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Wayback Wednesday

Wayback Wednesday: Knicks vs Magic in NBA 1K95

Wayback Wednesday: Knicks vs Magic in NBA 1K95

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 some 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. This week, it’s a highlight reel featuring the ’95 Knicks taking on the ’95 Magic in NBA 2K14 PS4, which I’m calling NBA 1K95.

No, I haven’t forgotten all about NBA Live 10, but I do have a new addition to my retro basketball gaming rotation: NBA 2K14 on PlayStation 4. It’s another game that I’ve developed a new appreciation for, having pushed it aside when it was new. In addition to finally playing through the first MyCAREER story, I’ve been hitting the virtual hardwood with classic teams. The PS4/Xbox One version of NBA 2K14 had fantastic presentation, and combined with music from NBA Live 95, I’ve put together a highlight reel from a game between the ’95 Knicks and ’95 Magic. Check out NBA 1K95 to take a look back…way back…

It goes without saying, but making the right decisions in crunch time is the difference between a win and a loss! I hope that you enjoyed the reel, and found it to be a double dose of nostalgia. As I’ve done with NBA Live 06 and NBA Live 10, I’ll be revisiting NBA 2K14 in a future Wayback Wednesday feature, as I do have some new thoughts on the game in the wake of my recent retro gaming kick. Be sure to subscribe to the NLSC YouTube channel for more video content, including the weekly Top 10 Plays curated by Dee4Three!

Wayback Wednesday: Wizards Michael Jordan & Video Games

Wayback Wednesday: Wizards Michael Jordan & Video Games

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at Michael Jordan and his time with the Washington Wizards, as well as its impact on video games.

For those keeping track, it was twenty years ago this Saturday that Michael Jordan announced that he was coming out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards. Although it’s a chapter in his career that many people gloss over, MJ’s Wizards years did have their bright moments. His second comeback and third NBA stint overall also had an obvious effect on basketball video games, especially given his history on the virtual hardwood throughout most of the 90s. In that regard, it actually had more of an impact than when he said “I’m Back” almost 27 years ago!

As a Michael Jordan fan and avid basketball gamer who had just taken over running the NLSC, his comeback with the Wizards stands out quite vividly in my memory. Given that it’s the 20th Anniversary of a comeback that saw His Airness become a familiar face in a strange place, I felt that it would only be appropriate to reflect on both the real event, and how it affected basketball games. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Procedural Awareness in NBA Live 07

Wayback Wednesday: Procedural Awareness in NBA Live 07

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at Procedural Awareness in NBA Live 07 for Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 07 has the dubious reputation of being one of the worst games in the NBA Live series. My stance has slightly softened, if only because some of the eighth generation titles turned out to be considerably rough in their own right, not to mention disappointing given the advances in technology and expectations placed upon them. Nevertheless, while there’s a certain novelty in dusting it off, NBA Live 07 for Xbox 360 is not my first choice for retro basketball gaming. Unlike its immediate predecessor, it wasn’t a solid gameplay experience mired in controversy.

While the team at EA Canada did err in their attempts to rebuild the series with NBA Live 07, the game did feature a few meritorious technological improvements. Two of the most-hyped innovations during the preview season were foot-planting technology, and procedural awareness. The former didn’t pan out quite as well as hoped, as the improvements to foot-planting were offset by other animation issues. The latter wasn’t quite the game-changer we were hoping for either, but fortunately it didn’t have any adverse affects. What was it all about? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Action 98 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Action 98 Retrospective

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at NBA Action 98, also released under the name NBA Fastbreak ’98.

Back in the days when demo CD-ROMs were still a thing, I happened to get my hands on a collection titled Sportz Crazy 2. Released by Sprint Software circa 1997, it featured over twenty sports game demos, in addition to a bunch of Windows 95 tools (including Internet Explorer 4!). As you might expect, my attention was immediately drawn to the basketball games, one of which was Slam ‘N Jam. The other was NBA Action 98, a game published by Sega Sports that was also available on the Saturn. NBA Fastbreak ’98 was the title given to the PlayStation version.

