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Wayback Wednesday: My NBA Live 96 Rosters

Wayback Wednesday: My NBA Live 96 Rosters

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 reminiscing about stumbling upon the modding community back in 1997, and the rosters I made for NBA Live 96 PC.

This week’s Wayback Wednesday happens to have fallen on my 35th birthday. As such, I feel like reminiscing about my history in the community, and my modding endeavours in particular. I haven’t been as active modding NBA Live PC in recent years, and apart from my current plans to update the rosters for NBA 2K11, I haven’t been too involved in NBA 2K modding either. There are a few reasons for that, but it mostly comes down to making a lot of updates for many years beginning in 1997, burning out on the hobby, and wanting to create different content.

That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my time messing around with mods over the past 22 years. Even though rosters in particular can feel like a chore, it’s tremendously satisfying when a project comes together. Rosters have been my bread and butter for the most part, and I’ve updated several iterations of NBA Live, right through to the final PC release with NBA Live 08. For me it all started back in 1997 with one of my all-time favourite games, NBA Live 96. Since I’m up to NBA Live 96 in our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations and I touched upon the subject of modding the rosters in my retrospective, let’s take a look back…way back…

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25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 96 Retrospective

25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 96 Retrospective

To mark the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re taking a look back at every game in the series with retrospectives and other fun content! This also includes re-running some features from our 20th Anniversary celebrations, with a few revisions. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with NBA Live and are keen on taking a trip down memory lane, or you’re new to the series and want to learn about its history, we hope that you enjoy celebrating the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live here at the NLSC! Today, it’s a retrospective of NBA Live 96.

While NBA Live 95 tipped everything off, it could be said that the release of NBA Live 96 is what established NBA Live as a series. The NBA Playoffs series had seen annual releases and the reuse of the NBA Playoffs branding in its early titles, but they also stood apart with distinct names: Lakers vs Celtics, Bulls vs Lakers, and Bulls vs Blazers. NBA Live 96 ensured that NBA Live 95 wouldn’t be a once-off branding in the lineage, as NBA Live 95 itself was originally intended to do for NBA Showdown. The question is, was NBA Live 96 a worthy successor to an undisputed classic? Did it deserve its back of the box tagline of “Back-to-Back Champion”?

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Making a Mod: NBA 2K11 Current Roster (Episode 2)

Making a Mod: NBA 2K11 Current Roster (Episode 2)

The second episode of Making a Mod: NBA 2K11 Current Roster is out now! For the uninitiated, this is a new video series on our YouTube channel, in which I document the process of making a 2020 season roster update for NBA 2K11 PC. This time I have taken the assistance of strategic plays from themarketingheaven.com to help me reach a wider audience and higher viewership as Youtube’s new algorithm has changed and brought in more robust reforms and rules.

While there’s still quite a bit of work to do, I’ve been able to make some significant progress since Episode 1. In Episode 2, I discuss the current status of missing players, as well as collecting and adding faces for all the players that need to be added. I also talk about two-way players, salaries, and the availability of the mod when it’s ready.

For all the details and clips of the roster coming together, catch Episode 2 of Making a Mod below. You can also watch it here on our YouTube channel; while you’re there, feel free to subscribe!

Also be sure to keep it locked to this topic in the Forum for further updates and previews, as well as information on how you can help the project. I’ll be maintaining lists of required art for anyone who is willing and able to lend a hand. Once again, a big thanks to everyone for your continued support and interest in the NBA 2K11 Current Roster project! Stay tuned for more progress reports in Making a Mod.

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Making a Mod: NBA 2K11 Current Roster (Episode 1)

Making a Mod: NBA 2K11 Current Roster (Episode 1)

The first episode of Making a Mod: NBA 2K11 Current Roster is out now! This is a new video series on our YouTube channel, in which I document the process of making a 2020 season roster update for NBA 2K11 PC.

You may recall that I teased the project about a year ago. Unfortunately, a lot of things kept getting in the way, and I wasn’t able to get an update out last season. With the new season looming – and potentially a very exciting one at that, given all the player movement – I want to see the project through this year.

