NBA Live 96

NLSC Podcast – Episode #159

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Join Arcane, Kenny, and I for Episode #159 of the NLSC Podcast! Tune in for this week’s discussion on future content and title updates for NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16, tales of our latest exploits on the virtual hardwood, thoughts on the 2016 NBA Playoffs, and a mailbag question that really made us think outside the box.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip things off with an update on the latest NBA Live 16 roster patches, and Patch #6 for the PC version of NBA 2K16.
  • With NBA Live 17 being delayed until early 2017, do we expect post-release support and content updates to be extended for NBA Live 16?
  • In response to one of the most creative topic suggestions we’ve received, we compare the Golden State Warriors in NBA Live 16/NBA 2K16 to the Chicago Bulls in NBA Live 96. Yes, really!
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming includes triumph and tragedy in 2K Pro-Am, Dynasty and MyLEAGUE plans, and some further reflections on the future of the NBA Live series.
  • Moving on to our NBA discussion, we ponder the futures of Chris Bosh and Tim Duncan.
  • The 2016 Conference Finals are upon us. Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals hasn’t made us fans of a certain Warriors player.
  • It’s time for another NBA Fashion Critique, as the Philadelphia 76ers get a jersey sponsor for the 2018 season, and the Utah Jazz unveil their new branding.
  • We give a couple of thoughts on some recent coaching changes, including one that really seemed to come out of left field.
  • As is the norm, Episode #159 of the NLSC Podcast ends with another round of Bold Predictions.

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. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

File Additions for NBA Live 96

NBA Live 96 Cover Art - PC

Yes, we’re starting out the week with some very retro file additions! As I recently mentioned in Monday Tip-Off, I’ve been tracking down some lost patches and found a collection of my old roster updates for NBA Live 96, which I’ve added to our archives. Dr B has also added some editing tools for the SEGA Genesis version of the game, which he used to create this roster. If you’re in the mood for some retro gaming, check out both files at the links below!

Andrew
NBA Live 96 Roster Update Package

Dr B
NBA Live 96 (SEGA) Editing Tools

Also, stay tuned for some more additions to the archives, as we upload more long-lost files for gamers who enjoy dusting off old favourites. Don’t forget, if you have any long-lost patches for NBA Live or NBA 2K that you’d like to share with the community, please feel free to make use of our upload facilities! They’re 100% free, and available to anyone who has an active Forum account.

The Friday Five: 5 Problems Basketball Gamers No Longer Deal With

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 games for a long time – over twenty years, at least – and as I’ve said quite a few times before, I’m impressed when I reflect upon how far they’ve come. While it’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t see some of the most desired improvements year-to-year, when you start going back a generation or two, you can really see the leaps that basketball games have made. I’ve actually been spending a decent amount of time with older basketball titles as of late, as I continue to produce content for our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations.

Playing those older basketball games has been a fun trip down memory lane, but it’s also reminded me of some of the problems that were often present, even in the best titles from yesteryear. Needless to say, with basketball games progressing as much as they have, a few of those issues are even more glaring now. While today’s hoops games are still facing some of the same challenges, such as implementing a maximum difficulty setting that plays smarter instead of cheaper, there are some noteworthy problems that we no longer have to deal with. Let’s consider ourselves lucky that we’re not still battling the following five issues.

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Wayback Wednesday: Hidden Players in NBA Live 96 SNES

Roster Setup in NBA Live 96 SNES

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 inclusion of several hidden players in the Super Nintendo version of NBA Live 96 is a trivia note that I’ve mentioned in a few previous columns, including my look back at the game’s Expansion Draft feature. I’ve also mentioned my intention to talk a little more about those hidden players, and this week’s Wayback Wednesday seems as good a time as any.

Hidden players have been found in several basketball video games over the years. A few rookies were hidden in the default rosters of NBA Live 2004, and were unlockable via a code (or DBF editing on PC). Poking around in NBA Live 08’s database uncovered some unused historical teams. The NBA Jam series famously features several secret players that you can play with, and against. And, if you use RED MC to open up the rosters for recent NBA 2K games, you’ll find a few players that have been deactivated and removed from the active roster.

However, NBA Live 96 on SNES features one of the largest selections of unlockable hidden players that we’ve seen in a basketball game. How did that come about? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Tracking Down Old Patches

Andrew's 1997/1998 Roster for NBA Live 96

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.

You may not have noticed it, seeing as how we’re talking about content that appears at bottom of our Forum and Downloads section, but I recently tracked down my old pack of roster patches for NBA Live 96, which contains some of the earliest work that I released. It took a bit of detective work, including hitting up archive.org to find out the filename, and then finally locating it in my backups. While I have unfortunately lost some of my early work forever – or so it would seem, anyway – I was quite happy to discover that I still had those particular releases.

