NBA Live

Monday Tip-Off: My Basketball Video Game Collection

Derrick Rose dribbling in NBA Live 16

We’re at midcourt, 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.

So, for the first few weeks of Monday Tip-Off, I’ve been posting my opinions on a variety of subjects. There’ll be plenty more opinion pieces coming your way in the Mondays ahead, but for this week, I wanted to do something a little different. This week, I wanted to talk a little about my basketball video game collection.

When it comes to the hobby of game collecting, I can’t imagine a lot of people are stocking up on basketball titles; after all, basketball gaming is a niche demographic to begin with. Also, as I understand it, when it comes to sports games, a lot of people trade in the previous season’s release when they pick up the current title. For the most part, however, I’ve kept my older basketball games – at least on one platform, when I’ve double-dipped – and more recently, I’ve been expanding my collection with a few bargains on eBay.

As I’ve mentioned a few times on the NLSC Podcast, I’m intending to put them to use for features here on the NLSC in the coming weeks and months. Obviously, we’ve tipped off our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content – incidentally, more of that stuff is on the way – but there have been quite a few basketball games over the years, good, bad, and just plain interesting. I’m looking forward to talking about them a little more, revealing a few old gems, as well as some not-so-fantastic releases you may have forgotten about.

For now, though, I wanted to give you all a current catalogue of my collection. I’ve been meaning to take a photo with all the boxes, discs, and cartridges, but for the moment, a simple list will have to suffice.

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The Friday Five: My Birthday Five

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.

Yes, October 16th is my birthday. Today, I’m no longer an old man of 30, but an older man of 31. Appropriately enough, I’m eating cake as I write this Five; Boston Mudcake, despite the fact I’m a Chicago Bulls fan. All in all, I’ve had a pretty relaxed day today, not quite as productive as I’d normally like to be, but hey, I had the opportunity to take a day off, and it’s my birthday.

I hadn’t really prepared a topic for this week’s Five, beyond the fact that I knew that I was going to call it my Birthday Five, and talk about something that was somehow related to my birthday, while still tying it in to the stuff we cover here at the NLSC. So, what I’ve decided to do is talk about some of the ways I feel that we change as we get older, as it pertains to being a basketball fan, and a player of basketball video games. These are my reflections, on my 31st birthday, about growing up. Well, growing older, at any rate.

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A Starting Guide for Being a Better Teammate in NBA Live Pro-Am

When it comes to NBA Live Pro-Am, I’m not the greatest. I shoot just over 30% from beyond the arc and I’m pretty bad at defending the perimeter. However, I take pride in the fact that I’m a low maintenance teammate. On offence, I always look for good shots and generally pass the ball when they’re not there for me, and I always run back on defence and contest shots to the best of my ability. I might not be the most skilled, but I like to think my general awareness of my surroundings makes up for that. The same cannot be said about some of the people I’ve had to share a team with.

Teammates in Pro-Am can make or break a game. Sometimes you can get a good mix of people who are both skilled and are willing to play the game in the right spirit. Then you get those who may be one, but not necessarily the other. In light of this, I’ve decided to come up with a few suggestions on how to be a better teammate in NBA Live Pro-Am.

Please note that while I’m having a rant against people who are generally bad teammates, I’m by no means perfect. I’ve been guilty of all these annoyances at least once, and it’s okay to slip up every now and then. These suggestions are directed to those who are repeat offenders.

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The Friday Five: 5 Most Significant Patches & Mods

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.

I make a habit of mentioning it in our file additions bulletins, and it’s absolutely true: we have a really talented community here at the NLSC, when it comes to our patches and mods. I’ve usually shied away from compiling “best of” lists, or handing out community awards for patching, as it can easily lead to tension and bad blood. Furthermore, everyone’s hard work deserves recognition, and there have been a lot of great patches and mods throughout the years, all of which are significant in their own right.

However, there are a handful of releases that stand out from the pack, being patches that were particularly popular and well-crafted, and in some cases, drew a lot of interest from outside of our community. To that end, in this week’s Friday Five, I’ve selected what I feel are the five most significant patches and mods to come along so far. Without any further ado, let’s take a look.

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The Friday Five: My Top 5 Favourite NBA Live 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.

As you may have seen, our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations are underway. We’ve got lot of fun stuff lined up, including complete retrospectives for every single game in the series, feature articles, analysis, patches, and more. As this is the first Friday Five since our 20th Anniversary content tipped off, it seems like a good time for a countdown that’s been on my list for some time now: My Top 5 Favourite Games in the NBA Live series.

Please keep in mind that these aren’t objectively the best games in the NBA Live series, though I do believe they rank up there. As part of our celebrations, I’ll also be collaborating with the rest of the NLSC Team to pick the Top 10 Games in the NBA Live series, which I believe will reflect popular opinion, not just my own preferences. As for this list however, I’m just briefly reflecting on my personal Top 5 favourite NBA Live games, sentimental picks included; again, full retrospectives will be coming for each game. With that said, let’s get to the countdown!

