NBA Live 95

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 95 Nintendo Power Articles

Anfernee Hardaway in NBA Live 95

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.

Beyond retrospective articles and videos – and of course, actually dusting off retro video games to play them – there’s another way for us gamers to get a nostalgia hit: old magazines and articles. To this day, I regret throwing out my entire collection of Nintendo Magazine System mags, as there are times when I’d love to look back on them and reminisce. With basketball video games coming as far as they have, it’s interesting to look back on old reviews and previews to see the things that once excited us, as they often seem mundane many years later.

Recently, Arcane stumbled across a couple of Nintendo Power articles on NBA Live 95, the first game in the NBA Live series and a title that’s widely considered to be a classic. For this week’s Wayback Wednesday, I thought I’d share them with everyone, and offer up a few thoughts on their contents. So, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 95 Patching

1997/1998 Rosters from Lutz's NBA Live 95 Roster Patches

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.

For as long as the NLSC has been around, so has the NBA Live patching community. In 2008, patching – or modding, as it’s more frequently called these days – finally came to NBA 2K, when NBA 2K9 became the first game in the series to be released on PC. As a community, we’ve been able to do some amazing things for both NBA Live and NBA 2K: comprehensive multi-season roster mods, enhanced textures for team and player art, and even changes to the animation files, to name but a few. We’ve hit some roadblocks along the way – as NBA 2K15 and NBA 2K16 modders can attest – but it was pretty difficult back in the days of NBA Live 95, too.

Thanks to the efforts of our founders, Tim, Lutz, and Brien, it was possible to create custom rosters for NBA Live 95, and eventually, custom art files as well. Compared to what they were able to achieve with the editing tools for NBA Live 96 onwards, creating rosters for NBA Live 95 was much trickier, and a lot more finicky. Through going back and creating the Definitive roster patch for NBA Live 95 as part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, as well as putting Stephen Curry into the game for last week’s feature, I was reminded of both the fun and the frustration of patching NBA Live 95.

With patching/modding being such a big part of what we do here at the NLSC, I thought it’d be interesting to look back at what the community had to work with in the early days. So let’s indeed take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Stephen Curry in NBA Live 95

Viewing Stephen Curry in NBA Live 95

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.

With Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors advancing to the NBA Finals, the MVP and his team are obviously looking forward to the prospect of repeating as NBA Champions. Topping off their 73-9 season with the Larry O’Brien trophy will certainly add to their claim of being the best team of all-time, though any match-ups with great teams of the past can obviously only happen in basketball video games. Various simulations in NBA 2K16 have tried to judge how Michael Jordan and the 1996 Chicago Bulls would fare in 2016, but how would Curry perform in the mid 90s? Say, if he were patched into NBA Live 95, taking the place of his father, Dell?

As it happens, I’ve done just that, and put together a video recapping the results. So, how does Stephen Curry fare when he’s dropped into NBA Live 95, with the Golden State Warriors of 1995? Let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. This was certainly a fun thing to try, so I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I enjoyed putting it all together. If you’d like to dust off NBA Live 95 and play with Stephen Curry yourself, download the mod I created here. Stay tuned for more video features, retrospectives, and other Wayback Wednesday content, coming your way every week here at the NLSC!

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 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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File Additions for NBA Live 95: NBA Live 95 Demo

NBA Live 95 Demo

As we pick up our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations once more, we’re heading back to NBA Live 95 with another new file addition: the long lost NBA Live 95 demo for PC!

Yes, I was recently able to track down the NBA Live 95 demo, and upload it to our Downloads database for posterity. In the demo, you can play an exhibition game between the East All-Stars and the West All-Stars, with one minute quarters. Although the artwork for all 27 NBA teams from the 1995 season is included in the game, trying to select any of those teams will only lead to the game picking the two All-Star teams, East at West, on the 1995 All-Star court in Phoenix.

With the release of the NBA Live 16 demo, I thought it would be a good time to share the discovery, and offer up the opportunity for a (limited) hands-on look back on the first game in the NBA Live series. It also shows how far we’ve come with sports game demos: whereas the NBA Live 95 demo offers a very quick glimpse at what’s on offer, the NBA Live 16 demo features six playable teams in Tip Off (exhibition) play, LIVE Pro-Am, and the Learn LIVE tutorial and practice modes. While NBA Live still has a long road ahead of it, it’s come a long way, too.

Download the NBA Live 95 demo here! You’ll need to run it in DOSBox, so be sure to check out this guide if you need any assistance.

Stay tuned for more 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content!

File Additions for NBA Live 95: Definitive NBA Live 95

Definitive NBA Live 95 Title Screen

Yes, really! It’s been a long, long time since we had a new file addition for NBA Live 95, but as part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations, we’re releasing a little something for every PC title in the series.

