NBA Live 2004

Wayback Wednesday: Free Agency in NBA Live 2004

Jason Kidd dribbles the basketball in NBA Live 2004

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, 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 first couple of weeks of free agency tend to be the most exciting part of the offseason. Twenty years ago, Shaquille O’Neal departed the Orlando Magic for the Los Angeles Lakers, signing one of the first $100 million dollar contracts. Six years ago, it was LeBron James’ turn to shock the basketball world, when he took his talents to South Beach. Just this week, Kevin Durant has just stirred up a mix of excitement and controversy with his announcement that he’ll join the Golden State Warriors. Of course, we’ve been able to make our own shocking signings in video games since Franchise Mode in NBA Live 2000, which became Dynasty Mode in NBA Live 2004.

Speaking of NBA Live 2004’s Dynasty Mode, it featured a couple of quirks when it came to free agency. While the mode added some nifty features that its predecessor lacked, it was afflicted by a couple of issues that did detract from the experience…or enhanced it, depending on how much you cared about realism and challenge. Thankfully, those issues were resolved in NBA Live 2005, but while we were all still playing NBA Live 2004, they were something that Dynasty gamers would consistently encounter.

Which issues am I referring to? Well, let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Insulting Player Ratings 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 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.

Every year, we basketball gamers tend to argue about ratings. Most of the time, the arguments concern overall ratings, and as we saw during this past offseason, even NBA players are getting in on the act these days. While the importance of overall ratings is often exaggerated, they are still significant, and when an overall rating seems really wrong, it usually means that there are a few issues with a player’s individual ratings.

It’s funny to see players like Brandon Jennings publicly take exception to player ratings though, as I’m sure that a lot of players have taken a look at some of their ratings over the years, and felt quite insulted. “Seriously, you think I’m that hopeless at scoring/passing/defense?” I’d say that it’s definitely led to some grumbling to the developers at EA Sports and 2K Sports. With that in mind, for this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking a look at five ratings that have very likely led to some wounded pride.

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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: 5 Codes & Rumours That Fooled Basketball Gamers

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.

With this being April 1st, I originally considered posting some kind of April Fool’s Day gag. However, since we have visitors from all around the world, chances are that not everyone would see the column before 12 PM, which would actually make me the April fool. I’ve decided to stick with the theme of getting fooled though, because when it comes to basketball gaming, and indeed video games in general, some people are sadly out to trick their fellow gamers, and waste their time.

Although it’s often fairly easy to debunk what TV Tropes refers to as an “Urban Legend of Zelda“, sometimes it’s harder to get gamers to actually believe the truth rather than the rumour. After all, you heard it from your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend that it was true, and why would they lie? Other genres of video games lend themselves to more outlandish and infamous fake secrets, but since basketball games have featured hidden and unlockable content, they’re not immune to their own hoaxes and rumours. Without any further ado, here are five codes and rumours that fooled basketball gamers.

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The Friday Five: My 5 Favourite Patches That I’ve Made

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.

In this week’s Monday Tip-Off, I discussed our fondness for continuing to make patches for older basketball video games. As I said in that article, there’s a lot of nostalgia in going back and updating an old game, and it can also be a very rewarding experience, especially when there’s still a contingent of basketball gamers playing older releases. I certainly know a thing or two about that, as I was still releasing multiple roster patches for the last four PC versions of NBA Live up until a few years ago. As you may have noticed, I’ve also released a couple of smaller patches in recent weeks.

Since I’m still in the mood to talk about patches, I thought that for this week’s Friday Five, I’d take a look at five of my favourite patches that I’ve made for the NBA Live series. I’d talk about my work on NBA 2K, but I only have one release for that series: an open source roster with some minor edits and additions. Needless to say, when it comes to patching, I have a much longer history with NBA Live, and a much bigger catalogue of releases. So, without any further ado, here are my five favourite patches that I’ve made over the years.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2004’s Extra Teams

The Charlotte Bobcats vs, Spain in NBA Live 2004

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.