Both titles may be unfamiliar to younger basketball gamers, but the game stands as a significant release, being the forerunner to the NBA 2K series. It went head to head with NBA Live 98, and while EA Sports’ title was better across the board, NBA Action 98/NBA Fastbreak ’98 displayed many of the traits and the attention to detail that would eventually make NBA 2K the premier brand in sim-oriented basketball games. I’ve since picked up the full versions of both NBA Action 98 and NBA Fastbreak ’98, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: That Weird NBA 2K21 Zion Next Gen Trailer

Wayback Wednesday: That Weird NBA 2K21 Zion Next Gen Trailer

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at that weird Zion trailer for NBA 2K21 Next Gen.

Way back in the fourth season of The Simpsons, in the classic episode “Mr. Plow”, Homer becomes…well, Mr. Plow. At first his business succeeds, thanks in small part to his creation of a surprisingly competent commercial. When Homer begins to lose customers to Barney’s Plow King business, he seeks the help of an ad agency that ends up creating a commercial that is a hilarious send-up of just about every artsy, pseudo intellectual advertisement that has barely anything to do with the product or service in question.

To me, that’s the perfect analogy for the weird Zion teaser trailer for the Next Gen version of NBA 2K21. It was weird, it had questionable imagery, and judging by some YouTube comments, it offended a few people as well. Normally I’d wait a bit longer to cover basketball games and basketball gaming subjects in my Wayback Wednesday features, but hey, it was over a year ago, so I’ll bend the rules on this occasion. Let’s take a look back…a little way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: The First MyCAREER Story

Wayback Wednesday: The First MyCAREER Story

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at the very first MyCAREER story, featured in NBA 2K14 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Although I’ve written many articles about MyCAREER stories, and spoken at length about the topic on the NLSC Podcast, I’ve yet to cover the very first MyCAREER story that appeared in the PlayStation 4/Xbox One version of NBA 2K14. There’s a reason for that: I didn’t play much of NBA 2K14 when it was new. As I explained when I revisited the game for a retrospective, there were a few factors that put me off NBA 2K14 before I even played it, and when I did get my hands on it, I wasn’t as impressed as other basketball gamers were.

That was then and this is now. While I do stand by many of my criticisms of NBA 2K14, I have come to appreciate it more during some retro gaming sessions. Indeed, if I’d given it more of a chance, there’s a strong possibility that I would’ve spent more time with it and played through a season in MyCAREER, which had become my mode of choice. At the same time, I have been critical of the story-driven approach, and NBA 2K14 is where it all began. How does that tale hold up after revisiting it all these years later? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Ode to the 90s (NBA Live 10 Mix)

Wayback Wednesday: Ode to the 90s (NBA Live 10 Mix)

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 some 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. This week, it’s an NBA Live 10 mix that’s an ode to the 90s.

Revisiting NBA Live 10 and making it my retro kick has been a blast! While putting together retro squads to play with in Fantasy Teams mode, I’ve noticed the number of players from the 90s in the rosters. Some were still active as of 2009-10, while others were left over in the Free Agents Pool. Reflecting on my nostalgia for NBA Live 10 over a decade later, it occurred to me that when the game was released, the end of the 90s was ten years prior, and already quite nostalgic. I’ve combined those two nostalgic ideas to create a highlight mix that celebrates the last vestiges of the 90s, using the last great NBA Live game. In more ways than one, let’s take a look back…way back…

With the 45 or so players that I’ve featured in the mix, I’ve mostly focused on the big names, and players that had appropriate retro jerseys available to them. However, a further 35 players from the 90s can be found in the rosters. In order to include a few stars that were too important to omit, I did make substitutions here and there with jerseys from the early 2000s, or from earlier in the 90s. Hopefully, it hasn’t spoiled the intended vibe! My retro kick has resulted in a ton of NBA Live 10-related content this year, and it seemed only right to cap it off with something special. I hope you enjoyed it, and encourage you to subscribe to the NLSC YouTube channel for more videos.

Wayback Wednesday: The 1990s Dallas Mavericks

Wayback Wednesday: The 1990s Dallas Mavericks

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at the 1990s Dallas Mavericks, and their presence in video games of the era.

