NBA Live 2002

The Friday Five: 5 Things Old School Basketball Gamers Did

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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

I’ve been playing basketball video games for a long time now, and I know that I’m far from the only person in our community with a long history on the virtual hardwood. If you go back a long way with basketball video games, chances are you have a healthy appreciation for how far they’ve come, while also harbouring a certain amount of nostalgia for the more primitive games from yesteryear. You probably remember many of their quirks, some of which you may miss, whereas others will definitely leave you feeling very grateful that they’re no longer an issue.

Of course, we gamers have plenty of quirks of our own, whether it’s some kind of superstitious ritual with the controls (“Yeah, tapping the button at that time totally works!”), or just something we do because it’s kind of fun, such as timing movements with the soundtrack. When it comes to basketball games, there are also certain things that we old school gamers did that probably seem a bit strange and amusing to younger gamers, because technology is so much better now. Just for fun, I thought I’d make a list of some of those quirky rituals and old fashioned activities that it seems many of us old school basketball gamers indulged in at one time or another.

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Closure: The Unfinished NBA Live 2002 Franchise

Chris Webber in NBA Live 2002

As I said in my retrospective of NBA Live 2002, it’s a game that holds up a little better than I remembered. For all its flaws, for all the controversy that surrounded it as the first game in the NBA Live series not to be released on PC, it’s a game that I spent a lot of time with. Despite its problems, I can definitely say that I enjoyed playing it back in the day.

In fact, NBA Live 2002 actually produced one of my favourite basketball gaming experiences to date: a Franchise game with the Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately, as much fun as I was having playing through that first season – 82 games, twelve minutes quarters, of course – I never actually completed it. Needless to say, that save file is long gone, so there’s no chance of ever picking it up again. It’s a shame, because I was pretty close to the end of the regular season; close enough that it wouldn’t have hurt too much to sim through to the end, and then just play through the Playoffs.

When I went back and reflected upon my most memorable failed basketball gaming endeavours in The Friday Five, I mentioned that if I still had that save file for NBA Live 2002, I’d probably make some time to finish it off with a combination of simming and playing the remaining games. Well, the save file might be gone, but I still have NBA Live 2002, and an urge to do some fun stuff for the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live. You can probably see where this is going, so let’s not beat around the bush any longer. Join me as I gain some closure and finish what I started, with a helping hand from the simulation function!

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 2002 Retrospective

NBA Live 2002 Retrospective

To mark the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re posting content for every game in the series, including retrospectives, patches, countdowns, and more. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with the NBA Live series and would like to take a drip down memory lane, or you’ve only recently started playing basketball games and would like to learn a little about what they used to be like, we hope that you enjoy the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content here on the NLSC.

NBA Live 2002 was an interesting game for me to revisit. While I did play it a lot when it came out, and I definitely did enjoy my time with it, I also remember it being very frustrating at times. Upon replaying NBA Live 2002 to write this retrospective, I found myself encountering a lot of the issues that bugged me back in the day – and a couple that I’d forgotten about – but I also discovered that it held up a little better than I remembered. Let’s take a look back at one of the more controversial releases in the NBA Live series.

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Wayback Wednesday: Long-Lost NBA Live 2002 Preview Screens

Steve Francis in NBA Live 2002

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content.

The next game that I’ll be looking back at as part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations is NBA Live 2002. As I’ll discuss in more detail in my retrospective, NBA Live 2002 was a controversial release, as it was the first game in the series to be console exclusive and also had its fair share of issues. At the same time, it’s also a game that I managed to have a considerable amount of fun with back in the day, and I kind of have a sentimental attachment to it, as it was the first new NBA Live game that came out after I took over the NLSC in August 2001.

On a recent dig through my archives, I uncovered a collection of NBA Live 2002 preview screenshots that were posted on the NLSC all those years ago, but had since gone missing following a couple of hosting and design changes. I’d previously searched high and low for them, but I just couldn’t seem to find them anywhere. Now that they’ve turned up, I thought it might be fun to exhibit them again, especially with NBA Live 2002 being the next game I’m posting a retrospective on. It’s also a reminder that NBA Live’s graphics have indeed improved over the years.

So, what did basketball video games look like in 2001? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 NBA Live Saved Games I’ve Lost

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 NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous edition of The Friday Five, one of the unluckiest things that can happen in basketball gaming is the loss of a favourite save game. Whether you accidentally delete or overwrite it, or you intentionally delete it thinking you’ll never play it again, at some point you’ll grumble to yourself “I wish I still had that file”. Many of us learn the hard way to always make backups, and not to delete anything unless we’re absolutely, positively sure…and even then, probably keep a backup of it somewhere, just in case.

It’s been a while since I’ve lost a saved game, as I developed the habit of always saving my games in two slots, just in case. I also regularly make backups, so it’s been many years since I’ve lost anything that I wanted to keep. However, in the couple of decades that I’ve been playing NBA Live, there have been a few saved games that I’ve thoughtlessly deleted, or neglected to copy over to new computers. In this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking the opportunity to lament the loss of those saved games, and memorialise them.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Worst Trades & Signings I’ve Made in Basketball 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.

Last week, I counted down the top five best trades and signings that I’ve made in the franchise modes of basketball games. It was fun to reminisce about some of the deals that really made the games more fun for me, even if a few of them were correcting earlier mistakes. And speaking of mistakes, that’s what I’m taking a look at this week: the trades and signings that didn’t pan out nearly as well as I hoped they would.

