Menu
Home | Basketball Video Games

Basketball Video Games

Wayback Wednesday: Michael Jordan in Flight Video Retrospective

Michael Jordan in Flight Screenshot

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.

February 17th marks the birthday of my all-time favourite basketball player, Michael Jordan. Since this week’s Wayback Wednesday coincides with MJ’s birthday, and I’ve been eager to do another video retrospective for a while, I figured it was a good time to look back at an old game featuring His Airness: Michael Jordan in Flight. Released exclusively for PC DOS back in 1992, it may seem primitive today, but for its time, it was quite technologically advanced.

Whether or not you’re a big fan of Michael Jordan, I hope that you’ll enjoy my video retrospective of another noteworthy, and somewhat unique basketball video game. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I can post another retrospective like this, so stay tuned for more videos, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content, coming your way every week!

Monday Tip-Off: Playing Old Basketball Video Games

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.

Based on past polls, mod releases, and general discussion, a majority of basketball gamers move on to the latest game in the series they play, usually within a couple of months of its release, if not immediately. While retro gaming is a popular hobby, sports games generally aren’t an ideal genre for it. After all, most fans prefer to play with the latest rosters, and take advantage of the improvements and additions that are made year-to-year. As a result, sports games don’t move well in the second hand market, with lower trade-in prices owing to the annual releases, and less interest in playing them once they’re outdated.

Of course, sometimes we do go back and play older basketball games. I’m sure we all have some old favourites that we can dust off and nostalgically enjoy despite their age, and certain titles do become classics. Arcade-oriented basketball games such as NBA Jam and NBA Street also tend to age a little better, since they’re adopting a more casual and less realistic approach to the sport in the first place. However, some of the best sim-oriented titles in the past decade or so also hold up respectably well. As such, if you have a new roster patch or an old season save game, an older title might still hold a lot of appeal.

But then you’ve got basketball gamers who aren’t going back to older games; they haven’t stopped playing them in the first place. Whether it’s because they’re unable to upgrade, or don’t wish to upgrade, they shun the latest releases in favour of an older game. So, for this week’s Monday Tip-Off, I wanted to take a look at some of the reasons why we play old basketball video games.

Read More »

Road to the Playoffs: A Much Needed Inclusion for 2K PRO-AM

During the holiday period it was announced that there will be a Road to the Playoffs competition involving NBA 2K16’s PRO-AM mode; and this news came as a pleasant surprise to me. After the last few attempts I had to play the mode with my friends failed, due to the lack of matchups on the server, I was resigned to giving up on 2K PRO-AM altogether and focus on MyPARK in order to show off the talents of MyPLAYER. However, it is my hope that this announcement will drive more traffic to what I believe is a great mode. After all, the lack of participation in 2K PRO-AM was really the only thing that kept it from being better than MyPARK… at least in my opinion.

With every 2K PRO-AM game there’s a great sense of occasion. You’re playing for your team, in the uniforms you’ve designed, and if you’re playing at home, you’re playing on your court in front of your fans. The stadium aspect alone can give you bragging rights over your competitors, since you can have a full house or an empty stadium depending on your progress in MyCAREER. But the thing I love most about 2K PRO-AM is that it’s you and your friends against the world; the way basketball should be. Representing the different parks is fine, but it often feels like your wins are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the overall result.

Read More »

Wayback Wednesday: Replay Professional Basketball

Replay Professional Basketball Main Menu

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.

While there have been a few basketball management/text sim games released over the years, they’ve never matched the popularity of the prominent gameplay-based titles, such as NBA Live, NBA 2K, and NBA Jam. A few of them are still around, including some that are free to play online, but they don’t command nearly as much attention as the games that actually feature on-court action. It’s only natural: most people want a fully interactive experience, with franchise and career modes, and online head-to-head play against their fellow basketball gamers.

And yet, there’s a contingent of basketball enthusiasts who would be content to sit back and watch a virtual representation of the sport, adopting more of a coaching or management role. As such, the prospect of an NBA licensed management sim is brought up every once in a while. I’ve never had much interest in that subgenre myself, as I’d prefer to be in control of the action, but I’ve dabbled with a sim game before. That game was 1991’s Replay Professional Basketball, created for DOS by Thomas R. Mink, and it’s the subject of this week’s Wayback Wednesday!

