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Wayback Wednesday: AND 1 Streetball Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: AND 1 Streetball 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 AND 1 Streetball.

As much as I enjoy revisiting old favourites that I’ve spent hundreds of hours with over the years, I also enjoy going back and checking out basketball games that I missed the first time around. It’s given me reason to seek out deals on eBay and expand my collection, and these days, I’ve got a variety of hoops titles at my disposal. Good, bad, or mediocre, they’re always interesting to check out. In fact, there’s often a lot of fun to be had with the titles that are slightly rough around the edges, especially when they can bring something different to the table.

Case in point: AND 1 Streetball. Developed by Black Ops Entertainment and released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, it didn’t have the polish of an NBA Live or NBA 2K, or for that matter, NBA Street. It was a competent effort though, and a fun game in its own right. The use of AND1 talent also made it stand out from NBA Street, as did its approach to gameplay. It’s another basketball game that’s somewhat forgotten, which is unfortunate as it deserves to be remembered. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NLSC Podcast #399: NBA Live Mythbusters

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #399 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this weekly podcast that’s all about basketball gaming.

Following a session with the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 over Parsec, we’re compelled to take an in-depth look back at the controversial title. In particular, we take it upon ourselves to bust a few myths regarding the game’s quality, and what actually led to its less than stellar reception. We also got NBA Live 09 working over Parsec, and it too made a positive second impression on us. Indeed, we may have found a couple of new retro gaming kicks! In other retro gaming news, it appears as though content for NBA 2K17 may be gone forever; at least if it’s installed fresh today. Nevertheless, our advocacy for retro basketball gaming continues, even as we play NBA 2K22!

Join in the conversation in the comments below, or here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as mailbag questions and topic suggestions for future shows. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki. The show also comes out on our YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for future episodes and other video content.

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Action 98 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NBA Action 98 Retrospective

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at NBA Action 98, also released under the name NBA Fastbreak ’98.

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

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

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Wayback Wednesday: A New Appreciation for NBA Live 10

Wayback Wednesday: A New Appreciation for NBA Live 10

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m reflecting on the new appreciation that I have for NBA Live 10.

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

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

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Wayback Wednesday: 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: 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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Wayback Wednesday: NCAA March Madness 08 Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA March Madness 08 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 March Madness 08.

I wasn’t able to enjoy any of the college basketball games while they were still being developed, as they couldn’t be licensed for release outside of North America. As they were console-only releases, and none of the consoles I owned were region-free, I wasn’t able to import NTSC games with my PAL hardware. Since then, a friend gifted me their old PlayStation 3, which means that I can finally import NTSC games! Needless to say, the college basketball titles from EA Sports and Visual Concepts were the ones that I was the most interested in.

As such, I’ve been able to get my hands on NCAA March Madness 08, NCAA Basketball 09, and NCAA Basketball 10 by EA Sports, and College Hoops 2K7 and College Hoops 2K8 by Visual Concepts. I’m very happy to have finally added them to the collection; after all, I find that checking out basketball games that I missed the first time around can be just as fun as dusting off some old favourites. Obviously, I enjoy sharing my thoughts on them as well, and in that spirit, I’m beginning with NCAA March Madness 08. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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25th Anniversary of NBA Live Overtime Content Coming

25th Anniversary of NBA Live Logo

Thank you to everyone who has been following along with our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live content! We tipped off the celebrations in 2019 and continued them through 2020, marking the 25th Anniversary of both the original release in 1994, and the PC version in 1995.

It was my goal to wrap up the retrospectives by the end of 2020. One of the main reasons for that – aside from chronological accuracy, of course – was to avoid what happened with the 20th Anniversary celebrations five years earlier. Unfortunately I didn’t produce all of the content that I had planned, in particular the game-by-game retrospectives. That’s why I burned through the 25th Anniversary retrospectives so quickly last month, as I wanted to make sure that I got them done. I also wanted to give everyone some fresh content to enjoy over the holiday season.

The end of the retrospectives also marks the end of our main celebrations. However, there are a few other odds and ends to share, including republishing articles from the 20th Anniversary, a couple of other features, and if we can line them up, further interviews with people involved with NBA Live during the early days. You can consider this “overtime” content, and it’ll run through the early stages of 2021. Some other ideas will likely instead be repurposed for Wayback Wednesday features, and possibly March Modness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the retrospectives and other throwback content! It was definitely fun to revisit every game in the series, reminisce about the good times, and put the series’ struggles in perspective. Stay tuned for the overtime content, and in the meantime, I invite you to check out all of our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live features that have been posted so far! I’ve compiled all of the links below, or you can browse the archive. Here’s to getting some good news about the future of the NBA Live series at some point in 2021!

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25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 19 Retrospective

25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 19 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! At long last, it’s a retrospective of NBA Live 19.

And so, we’ve come to the final game in the NBA Live series to date, and thus the final retrospective in our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live content! I have to say that it’s been a wild ride to experience the ups and downs again, revisiting every title in the series one by one. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it too, even as we’ve revisited some of the weaker games. On that note, unfortunately the most recent NBA Live game isn’t one of the better releases, at least in my book. Those of us who would prefer that NBA Live focus on the NBA experience were hoping against hope that NBA Live 19 would be a return to form, but sadly, it picked up where NBA Live 18 left off.

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25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 18 Retrospective

25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 18 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! Next up is a retrospective of NBA Live 18.

We’re almost at the end of our retrospectives, with just two games left to cover. Before we begin, which do you prefer: the NBA, or streetball? NBA Live 18 aimed to give us the best of both worlds, in the form of The League and The Streets. Even the cover emphasised the duality of the game, with two pictures of James Harden: one in his Houston Rockets uniform, the other in a plain singlet and shorts. The game wasn’t a disaster, nor was it a complete departure from previous titles in the series. It was clear that NBA Live was headed in a new direction though, and not everyone was happy about that; especially long-time fans of the series.

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25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 16 Retrospective

25th Anniversary of NBA Live: NBA Live 16 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! Next up is a retrospective of NBA Live 16.

I have mixed feelings when I look back at NBA Live 16. On one hand, it’s a very solid game that was an improvement on NBA Live 15. I also had the opportunity to play it early, and to date, that was the last community event that I attended. On the other hand, the game also introduced concepts that while fun, have since taken the series in the wrong direction upon becoming the main focus. That makes it a pivotal title in the series, and in hindsight, there were some red flags about what was to come. At the same time, the good things that it did were cause for optimism, and deserve credit. With that in mind, NBA Live 16 is a rather interesting release to reflect upon.

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