NBA Live 99

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

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 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 99 Retrospective

NBA Live 99 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!

I’ve mentioned this before in a couple of articles, but NBA Live 99 is a somewhat overlooked and forgotten game. It doesn’t help that it came between NBA Live 98, a game that saw a really big leap from the year before, and NBA Live 2000, one of the best games in the NBA Live series. The lockout that threatened the 1999 season is also a factor, as it meant that NBA Live 99 shipped without updated rosters, in a transitional year for the NBA. On top of that, its cover player, Antoine Walker, has consistently topped “worst cover player” polls that we’ve run. It’s a shame though, because NBA Live 99 is actually a really good game.

Read More

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

The Friday Five: 5 Worst Basketball Game Cover Players

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.

The old saying suggests that you should save the best for last (as does a popular song by Vanessa Williams). In that respect, I’m actually working backwards with this series of Friday Five articles on basketball video game cover players; I’ve already covered the “cursed” cover players, followed by the best cover players, so this week, I’m listing my picks for the five worst basketball video game cover players that we’ve seen so far.

Now, keep in mind that this is all subjective, personal bias is certainly a factor, and when I say “worst”, it’s in comparison to other cover players. Outside of vandalised entries on Wikipedia, we’ve yet to see any benchwarmers join the list of players who have graced the covers of basketball video games. Having said that, let’s get to my list of the five worst basketball video game cover players!

Read More

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.

Read More

File Additions for NBA Live 99

NBA Live 99 Cover Art

Yes, that’s right! A file addition for NBA Live 99. HAWK23, who you may know as the creator of the Ultimate Base Roster for NBA 2K12 PC, recently discovered a bunch of old updates for NBA Live 99 on an old hard drive and was kind enough to upload them in a single zip file for archive purposes. If you’re in the mood for some nostalgia, download the pack at the link below!

NBA Live 99 Assorted Patch Collection

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.