Let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

Monday Tip-Off: A Look at Basketball Video Game Story Threads

Ben Gordon dunks in NBA Live 06's Dynasty Mode

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.

If you’ve browsed the NLSC Forum, chances are you’ve noticed our Basketball Video Game Stories section. It’s a place where you can entertain your fellow basketball gamers with ongoing coverage of your exploits in NBA Live and NBA 2K, whether you’re playing through the franchise or single player career modes. Over the years, we’ve had some very creative and popular story threads, many of which are now enshrined in our two Story Hall of Fame subsections, so that we can easily go back and enjoy them all over again.

However, story threads have somewhat fallen out of fashion. While we still have gamers posting in the Basketball Video Game Stories section – and we certainly encourage everyone to make use of it, if they feel so inclined – it sadly seems that we’re past the heyday of the story thread. There are a few reasons for this, which I thought I’d explore in today’s Monday Tip-Off, in addition to shining a spotlight on the section and the practice of maintaining story threads in general.

So, what are story threads all about, what was so enthralling about them, and why are they kind of becoming a thing of the past?

Read More »

Wayback Wednesday: Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball Video Retrospective

Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball

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.

It’s time for another video retrospective, and this week, I’m taking a look back at a game that I’m not particularly fond of. In fact, it would easily make my shortlist of the worst basketball video games ever made, quite probably coming in at number one. That game is Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball, a futuristic arcade hoops game starring the former Bad Boy Piston as the commissioner of a league in the year 2030, in which he’s fired the referees and thrown out almost all of the rules.

An unusual and potentially entertaining concept, it didn’t exactly pan out, perhaps explaining why there aren’t any other basketball video games starring Bill Laimbeer. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Stay tuned for more video retrospectives, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content!

Wayback Wednesday: World League Basketball Video Retrospective

Dunking in World League Basketball

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.

As promised, I have a new video retrospective for this week’s Wayback Wednesday! Today, I’m taking a look back at an old favourite of mine that I’ve wanted to talk about in more detail for some time now. It’s a basketball game for the Super Nintendo called World League Basketball…well, the game that I own is called World League Basketball, anyway. Depending on where you lived when this game was released in 1992, you might have known it as NCAA Basketball, or perhaps Super Dunk Shot.

It’s a game that was, in some ways, ahead of its time, and it’s definitely worth reminiscing about. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Check it out here on our YouTube channel if you can’t see the embedded video. Stay tuned for more video retrospectives, columns, stuff from the archives, and other Wayback Wednesday content!

Clarifying My Opinion of 7-Footers in MyPark

If you’ve seen the Thanksgiving special of NBA 2KTV, you would have noticed that both JaoSming and Leftos appeared on camera; but did you know that another NLSC Team Member was also featured in the episode? It just so happens that one of my tweets made it onto the #2ktvthanks section.

I know, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that I was “featured” in the episode, but I was pretty stoked about it. Not only did my tweet appear in the episode itself, but it was also shown in the NBA 2K16 main menu during the preview of the episode. I won’t lie; I watched the preview several times, waiting for my name to appear. I also took quite a few screenshots, just in case the previous ones were unclear. For those who didn’t seen it, this is what I wrote:

Read More »

The Friday Five: 5 Mistakes We Make in Basketball Video 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.

In this community, we know basketball, and we know basketball video games. When it comes to virtual hoops, I think it’s fair to suggest that we have some people in our community who are pretty good on the sticks. Nevertheless, as much as we know about basketball – the real thing, and its virtual equivalent, be it NBA Live or NBA 2K – there are some mistakes that we’re prone to making. As those mistakes add up, so too do our losses, whether it’s to the CPU in one of the franchise modes, or to other users online.

So, in this week’s Friday Five, I thought I’d list some of the mistakes that we’re prone to making, and offer up some advice on how to avoid them. These are the things that I try to keep in mind when I’m playing NBA Live or NBA 2K; both the pitfalls I’d prefer to avoid, and the strategies I employ to try and do so. Without any further ado, here are five mistakes that we make when we play basketball video games…and a few ways that we can avoid them.

