Software's NCAA Basketball for the Super Nintendo, replacing the college teams and tournament with a fictional global basketball league. The change was made because no college sports games have been licensed for release outside of North America, but the Japanese version - Super Dunk Shot - made an even crazier alteration to the teams. The game is basically a bootleg NBA title, from the season structure to the teams and players.

I've talked about the names of teams in Super Dunk Shot in previous articles and on the NLSC Podcast, but I believe they deserve their own feature. Some of the names really are ridiculous, but in the best possible way. These days I have all three versions of the game in my collection, but I wish I had them all those years ago. I loved World League Basketball, but I would've spent a lot of time with a college hoops and bootleg NBA game as well. Again, the teams in Super Dunk Shot deserve to be spotlighted, so Division by Division, let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: adidas Live Run in NBA Live 10

Postby Andrew on Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:54 pm

Wayback Wednesday: adidas Live Run in NBA Live 10

These days, we take the concept of online team play for granted. Although there's still interest in single player experiences and local multiplayer, the various modes that allow us to play with up to nine other gamers online are extremely popular. Of course, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, to say nothing of the multiplayer scene in first person shooters and good old fashioned LAN parties, had already popularised the concept. As soon as the online infrastructure was developed for basketball and other sports titles, it was clear that the concept would find an enthusiastic audience.

It's interesting to look back at those early iterations of online team play. With adidas Live Run in particular, you can see that the concept was already starting to evolve into the experiences we now enjoy (well, sometimes enjoy). Unfortunately, with the NBA Live series being rebooted following the cancellation of NBA Elite 11, the developers weren't able to expand upon the idea of adidas Live Run until NBA Live 16. It was nevertheless an innovative mode in its time, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K15 & The Forgotten Generation

Postby Andrew on Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:44 pm

Wayback Wednesday: NBA 2K15 & The Forgotten Generation

Way back in the mid 2000s, the launch of the Xbox 360 (and then the PlayStation 3) forced us to change our approach to our content and coverage. At the time we were still more or less exclusively about NBA Live PC, but we now had two generations to cover: the PlayStation 2/Xbox version, which we covered because it was the one that was ported to PC, and the Next Gen version on the new consoles, as it was the release receiving the most attention from EA Sports. When NBA Live was discontinued on PC, and then PS2 a year later, we only had the 360 and PS3 version to cover.

It's been different with NBA 2K. When it landed on PC, it was the same version that the 360 and PS3 received (give or take an online feature). We covered both the last gen PC port and Next Gen version of NBA 2K14 following the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and then when the PC received a PS4/X1 port from NBA 2K15 onwards, we simply left the prior gen behind. Simply put, there wasn't much reason to cover it, and I personally stopped buying NBA 2K on that generation. I've wondered what it was like though, and to that end, I picked up a copy of NBA 2K15 for PS3 to check out. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting the NBA Live 2002 Rosters

Postby Andrew on Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:49 pm

Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting the NBA Live 2002 Rosters

As I've previously discussed, NBA Live 2002 is a game that I'm oddly nostalgic for. To echo the assessment I made in my 25th Anniversary of NBA Live retrospective, it's a mixed bag. It has some problems and it wasn't everything we hoped it would be, but it also featured some welcome improvements. It's arguably slightly underrated, and I've come to look upon it more favourably over the years. Still, if you do go back and spend some time with it, the same issues that were an annoyance when the game was new will soon become apparent. I do enjoy revisiting it, though.

One of the reasons I'm nostalgic for NBA Live 2002 is that it came along at a very memorable time for me. I was entering my final year of high school, I'd just taken over as webmaster of the NLSC, and the NBA landscape was continuing to change. To that last point, Michael Jordan returned to the NBA to play for the Washington Wizards, and while I wasn't overly thrilled with it at the time - I am a diehard Bulls fan, after all - it was obviously an interesting development. Whenever I look back through the rosters of NBA Live 2002, I'm reminded of that time in my life, and in the NBA. I'm feeling that nostalgia today, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: The Space Jam Video Game

Postby Andrew on Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:57 pm

Wayback Wednesday: The Space Jam Video Game

Happy 58th Birthday to my all-time favourite player, Michael Jordan! You know, it kind of blows my mind that I'm now older than MJ was when he won his final title with the Chicago Bulls in 1998. Appropriately enough, that was 23 years ago; a fact that's also difficult to wrap my head around! In any case, I figured that since it is His Airness' birthday today, it only makes sense to cover something related to him. The problem is that I've already covered The Jordan Challenge (from several angles, too), as well as Michael Jordan in Flight, his history in games, and his comeback in 1995.