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20th Anniversary of NBA Live Content Tips Off This Week

It’s been a long time coming, and it’s arguably a year too late (though NBA Live 95 PC was actually released in 1995), but we’re finally ready to tip off our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content here at the NLSC! Obviously, we’re still looking to the future and the NBA Live 16 coverage will keep on coming, but at the same time, we’ll be taking the opportunity to look back at 20 years of the NBA Live series.

Our content will be tipping off within the next few days, and will continue to run alongside our NBA Live 16 content, most likely through to the end of the year. We’ve got some fun stuff planned, including:

  • Retrospectives on all of the games in the NBA Live series
  • Roundtable discussions about the series’ past and future
  • A release (of some kind) for every single NBA Live on PC
  • Feature articles, analysis, and fun stuff from the archives
  • A couple of other surprises we really think you’ll enjoy

It’s going to be a lot of fun, so stay tuned!

On a related note, today marks my 14th Anniversary as the webmaster of the NLSC (or NBA Live Series Center, as was our full name at the time). On August 26th 2001, a couple of months shy of turning 17, I was entrusted to take over one of my favourite websites, and while it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, for the most part it’s been a fantastic experience. It’s something that I enjoy doing to this day, and I’m looking forward to running the site for years to come. As always, a huge thanks to everyone for your continued support!

Several NBA 2K14 Downloads Removed; Reminder About Our Upload Facilities

Please be advised that I’ve unfortunately had to remove around 40 files from the NBA 2K14 section of our Downloads database, that were added by NBAModder. There’s no controversial reason for this, just an unfortunate one: NBAModder is no longer around, nor is his website, where he was hosting his work. As such, all that was left were the dead links, which were recently pointed out to me via the “Report Broken Download” function.

As these files are no longer available and the author is no longer around to provide them, it’s left me with little choice but to remove those entries from our Downloads database. This is a situation we’d like to avoid as much as possible, and it’s why we encourage people to make use of the upload facilities provided in our Downloads section. While we do have a 100 MB upload limit, we can make special arrangements for larger files if you contact us. If you do wish to use external hosting for whatever reason, please ensure that you’re uploading your work to a place where it can be preserved, and is unlikely to disappear within a year or so of its release.

If you’re not sure how the upload facilities in our Downloads section work, please check out this video tutorial:

Any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with me so that I can help you out, especially if you do have a larger file you want to share. One final word on problematic files in our Downloads section: if you do come across a file that isn’t what it’s advertised to be, or cannot be downloaded, please report it using the “Report Broken Download” function, located towards the bottom of the file page. Please don’t use that function if you’re having trouble getting a file to work in your game, or simply because you don’t like it. We also get some reports about files that are definitely available to download, so please make absolute sure the issue isn’t at your end.

As always, a huge thanks to our community of patchers who contribute their work to our database! Remember, whether it’s NBA Live, NBA 2K, or another basketball game, whether it’s PC or console, we welcome your mods! Want to start contributing? Be sure to check out that video above, register an account in the Forum, and start adding your work to the Downloads section!

Generated Players: The Ultimate Blank Canvas

When I was playing NBA Live 10, I saw a lot of generated players. In fact, by the time it was season 18, Dwight Howard was the only real life player left in the league. Even though it’s not as aesthetically pleasing to see a league full of computer-generated characters with porn moustaches, it can provide an excellent opportunity to exercise your creative flair and go far beyond what you think is possible as a sim gamer.

If you’re anything like me, you love chasing achievements like triple-doubles, five-by-fives, and 50-point games. Sometimes these achievements can be the only thing keeping your Dynasty or Association mode interesting if you’re constantly winning championships. But there’s always one problem with real life players – they’re often limited by our own expectations. After all, you have to be pretty liberal with your sim gaming if you can justify someone like J.R. Smith winning the MVP trophy, or someone like Kwame Brown becoming a productive player.

With generated players, there’s no overachieving or underachieving, because they don’t exist outside of the video game. They’re a blank canvas for your imagination and the ultimate vehicle for your achievement hunting. No other player in my basketball video game experiences has embodied this more than a generated player named Borislav Perko in my NBA Live 10 Nuggets Dynasty.

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Five Players I Have Disliked Because of NBA Video Games

Remember how I stated that positive experiences in basketball video games can make you like particular NBA players? It can also work the other way.

It may seem completely irrational to dislike an NBA player because of their video game likeness, but it’s something I have found hard to control. A player like Kevin Durant could be the most humble guy in real life, but you could still dislike him because he dropped 50 points on you in NBA 2K15.

Sometimes a player can be annoying in one game, but be slightly neutralised in the next due to updated game mechanics or more modest ratings. In any case, the memory of one particular player terrorising your beloved franchise can be enough for you to dislike them over their entire career.

