Basketball Video Games

Wayback Wednesday: Double Dribble Video Retrospective

Double Dribble Title Screen

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games.

I’m long overdue to do another video retrospective for Wayback Wednesday, and a recent incident involving Family Guy inspired me to cover a game that’s been on my list for a while: Double Dribble, for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Double Dribble is a game by Konami that a lot of you have probably heard of, and it’s a hoops title that I wanted as a kid, but never actually played until many years later. Having played the game since as an adult, I certainly have a few thoughts on it that I’d like to share with my fellow basketball gamers. Since it’s recently come up in gaming news and been thrust back into the public eye, now seems like an opportune time.

It’s a significant basketball video game in its own right, one that’s worth revisiting if only for its memorable animated dunking cutscenes. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Catch the retrospective here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Making another video retrospective has certainly got me in the mood to get back to creating them, so stay tuned for further video content, as well as other Wayback Wednesday features, coming your way every week here at the NLSC!

Monday Tip-Off: Should Basketball Video Games Have DLC?

Alex English in the NBA 2K12 Legends Showcase DLC

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games.

Let’s broach a controversial topic today: downloadable content. Downloadable content is a polarising aspect of modern gaming to say the least, as many gamers despise it, and believe that it’s ruining the hobby. At the same time, there are plenty of gamers who will enthusiastically tell developers to shut up and take their money when appealing DLC is announced. In my view, there are valid arguments on both sides.

DLC isn’t something we’ve had to deal with much when it comes to basketball video games. These days, sports games are expected to receive updates throughout the season, and those updates are included in the price of the game. While they do have bonus content that could feasibly be expanded with DLC, sports games generally don’t lend themselves to the concept as much as games that can receive new maps, weapons, missions, characters, and so on.

It would be feasible for EA Sports and 2K Sports to offer that kind of content for NBA Live and NBA 2K though, so I ask the question: should basketball video games have DLC?

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Monday Tip-Off: Modding Old Basketball Video Games

NBA Live 15 adidas Basketball Practice Court Patch for NBA Live 15

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games.

A couple of months ago, I talked about why we enjoy going back and playing old basketball video games. Dusting off an old favourite is almost always an enjoyably nostalgic experience; however, the further back you go, the more aware you’ll be of how much basketball games have improved over the years. Some games are fun to revisit, but you can’t always spend too much time with them as they’re just too outdated, too primitive compared to what we’re used to now. While that may mean a simpler experience with an appealing “pick up and play” factor, it can also feel a bit shallow after a while.

Of course, there are some gamers who still prefer playing older titles to newer ones, for various reasons. Whether you’re still actively playing an older basketball game, or you’re going back and playing an old favourite for a change of pace, the experience can be greatly enhanced by mods and patches. We still have quite a few people making updates for older titles, as we even had some uploads for NBA Live 2000 as recently as August last year. In terms of newer games, there’s still a thriving modding community for NBA 2K14 PC, even though a lot of gamers moved on to NBA 2K15, and subsequently NBA 2K16.

So, why do we still enjoy modding older basketball games, long after their popularity has started to fade?

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The Friday Five: 5 Predictions for Future Cover Players

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

The cover players for NBA Live and NBA 2K are admittedly an insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, it’s a subject that still manages to capture our attention every year, before the official announcements are made. In between talking about what we want to see out of NBA Live and NBA 2K, and speculating on each game’s features and improvements as we learn about them, we usually find ourselves asking: who’s going to be on the cover?

It’s a fun talking point, even if it does have little bearing on the games themselves. Throughout the years, we’ve seen some huge names lend their likenesses to the cover art of NBA Live and NBA 2K, as well as a few unorthodox choices for cover players. Since it’ll be a few months until the preview season really gets underway, I thought that for this week’s Five, I’d throw out some predictions as to who we might see on the covers of NBA Live and NBA 2K…perhaps as soon as this year.

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The Friday Five: 5 Satisfying Moments in Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

There are a lot of things that feel good when you’re playing a basketball video game. Knocking down a three-pointer, whether it’s a wide open shot or you’re drilling it right in the face of a defender. Throwing down a dunk, especially when you see a brand new animation, or when the slam caps off a big scoring run. Great defensive plays that end with a crafty steal, intimidating block, or an embarrassing shot clock violation for your opponent, also feel pretty good. When you’re playing a basketball video game, you can sometimes get just as excited as you do when you’re watching or playing the real sport.

That’s what makes basketball video games such a satisfying experience. I mean, we wouldn’t be playing them, talking about them, modding them, and yes, even complaining about them, if we weren’t getting something out of them, and they didn’t hold any value to us. In this week’s Friday Five, I wanted to talk about some of the specific moments in basketball video games that I find to be the most satisfying. These are the moments that go beyond the thrill of simply nailing a triple, or rocking the rim.