These days, we’re used to extra content in basketball video games, such as the historical squads in the NBA 2K series. While NBA Live currently doesn’t include any historical content outside of Ultimate Team (aside from retro jerseys, of course), the series used to feature All-Star teams comprised of players from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, along with a pool of Legends that could be placed on the current rosters. Of course, that’s not counting the historical teams that were intended to be in NBA Live 08, which were ultimately scrapped.

NBA Live 2004 featured the usual lineup of Decade All-Star Teams, which incidentally is the last time that Michael Jordan has (officially) appeared in an NBA Live game to date. However, NBA Live 2004 also featured two other bonus teams: the Charlotte Bobcats, who weren’t set to join the NBA until the following season, and the Spanish National Team. The former was revealed before NBA Live 2004’s release and available out of the box, while the latter had to be manually unlocked.

It was a somewhat unique situation as far as bonus content in NBA Live is concerned, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: LeBron James in NBA Live 2004

LeBron James dunks in NBA Live 2004

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.

Today, LeBron James turns 31. I don’t feel comfortable calling him one of the league’s elder statesmen just yet, mostly because I’m only a couple of months older than the King, and I’d like to avoid any “elder” labels for as long as I can. Nevertheless, at this point LeBron James is well-established as one of the league’s marquee players, biggest attractions, and all-time greats. He’s been one of the top players in basketball – and a candidate for being the top player in basketball – for over a decade now.

At times, it feels like the last decade or so has flown by very quickly. All of a sudden, here we are watching an NBA where LeBron James is in his thirteenth season. Like the great players that came before him, he’s become an institution. As such, if you’re a younger fan, it might be difficult to imagine him as an up-and-coming rising star, The Next Big Thing. Of course, when LeBron made his NBA (and NBA video game) debut back in the 2004 season, he was exactly that. With it being Wayback Wednesday, and also his birthday, I wanted to take a look back at early virtual LeBron, specifically his presence in NBA Live 2004.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Best 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.

By this point in the season, I’m guessing that a lot of basketball gamers have gotten stuck into one of the franchise modes in NBA Live 16, NBA 2K16, or perhaps even one of the older basketball games. I don’t have a Dynasty, MyLEAGUE, or MyGM game going at the moment, but hopefully I’ll get into one before the year is out. As I’ve mentioned many times before in the Friday Five, I’ve been a big fan of franchise modes for many years, and have a lot of fond memories of playing through seasons, messing around with my roster, and winning virtual championships.

Making a great trade or signing is something that can really help create a special franchise experience. It’s adding that final piece of the puzzle, or acquiring a new superstar that gives your team an entirely new look. It’s finding a bargain, or creatively wheeling and dealing to maximise the value that the CPU gives you in return. It’s a deal that makes you better, and increases the “fun factor”. With that in mind, I’m counting down the top five trades and signings that I’ve made in basketball games over the years. Let’s get started with number five…

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Fix for SECDRV.SYS Issues with NBA Live 2000-2004

NBA Live 2004: Shaquille O'Neal

While DOSBox is a handy tool for retro PC gamers, resolving compatibility issues with Windows-based releases can be a little tougher. Back in September, Microsoft pushed through an update (KB3086255) which for security reasons, disables the secdrv.sys driver. Unfortunately, the secdrv.sys driver is required for disc-based games that utilise certain types of anti-piracy copy protection, such as SecuRom and SafeDisc. When the driver is disabled, games that utilise those methods of copy protection will fail to start.

This means if you’re running Windows 7 or 8.1, and are in the mood to play NBA Live 2000, NBA Live 2001, NBA Live 2003, or NBA Live 2004, you’ll be greeted by a “Please login with administrator privileges and try again” error message. If you do feel like dusting off those games, there are a couple of workarounds: use VMWare to create a virtual machine, which requires an installation disc for an older version of Windows, or (at your own risk) re-enable the secdrv.sys driver. More details can be found here in our Wiki.