This is a list dedicated to players who I either dislike now or disliked at one stage of my life because of basketball video games.

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The Friday Five: Previewing Our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live Content

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’ve been listening to the NLSC Podcast for a while, you may have heard me mention that we’re looking to do some content for the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live. We originally intended to run these features last year – which was indeed the 20th anniversary of the game’s original release – but a few things ultimately got in the way, not the least of which was covering the latest games (which of course remains our priority). However, this year marks the 20th anniversary of NBA Live 95’s PC release, and seeing how PC coverage has been a big part of what we do here at the NLSC, the timing still feels right.

The content, which will start rolling out pretty soon, will be running for a few months alongside our other updates, including coverage of the NBA Live 16 (and NBA 2K16) preview season. While the NBA Live series has fallen on hard times in recent years, a lot of us did grow up playing the games and have fond memories of them, so I’m looking forward to reflecting on the good times, as well as exploring the mishaps, and discussing what the series needs to do moving forward. So, what kind of content can you expect to see? Read on to find out!

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The Soapbox: Five NBA Players I Like Because of NBA Video Games

The Soapbox is a feature where NLSC community members can let their voices be heard on a range of topics related to basketball and basketball video games, through feature articles here on the main site. Today’s guest contributor is Kenny.

I always find it interesting how NBA video games are able to alter my perceptions. There are often songs within the soundtracks that I end up liking, despite my best efforts not to, and the same thing can happen with NBA players. While I generally like my favourite NBA players due to their performances in real life, NBA video games have also influenced me, because of the positive in-game moments I associate with particular players.

This is a list of five players that I have come to like purely because of my experience in the NBA video games I have played.

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The Friday Five: 5 Strangest Complaints About Basketball 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.

It’s just about time for us to start compiling Wishlists for NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16. While both developments teams obviously have their own roadmaps, it’s important for us to make our voices heard, and let the developers know just how closely their vision gels with our desires and expectations. To that end, it’s important that our feedback be both detailed and constructive.

Of course, every so often, someone throws out a suggestion or makes a complaint about a basketball video game that’s…kind of out there. Having compiled a lot of Wishlists and taken part in many discussions in the Forum over the years, I recall some very strange criticisms being posted every now and again. I thought I’d reflect upon some of them in this week’s Five, starting with…

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New Poll: Winning Championships in Basketball Video Games

We’ve just posted a new poll, which asks: How often do you win championships in basketball video games?

Do you win the championship every time you play? Have you played through an entire season (ie every game, regardless of quarter length), only to come up short or even miss the Playoffs? Or do you have up and down years? Cast your vote, and discuss the topic in the comments section below, as well as in the NLSC Forum.

Our previous poll asked Who is your pick for MVP so far? Stephen Curry was most people’s pick, garnering 49% of the vote. James Harden and Anthony Davis were the next most popular choices at 14% and 12% respectively. 6% voted for Jimmy Butler, 5% picked Damian Lillard, 2% chose Blake Griffin, and 1% were in favour of LaMarcus Aldridge. 11% of voters felt that another player entirely is the leading candidate for this year’s MVP.

The Friday Five: 5 Ways Basketball Games Have Improved

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.

Sports games with annual releases are an interesting beast. For developers, it’s a lot of pressure: a shorter development cycle than most video games, with a goal of putting out a release that doesn’t just seem like an expansion pack. For us gamers, especially those of us who do buy those games every year, we want to see significant progress, and not feel like we haven’t gotten value for our money. No release is perfect however, and disappointment often leads to a cynical belief that the games just aren’t showing any improvement.

The fact of the matter is, basketball video games have come a long way, and shown a great deal of improvement over the years. That’s not to say that EA Sports or Visual Concepts can rest on their laurels, or that either game is currently as close to perfection as we’d like, but the improvement over the years is certainly evident. So, in this week’s Friday Five, I’m taking a look at five ways that basketball games have improved.

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Dumb Mondays: Should Bad Calls Be In Basketball Video Games?

This is Dumb Mondays, tipping off the workweek with silly facts, opinions, or predictions that you may or may not find interesting. This was originally JaoSming’s feature, but since he’s now at Visual Concepts and hard at work on 2KTV, I’ll be writing a few articles in his place. A new Monday feature may also be coming soon, so stay tuned!

If there’s one thing that sports fans can agree on, it’s that the referees are dumb. It’s not exactly a fair statement of course, as referees often have to make difficult calls and split-second decisions, with limited use of instant replay. Since no one is perfect, “dumb” is a harsh assessment of human error that unfortunately can occur at the worst possible time. Still, when a bad call goes against our favourite team, we’ll curse out the refs, calling them blind, stupid, and biased.

Bottom line, bad calls are like injuries; they’re an unfortunate part of the game that we hope not to see, but are bound to happen at some point. Therefore, I ask the question: since we want to see basketball video games continually become more and more realistic, would it be a dumb idea for them to include bad calls?

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