We’re tipping off those releases with a roster patch for NBA Live 95, which I’ve titled “Definitive NBA Live 95”. In a nutshell, it contains final 1994/1995 rosters with several missing players added, adjusted ratings, and various fixes. I’ve used all my experience from years of working on roster updates for NBA Live, as well as all the resources that are now available online, to put together what I feel is the best possible NBA Live 95 experience, with accurate 12-man 1995 season rosters.

You’ll find a season-compatible version of the rosters that uses incorrect portraits, and an exhibition-compatible version that removes the portraits of overwritten players, so you won’t see Larry Krystkowiak smiling at you whenever Michael Jordan goes to the free throw line. Please see the included readme file for full details.

Download Definitive NBA Live 95 here! And, if you need help getting NBA Live 95 to run under DOSBox, be sure to check out this guide in our Wiki.

Stay tuned for more 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content!

20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live DOSBox Guide

Chicago Bulls in NBA Live 97 - 20th Anniversary of NBA Live

Over the past few days, we’ve been sharing some memories of NBA Live 95, plus a couple of fun things from the archives. But what if you want to play NBA Live 95 PC yourself? Or the PC version of NBA Live 96, or NBA Live 97 for that matter?

Doing so can be difficult in recent versions of Windows, unless you use DOSBox. And if it’s been a while since you used DOS – or if you’ve just picked up the games off eBay, and have never used DOS before – that can feel like a daunting task. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with a new addition to our Wiki resources: a step-by-step guide to running NBA Live 95, NBA Live 96, and NBA Live 97 in DOSBox!

In case you haven’t felt inclined to dust off those old games just yet, you may want to keep that page bookmarked, as I’ll be releasing some patches for the PC versions of Live 95-97 as part of our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations. Working on them has certainly been a nostalgic experience for me, so I hope that at least a few of you will feel inclined to fire up those old games, and give the new releases a spin once they’re available.

Stay tuned for more 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content!

20th Anniversary of NBA Live: A Game of NBA Live 95, Play-By-Play

Orlando Magic vs. Houston Rockets in NBA Live 95

If you can’t catch NBA games live on TV, you might be familiar with the play-by-play live scores on NBA.com, as well as ESPN.com and Yahoo! NBA. Well, you really should look into NBA League Pass Broadband if you can, but if a subscription is too expensive, or just not feasible for whatever reason, the live scores are pretty much your best (legal) option for following along with NBA games.

Many, many years ago, there was a period in my NBA fanaticism when I didn’t have the opportunity to watch a lot of games live. My cousin, who had pay TV, recorded games for me to watch later on VHS, and I also made use of PonTel. However, when I wanted to keep up to date with a big game, I’d have to jump online – dialup Internet, no less – and fire up the live scores. Incidentally, the first game I followed along with online was Game 5 of the 1999 NBA Finals. At the time, I thought it was pretty cool, though it obviously has nothing on League Pass Broadband.

As I’ve previously mentioned, back in high school, my cousin would always come to stay with us in the holidays, and we’d spend a lot of time playing NBA Live and NBA Jam. You know, in between watching NBA videos, and trying to emulate our favourite players on my hoop in the backyard. Since we loved NBA Live 95 on PC – even though it was a few years old at that point – we were playing through a season with the Houston Rockets. We had a lot of fun with that season: as may have seen, we brought Larry Bird out of retirement, and we once held Shaquille O’Neal to just 17 points (1 point in the second half!) in a full length game.

We also documented one of the games we played, play-by-play, on audio cassette. VHS, audio cassette, dial-up Internet…be sure to look up these ancient technologies on Wikipedia kids, you’ll get a kick out of it! Anyway, we documented the entire game, and then transcribed it to post on the NBA Live Domain, which I was running at the time. For your enjoyment, and indeed, for posterity, here is the play-by-play from that game, documented in the style of the NBA.com live scores back then.

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: Bird Flies With The Rockets in NBA Live 95

Larry Bird on the Houston Rockets in NBA Live 95

I’ve never been a big online basketball gamer, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always played them alone. Back in high school, my cousin – also a huge basketball fan and hoops gamer – would come to stay with us every school holidays. Whenever we weren’t watching basketball, or out in the backyard emulating the moves of our favourite players, we were playing basketball video games. NBA Live and NBA Jam were our titles of choice, and as the years rolled by and my collection grew, we had a few different versions of NBA Live to choose from. At one point, we started replaying the 1995 season in NBA Live 95 PC, with the Houston Rockets.

We always used to play co-op, because we preferred being on the same team and trying to win as many games as we could, together. Of course, when it’s two human users vs. the CPU, you need to find ways to keep things fresh, challenging, and interesting. In our NBA Live 95 season, we did that in the usual manner: making a few trades, aiming for certain statistical marks and records, and trying to blow out the CPU by the largest margin possible.