Originally, I was just trying to track down my 1997/1998 roster patch for NBA Live 96, to grab a screenshot for my Friday Five article on lost NBA Live saves. That’s when I discovered I couldn’t find any of my old roster patches. Originally, I used another screenshot in its place, published the article, and then spent the rest of the evening trying to find those old rosters. I was reluctant to accept that they were gone forever, and as it happens, my persistence paid off. As I said, I found an old link that revealed the filename, and from there, a search of my backups yielded the file.

Needless to say, while I was in that folder, I continued to have a look around…

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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: The Expansion Draft in NBA Live 96 SNES

Expansion Draft in NBA Live 96 SNES

Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, digging into the archives to indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, reflections on big announcements from years gone by, and other flashback content.

As I discussed in a previous edition of Wayback Wednesday, league expansion can lead to some unique features being added to NBA video games. Such was the case with NBA Live 96, with the league’s expansion across the border into Canada and the addition of the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. When the Grizzlies and Raptors joined the league twenty years ago, an Expansion Draft was held to help them fill out their rosters, as is the norm. The twenty-seven other teams were able to protect eight players, which needless to say limited the pool of available talent outside of the deeper squads.

In most versions of NBA Live 96, the rosters were updated for the 1996 season with Class of 1995 rookies and offseason transactions. This wasn’t the case with the Super Nintendo version of NBA Live 96, which was missing the rookies (though there were codes to unlock them, along with Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and some bonus Legends), and also did not account for major moves like the Chicago Bulls’ acquisition of Dennis Rodman, nor the results of the Expansion Draft. What the SNES version of NBA Live 96 did have was the unique feature of the Expansion Draft itself.

Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Old School Basketball Video Game Music

Definitive NBA Live 96

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.

Sometimes, I’m surprised at the outrage over the soundtracks in basketball video games. Sure, not everyone has the same taste in music, but suggestions that a soundtrack completely ruins the game feel like an exaggeration. After all, if the gameplay and game modes are more than satisfactory, isn’t that what should matter the most? You might as well suggest that the colouring and details on the main menu spoil the game…and yes, we’ve done that too.

The more I think about it though, the more I realise that the music in basketball video games is significant in its own way. An appealing soundtrack clearly resonates with basketball gamers, and that’s evident by how much it’s tied into our nostalgia for older titles. Whether you’re firing up an old game to play it again, or you’re looking up old video game music on YouTube, as soon as you hear those opening bars, you’re taken back to a time when you loved that game, and played it for hours on end.

We all have our own favourites, both in terms of soundtracks and the games they’re attached to, so for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, I wanted to talk about some old school basketball game music that always make me feel nostalgic. So let’s take a look back…way back…

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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 96: Definitive NBA Live 96

Definitive NBA Live 96

As previously mentioned, we’re not just posting feature articles and retrospectives as part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations. We’re also releasing a little something for every PC game in the series, for anyone who wants to dust off old favourites.

Continuing on from the Definitive NBA Live 95, we have the Definitive NBA Live 96! This is a final 1995/1996 roster patch for NBA Live 96 that adds missing players, accounts for all the trades and signings that took place during that memorable season, contains a few fixes, and adjusts some ratings. Once again, this is something that I’ve gone back and crafted having had years of experience making roster updates, to create what I feel is a “director’s cut” patch for NBA Live 96.

There aren’t any issues with compatibility when it comes to NBA Live 96 rosters, so this update can be used in any game mode you choose. Please note that it also updates the portrait files, or at least, blanks out the portraits for players I’ve overwritten…just in case you’re wondering why it’s a slightly larger download than usual, for a roster update for such an old game.

Download Definitive NBA Live 96 here! If you need help getting NBA Live 96 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: Exploring the NBA Live 96 Executable

Gary Payton dribbles up court in NBA Live 96

It’s time to go Easter Egg hunting in the executable file of NBA Live 96 PC! While the editor that Tim and Brien made for NBA Live 96 was sufficient for most of our needs when creating roster updates, at other times, we needed to open the exe file with a Hex Editor. Doing so allowed us to change things like the year of the previous season’s statistics (for example, from the default 94/95 to 95/96), edit team names, or watermark a patch by adding a message to the credits and copyright screens.

This was all done quite easily, as all you had to do was search for the appropriate text strings in the Hex Editor of your choice. As long as you didn’t try to make any team names longer than they already were, or touch anything that you really shouldn’t, you couldn’t really go wrong.

While poking around in the NBA96.exe file, you can find a few interesting and amusing Easter Eggs. As part of our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations, I thought it’d be fun to fire up HxD, comb through the NBA Live 96 executable file once again, and share some of my discoveries. Let’s get started!

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 96 Retrospective

20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 96 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 96 on PC was the first game in the series that I actually owned – I used to regularly rent the Super Nintendo version of NBA Live 95 from the local video store – and it’s also the game that I was looking up content for when I first discovered the NLSC way back in 1997. As such, it’s fair to say that I have something of a sentimental attachment to it, and it’s one of my favourite games in the series. Beyond that, though, was the game any good? Let’s take a look back at the game that proudly proclaimed itself a “Back-to-Back Champion” on the back of its box.

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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!

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