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NLSC YouTube November Round-Up

NLSC YouTube November Round-Up

Despite my intentions to post regular bulletins for our uploads to the NLSC YouTube channel, I’ve regrettably fallen behind again in recent weeks. As such, it’s time for another round-up of the content that Dee and I have been posting!

In addition to regular features such as the NLSC Podcast and Top 10 Plays of the Week, Dee has continued to connect with the community to play a variety of games over Parsec. He and I have connected on several occasions to play NBA Live 96, NBA Live 99, NBA Live 2000, NBA Live 2005, and NCAA Basketball 10, in the process showcasing some work-in-progress and classic mods alike. Dee has also played games with Nate Stacho and JuicyShaqMeat, and shared highlights from his ongoing MyTEAM Domination campaign.

Having sorted out my recording software and settings on PC, and picked up a new Elgato HD60 for console recording, I’ve caught the video bug as well. I’ve posted highlights of the Street Legends in NBA Street Homecourt for Xbox 360, 1-on-1 games featuring Michael Jordan in NBA Live 2001 and NBA Live 2002, and a game between the 1989 Bulls and 1989 Pistons in NBA 2K14 that will take you back to the days of recording games on VHS.

Catch up on all of the recent NLSC YouTube uploads below! There’s plenty more fun on the way, so we invite you to subscribe, enable notifications, and of course, share our videos with your friends and followers if you’re digging what we’re doing on the virtual hardwood. We’re always open to suggestions for games you’d like to see us play, so feel free to hit us up.

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Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting the NBA Live 95 Rosters

Wayback Wednesday: Revisiting the NBA Live 95 Rosters

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 rosters in both versions of NBA Live 95.

The interactive almanac aspect of basketball video games doesn’t begin years later when we start going wayback. Sure, that’s when we’re reminded of strange stints, forgotten returns, and other roster trivia. However, from the moment a basketball game becomes one of our favourites and we spend countless hours with it, its rosters are intertwined with our fond memories on the virtual hardwood. We remember the players on the team that we played with most often, as well as the players on the opposing squads that we faced in our most memorable, challenging, and epic games.

Those memories come flooding back when we revisit a title. However, depending on whether you spent time with the PC or console version of NBA Live 95 – or indeed, if you played both – you’ll recall two very different rosters. While the console version of NBA Live 95 featured final 1993-1994 season rosters, the PC release was updated to include the Class of 1994 rookies, as well as player movement accurate as of February 1995. As such, each captures its own snapshot of a memorable era in NBA history. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #454: Retro Sessions & 2K’s Return to Form

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #454 of the NLSC Podcast!

As promised last week, we revisited NBA Live 2005, and were reminded of what a great game it was (and still is)! NBA Live 2002, NBA 2K14, and NBA Street Homecourt have also been in the rotation as of late, and they’ve inspired some of our recent YouTube content. We also follow up on last week’s discussion of NBA 2K17 being the last truly great release in the 2K series with our thoughts on whether NBA 2K23 is a return to form, and thus the best game since then. In this week’s mailbag, we’re quizzing the community on the Top 5 players in the original NBA 2K. Not to go all clickbait, but at least one name will definitely surprise you!

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!

Monday Tip-Off: A Reunion With 2002

Monday Tip-Off: A Reunion With 2002

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 reflections as I experience a reunion with 2002.

The song changes from “Without Me” by Eminem to Junkie XL’s remix of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation”. Speaking of remixes, Scooter’s take on “The Logical Song” by Supertramp is also on the playlist, along with “By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. There’s even some Avril Lavigne, among other chart toppers. And speaking of music, that NBA Live 2003 soundtrack is incredible! It’s one of the games that I’m playing, along with its immediate predecessors, NBA Live 2001 and NBA Live 2002. Even NBA Live 99 PC gets the occasional spin. The year is…2022.

Needless to say, I’m experiencing those things a little differently than the first time around. Those hits that were charting in 2002 are on a Spotify playlist, rather than CD or radio (or, more honestly, acquired via LimeWire or Kazaa). Those games are being played thanks to fixes that allow them to run on modern hardware far better than what I had at the time. Thanks to emulation, I can even run NBA Live 2002 on my PC if I’m getting screenshots, or if it’s more convenient than firing up my PlayStation 2. In more ways than one, I’m having a reunion with 2002. Despite what you may think, this isn’t a cry for help from a Grumpy Elder Millennial who’s edging closer to forty.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Missing Rookies of NBA Live 2002

Wayback Wednesday: The Missing Rookies of NBA Live 2002

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 rookies that were missing in NBA Live 2002.

Official roster updates are something that we take for granted these days, especially on console. As long as we’ve had modding tools on PC, adding missing rookies and other players – eventually complete with their proper faces – has usually been a fairly straightforward task. Of course, there’s always been value in players being added through official updates. It allows them to appear in the default rosters, and in some cases utilise correct audio. They also don’t stand out from original players, as was the case in older games with more primitive Create-a-Player functionality.

