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Monday Tip-Off: Reviving the Retro Modding Scene

Monday Tip-Off: Reviving the Retro Modding Scene

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off with some thoughts on reviving the retro modding scene, and how we could best accomplish that.

Given that my dissatisfaction with the most recent releases in the NBA 2K series has pushed me towards retro basketball gaming – however you want to define that – I’m obviously intrigued by the prospect of reviving the retro modding scene. To reiterate a point I made when I discussed the definition of retro gaming, retro modding means different things to different people, but broadly speaking, I’d suggest that it refers to nostalgic favourites that the community has largely moved on from, but a dedicated contingent of people still revisit and have interest in modding and using mods for.

As far as the specific titles, we can name some popular examples here. NBA 2K13 and NBA 2K14 are two of the most modded games of their generation, and they hold up well. There’s a ton of nostalgia for the later NBA Live releases on PC, especially NBA Live 2005 and NBA Live 06, with NBA Live 2003 and NBA Live 2004 being up there as well. NBA 2K11 has some untapped potential, and is a game I’ve seen gamers cite as one they’d like to see benefit from more retro modding. NBA 2K17 and NBA 2K19 are two recent classics that gamers want to keep alive. I love the idea and support the initiative, but to make it happen, we must keep a few things in mind.

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NBA Live Widescreen Fix Updated to V1.04

NBA Live Widescreen Fixes Updated

As you may have seen in previous bulletins, Murat has been doing some excellent work with the last few NBA Live releases on PC, enhancing the experience for retro gamers with various fixes. To that end, he’s released a new version of the NBA Live Widescreen Fix, which is compatible with NBA Live 2005, NBA Live 06, NBA Live 07, and NBA Live 08.

V1.04 of the NBA Live Widescreen Fix adds an updated transition screen for NBA Live 2005, as well as the option to enable and disable the intro/attract mode videos that normally play while idling in the main menu. No further editing or hacking is required, and it won’t interfere with any other mods that you’re using. Pick it up here in our Downloads section!

For more information and previews of projects that Murat is working on, check out this topic in the Forum. For retro gamers who love retro season mods, I’d also recommend giving the work-in-progress MyEra Project a look. A big thanks to Murat for his work, and to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads section! Obviously we want to support modding for NBA 2K24 and future NBA 2K releases, but we’ll always advocate for retro gaming, and mods that breathe new life into old favourites.

The Friday Five: 5 Conceptual Mistakes Basketball Games Made

The Friday Five: 5 Conceptual Mistakes Basketball Games Made

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five looks at five conceptual mistakes that were made with various basketball video games.

Game design isn’t as easy as some people believe it to be. Programming is far from entering instructions in plain English, with many technological challenges that must be overcome. It’s also impossible to cater to everyone’s tastes and preferences, and what might seem like a good idea on paper may not work out as well as hoped when it comes to fruition. For the most part, no one is trying to make a bad video game. It’s just that some concepts don’t pan out, there’s not enough time or adequate resources, ambitious plans set the bar too high, or perhaps a combination thereof.

At the same time, some basketball games have left us wondering what the developers were thinking when it comes to an approach or design choice. There may be some small merit to an idea, but it’s still bewildering that it survived the planning stages, or preliminary proof of concept testing. In all fairness, there are other ideas that seemed good to us as well, until the games were in our hands and we realised that it wasn’t quite what we wanted after all. These are the conceptual mistakes that held games back from being as good as they could and should have been. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but again, a few of these examples were waving red flags from the beginning.

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Monday Tip-Off: Not So Fast, Past Me!

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off by revisiting an article I wrote in 2019, in order to discuss just how much I disagree with Past Me.

Normally, I reserve revisiting and republishing articles for Wayback Wednesday, though it’s one of my more rarely-used topics. However, this is more of a sequel column; a follow-up to opinions I expressed going on five years ago, that I strongly disagree with now. That’s not a bad thing, of course. It’s a positive trait to be able to remain open-minded, changing your stance when new evidence is presented and not just continuing to believe something because it’s been your view for so long. Ideally, we should be able to look back at what we’ve said and who we were, and see growth.