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Wayback Wednesday: Michael Jordan in Flight Video Retrospective

Michael Jordan in Flight Screenshot

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

February 17th marks the birthday of my all-time favourite basketball player, Michael Jordan. Since this week’s Wayback Wednesday coincides with MJ’s birthday, and I’ve been eager to do another video retrospective for a while, I figured it was a good time to look back at an old game featuring His Airness: Michael Jordan in Flight. Released exclusively for PC DOS back in 1992, it may seem primitive today, but for its time, it was quite technologically advanced.

Whether or not you’re a big fan of Michael Jordan, I hope that you’ll enjoy my video retrospective of another noteworthy, and somewhat unique basketball video game. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I can post another retrospective like this, so stay tuned for more videos, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content, coming your way every week!

Monday Tip-Off: Playing Old Basketball Video Games

Allen Iverson with the layup in NBA Live 2004

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to basketball video games.

Based on past polls, mod releases, and general discussion, a majority of basketball gamers move on to the latest game in the series they play, usually within a couple of months of its release, if not immediately. While retro gaming is a popular hobby, sports games generally aren’t an ideal genre for it. After all, most fans prefer to play with the latest rosters, and take advantage of the improvements and additions that are made year-to-year. As a result, sports games don’t move well in the second hand market, with lower trade-in prices owing to the annual releases, and less interest in playing them once they’re outdated.

Of course, sometimes we do go back and play older basketball games. I’m sure we all have some old favourites that we can dust off and nostalgically enjoy despite their age, and certain titles do become classics. Arcade-oriented basketball games such as NBA Jam and NBA Street also tend to age a little better, since they’re adopting a more casual and less realistic approach to the sport in the first place. However, some of the best sim-oriented titles in the past decade or so also hold up respectably well. As such, if you have a new roster patch or an old season save game, an older title might still hold a lot of appeal.

But then you’ve got basketball gamers who aren’t going back to older games; they haven’t stopped playing them in the first place. Whether it’s because they’re unable to upgrade, or don’t wish to upgrade, they shun the latest releases in favour of an older game. So, for this week’s Monday Tip-Off, I wanted to take a look at some of the reasons why we play old basketball video games.

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Road to the Playoffs: A Much Needed Inclusion for 2K PRO-AM

NLSCProAmFeature

During the holiday period it was announced that there will be a Road to the Playoffs competition involving NBA 2K16’s PRO-AM mode; and this news came as a pleasant surprise to me. After the last few attempts I had to play the mode with my friends failed, due to the lack of matchups on the server, I was resigned to giving up on 2K PRO-AM altogether and focus on MyPARK in order to show off the talents of MyPLAYER. However, it is my hope that this announcement will drive more traffic to what I believe is a great mode. After all, the lack of participation in 2K PRO-AM was really the only thing that kept it from being better than MyPARK… at least in my opinion.

With every 2K PRO-AM game there’s a great sense of occasion. You’re playing for your team, in the uniforms you’ve designed, and if you’re playing at home, you’re playing on your court in front of your fans. The stadium aspect alone can give you bragging rights over your competitors, since you can have a full house or an empty stadium depending on your progress in MyCAREER. But the thing I love most about 2K PRO-AM is that it’s you and your friends against the world; the way basketball should be. Representing the different parks is fine, but it often feels like your wins are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the overall result.

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Wayback Wednesday: Replay Professional Basketball

Replay Professional Basketball Main Menu

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

While there have been a few basketball management/text sim games released over the years, they’ve never matched the popularity of the prominent gameplay-based titles, such as NBA Live, NBA 2K, and NBA Jam. A few of them are still around, including some that are free to play online, but they don’t command nearly as much attention as the games that actually feature on-court action. It’s only natural: most people want a fully interactive experience, with franchise and career modes, and online head-to-head play against their fellow basketball gamers.

And yet, there’s a contingent of basketball enthusiasts who would be content to sit back and watch a virtual representation of the sport, adopting more of a coaching or management role. As such, the prospect of an NBA licensed management sim is brought up every once in a while. I’ve never had much interest in that subgenre myself, as I’d prefer to be in control of the action, but I’ve dabbled with a sim game before. That game was 1991’s Replay Professional Basketball, created for DOS by Thomas R. Mink, and it’s the subject of this week’s Wayback Wednesday!

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: A Look at Basketball Video Game Story Threads

Ben Gordon dunks in NBA Live 06's Dynasty Mode

We’re at midcourt, the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Get your week started here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to basketball video games.

If you’ve browsed the NLSC Forum, chances are you’ve noticed our Basketball Video Game Stories section. It’s a place where you can entertain your fellow basketball gamers with ongoing coverage of your exploits in NBA Live and NBA 2K, whether you’re playing through the franchise or single player career modes. Over the years, we’ve had some very creative and popular story threads, many of which are now enshrined in our two Story Hall of Fame subsections, so that we can easily go back and enjoy them all over again.