Oh, and Larry Bird made a comeback for our Houston Rockets, part of the way through the season.

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 95 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!

We’re tipping off our series of retrospectives with a look at the game that started it all: NBA Live 95. The game is 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. However, looking back on it twenty years later, it’s certainly fair to wonder…is that reputation justified? Just how well does NBA Live 95 hold up today? Let’s find out.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #113

NLSC Podcast Logo

After yet another brief hiatus last week, we’re looking to resume our regular broadcasts starting with Episode #113 of the NLSC Podcast! Join Arcane and myself as we catch up on all the latest NBA Live 15 and NBA 2K15 news, discuss what’s going on in the NBA right now, and even get a little nostalgic. This week’s topics include:

  • Patch #4 for NBA 2K15 is finally out on Xbox One. Since we’ve had the patch since March 12th, we offer up some overdue impressions.
  • We also give our latest thoughts on NBA Live 15 following all of its patches, and catch up on some other NBA Live and NBA 2K news.
  • The official website of the Phoenix Suns recently ran retrospectives on NBA Live 95 and NBA Jam. We react to their Live vs. Jam debate, and provide our own perspective and recollections.
  • It’s been 20 years since Michael Jordan declared “I’m Back”. We discuss a special project for NBA Live 2005-08 PC that’s somewhat related to the occasion.
  • What are our three favourite Michael Jordan games?
  • Steve Nash has announced his retirement, leading us to reflect on his career.
  • With Kevin Durant out for the season, Russell Westbrook keeps putting up big numbers. Will he win the scoring race with James Harden?
  • We mention a couple of interesting tidbits concerning the Los Angeles Lakers: one a dubious distinction, the other a somewhat surprising fact.
  • As the Spurs make history with their sixteenth consecutive 50+ win season, we reflect on their success in the past couple of decades.
  • We wrap up the show with some interesting features of the PlayStation 4, and some more Michael Jordan trivia.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Mailbag submissions and topic suggestions are also welcome, so feel free to hit us up in this thread.

Suns.com Retrospectives: NBA Live 95 & NBA Live 95 vs. NBA Jam

San Antonio Spurs vs. Charlotte Hornets in NBA Live 95

The official website of the Phoenix Suns has posted a retrospective of NBA Live 95, with author Ben York remembering it fondly as “the greatest basketball video game of all-time”. He talks about playing the Super Nintendo version of the game with his brother for hours upon hours from May to August 1995, and discusses just how impressive NBA Live 95 was for its time; an assessment that I for one certainly agree with.

In another piece, York debates Greg Esposito as to which 90s basketball game was better: the sim-oriented NBA Live 95, or the arcade-oriented NBA Jam. For those who of us who remember playing both games back in the day, it’s a fun trip down memory lane. For younger basketball gamers, it will hopefully prove to be an interesting look back at a time when basketball games really started to improve.

I highly recommend checking out both retrospectives when you have a moment; feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below, and join in the discussion in the NBA Live Vintage section of the NLSC Forum. Don’t forget that we’re also preparing our own 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content, in which I and other members of the NLSC Team will be giving our thoughts on the past, present, and future of the NBA Live series, as well as providing a few other surprises that you’ll hopefully enjoy.

The Friday Five: 5 Biggest Leaps in Basketball Video Game Sequels

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.

Like any enthusiastic gaming community, we sink a considerable amount of time into the basketball video games that we play, to the point where we know them inside and out. We know what we like, we know what we don’t like, and we ultimately know what kind of experience we want to get out of them. As consumers, we understandably want to see constant improvement, as well as get value for our money.

Of course, while it’s important that we maintain a critical eye, at times we can be too cynical to see some of the genuine improvements in basketball video games. Despite the challenge that all annual sports games face in the form of a compressed development cycle, we’ve seen basketball titles that have shown considerable improvement over their immediate predecessors. To that end, I’m counting down what I feel are some of the biggest year-to-year leaps in basketball gaming. Let’s get started with number five.

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The Friday Five: 5 Random Basketball Video Game Facts

Creating Michael Jordan in NBA Live 96

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.

Now that JaoSming has changed the focus of Dumb Mondays from random trivia to a random assortment of facts, opinions and discussion topics, I don’t feel quite as guilty about borrowing the original concept for a Friday Five topic. This week, I’m trying my hand at serving up some trivia about a few of my all-time favourite basketball video games.

Basically, this is a collection of facts and trivia that I’ve wanted to talk about, but haven’t been able to work into any of my Friday Fives so far. Chances are I’ll revisit them if the right topics present themselves, but just in case I don’t find a way to bring them up again, here are 5 Random Basketball Video Game Facts that I hope you’ll enjoy reading about.

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