What else is there? Well, how about the Space Jam video game? Yes, there was a lot of merchandise related to Space Jam when it came out, and like so many movies in the 90s, there was a video game tie-in for PC, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn. I didn't actually play it back in the day, but I've since added it to my collection. We got a real jam going down, so let's take it into overtime...I mean, let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began

Postby Andrew on Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:46 pm

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Returns Over Before They Began

Although our content is obviously focused on the virtual hardwood, I like to mix in topics related to the real NBA as well. After all, it directly influences our experiences in video games, and the games in turn capture a snapshot of what the league was like when they were released. To that end, I've enjoyed branching out with topics like Familiar Faces in Strange Places, and its counterpart Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places, in previous Wayback Wednesday features. It's easy to bring it all back to video games, because of the way they act as interactive almanacs.

This is a spinoff of those two series that came to mind as I was researching them. I recalled players that were reacquired by their former teams, but didn't end up playing for them again. As I noted in my Familiar Places articles, there's something fun about seeing players rejoin their old teams; especially when they end up wearing an updated uniform we never thought we'd see them don. Likewise, there are some interesting "What If" scenarios involving NBA returns that were over before they even had a chance to begin, or otherwise didn't result in an official appearance. We can see and make NBA returns happen in games however, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NCAA March Madness 08 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:29 pm

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA March Madness 08 Retrospective

I wasn't able to enjoy any of the college basketball games while they were still being developed, as they couldn't be licensed for release outside of North America. As they were console-only releases, and none of the consoles I owned were region-free, I wasn't able to import NTSC games with my PAL hardware. Since then, a friend gifted me their old PlayStation 3, which means that I can finally import NTSC games! Needless to say, the college basketball titles from EA Sports and Visual Concepts were the ones that I was the most interested in.

As such, I've been able to get my hands on NCAA March Madness 08, NCAA Basketball 09, and NCAA Basketball 10 by EA Sports, and College Hoops 2K7 and College Hoops 2K8 by Visual Concepts. I'm very happy to have finally added them to the collection; after all, I find that checking out basketball games that I missed the first time around can be just as fun as dusting off some old favourites. Obviously, I enjoy sharing my thoughts on them as well, and in that spirit, I'm beginning with NCAA March Madness 08. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 09 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:48 pm

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 09 Retrospective

As I mentioned when I looked back at NCAA March Madness 08, college basketball games were something that I wasn't able to enjoy for many years. Due to an inability to secure international likeness rights for the NCAA, those titles were only released in North America. Universal adapters, certain cheat devices, and modded consoles were - for the most part- the only way we could play those NTSC releases in PAL regions. The PlayStation 3 was region free however, and after a friend gifted me one, I've been able to import a handful of NTSC games, including college basketball titles.

My collection currently includes the aforementioned NCAA March Madness 08, as well as the game I'm looking back at today: its sequel, NCAA Basketball 09. I also own NCAA Basketball 10, and 2K Sports' College Hoops 2K7 and College Hoops 2K8. I'll be getting to those in due course, but for now, let's look at the 2009 season release from EA Sports. The series rebranded itself to NCAA Basketball, but did the 09 edition succeed in being more than just a mere name change? Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 10 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:55 pm

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 10 Retrospective

As I mentioned when I took a look back at NCAA March Madness 08 and NCAA Basketball 09, it wasn't until I was gifted a PlayStation 3 that I've been able to import college basketball games. I've therefore taken the opportunity to seek out and pick up those North American exclusives that I couldn't play on my PAL consoles. Although they do show their age somewhat, I've still really enjoyed finally being able to play them and make up for some lost time. I've also picked up College Hoops 2K7 and 2K8, and I'll be getting to them in due course.

I have an unusual history with NCAA Basketball 10. Like the other college games, I wasn't able to play it until I got a PlayStation 3. However, the difference with NCAA Basketball 10 is that I actually covered it on the NLSC during its preview season! Even though I knew I wouldn't be able to play it or produce any post-release content, we were expanding beyond just being an NBA Live website, and posting news related to NCAA Basketball 10 was part of my efforts to branch out. Over a decade later, I finally have the game and a console to play it on, so let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K7 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:10 pm

Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K7 Retrospective

Finally getting my hands on the college games from Visual Concepts has been just as rewarding as adding EA Sports' NCAA titles to my collection, but playing them has been a slightly different experience. While there's still the novelty of finally getting to play games that I wasn't able to import for so long, I don't have the same history with NBA 2K7 as I do with NBA Live 07. If nothing else, it isn't as jarring to see NCAA branding in a menu that I associate with an NBA game that I'm far more familiar with, and played more extensively when it was new.