Since playing with the new rookie class is an appealing prospect every year, it’s disappointing when a noteworthy draftee is absent. In older titles, that could arguably be more frustrating than the absence of holdouts such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. At least in their case, developers were unable to license them. With missing rookies, their absence came down to simply not being signed to an NBA contract in time. Funnily enough, NBA Live 2002 did include MJ as an active player due to his comeback with the Washington Wizards, while a handful of prominent rookies were missing instead. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: My 1996 Roster for NBA Live 2001

Wayback Wednesday: My 1996 Roster for NBA Live 2001

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 my 1996 roster for NBA Live 2001 PC.

Whenever I’ve contemplated making a retro season mod, the 1996 campaign is always the first to come to mind. The reason is simple: not only is it a memorable year in NBA history, but it’s also the season when my basketball fandom truly blossomed. Revisiting the 1996 season, whether by watching real highlights and recaps or via the virtual hardwood, always brings back such fond memories of that joyful time of fully falling in love with basketball. My nostalgia was already firmly entrenched by the early 2000s, leading me to create a 1996 roster for NBA Live 2004.

However, it wasn’t my first attempt at bringing the 1996 season into what was then a new generation of basketball games. It was also far from the first retro roster for NBA Live, as the updates for NBA Live 95 and NBA Live 96 PC had famously included rosters for earlier years as well as the current season. Looking back, it wasn’t the most complete retro project, but I still have fond memories of making the 1996 roster for NBA Live 2001. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 More Creepy Moments in Basketball Games

The Friday Five: 5 More Creepy Moments in Basketball Games

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 more creepy moments in various basketball video games.

Last year, I finally got around to a Friday Five topic that I’d been considering for some time: creepy moments in basketball games. It felt like an appropriate topic for an article coming out around Halloween, and although that spooktacular holiday is next Monday, I thought I’d get us in the mood early rather than repurpose it for the Tip-Off. There are a couple of examples I forgot about when writing the previous Five, and upon further reflection, a few more came to mind. On top of that, I’d suggest that producing a sequel pays fitting tribute to many horror franchises!

As I said in my previous article, creepiness and horror aren’t usually the hallmarks of basketball video games. It’s not in the spirit of the genre to be creepy and frightening, but there are nevertheless moments on the virtual hardwood that make us jump. Once again, they’re generally unintentional, being the results of glitches or perhaps strange design choices. However, this time there is one example that is definitely deliberate, and while it likely didn’t cause any nightmares, it’s fitting for Halloween. To borrow the tag line of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series: reader beware, you’re in for a scare! Well, perhaps not, but these are some unusually creepy moments in virtual hoops.

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NLSC Podcast #448: NBA Showdown 94, Virtual Injuries, & Early 2000s Nostalgia

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #448 of the NLSC Podcast!

After circling back to our plans to revisit NBA Showdown 94, we connected on Parsec for a head-to-head game. Although it was a lot of fun, we can’t help but reflect on what a massive jump NBA Live 95 made in just one year. We also recap our other basketball gaming sessions from the past week, which included another co-op game of NBA Live 2003, and a devastating injury in NBA 2K14 MyCAREER. Additionally, we discuss our future plans with NBA 2K23, and feeling more inclined to play old favourites instead as of late. In this week’s mailbag, the community tells us which retro hoops titles they’d pick up if they had $20 to spend.

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!

NLSC Podcast #446: Return of the NBA Live 2001 Legends

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #446 of the NLSC Podcast!

They’re back! Nate and Roger, the NBA Live 2001 Legends, join us once again to talk about their all-time favourite basketball video game, as well as other virtual hardwood classics that they enjoy such as NBA Live 2004 and NBA Live 2005. We discuss the appeal of retro basketball gaming, and compare notes about what drives our nostalgia for specific titles. As fellow creators, they also weigh in on the challenges that come with creating content that’s based around older titles, or otherwise doesn’t chase trends. The guys also share some great stories about interacting with former NBA players thanks to their NBA Live 2001 highlights, name some of their favourite video game teams, throw out a few suggestions for fantasy scenarios, and list other video games that they enjoy.

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: Shaq & His Superman Tattoo in Basketball Games

Wayback Wednesday: Shaq & His Superman Tattoo in Basketball Games

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 history of Shaq and his Superman logo tattoo in basketball video games.

Not only is Shaquille O’Neal one of the greatest players in the history of basketball, but he’s one of the most prominent faces in basketball video games. By virtue of a 19-year NBA career and the inclusion of historical content, Shaq has appeared in at least one video game every year going back to 1993; a streak that rivals his “teammates in the NBA Finals” record! Of course, when it comes to depicting the Diesel in video games, accuracy demands that he’s sporting his ink. On that note, as you’re probably aware, Shaq has a prominent tattoo of the Superman logo on his left arm.