While browsing our archives, I was reminded of a Monday Tip-Off that I wrote back in 2019: “The Difficulty of Going Back“. As that title suggests, Past Me was opining that it was becoming increasingly challenging to return to older releases, and bring them back into my basketball gaming rotation. Considering how passionately I’ve advocated for retro basketball gaming since then, it should be obvious how much my opinion has changed! Of course, just as there are reasons I’ve become more receptive to going back to older hoops titles once again, there were reasons why Past Me felt it was growing difficult; even with a long history of retro gaming. Allow me to explain.

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The Friday Five: 5 Weird Bugs & Design Errors in Modes

The Friday Five: 5 Weird Bugs & Design Errors in Modes

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five weird bugs and design errors that I’ve encountered in the modes of basketball video games.

It bears repeating that no video game, basketball or otherwise, is going to be perfect. If it were possible to design games and software that were completely bug-free, it would’ve happened a long time ago! As basketball games and their modes have become deeper and more sophisticated, the chances of there being a few bugs here and there has only increased. Likewise, while there have been some very smart and passionate people working on basketball video games past and present, not all ideas pan out as well as hoped, leading to what we could reasonably call design errors.

Needless to say, it’s frustrating for everyone when bugs and design errors stand in the way of modes being as fun as they could and should be. In the best case scenario, a patch can fix the problem, or the issue will be resolved in next year’s release at the latest. Sadly that isn’t always the case, and there are times when we’ve been stuck with bugs and design errors for a few games running (and sometimes, even longer). Even when bugs and design errors don’t completely ruin a mode, they still have an impact on the experience, and they become one of the things that we remember most about a title. Here are five weird bugs and design errors that I’ve encountered in modes I play.

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NBA Live Widescreen Fixes Updated

NBA Live Widescreen Fixes Updated

We have some more excellent news for retro basketball gaming enthusiasts, as Murat continues to develop his fixes for NBA Live! To that end, he’s uploaded a new version of the Widescreen fix that displays the frontend in NBA Live 2005 and NBA Live 06 with the proper resolution.

As Murat has explained in the release notes over on GitHub, the fix doesn’t change any original files, and will only modify the appearance of the UI if the Widescreen fix is being used with NBA Live 2005 or NBA Live 06. He’s still working on further enhancements for this fix, so stay tuned for even more improvements to the widescreen experience in the last four NBA Live games that were released on PC.

Pick up v1.03 of the fix here! A big thanks once again to Murat for his work on these fixes. It appears that there’s some renewed interest in modding and enhancing the retro gaming experience for titles like NBA Live 2005 and NBA Live 06 – including roster updates – and it’s awesome to see. If you have any fixes or mods for those games to share, feel free to make use of our hosting facilities so that we can preserve them for years to come!

Wayback Wednesday: The Evolution of Roster Mods

Wayback Wednesday: The Evolution of Roster Mods

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at the evolution of roster mods in our community.

As technological improvements have led to the development of bigger and better basketball video games, our expectations have changed. What were once cutting-edge graphics are no longer impressive. What was once a deep and engaging mode now seems shallow compared to what’s available in a newer game…usually! This isn’t to say that old games are bad and not worth playing. I wouldn’t be diving into basketball gaming history, or advocating for retro gaming, if I didn’t see value in older titles! Still, we always want to see the genre make advancements, so the bar does get raised.