These videos will serve as progress reports for the project, and hopefully provide a fun and interesting insight into the creation of the rosters. I’m not sure of the schedule yet except that I’ll likely have one out whenever I’ve made significant progress on the roster. As the 2020 season tips off in just a few weeks, they may end up being fairly close together. Watch Episode 1 below, or catch it here on our YouTube channel (and feel free to subscribe while you’re there)!

As I mentioned, you can find more coverage and previews (and eventually support) here in the Forum. If you’re able to assist in creating/converting faces, jerseys, courts, and other art assets for the NBA 2K11 current roster update, please let me know!

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The Friday Five: 5 Unsolved Modding Mysteries

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five unsolved modding mysteries…at least as far as I’m aware.

In many ways, modding is about unravelling the mysteries of video games. It involves digging through the game files to find out how they work, and how we can alter them to improve a title, or create brand new experiences. Modding has allowed us to find and utilise hidden and leftover content, put assets to use in new ways, and with a bit of trial and error, swap files between games to add missing content and even rig up some unofficial fixes. In short, modding helps us to become familiar with the inner workings of the basketball games that we play.

Of course, for all the creative minds we’ve had in our modding community over the years, there are times when we’ve been stumped. For all our digging, tinkering, and experimenting with all the techniques that we know, there are a few things that we just haven’t been able to figure out. Although these unsolved modding mysteries haven’t prevented us from creating several amazing projects year in and year out, they have meant that some ambitious and creative ideas have been left on the drawing board, or necessitated workarounds. Join me as I take a look at five mysteries in NBA Live and NBA 2K modding that, as far as I know, remain unsolved.

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NBA 2K20 System Requirements Revealed

NBA 2K20: Donovan Mitchell

The system requirements for NBA 2K20 PC have been revealed by the game’s store page over on Steam. If you can run NBA 2K19 without any problems then you should have no issues, as both the minimum and recommended specs are almost identical this year. The NBA 2K20 system requirements are as follows:

Minimum

  • Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
  • Intel® Core™ i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz/AMD FX-4100 @ 3.60 GHz or better
  • 4 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 450 1GB/ATI® Radeon™ HD 6450 1GB or better
  • DirectX 11
  • 80 GB available HDD space
  • DirectX 9.0x compatible sound card
  • Dual-analog gamepad

Recommended

  • Intel® Core™ i5-4430 @ 3 GHz/AMD FX-8370 @ 3.4 GHz or better
  • 8 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 770 2GB/AMD® Radeon™ R9 270 2GB or better

I’ve added that information to the NBA 2K20 article in our Wiki. If you’d like to check your system’s compatibility, you can run a test over at System Requirements Lab. With the game launching in just a couple of days, be sure to keep it locked to the NLSC, and join in the discussion taking place here in our Forum! No doubt our modding community will be hard at work soon, so stay tuned for mods and all the other content.

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25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 95 Retrospective

NBA Live 95 Retrospective (25th Anniversary of NBA Live)

To mark the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live, we’re taking a look back at every game in the series with retrospectives and other fun content! This also includes re-running some features from our 20th Anniversary celebrations, with a few revisions. Whether you’re a long-time basketball gamer who grew up with NBA Live and are keen on taking a trip down memory lane, or you’re new to the series and want to learn about its history, we hope that you enjoy celebrating the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live here at the NLSC! First up, it’s a retrospective of NBA Live 95.

As I’ve mentioned on many occasions, NBA Live 95 is a title that’s often remembered fondly by long-time basketball gamers. Beyond its significance as the first game in the NBA Live series, it’s also generally considered to be a classic for the way it advanced the genre. Even after 25 years, it holds up remarkably well considering how far basketball video games have come. I always feel nostalgic when I dust off NBA Live 95, but I also find that I’m impressed by the quality and how much fun it can still be, given its age. Let’s look back 25 years to where it all began.

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Basketball Classics v0.8.1 Adds New Rosters, Shoes

Basketball Classics v0.8.1

Exciting news! Basketball Classics is fast approaching a full release on Steam, and in the meantime, has received a new update. Version 0.8.1 is a content update for the game, and will come through automatically as long as you’re online when you fire up Steam.

Three seasons have been added to the roster: 1995, 2011, and 2019. This amounts to 240 new players spanning 48 teams, complete with new uniforms and individual attributes. These new teams are playable in both exhibition and the new Season mode that was added in the previous update.