This might seem like another very esoteric idea for a Wayback Wednesday feature. After all, I don’t usually profile historical NBA teams, and when I do discuss the history of the real NBA, it’s still through the lens of video games. That’s what I’ll be doing again today, but even so, you may be wondering why I’m covering the Dallas Mavericks of the 1990s and not the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls obviously enjoyed far more success during that decade, and given that they’re my favourite team, there’s a lot of nostalgia for me there.

However, those Mavs teams from the 90s stand out in my memory, particularly when I think back to video games of the era. They’re not entirely unique in that regard, as I can remember a lot of players from the decade and am nostalgic for it general, with video games playing a significant role in that nostalgia. There were many noteworthy teams that I recall playing with and against on the virtual hardwood back in the 1990s, with several of them being far better squads than those Dallas Mavericks. Those Mavs are memorable for a reason though, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 10 Retro Rookie Jerseys Redux

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 10 Retro Rookie Jerseys Redux

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 some 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. This week, it’s a redux of my feature sharing screenshots of various players in NBA Live 10, sporting retro jerseys from their rookie seasons (with a further edit following the original posting!).

With NBA Live 10 becoming my retro kick of 2021, it’s inspired several Wayback Wednesday features. The first feature, posted back in May, spotlighted the retro jerseys that had actually been worn by players in NBA Live 10’s rosters, during their rookie seasons. It was a fun exercise that allowed me to comb through the rosters and set up some screenshots. I was pleased with how the feature turned out, and that I was able to find so many players that could be matched to retro jerseys. The problem is that the list wasn’t as comprehensive as it could’ve been.

There were a couple of players that I completely forgot about when matching rookie seasons to the retro jerseys, while ironically including more obscure examples. The 1985-86 Celtics retro jerseys are also the design that they wore from 1972 through to 1999, which means there are players in NBA Live 10 that sported them in their rookie seasons. As far as the 2000s are concerned, I completely neglected the SuperSonics retros, which are absolutely worth a mention. I thought about simply updating and then re-sharing my previous article, but I decided it was worth a do-over, complete with new screenshots. Let’s fix things by taking another look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 4)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces Back in Familiar Places (Part 4)

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at another collection of players that ended being familiar faces back in familiar places.

Just as I’m continuing my series on familiar faces in strange places, I have another instalment of its counterpart today. As the name would imply, the familiar faces back in familiar places series takes a look at players that returned to the team that they’re often closely associated with, after leaving to play elsewhere. In some ways, it’s an even more interesting phenomenon, particularly with star players as many of them have only moved on to new teams after leaving their original club. Over the years, we’ve seen more players return to their old teams for second runs and farewell tours.

As always, I’m looking at these familiar faces back in familiar places through the lens of basketball video games. I do that in part because it ties in to our coverage of the virtual hardwood, and because I enjoy the “interactive almanac” aspect of revisiting older titles. With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 5)

Wayback Wednesday: Familiar Faces in Strange Places (Part 5)

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at another collection of players that became familiar faces in strange places.

Yes, it’s time for a fifth instalment in my ongoing series profiling familiar faces that ended up in strange places! In case you missed the previous articles, or the title is a bit too esoteric, this series looks back at well-known players that are generally associated with a particular team, and their stints wearing unfamiliar jerseys that looked strange at the time as well as in hindsight. Because video games capture these unusual stints, I’m also looking at them through the lens of the virtual hardwood. As I’ve said before, I love the “interactive almanac” aspect of old video games!

The ten familiar faces in strange places that I’m profiling this time around feature a mix of several big names, as well as some prominent role players from back in the day. Although it’s more jarring to see All-Stars and future Hall of Fame inductees wearing unfamiliar uniforms, we can still come to associate long-tenured role players with a certain team as well. As such, it’s similarly strange when they move on to a new club, both in real life and in video games. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 07; Worst Game or Not?

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 07; Worst Game or Not?

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking another look back at NBA Live 07, and considering whether or not it’s still the worst game in the NBA Live series.

