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Wayback Wednesday

Wayback Wednesday: NBA What Ifs Portrayed in NBA Live 10

Wayback Wednesday: NBA What Ifs Portrayed 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 back at some famous NBA What Ifs, and portraying them in NBA Live 10.

What Ifs can be fun to ponder, whether they concern the NBA or video games. There are trades and signings that, if they’d happened, would’ve changed the course of NBA history. Likewise, we can point to game-changing moments in the history of the virtual hardwood. Indeed, NBA Live 10 is an example of such a turning point. If EA Sports had elected to continue building on the base it established rather than trying to reboot the series with the ill-fated NBA Elite 11, the basketball gaming landscape would undoubtedly be very different today.

As far as NBA What Ifs are concerned though, they’re something that we can play out in video games. It’s a great concept for a roster, and while that’s not what I’m doing today, I’ve decided to mix a couple of ideas together by reflecting on some of the biggest NBA What Ifs and portraying them using NBA Live 10; a game that has an air of What If about it. Obviously there are some other historical NBA What Ifs that I won’t be touching on here because the players aren’t in NBA Live 10, but feel free to discuss those in the comments as well. Let’s wonder what might have been as we take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Why Many of Us Like Going Wayback

Wayback Wednesday: Why Many of Us Like Going Wayback

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 exploring the reasons why we like to go wayback, and revisit old favourites and other retro basketball games.

I’ve decided to do something a little different this week. Rather than a retrospective of a game or specific feature from an old title, I’m discussing the reasons why gamers like myself enjoy revisiting basketball games from yesteryear; indeed, why I go so far as to produce a weekly feature about the past. Nostalgia is far from unpopular, but in recent years, it also feels like there’s been a significant backlash against it. It’s likely a sign of a generational gap, and while younger gamers may not feel the need to go wayback as some of us older gamers do, I believe it’s something that comes with age.

On top of that, the passage of time leads to titles becoming nostalgic and historically significant, and that’s an interesting process. As we evaluate the best way to move forward, it’s also beneficial to look back at the past. To that end, let’s take a look at why we like going wayback…and in some cases, really way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Active Players in NBA Live 10

Wayback Wednesday: Active Players 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 sharing some screenshots of players in NBA Live 10 that are still active as of 2021, in their current teams’ jerseys.

Since NBA Live 10 has been my retro jam as of late, and I’ve already engaged in the fun exercise of taking some screenshots of 2010 players in their rookie season retro jerseys, this week I’m going in the other direction. Working on current roster updates for NBA 2K11 has emphasised how many players from around 2010 are no longer in the league, and combing through the rosters of NBA Live 10 yields further examples. With only 50 slots for created players, there’s no way that you could make a detailed current roster update for NBA Live 10 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

While NBA Live 10 will turn twelve years old in a few months, players these days tend to enjoy longer careers. Many players who were quite young in NBA Live 10 are still active today, and not all of them are over the hill! Almost all of them are now playing for different teams, but a couple of them are wearing familiar uniforms, albeit newer designs. To that end, I thought it’d be fun to make a few edits to the NBA Live 10 rosters, placing players who are still active as of 2021 on their new teams. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Rookie Retro Jerseys in NBA Live 10

Wayback Wednesday: Rookie Retro Jerseys 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 sharing some screenshots of various players in NBA Live 10, sporting retro jerseys from their rookie seasons.

Among the many appealing features of NBA Live 10 was the reintroduction of retro jerseys. Every team had a home and away throwback from a significant era in their history (or a popular design as the case may be). It was a welcome sight after the jump to the seventh generation resulted in a loss of retro content, from jerseys to Legends teams. If you’re playing a season or franchise game, or even just an exhibition, it’s fun to be able to choose from a selection of uniforms past and present. To that end, NBA 2K currently does a great job in presenting a selection of retro jerseys.

NBA Live 10 has been my retro gaming jam as of late, and while browsing the game’s rosters, I had a fun idea. Although they were nearing the end of their career, a number of players from the 90s were still active as of NBA Live 10. Glancing at the selection of retro jerseys in the game, there are many that were sported by well-known 90s players in their rookie seasons. Almost all of those players had moved on to another team by the 2010 season, but I thought it’d be fun to place them back on their rookie teams, and outfit them in the relevant throwbacks. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: CPU Assistance in Old Games

Wayback Wednesday: CPU Assistance in Old 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 the CPU Assistance setting found in several old basketball games.

When we look back at old basketball games, it jogs our memories in so many ways. There are the graphical and gameplay improvements that have come with evolving technology. There are the soundtracks which capture the zeitgeist of the time a game was released, whether they’re made up of original music or popular licensed songs. As I’ve discussed on many occasions, there’s the “interactive almanac” aspect of the sim games in particular, capturing a snapshot of what the league was like back then. And of course, there’s the depth, scope, and variety of the modes.