You’ll also find signature shoes on some of the best players in the game, and some teams have also coordinated their style. This has been done to make players further stand out from one another visually, as well as in their abilities.

As I’ve said before, Basketball Classics is a great retro-oriented hoops game for PC that combines some modern mechanics with an old school aesthetic. It launched through Steam Early Access in a very impressive state, and has only gotten better since then. I’d definitely recommend checking it out, and am looking forward to the full release. For more insights into the development of the game, check out our chat with Josh and Dave!

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Basketball Classics v0.8.0 Adds Season Mode

Basketball Classics Main Menu

Basketball Classics, Namo Gamo’s retro-style hoops title currently available through Steam Early Access, has been updated to v0.8.0. The new version adds a Season mode with four save slots and comprehensive stats tracking. The Story mode from previous releases is also still available and is the means of unlocking the bonus teams, which include an NLSC squad!

Other key features of the latest update are as follows:

  • Stat tweaks
  • AI improvements
  • Bug fixes
  • General speed increase
  • Difficulty tweaks

I had the pleasure of talking to Josh and Dave on an episode of the NLSC Podcast last year. Be sure to check it out for the backstory on Basketball Classics, and some of the other cool ideas that the guys have for the game. I’m looking forward to getting them back on the show in the not too distant future to talk about the latest version, especially now that the goal of adding a Season mode has been achieved.

If you’d like to check out Basketball Classics, you can pick it up here on Steam. It’s a game that I’d definitely recommend to anyone who grew up in the 8-bit and 16-bit era, and remembers titles such as Double Dribble. I’m also still working on a video on the game, so stay tuned for that. Let me know if you manage to beat the Phantom Five and unlock the NLSC squad!

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The Friday Five: 5 Times PC Gamers Missed Out in Basketball Games

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five times that PC gamers have missed out when it comes to the virtual hardwood.

Due to the popularity of the PC platform in our community, it’s all too easy to forget that it isn’t a priority for sports video game developers. Consoles account for a bulk of the annual sales, making PC sports gamers a niche within a niche. That hasn’t stopped us from having a lot of fun with the games that have come out on PC though, thanks in no small part to what our modding community has been capable of throughout the years. Furthermore, if you go back and look at the history of NBA Live on PC, there was a time when those releases could be considered the definitive version.

Unfortunately, playing on PC has sometimes led to missing out on content, or certain games altogether. From a developer’s perspective, consoles provide the convenience of standard hardware and digital platforms, as well as more security when it comes to piracy. Developing for the PC is more challenging due to differing hardware, as well as distribution methods. Even when the former hasn’t been a barrier to getting a PC release, the latter has prevented it from receiving the same level of support, including downloadable content. We’re fortunate enough to still get basketball games on PC, but here are five times that we weren’t so lucky on the platform.

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NBA Live 20 Confirmed; Console-Only Release

City Uniforms in NBA Live 19

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate, EA has released their Q4 and annual report for the 2019 financial year. At the same time, they announced their upcoming titles for the 2020 financial year, beginning with the Q1 and Q2 releases in the latter half of 2019. As expected, NBA Live 20 is among the EA Sports titles.

Unfortunately for those of us who have been hoping for a return to PC – especially after Madden 19 was released on the platform – the report confirms that NBA Live 20 will be a console-only release. This isn’t unexpected, as developers have told us that the goal is to reestablish the series before expanding to other platforms.

Madden 20 and FIFA 20 are slated to be released on PC however, indicating that EA Sports is not abandoning the platform. This suggests that if NBA Live continues to improve and ultimately thrive, a PC release may one day be a possibility once more. It’s something that we’ll continue to push for.

In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, as well as in the NLSC Forum. We’ll continue to cover the console releases of NBA Live as we’ve been doing since the move away from the PC platform in 2008, in addition to our coverage of NBA 2K, NBA Playgrounds, and basketball gaming in general.

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Wayback Wednesday: The Little Things That I Miss

Unlockable Developers in NBA Live 98

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 of the little things in old basketball games that I miss.