Since I followed up with further impressions of NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360 after my retrospective for our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations, I’ve decided to take another look back at NBA Live 07. As with the aforementioned article, I’d originally planned to do this as part of some “overtime” 25th Anniversary content, but at this point, I feel it would be more appropriate to repurpose those ideas for my Wayback Wednesday features. After all, we’re now significantly past the dates marking the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live on both console (1994) and PC (March 1995).

Although I do stand by what I said in my previous retrospective, sometimes games are worth a second or third look with fresher eyes and different perspectives. I found that I liked the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 much better after giving it another chance and adjusting to its style of play. I’ve also developed a greater appreciation for NBA Live 10. It admittedly seems a very unlikely prospect with NBA Live 07, as it has a well-earned reputation as one of the worst games in the series, if not the worst NBA Live release. Nevertheless, I’m interested in giving it one more chance, and drawing some comparisons to other flawed titles. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: A New Appreciation for NBA Live 10

Wayback Wednesday: A New Appreciation for NBA Live 10

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 some 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. This week, I’m reflecting on the new appreciation that I have for NBA Live 10.

If you’ve been following along with my recent Wayback Wednesday features, you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve developed a new appreciation for NBA Live 10 as of late. Despite a few gripes that I have with certain aspects of the game, my overall opinion of it has always been generally positive. I’m sure that came across when I covered the game with a retrospective for our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations. For the most part, I still stand by what I wrote in that article and my appraisal of NBA Live 10 as a fine game, but not the best release in the series.

To that end, this isn’t a revision of the impressions I shared in my retrospective, as was the case when I revisited NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360. Again, I’m not inclined to disagree with my previous comments on the quality, depth, and ranking of NBA Live 10 compared to other strong releases in the NBA Live series. However, I can now say that I’ve been able to make some new memories with the game upon it becoming my retro kick, and that has undoubtedly given me a new appreciation for the experience on offer in NBA Live 10. Before I move on to covering other games, I’m reflecting on why NBA Live 10 has inspired me to go back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Creating Retro Teams in NBA Live 10

Wayback Wednesday: Creating Retro Teams in NBA Live 10

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look at some of the retro teams that can be created in NBA Live 10.

I’ve been having a great time with NBA Live 10 in recent weeks. From my gaming sessions with Dee4Three over Parsec and revisiting the game by myself on Xbox 360, to placing veterans in their rookie throwbacks, active players on their current teams, and portraying What If scenarios, I’ve immensely enjoyed playing a game that I wish I’d spent more time with when it was new. Of course, it’s also been something of a bittersweet experience, as I’m left thinking – and I’m sure many long-time NBA Live fans can relate to this – “Why didn’t EA just keep building off this fantastic game?”

Of course, the beauty of retro basketball gaming is that we can give games a second look, and if we enjoy them, make up for skipping them back in the day. Combing through the rosters of NBA Live 10 to put together the aforementioned articles, I’ve noticed how many veterans from earlier in the decade were still active, as well as the number of recently retired players present in the game’s Free Agents Pool. In fact, there are enough of them to create some makeshift retro teams using the Fantasy Teams mode present in NBA Live 10. Here are some examples of retro teams you can make in NBA Live 10 if you feel like going back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Basketball Gaming on Nintendo 64

Wayback Wednesday: Basketball Gaming on Nintendo 64

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 some 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. This week, I’m taking a look back at basketball gaming on the Nintendo 64.

For basketball gamers who are at the tail end of Generation X, or Millennials/Gen Y folks like me, we’re starting to experience milestones that remind us that we’re getting older. Realising we’re coming up on the 30th Anniversary of the Chicago Bulls’ first championship – an event that was just a few years old when I really got into basketball – is a good example. Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live over the past two years is another. We’re also starting to see a lot of classic consoles that I recall being one of the systems to own back in the day, now reaching significant anniversaries.

To that end, the Nintendo 64 turns twenty five this week, being released in Japan on June 24th 1996 and North America on September 29th. It wouldn’t be released in Europe or Australia until March 1997, and I didn’t actually own the console until I received it for my 13th birthday in October that year. Nevertheless, it’s the 25th Anniversary of the debut of the Nintendo 64, so it only seems appropriate to reflect on the history of basketball gaming on the console. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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