If that all sounds a bit complicated, I’ve whipped up a couple of batch files that re-enable and disable the secdrv.sys driver automatically; download them here. You’ll find that it’s the quickest method of getting those games back up and running. Once again however, please be advised that Microsoft disabled the secdrv.sys driver due to potential security issues, so use this solution at your own risk. It’s a method that I’m confident in using myself, but having said that, I take no responsibility for any issues that may arise.

This fix is also a viable workaround for any other games from that era (late 90s, early 2000s), which fail to start due to the secdrv.sys driver being disabled. So, if you’re looking to play another game on this list, or you’ve stumbled across this post on a basketball video gaming website while Googling the issue, this fix is also for you!

With our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content set to continue, I’ll be posting more guides and tutorials on how to get older games running, so stay tuned.

The Friday Five: 5 Worst Features in Great Basketball Video 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.

In last week’s Friday Five, I took a look at the five best features in subpar basketball video games. It wasn’t the easiest list to compile, since the main reason subpar basketball video games have that reputation is that they don’t have much going for them in the first place. However, even in the worst releases, there are usually some good ideas, and concepts that have merit.

This week I’m going in the other direction, as I take a look at five of the worst features in some of the best basketball video games. All things considered, this was probably the tougher list; while no game is perfect, great basketball video games don’t achieve that status by having too many game-breaking flaws. Nevertheless, some of the best games have had their weaknesses, and surprisingly disappointing features. At the very least, there might be a mode or feature that just doesn’t seem as good when compared to everything else in the game. With that said, let’s get started on the Five.

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The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Video Game Surprises

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.

If you’re relatively new to basketball video games, or at least the basketball gaming community, you may not have much of an idea of how things used to be when it came to previews and interactions with the developers. With all the tidbits on social media, developer blogs, in-depth interviews here at the NLSC and around the web, live streams, and so on these days, we get to learn a lot about the upcoming editions of NBA Live and NBA 2K before they come out. This allows us to be well-informed, and in turn, savvy consumers.

Of course, the downside of such in-depth coverage is that some of the mystery is taken out of basketball gaming. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – with games coming out every year, we want to know whether the latest iteration is worth spending money on – but it also means that we don’t often get to be surprised by something really cool in basketball video games. Every so often though, EA Sports or 2K Sports will announce something that catches us off guard, and that’s what I’m talking about today: five times that I was surprised by basketball video games. Let’s get to the Five!

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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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File Additions for NBA Live 2004

NBA Live 2004 Cover Art

ModManZZZ has released a new version of his 2014/2015 season roster update for NBA Live 2004. The latest version is compatible with Dynasty Mode, and contains rosters that have been updated through January 20th, 2015.

ModManZZZ
ModManZZZ NBA Live 2014-2015 Roster Update (Updated to v5.9)

Be sure to download the main files pack, as well as Murat’s face pack, to ensure that there are no problems with the roster.

File Additions for NBA Live 2004

NBA Live 2004 Cover Art

We have a few new file additions for NBA Live 2004 PC today, including a pack of player faces, and the latest NBA and PBA roster updates. Check them all out at the links below!

Murat
1st Cyberface Pack for 2014-15 Season

ModManZZZ
ModManZZZ NBA Live 2014-2015 Roster Update (Updated to v5.8)
ModManZZZ PBA Live 2014-2015 Roster Update (Updated to v1.1)

File Additions for NBA Live 2004

NBA Live 2004 Cover Art

We have some new file additions for NBA Live 2004 PC today, as ModManZZZ continues his hard work on one of the classic games in the NBA Live series. His latest releases include a new current roster update for the 2014/2015 NBA season, as well as a new PBA roster. Pick them both up at the links below!

ModManZZZ
ModManZZZ NBA Live 2014-2015 Regular Season Roster Update (Updated to v5.7)
ModManZZZ PBA Live 2014-2015 Roster Update
ModManZZZ PBA Live Main Files

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