In 2019, we have an interesting relationship with nostalgia. It’s popular to indulge in it, but in recent years, there’s also been a significant backlash against reminiscing about the past and holding it in high esteem. The argument is often distilled into “old heads that can’t get over their nostalgia filter” vs “clueless kids who don’t understand the concept of recency bias“. The conversation is further muddied when it comes to video games, because advances in technology have undeniably led to improvements over the years. Of course, there have also been undesirable changes and missteps.

These Wayback Wednesday features are obviously about celebrating nostalgia, but I also feel it’s important to appraise how well games and their mechanics hold up, as well as make comparisons to other titles from the same era. I have a lot of fun doing that, and it’s always interesting to revisit old favourites. It’s given me an appreciation of ideas that were ahead of their time, and how far basketball video games have come. There are things that are best left in the past, but I’ve also encountered a lot of little things that I miss, and that’s what I’m discussing today. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Wayback Wednesday: The PDA in NBA Live’s Dynasty Mode

PDA in NBA Live 2005's Dynasty Mode

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 PDA feature in NBA Live’s old Dynasty modes.

I’m keen to see NBA Live flesh out its franchise mode experience again. Not only is it a necessity as far as delivering a well-rounded game, but I’ve spent many, many fond hours with Franchise and Dynasty modes in older NBA Live titles. NBA Live was the first basketball game with an in-depth multi-season mode, and it continued to expand through its revamp into Dynasty. NBA 2K has obviously taken the experience much further with Association, MyLEAGUE, and MyGM, but during NBA Live’s strong run back in the mid 2000s, many of us were really enjoying Dynasty’s advancements.

Of course, not every new idea was a good one. The revamp into Dynasty mode took away the ability to control more than one team, and some of the staff development mechanics over the years have felt more video game than sim. However, perhaps the most problematic and annoying feature was the PDA, which made its debut in NBA Live 2005’s Dynasty mode. As with most other concepts that didn’t pan out, it did have some merit, but the drawbacks outnumbered or outweighed the benefits. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: The Empty Neighborhoods of NBA 2K PC

Deserted Cages in NBA 2K PC

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on the lack of online activity in NBA 2K PC, as evident by the empty Neighborhoods outside of the US servers.

Since the launch of the current console generation, I’ve been picking up NBA 2K on both PC and PlayStation 4. This has led to a balancing act that usually results in one of the platforms being largely neglected. Because I’ve played a lot of 2K Pro-Am with the rest of the NLSC squad on PS4, the copy that’s usually gone to waste for me is the PC version. This year, I’ve made a better effort to play both of my copies, and had a lot of fun doing so. I’m almost at the point where I have a second MyPLAYER on PC at 90 Overall, and I’ve built up decent MyTEAM squads on both platforms.

However, while both platforms have been viable in terms of providing an enjoyable single player experience, it’s a different matter when it comes to online play. In short, if it’s a multiplayer experience I’m after, I’m choosing the PS4 over the PC every time. The simple reason for that is with the way The Neighborhood in particular functions, I’ve found it impossible to get a game. Firing up MyCAREER and loading into The Neighborhood drops you into an eerily empty and quiet game world, with no one in sight to play with or against. It’s not quite the same on the US servers, but for those of us in other regions, NBA 2K PC is a ghost town online.

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Wayback Wednesday: A Mistake Unnoticed in Over 20 Years

Kevin Edwards Credit in Attract Mode (NBA Jam TE 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 a mistake in the PC version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition that I haven’t noticed in over twenty years.

As I’ve mentioned on several occasions, NBA Jam Tournament Edition is one of my all-time favourite basketball games. While I own the game on both Super Nintendo and PC, I’ve always been partial to the latter. It’s the version that I played the most, and I have many fond memories of playing the game with my cousin. One school holidays, we spent a lot of time playing with and against every single team, beating everyone to unlock all the secret players, and challenging ourselves to hit statistical milestones. For a while, it was a fixture of our basketball gaming rotation.

That’s why it’s so strange that I’ve never noticed a certain mistake in the game in over twenty years of playing it. While playing as the New Jersey Nets for the No Threes Challenge, I noticed that Kevin Edwards actually has Blue Edwards’ portrait. I knew about both players and what they looked like, basically from the time I started playing NBA Jam TE, so it’s really odd that it’s never clicked until now. I thought that I’d see if I could delve into the issue further, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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