NBA Live 98

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live Halftime Shows

Midwest Division Halftime Video in NBA Live 99

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.

As basketball video games have continued to harness the power of improving gaming technology, we’ve expected more and more of them. While most of our desires have been centred on gameplay and game modes, presentation is an area that a lot of basketball gamers have wanted to see enhancements in over the years. While slick presentation will only briefly mask gameplay and game mode deficiencies, it’s nevertheless important in terms of creating atmosphere, and adding those extra touches of reality that we tend to enjoy so much.

In the past few years, basketball video games have come to include very detailed and realistic TV-style presentation. Whether it’s NBA Live 16’s NBA on ESPN segments hosted by Jalen Rose, or NBA 2K16’s pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows featuring digital versions of Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith, we’ve come to expect great production values that mimic a real NBA broadcast. Back in the day, of course, breaks in the action were spiced up in a far more modest manner.

Today, we’re talking about the halftime shows that appeared in the early versions of NBA Live. Without any further ado, let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More

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.

Read More

Wayback Wednesday: Charles Barkley in Basketball Video Games

Charles Barkley celebrates in NBA Live 2000

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.

With this being May the 4th, the iconic Star Wars franchise is what a lot of people around the world are talking about and celebrating today. It’s a little difficult to tie that into basketball – though Chewbacca’s size would probably make him pretty dominant in the paint – so I decided to take a look back at this day in NBA history for inspiration. In doing so, I was reminded of Charles Barkley’s 56 point, 14 rebound game on May 4th 1994, which helped his Phoenix Suns to eliminate then-rookie Chris Webber’s Golden State Warriors 3-0 in the first round of the Playoffs.

When it comes to elusive figures in basketball video games, the first player that we tend to think of is Michael Jordan. As I’ve discussed in a couple of previous articles, MJ was missing from the various NBA sim games during his second run with the Chicago Bulls, and aside from some rare, specially produced arcade cabinets, he’s never been featured in NBA Jam. However, while Charles Barkley did appear in NBA Live towards the end of his career, he was similarly absent – or replaced by a Roster Player – in a number of releases.

It’s one of those things from basketball gaming history that’s interesting to revisit, because it just doesn’t happen with today’s stars and modern releases. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More

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…

Read More

20th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 98 Retrospective

NBA Live 98 20th Anniversary of NBA Live 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!

In one of my Friday Five columns a couple of years ago, I discussed the five biggest leaps in basketball video games, within the span of one production cycle. While I stand by the choices I made when compiling that countdown, I have to admit that it was a mistake not to at least include NBA Live 98 as an honourable mention. When I went back and played NBA Live 98 for this retrospective, I not only recalled a lot of the improvements that were made over NBA Live 97, but also discovered that it was a better game than I remembered. I actually found myself wondering, how could I have underrated this game for so long?

Read More

NLSC Podcast – Episode #149

NLSC Podcast Logo

Looking for your weekly fix of basketball video game discussion? Tune in to Episode #149 of the NLSC Podcast, in which Arcane and I discuss the latest news and updates for NBA Live and NBA 2K, what we’ve been up to in basketball gaming, the past week in NBA action, and more, including your mailbag submissions!

On this week’s show…

  • Over 100+ new items have been added to Ultimate Team in NBA Live 16. Unfortunately, the issue with standing dunks remains unresolved.
  • A new playbook and gameplan update has been pushed through for NBA 2K16. Are we expecting any more major updates for either game?
  • Does NBA Live need to focus less on NBA 2K, and concentrate on being itself?
  • We reminisce about the days when there were more than two basketball games on the market, and discuss the kind of releases we’d like to see.
  • In Our Week in Basketball Gaming: Dusting off old favourites, and getting them to work in 64-bit Windows.
  • If the opportunity presented itself, would we join the NBA Live Development Team?
  • Moving on to this week’s NBA discussion, we chat about Stephen Curry and the Warriors, Russell Westbrook’s big triple double, dysfunction in Cleveland, a new home for Dwight Howard, and a couple of surprising teams.
  • What do we think of Ben Simmons’ potential $100 million shoe deal? What will he mean for Australian basketball?
  • We wrap up Episode #149 of the NLSC Podcast with this week’s Bold Predictions. Is Andrew on the board yet? (Come on, what do you think?!?)

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.

Monday Tip-Off: Support for Basketball Games, Then & Now

NBA Live 14: Patch - Basketball at the Rim

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.

When you’ve been playing video games for a long time, you can’t help but marvel when you look back at the games you used to play, and realise just how far gaming has come since then. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to genres that tend to see annual releases, as is the case with basketball games and other spots titles. Sometimes, it’s difficult to notice the changes and truly appreciate the improvements that basketball games make, until you go back and play an old release, or make side by side comparisons. While there’s still room for improvement and innovation, basketball games have undoubtedly come a long way.

Most of the improvements are obvious once you make a comparison, and they have been frequently spotlighted and discussed over the years. However, one improvement that arguably remains a little underappreciated is post-release support, specifically bug fix updates and new content. That’s not to say that there aren’t still problems and controversial practices, and I will touch on them as well. But looking back, you can see a steady improvement in this aspect of basketball games, which is encouraging as we look ahead to future releases.

So, what has the support for basketball video games been like, then and now?

Read More

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…

Read More

File Additions for NBA Live 98

NBA Live 98 Cover Art

Today we’re filling out our archives with some lost files for NBA Live 98, which include an old version of Tim and Lutz’s rosters for the 1998 season, Dave Zolnier’s NCAA rosters for the 1998 season and a beta version of an NBA Live 98 Editor by Jack Alltucker. If you’re feeling nostalgic, check them out at the links below!

Tim Tschirner & Lutz van Hasselt
NBA Live 98 Current Roster Update

Dave Zolnier
NCAA Rosters

Jack Alltucker
NBA Live 98 Editor

Retro Gaming: Getting old NBA Lives to run on new PCs

Michael Jordan in NBA Live 2000

For anyone interested in taking a trip down memory lane and playing some of the older NBA Live titles on new PCs, benji has been exploring ways of getting them to run using VMWare and DOSBox. It seems most people are still able to run NBA Live 2003 PC onwards but if you’re looking to fish out your copy of NBA Live 2001 or earlier and give it a look for old time’s sake, be sure to check out this thread for more information.

Speaking of the older NBA Live titles, while there aren’t too many people releasing updates for them these days, uploads are still welcome and we still main a collection of patches and utilities for them in our Downloads section, along with resources in our Wiki.