However, story threads have somewhat fallen out of fashion. While we still have gamers posting in the Basketball Video Game Stories section – and we certainly encourage everyone to make use of it, if they feel so inclined – it sadly seems that we’re past the heyday of the story thread. There are a few reasons for this, which I thought I’d explore in today’s Monday Tip-Off, in addition to shining a spotlight on the section and the practice of maintaining story threads in general.

So, what are story threads all about, what was so enthralling about them, and why are they kind of becoming a thing of the past?

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Wayback Wednesday: Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball Video Retrospective

Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

It’s time for another video retrospective, and this week, I’m taking a look back at a game that I’m not particularly fond of. In fact, it would easily make my shortlist of the worst basketball video games ever made, quite probably coming in at number one. That game is Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball, a futuristic arcade hoops game starring the former Bad Boy Piston as the commissioner of a league in the year 2030, in which he’s fired the referees and thrown out almost all of the rules.

An unusual and potentially entertaining concept, it didn’t exactly pan out, perhaps explaining why there aren’t any other basketball video games starring Bill Laimbeer. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Stay tuned for more video retrospectives, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content!

Wayback Wednesday: World League Basketball Video Retrospective

Dunking in World League Basketball

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.

As promised, I have a new video retrospective for this week’s Wayback Wednesday! Today, I’m taking a look back at an old favourite of mine that I’ve wanted to talk about in more detail for some time now. It’s a basketball game for the Super Nintendo called World League Basketball…well, the game that I own is called World League Basketball, anyway. Depending on where you lived when this game was released in 1992, you might have known it as NCAA Basketball, or perhaps Super Dunk Shot.

It’s a game that was, in some ways, ahead of its time, and it’s definitely worth reminiscing about. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Stay tuned for more video retrospectives, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content!

Clarifying My Opinion of 7-Footers in MyPark

2KTV

If you’ve seen the Thanksgiving special of NBA 2KTV, you would have noticed that both JaoSming and Leftos appeared on camera; but did you know that another NLSC Team Member was also featured in the episode? It just so happens that one of my tweets made it onto the #2ktvthanks section.

I know, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that I was “featured” in the episode, but I was pretty stoked about it. Not only did my tweet appear in the episode itself, but it was also shown in the NBA 2K16 main menu during the preview of the episode. I won’t lie; I watched the preview several times, waiting for my name to appear. I also took quite a few screenshots, just in case the previous ones were unclear. For those who didn’t seen it, this is what I wrote:

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The Friday Five: 5 Mistakes We Make in Basketball Video Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to basketball video games, the real NBA, or another area of interest to our community, either as a list of five items or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

In this community, we know basketball, and we know basketball video games. When it comes to virtual hoops, I think it’s fair to suggest that we have some people in our community who are pretty good on the sticks. Nevertheless, as much as we know about basketball – the real thing, and its virtual equivalent, be it NBA Live or NBA 2K – there are some mistakes that we’re prone to making. As those mistakes add up, so too do our losses, whether it’s to the CPU in one of the franchise modes, or to other users online.

So, in this week’s Friday Five, I thought I’d list some of the mistakes that we’re prone to making, and offer up some advice on how to avoid them. These are the things that I try to keep in mind when I’m playing NBA Live or NBA 2K; both the pitfalls I’d prefer to avoid, and the strategies I employ to try and do so. Without any further ado, here are five mistakes that we make when we play basketball video games…and a few ways that we can avoid them.

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Scottie Sunday: Strange Occurences in MyTeam

ScottieFeatureImage

He was always a player I had an admiration for, but I can’t say I was ever a huge fan of Scottie Pippen. Like pretty much everyone else that grew up in the 90’s, my earliest memories of the NBA were of the Chicago Bulls dominating everyone in their path. And while it is hard to argue against the fact that Scottie Pippen played a big part in that, the Bulls, and basketball in general, were synonymous with a guy he played with…and I’m not talking about Dickey Simpkins. While just about every conversation about the NBA could include Michael Jordan, this article is dedicated to the one night on MyTeam where it was all about Scottie Pippen.

Two weeks ago, I decided to play Historic Domination. I had three games to complete: the ’89 Bulls, the West All-Stars and the Historic Stars. The first game I played was against the West All-Stars. After yet another handsome victory to my death squad, I opened up the reward packs. The player I drew was ’91 Scottie Pippen. After my initial surprise and joy, I looked through my collection to add Scottie to my squad; but much like the ’98 Toni Kukoc card I drew (twice), it wasn’t there. This led me to start a thread in the Forum, which surprisingly still hasn’t got any responses (I thought it was at least as important as the “sweat issue”). Thankfully this problem was recently addressed.

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