Read More »

Scottie Sunday: Strange Occurences in MyTeam

He was always a player I had an admiration for, but I can’t say I was ever a huge fan of Scottie Pippen. Like pretty much everyone else that grew up in the 90’s, my earliest memories of the NBA were of the Chicago Bulls dominating everyone in their path. And while it is hard to argue against the fact that Scottie Pippen played a big part in that, the Bulls, and basketball in general, were synonymous with a guy he played with…and I’m not talking about Dickey Simpkins. While just about every conversation about the NBA could include Michael Jordan, this article is dedicated to the one night on MyTeam where it was all about Scottie Pippen.

Two weeks ago, I decided to play Historic Domination. I had three games to complete: the ’89 Bulls, the West All-Stars and the Historic Stars. The first game I played was against the West All-Stars. After yet another handsome victory to my death squad, I opened up the reward packs. The player I drew was ’91 Scottie Pippen. After my initial surprise and joy, I looked through my collection to add Scottie to my squad; but much like the ’98 Toni Kukoc card I drew (twice), it wasn’t there. This led me to start a thread in the Forum, which surprisingly still hasn’t got any responses (I thought it was at least as important as the “sweat issue”). Thankfully this problem was recently addressed.

Read More »

Wayback Wednesday: Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball Retrospective

Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball

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.

It seems that the retrospective of NBA Jam Tournament Edition PC that I posted a couple of weeks ago was well received, and I certainly had fun producing it. As such, I’ll be creating some more video retrospectives of older basketball video games, and featuring them in future editions of Wayback Wednesday. I’ve got a bunch of games in mind, some of which you may remember and some you may not, which I’m looking forward to dusting off and discussing in detail.

However, for this week’s Wayback Wednesday, I’m looking back at an old release with a written retrospective, rather than a video feature. That’s because the title I’m discussing today doesn’t actually have any gameplay to show, so it doesn’t exactly lend itself well to a video retrospective. That release is Microsoft Complete NBA Basketball.

It’s not the type of title that we’d normally cover in detail here at the NLSC, but for me, is does have some nostalgic value. Hopefully, you’ll find it to be an interesting change of pace. With that said, let’s take a look back…way back…

Read More »

The Friday Five: 5 Unlucky Moments in Basketball Video 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.

Another Friday the 13th is upon us! For those of us who aren’t superstitious, it’s just a day like any other, perhaps even a day of good fortune since the weekend is right around the corner. For those who suffer paraskevidekatriaphobia, however, it’s a day of bad omens and misfortune, and we’ve had three of them in 2015. And yes, despite what my spell checker claims, that is in fact a real word that describes a fear of Friday the 13th. I Googled it.

In previous editions of the Five that have fallen on a Friday the 13th, I’ve discussed unlucky moments in NBA history, and some of my favourite players to have worn the number thirteen. This time, I’m going back to the theme of bad luck, as I examine some of the unluckiest things can happen to us when playing basketball video games. Of course, these things don’t require a supposedly cursed day to occur; unfortunately, they can strike at any time, on any given day.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

The Friday Five: 5 Aspects of Online Culture I Dislike

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.

NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 are in stores now, and to that end, it would make sense to discuss one or both of them in this week’s Friday Five. However, I’d like to spend a bit more time with both games before I offer up any impressions, and discuss certain elements of them in detail. Furthermore, this week’s topic – five aspects of online culture that I dislike – is one that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while. The timing isn’t completely inappropriate either, as we see a lot of this stuff pop up whenever new games are released.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I maintain that we have a good thing going here at the NLSC, and I do like being a part of an online community. I also believe that the World Wide Web in general is a fantastic invention that continues to innovate, and it’s done a lot to make video games a bigger business, and an even more enjoyable hobby. However, there are some negative traits that permeate online culture, especially in gaming communities. When it comes to the five things I’m about to discuss, I think we need to either grow up, or get over ourselves…or maybe both.

Read More »