The same goes for modding over the years. While we made some fantastic roster mods for the early NBA Live games on PC, there were limitations to what we could change and include. As it became easier to modify textures and models in addition to player and team data, there was an expectation that roster mods would become more comprehensive. This led to a golden age of NBA Live modding that has since been continued with the NBA 2K series, but in some ways, it’s also been detrimental to the hobby. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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2X Crowd Update for NBA Live 2005-08

2X Crowd Update for NBA Live 2005-08

It’s a great time to dust off games like NBA Live 2005, NBA Live 06, NBA Live 07, and NBA Live 08, as Murat’s retro gaming enhancements continue with a 2X (i.e. double resolution) crowd update. Pick it up at the link below, and be on the look out for more great fixes from Murat!

Murat
2X Crowd Update

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our Downloads database! If you need help uploading files, be sure to check out this video tutorial. For more information about downloads, the modding community, and Mod Releases bulletins, please see this FAQ in our Wiki.

NBA Live Widescreen & Windowed Mode Fixes Updated

NBA Live Widescreen & Windowed Mode Fixes Updated

As you may have previously seen, Murat (aka Badger) has been working on some great fixes to enhance retro basketball gaming, specifically for the last four NBA Live games on PC. To that end, he’s updated his Widescreen and Windowed Mode fixes for NBA Live 2005-08 PC, allowing them to look much better on modern systems and 16:9 displays.

You’ll notice that the Widescreen fix now not only increases the resolution during gameplay, but also displays the in-game overlays with the correct proportions. Windowed mode is also a handy feature, and the plugin doesn’t require any external applications. Whether you’re looking to create video content featuring one of these old favourites, or you just want to dust one of them off for your own enjoyment, I’d highly recommend checking out Murat’s fixes!

Download the Widescreen fix for NBA Live 2005-08 here, and the Windowed mode fix here. Murat is keenly working on other fixes to make revisiting NBA Live on PC even better, so stay tuned. These kinds of fixes have definitely been overlooked in our community throughout the years, so as more people take an interest in going back to their favourites, we’d absolutely welcome further fixes that enhance retro gaming, and new modding projects for the classics.

Wayback Wednesday: EA Sports Cover Players in NBA Live 16

Wayback Wednesday: EA Sports Cover Players in NBA Live 16

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at the EA Sports cover players that can be found in NBA Live 16.

Did you know that every single NBA 2K cover player is available to play with in NBA 2K24? Between the cover players that are still active and the game’s array of classic and All-Time teams, they’re all accounted for. Obviously, we haven’t had a new NBA Live since 2018, but even then, NBA Live 19 didn’t include every cover player in the history of the series. On top of that, a couple of the cover players that were included in NBA Live 19 were nevertheless retired, and thus exclusive to the collection of Legends in Ultimate Team.

If we want to find the last NBA Live game that featured a healthy selection of players who appeared on the cover of EA Sports’ long-running basketball sim series, we must go back a few years to NBA Live 16. In fact, not only does NBA Live 16 feature a number of NBA Live cover players, but also players who graced the covers of EA Sports’ college basketball titles. And so, I thought it might be fun to spotlight those cover players who are readily accessible in NBA Live 16, wearing EA Sports jerseys in the game’s practice mode. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #517: Making Highlights, More MyTEAM BS, & Freestyle Control

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #517 of the NLSC Podcast!

The community has really been cooking with their submissions for the NLSC Top 10 Plays as of late. Indeed, we’re still excited about last week’s countdown! To that end, we recap what was a diverse array of spectacular virtual hardwood moments from a variety of titles, and also provide advice for both recording and submitting your highlights for future Top 10s. We also note some recent improvements to PlayStation 2 emulation (particularly in regards to NBA Street), discuss the ongoing saga with MyTEAM greed hitting an all-time high, and join the community in reminiscing about the introduction of Freestyle Control in this week’s mailbag.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

Widescreen Fix for NBA Live 2005-08, Other Fixes

Widescreen Fix for NBA Live 2005-08, Other Fixes

Long-time community member Murat (aka Badger) has been working on some fixes for NBA Live PC that will aid with retro gaming. They include a Widescreen Fix and Windowed Mode for NBA Live 2005, NBA Live 06, NBA Live 07, and NBA Live 08. Pick up the Widescreen Fix here, and the Windowed Mode fix here.