As the detail on player models improved, virtual Shaq likewise began sporting his Superman tattoo; or did he? As RayRay_953 pointed out in the Forum, there’s an interesting history with Shaq’s ink and its appearance in basketball video games over the years. Certain games have achieved a degree of accuracy with the tattoo, while others have taken some creative liberties with the design. I’ve scoured the games in my collection to bring you an overview of how different titles depicted Shaq with his Superman tattoo throughout the years. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: Looking Back At The GameSpy Years

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 era during which the NLSC was hosted by the GameSpy network.

Having run the NLSC for over twenty years now, I can’t help reflecting on my long history in the online basketball gaming community. While it’s ultimately about the games we’ve played – and I obviously love revisiting them – our community does have an interesting history. There have been plenty of ups and downs, and some incidents that I’d rather forget. I’m not a fan of drama, so there are probably some stories I won’t ever tell, at least beyond some vague allusions. Many of us were young when we first joined the community, and several incidents stemmed from immaturity.

In other words, I’m not going to drop too many juicy tales about people who have made running the NLSC – normally a fun and fulfilling creative outlet – unpleasant from time to time. However, I’ll never pass up the opportunity to take a few shots at one of our former hosts: GameSpy. If you’re old enough, you may remember them for both their coverage of video games, and powering the online functionality in over 300 PC and console titles. They also provided hosting for sites like us, and while it kept us running, we were definitely hurt by it. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #439: NBA 2K23 Jordan Challenge Blog, NBA Live 2003, & Big Mods

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #439 of the NLSC Podcast!

What are our reactions to the NBA 2K23 Jordan Challenge blog? We break down the latest news, and discuss whether it has us any more hyped for NBA 2K23. We also recap a fun game of NBA Live 2003 PC, and reflect on changing opinions about games that we originally viewed less positively. A recent post in the Forum leads to a discussion of the challenges presented by big modding projects, particularly retro season rosters. We also answer a question about downplaying past eras to promote the current NBA, and open up the mailbag to find out the first thing that gamers will be doing when they get their hands on NBA 2K23.

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!

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week: July 30th, 2022

NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week

Get ready for more fantastic highlights from the basketball gaming community in the NLSC Top 10 Plays of the Week, curated by Dee4Three! New and old games alike are featured in this celebration of spectacular moments on the virtual hardwood. To submit your clips, post them in this topic, or hit up Dee on Twitter.

Once again, spectacular dunks are a recurring motif in this week’s NLSC Top 10 Plays. They come from a variety of titles though, beginning with Latrell Sprewell rocking the baby a la Doctor J in NBA in the Zone. Nate and Roger have also taken a break from NBA Live 2001 to have some fun with NBA Live 2004, Lookydagamer is making posters as King of the Blacktop, and BBallVideoGames is going retro with the PS1 version of NBA Live 2002. Add Kenny mixing things up with savvy plays in the virtual WNBA in NBA 2K22, and you’ve got another great countdown of basketball gaming highlights!

What was your favourite highlight this week? Sound off in the comments below, and once again, get in on the fun by sending us your best plays! Remember, as long as it’s a basketball game, it’s eligible for the countdown. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more basketball gaming videos.

NLSC Podcast #436: How To Get Into Retro Basketball Gaming

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From courtside of the virtual hardwood, it’s Episode #436 of the NLSC Podcast!

Revisiting Fox Sports NBA Basketball 2000 reminded us of how hilariously bad it is, but it also found a new way to mess with us. Not surprisingly, NBA Live 2004 holds up much better, especially with a broadcast camera mod and the 1996 season roster. We received a couple of responses to last week’s show asking about acquiring copies of NBA Live PC and other older releases, so this week, we dive into how to get into retro basketball gaming/collecting. It needn’t be expensive, nor do you need to be the crazy collectors that we are! In this week’s mailbag, we circle back to the question of what counts as retro in basketball gaming, with our listeners sharing some interesting and differing opinions on the matter.

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!

The Friday Five: 5 Things That I Carelessly Lost

The Friday Five: 5 Things That I Carelessly Lost

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 things – namely saves or other data and content – that I carelessly lost in various games.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s an old adage that’s been lamented in the music of Joni Mitchell and the band Cinderella alike. The sentiment usually refers to more important things in life than video games, but since that’s what we cover around these parts, I’ll appropriate it for this occasion. After all, while I think we can and should acknowledge that other losses are far more significant in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a bummer when we lose save files, data, and other content in video games. Life goes on, but it sucks to have all that progress go up in smoke.

It’s bad enough when it occurs due to a glitch in a game, but at least you can turn your anger and frustration outwards towards the developers and publisher. When you’ve carelessly done something that’s resulted in your progress being lost, it’s tougher to shift the blame onto somebody else! Even if there’s something clunky in the game that’s partly to blame, you’re stuck with the knowledge that it could’ve been avoided if you were just the teeniest bit more careful. The times when I’ve been careless with my save files are undoubtedly among my biggest regrets as far as basketball gaming is concerned. Here are five things that I’ve lost due to a lack of care and foresight.

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