Just as a great trade or signing can make a franchise game even more enjoyable, a bad move can greatly detract from the overall experience. A series of bad deals often leads to frustration and boredom, with a roster that’s too thin, too stacked, or just too strangely put together. To paraphrase a certain animated ski instructor, if you make a lot of questionable moves, you’re gonna have a bad time. In that spirit, I’m counting down what I feel are the top five worst trades and signings that I’ve made when playing through the franchise modes of basketball games. Let’s tip things off with number five…

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The Friday Five: 5 Silly Things I’ve Done in Basketball 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.

When it comes to basketball games, I like to think of myself as a member of Sim Nation…shout out to Da_Czar. Although some of the improvements to basketball games in recent years have challenged my perception of how realistically I play, and what realism truly means, on the whole I would say that I do indeed prefer a true to life style of play, and want to see NBA Live and NBA 2K reflect the real NBA as closely as possible. Of course, I also believe there’s a need for more casual, or “arcade style” gameplay settings, too.

I also have to admit that my approach to basketball games hasn’t always been so sim. When I first started playing NBA Live 95 on Super Nintendo, my approach was definitely more casual, and less focused on realism. However, even after I took an interest in playing basketball games more realistically, I’d occasionally take a break from that style, in the name of doing something fun. Not that I don’t consider playing realistically to be fun, but sometimes, a break from the norm and a bit of silliness is refreshing. And, as you’ll soon find out, I’ve done some quite silly things with basketball games from time to time.

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The Friday Five: 5 Most Annoying Basketball Video Game Bugs

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This 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.

We care a great deal about our basketball games in this community, and likewise have high expectations for our basketball gaming experiences. If the controls feel off, or the animations are funky, we notice. It bothers us when the wrong players are scoring most of the points, or when superstars aren’t playing like superstars. If the simulated stats aren’t true to life, it detracts from our enjoyment. In a nutshell, if the gameplay doesn’t feel right, and an acceptable level of realism isn’t present, we’re going to grumble.

However, as with video games of any genre, what really impedes our enjoyment of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball titles is the presence of bugs. Now, some bugs are small, while other bugs render games almost completely unplayable. For the purposes of this list, I’m focusing on smaller bugs that can be worked around, or only occasionally occur, but are nevertheless annoying. There’s nothing completely gamebreaking here, but still plenty of irritation to be found. With that said, here are five of the most annoying basketball video game bugs that I have experienced.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Controversies in Basketball Gaming

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This 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.

It’s about time that I did another Top 5 countdown in The Friday Five, and I believe that I have an interesting topic for the occasion, one that I’ve somehow overlooked covering so far: controversies in basketball gaming. As video games have transitioned from a novelty into a thriving industry and popular pastime, gamers have become savvier consumers who are not afraid to speak their minds when the product doesn’t meet their expectations, or a developer does something that they don’t like.

Basketball video games are no exception, and the basketball gaming community certainly has no qualms about speaking out when it’s unhappy. There have been a number of issues that have had us riled up over the years, so for this week’s Friday Five, I’m reflecting upon, ranking, and counting down what I’m offering up as the Top 5 Controversies in Basketball Gaming. Let’s begin.

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The Friday Five: 5 Non-Sim Elements in Sim Basketball Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! This 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.

After offering up a few opinions on the real NBA in last week’s edition of the Friday Five, this week I’m back to talking about basketball video games. Being a basketball gamer that prefers to see a healthy amount of realism in the annual titles, I thought I’d reflect on some of the non-sim elements that have found their way into sim basketball games over the years.

For the sim-oriented gamer, these elements can range from pet peeves and minor irritations to major distractions and issues that can severely affect one’s enjoyment of a game. However, as you’ll find out, at least one of the items on this list isn’t such an unwelcome idea. Without any further ado, here are 5 Non-Sim Elements in Sim Basketball Games.

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Failed Basketball Game Endeavours

Kevin Garnett in NBA Live 2003

We’ve arrived at another Friday here at the NLSC, which means there’s another Friday Five coming your way! If you’re checking out The Friday Five for the first time and are wondering what it’s all about, this 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.

Last week, I talked about some of my favourite experiences in basketball gaming, including my most memorable Dynasty games and MyCAREER in NBA 2K13. This week, I’m going in the opposite direction and taking a look at some of my basketball video game experiences that didn’t go so well, such as seasons that ended part of the way through and ideas for Franchise games that just didn’t work out. These are my Top 5 Failed Basketball Game Endeavours.

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The Friday Five: 5 Players You Had To Have in NBA Live

Shaquille O'Neal in NBA Live 2004

It’s Friday once again, so welcome everyone to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! For the uninitiated, this is a weekly feature that I post on Fridays, discussing a variety of topics related to basketball video games, the real NBA and other areas of interest. The “Five” refers to the way in which I present my thoughts on the week’s topic, which either takes the form of a list of five items or a Top 5 countdown.

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time with NBA Live’s Dynasty and Franchise modes, building plenty of teams and in the process getting a feel for some of the best players to acquire in different iterations of the game. Therefore, this week I’m listing the five players that I believe you had to have at some point while playing through a Franchise or Dynasty game.

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