In addition to the Widescreen Fix and Windowed Mode Fix for the last four NBA Live games on PC, Murat has been dabbling with some other useful modifications. These include creating custom plugins for games, something that could potentially open up fantastic new retro modding possibilities. They require the FIFA Manager ASI Loader, and accordingly, Murat has uploaded both a DirectDraw and DirectX9 version in anticipation of further releases.

Helping gamers to play these classics on modern operating systems remains a goal of ours, and Murat has helped out by uploading a few more fixed executable files to the Game Fixes section of our Downloads database. If you have any retro gaming tutorials or resources to share, then we’d certainly welcome them!

A big thanks to Murat for providing these resources, and his continued research into developing mods and fixes for some classic NBA Live releases. He’s been sharing some updates in the NLSC Discord, so if you’d like to check them out, feel free to join! Be sure to head to the modding-discussion channel for the latest details.

Wayback Wednesday: The Rare Valentine’s Day Jersey

Wayback Wednesday: The Rare Valentine's Day Jersey

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at the New Orleans Hornets’ Valentine’s Day jersey, and its rare video game appearances.

Happy Valentine’s Day, basketball gamers! Obviously, today is generally all about spending time with a significant other rather than hitting the virtual hardwood, unless of course that’s an activity that you enjoy together! For the people in our community who are doing something romantic today, all the best wishes to you and your partner. For anyone who doesn’t have a special someone today – and would like one – chin up, and don’t stress! These things happen in their own time. In the meantime, if you don’t have any plans today, by all means indulge in one of your hobbies.

Basketball gaming is the hobby that we focus on in our community, but since this week’s Wayback Wednesday has fallen on Valentine’s Day, it’s only appropriate that I cover a topic that’s related to both. No, this isn’t a profile of Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, or even Denzel Valentine! As I said, I’m taking a look back at a special jersey that New Orleans once wore – albeit when they were the Hornets and briefly playing in another city entirely – that celebrated matters of the heart, in more ways than one. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #512: NBA 2K25 Gameplay Wishlist

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #512 of the NLSC Podcast!

It’s Wishlist season once again, so this week, we join the community in listing our top three gameplay wishes for NBA 2K25! Not surprisingly, many of us have similar thoughts on what we want to see out of this year’s game. Following our recent sessions with them, we also discuss NBA ShootOut (aka Total NBA ’96) and Sony’s NBA 08, and compare them to their contemporaries. We’ve also got an injury update to share, and spend some time reflecting on past-their-prime players still having something left in the tank in real life, as well as being fun to play with in video games; especially when they’re familiar faces in unfamiliar places.

To get involved with the mailbag or to provide any feedback on the show, hit us up in the comments, reach out on social media, or post here in the NLSC Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. You can also find the show on our YouTube channel, along with the rest of our video content. As always, thanks for tuning in, and go get buckets!

Wayback Wednesday: Team Rankings & Overall Ratings

Wayback Wednesday: Team Rankings & Overall Ratings

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at Team Rankings and Overall Ratings in basketball video games.

It’s interesting how we get attached to the little details in our favourite basketball video games, particularly the ones that served as our introduction to the genre! I can trace many of my preferences related to presentation and UI to NBA Live 96 PC as it was one of the first 5-on-5 sim games that I played, and it was also the very first one that I owned rather than just frequently renting. To that point, growing up with NBA Live conditioned me to expect teams to be sorted alphabetically by location. 2K’s method of sorting by team name thus felt strange at first, though I’m used to it now.

Another detail that I really enjoyed in the early NBA Live games was the rankings that appeared on team selection screens. Mind you, while I associate them with NBA Live given that it was the series that I primarily played as a young basketball gamer, many sim titles ranked and rated the teams in both individual categories and overall. These rankings gave way to Overall Ratings similar to the ones that players have, which didn’t feel as special, but are also nostalgic in their own way. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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