Beyond the depth and quality of modes and features though, what we find in an old basketball title is indicative of what was necessary and/or expected at the time. For example, the original approach to custom teams in the early NBA Live games was fun for the time, but seems downright quaint compared to the concept of Ultimate Team and MyTEAM. An option like Slow Motion Dunks also no longer seems necessary. In that vein, a once-common setting that we no longer see is CPU Assistance (or Computer Assist, as NBA Live originally labelled it). It’s no longer deemed to be a necessity, but it used to be quite important. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Signature Songs of Classic Games

Wayback Wednesday: Signature Songs of Classic 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 what we might consider the signature songs of some classic games (including a few recent classics).

There are many aspects to our nostalgia for video games, some of which don’t have anything to do with the gameplay itself. Music is a strong nostalgic trigger in general, and when it comes to basketball games, hearing a song from its soundtrack will take you back to all the time you spent with it. This includes both the original tracks that were created for very old games, and licensed music that began appearing in titles around the early 2000s. This is particularly true if a title ended up including a remixed version of the song referencing basketball and gaming.

With that in mind, what are some of the signature songs in the games we’ve loved over the years? Sometimes it’s difficult to pick just one, as certain soundtracks have been full of hits and bangers. Nevertheless, I believe it’s possible to pick one stand out track that you instantly remember when you fire up a game again. Alternatively, you’ll think of the game when you hear the song elsewhere. From the golden oldies to some more recent favourites, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC 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 the PlayStation version of NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC.

Although I grew up playing both simulation and arcade basketball games, by the late 90s I’d lost interest in the new arcade titles. This was partly due to finding the sim games more appealing, but the arcade genre also seemed to be losing steam. I still loved NBA Jam Tournament Edition and NBA Hangtime, but Acclaim’s NBA Jam games weren’t impressive, and I didn’t keep up with Midway’s titles. It’s unfortunate, because there were some good arcade basketball games being released in between the original classics by Midway, and the launch of EA Sports’ NBA Street series.

The good news is that running Wayback Wednesday features gives me an excuse to track down some old games and check them out all these years later. As I’ve said before, some games are gems, while others were worth skipping the first time around. They’re all fun and interesting to sample though, but the better games always make for more exciting additions to the collection. This week I’m covering a game that I would have liked to have played more of when it was released: Midway’s NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 06 Xbox 360 Revisited

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 06 Xbox 360 Revisited

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 Live 06 on Xbox 360, and following up on my previous retrospective of the game.

When I covered NBA Live 06 as part of my retrospectives for the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live, I noted that the PC/current gen release and the Xbox 360 version received very different responses. NBA Live 06 on PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox was generally well-regarded, whereas the Xbox 360 release is seen as the beginning of the series’ downfall. I would still agree with that assessment, but as I mentioned in Episode #363 of the NLSC Podcast, I’ve been having some second thoughts about the quality of the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06.

That’s not to say that I think it’s the best game in the series, or that it wasn’t a major misstep in many ways. However, after firing up the game as part of my research for an article, I ended up playing a full game and really enjoyed myself. Considering that I described NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360 as having vastly inferior gameplay to the PC version in my aforementioned retrospective, it prompted me to spend some more time with the game and see if my opinion of it changed. Obviously it still has many issues, but does the reputation of NBA Live 06 on Xbox 360 overshadow some of its good points? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: The Inactive Players in NBA Live 96 PC

Wayback Wednesday: The Inactive Players in NBA Live 96 PC

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 inactive players that can be found in the rosters of NBA Live 96 PC.

The PC version of NBA Live 96 is one of my all-time favourite games. I have so many fond memories of playing it, but it’s also a sentimental favourite. It was actually the first NBA Live game I owned; the Super Nintendo version of NBA Live 95 was the first game in the series that I played, but it was a frequent video store rental, and I didn’t add it or the PC version of NBA Live 95 to my collection until later. The game is obviously set in the 1995-96 season – also a personal favourite – and searching for NBA Live 96 content is what led me to discover the NLSC way back in 1997.

Even after I’d moved on to newer games, NBA Live 96 continued to be a valuable resource. Before Basketball Reference launched, we had to work a bit harder and consult various resources when we made retro roster mods, including older games. As I was quite fond of creating 1996 season mods, NBA Live 96 was one of my go-to resources. Unfortunately, its roster contained a few inaccuracies. While this certainly isn’t uncommon in games that predate official roster updates, the PC version of NBA Live 96 notably includes a number of players who were retired or inactive. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Stints Lasting Longer Than I Remembered

Wayback Wednesday: Stints Lasting Longer Than I Remembered

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 some stints that lasted longer than I remembered, and the games that corrected me.

I’ll never claim to be an infallible source of knowledge, whether I’m talking about real basketball or basketball video games. There’s a lot of stuff I remember off the top of my head, but I’ve certainly found that it pays to double-check and look things up. When it comes to the players I grew up watching, I tend to have a good memory as far as who they played for, how long they played for them, and when they moved on to a new team. However, my recall definitely isn’t perfect. As such, when I revisit an old game, I’m sometimes surprised to see a player still on a particular team’s roster.