I do own NBA 2K7 though and have spent time with it, so I am aware of what 2K's basketball games were like at the time, and thus can make comparisons with College Hoops 2K7. Needless to say, it's interesting to compare the College Hoops games to its contemporaries in the March Madness series as well, especially since the latter utilised technology from a very rough era in NBA Live's history, and 2K has usually taken a different approach to certain core features and mechanics. With that being said, let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K8 Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:58 pm

Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K8 Retrospective

College Hoops 2K8 is a title that generally makes basketball gamers feel wistful, the same way football gamers look back at ESPN NFL 2K5. Both games marked the end of their respective series, and were very highly regarded. They have an enduring popularity, as gamers who enjoyed them when they were new are still able to dust them off and play them today, especially College Hoops 2K8 with all of its roster customisation. Indeed, gamers have continued to make new rosters for College Hoops 2K8 for many years afterwards, some of which are still available.

As I look back at College Hoops 2K8, it seems accurate to say that it's many people's favourite college basketball game. As with College Hoops 2K7, I'm coming from the position of someone who wasn't able to play it when it was new, and also didn't spend a lot of time with its NBA counterpart at the time either. I therefore don't have any nostalgia for it, and while I am able to make comparisons to NBA 2K8, there isn't quite the same novelty as there was when comparing NBA Live 08 and NCAA March Madness 08. Nevertheless, it's unquestionably a significant title, and a great release that's well worth remembering. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball Retrospective

Postby Andrew on Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:52 am

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball Retrospective

With Baylor's victory and another March Madness in the books, I'm taking a look back at one final college basketball game. It's a game that I've covered twice before in Wayback Wednesday, albeit under two different titles: World League Basketball, and Super Dunk Shot. As I mentioned in those features, this 1992 release developed by Sculptured Software changed its name and content according to the region it was released in. To that end, depending on whether you're in North America, a PAL region, or Japan, you'll be nostalgic for a different version of the same game.

Since Australia is a PAL region, the version of the game that I grew up with was World League Basketball. Now that I've picked up a Universal Adapter for my Super Nintendo, I've been able to collect Super Dunk Shot and NCAA Basketball, and play them on my PAL hardware. Obviously it's a very familiar experience in terms of gameplay, but the different teams and format make it a real novelty to play the other versions. On top of that, NCAA Basketball holds up as one of the best college hoops titles of its era. Let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: Stints Lasting Longer Than I Remembered

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:24 pm

Wayback Wednesday: Stints Lasting Longer Than I Remembered

I'll never claim to be an infallible source of knowledge, whether I'm talking about real basketball or basketball video games. There's a lot of stuff I remember off the top of my head, but I've certainly found that it pays to double-check and look things up. When it comes to the players I grew up watching, I tend to have a good memory as far as who they played for, how long they played for them, and when they moved on to a new team. However, my recall definitely isn't perfect. As such, when I revisit an old game, I'm sometimes surprised to see a player still on a particular team's roster.

Yes, this is another example of basketball video games being interactive almanacs. As I've said, it's one of the most appealing parts of dusting off old video games: seeing that snapshot of the NBA at the time they were developed. Just as there's something really fun about seeing familiar faces in strange places, or back in familiar places for that matter, it's interesting to be reminded of stints that lasted longer than I recalled. As usual, I'm looking at these examples through the lens of the games that reminded me of these tenures. With that being said, let's take a look back...way back...
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Re: Wayback Wednesday: The Inactive Players in NBA Live 96 PC

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:40 pm

Wayback Wednesday: The Inactive Players in NBA Live 96 PC

The PC version of NBA Live 96 is one of my all-time favourite games. I have so many fond memories of playing it, but it's also a sentimental favourite. It was actually the first NBA Live game I owned; the Super Nintendo version of NBA Live 95 was the first game in the series that I played, but it was a frequent video store rental, and I didn't add it or the PC version of NBA Live 95 to my collection until later. The game is obviously set in the 1995-96 season - also a personal favourite - and searching for NBA Live 96 content is what led me to discover the NLSC way back in 1997.

Even after I'd moved on to newer games, NBA Live 96 continued to be a valuable resource. Before Basketball Reference launched, we had to work a bit harder and consult various resources when we made retro roster mods, including older games. As I was quite fond of creating 1996 season mods, NBA Live 96 was one of my go-to resources. Unfortunately, its roster contained a few inaccuracies. While this certainly isn't uncommon in games that predate official roster updates, the PC version of NBA Live 96 notably includes a number of players who were retired or inactive. Let's take a look back...way back...
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