Yes, this is another example of basketball video games being interactive almanacs. As I’ve said, it’s one of the most appealing parts of dusting off old video games: seeing that snapshot of the NBA at the time they were developed. Just as there’s something really fun about seeing familiar faces in strange places, or back in familiar places for that matter, it’s interesting to be reminded of stints that lasted longer than I recalled. As usual, I’m looking at these examples through the lens of the games that reminded me of these tenures. With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 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 NCAA Basketball for the Super Nintendo.

With Baylor’s victory and another March Madness in the books, I’m taking a look back at one final college basketball game. It’s a game that I’ve covered twice before in Wayback Wednesday, albeit under two different titles: World League Basketball, and Super Dunk Shot. As I mentioned in those features, this 1992 release developed by Sculptured Software changed its name and content according to the region it was released in. To that end, depending on whether you’re in North America, a PAL region, or Japan, you’ll be nostalgic for a different version of the same game.

Since Australia is a PAL region, the version of the game that I grew up with was World League Basketball. Now that I’ve picked up a Universal Adapter for my Super Nintendo, I’ve been able to collect Super Dunk Shot and NCAA Basketball, and play them on my PAL hardware. Obviously it’s a very familiar experience in terms of gameplay, but the different teams and format make it a real novelty to play the other versions. On top of that, NCAA Basketball holds up as one of the best college hoops titles of its era. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K8 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K8 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 College Hoops 2K8 on PlayStation 3.

College Hoops 2K8 is a title that generally makes basketball gamers feel wistful, the same way football gamers look back at ESPN NFL 2K5. Both games marked the end of their respective series, and were very highly regarded. They have an enduring popularity, as gamers who enjoyed them when they were new are still able to dust them off and play them today, especially College Hoops 2K8 with all of its roster customisation. Indeed, gamers have continued to make new rosters for College Hoops 2K8 for many years afterwards, some of which are still available.

As I look back at College Hoops 2K8, it seems accurate to say that it’s many people’s favourite college basketball game. As with College Hoops 2K7, I’m coming from the position of someone who wasn’t able to play it when it was new, and also didn’t spend a lot of time with its NBA counterpart at the time either. I therefore don’t have any nostalgia for it, and while I am able to make comparisons to NBA 2K8, there isn’t quite the same novelty as there was when comparing NBA Live 08 and NCAA March Madness 08. Nevertheless, it’s unquestionably a significant title, and a great release that’s well worth remembering. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: College Hoops 2K7 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 College Hoops 2K7 on PlayStation 3.

Finally getting my hands on the college games from Visual Concepts has been just as rewarding as adding EA Sports’ NCAA titles to my collection, but playing them has been a slightly different experience. While there’s still the novelty of finally getting to play games that I wasn’t able to import for so long, I don’t have the same history with NBA 2K7 as I do with NBA Live 07. If nothing else, it isn’t as jarring to see NCAA branding in a menu that I associate with an NBA game that I’m far more familiar with, and played more extensively when it was new.

I do own NBA 2K7 though and have spent time with it, so I am aware of what 2K’s basketball games were like at the time, and thus can make comparisons with College Hoops 2K7. Needless to say, it’s interesting to compare the College Hoops games to its contemporaries in the March Madness series as well, especially since the latter utilised technology from a very rough era in NBA Live’s history, and 2K has usually taken a different approach to certain core features and mechanics. With that being said, let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 10 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 10 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 NCAA Basketball 10.

As I mentioned when I took a look back at NCAA March Madness 08 and NCAA Basketball 09, it wasn’t until I was gifted a PlayStation 3 that I’ve been able to import college basketball games. I’ve therefore taken the opportunity to seek out and pick up those North American exclusives that I couldn’t play on my PAL consoles. Although they do show their age somewhat, I’ve still really enjoyed finally being able to play them and make up for some lost time. I’ve also picked up College Hoops 2K7 and 2K8, and I’ll be getting to them in due course.

I have an unusual history with NCAA Basketball 10. Like the other college games, I wasn’t able to play it until I got a PlayStation 3. However, the difference with NCAA Basketball 10 is that I actually covered it on the NLSC during its preview season! Even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to play it or produce any post-release content, we were expanding beyond just being an NBA Live website, and posting news related to NCAA Basketball 10 was part of my efforts to branch out. Over a decade later, I finally have the game and a console to play it on, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 09 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball 09 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 NCAA Basketball 09.

As I mentioned when I looked back at NCAA March Madness 08, college basketball games were something that I wasn’t able to enjoy for many years. Due to an inability to secure international likeness rights for the NCAA, those titles were only released in North America. Universal adapters, certain cheat devices, and modded consoles were – for the most part- the only way we could play those NTSC releases in PAL regions. The PlayStation 3 was region free however, and after a friend gifted me one, I’ve been able to import a handful of NTSC games, including college basketball titles.

My collection currently includes the aforementioned NCAA March Madness 08, as well as the game I’m looking back at today: its sequel, NCAA Basketball 09. I also own NCAA Basketball 10, and 2K Sports’ College Hoops 2K7 and College Hoops 2K8. I’ll be getting to those in due course, but for now, let’s look at the 2009 season release from EA Sports. The series rebranded itself to NCAA Basketball, but did the 09 edition succeed in being more than just a mere name change? Let’s take a look back…way back…

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