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Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball Retrospective

Wayback Wednesday: NCAA Basketball Retrospective

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

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

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

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Wayback Wednesday: The Space Jam Video Game

Wayback Wednesday: The Space Jam Video Game

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 Space Jam video game.

Happy 58th Birthday to my all-time favourite player, Michael Jordan! You know, it kind of blows my mind that I’m now older than MJ was when he won his final title with the Chicago Bulls in 1998. Appropriately enough, that was 23 years ago; a fact that’s also difficult to wrap my head around! In any case, I figured that since it is His Airness’ birthday today, it only makes sense to cover something related to him. The problem is that I’ve already covered The Jordan Challenge (from several angles, too), as well as Michael Jordan in Flight, his history in games, and his comeback in 1995.

What else is there? Well, how about the Space Jam video game? Yes, there was a lot of merchandise related to Space Jam when it came out, and like so many movies in the 90s, there was a video game tie-in for PC, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn. I didn’t actually play it back in the day, but I’ve since added it to my collection. We got a real jam going down, so let’s take it into overtime…I mean, let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: 5 Crazy Roster Mod Ideas (Part 2)

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 another list of crazy roster mod ideas that I’m throwing out to the community.

March Modness is fast approaching, and I’m once again hoping to be a more active participant this year. Having finished the bulk of the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live content and built up a significant buffer for my weekly articles, I’ve been able to clear some space on the workbench for a bit of modding. There’s only so much that I’ll be able to get done though, which is a shame because I can’t help thinking of fun – and sometimes crazy – roster mod ideas. I’d love to be able to give them a try, but I want to finish up the projects I’ve already started before I move on to something new.

That shouldn’t stop someone else from considering these roster mod ideas though, if the crazy concepts appeal to them. Obviously, there’s more interest in comprehensive retro season mods, current rosters for old games, enhanced current rosters for the latest game, NCAA mods, Euroleague rosters, and so on. I don’t want to discourage the creation of those roster mods at all, because they’re fantastic projects and it’s always great to see them. However, if you’re in the mood to create and play with something that’s a bit different and quirky, then you may want to consider one of the crazy roster mod ideas that I suggested before, or one that I’m putting forth today!

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NLSC Podcast #361: Taking Them To School

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #361 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.

Recent experiences in MyLEAGUE lead us to reflect on the meaning of “sim” and how it can be fun to bend reality, especially in fantasy scenarios. Some new additions have also been made to the collection. However, the big news this week is the return of EA Sports’ college football series, and what that might mean for both NBA Live and the March Madness/NCAA Basketball series. We discuss our history with college basketball titles and interest in future releases, as well as the pushback on interest in (and the need for) NBA Live’s return. In this week’s mailbag, we talk about the possibility of a standalone G League mode, and what it would take to instigate real change with NBA 2K.

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: Super Dunk Shot Teams

Wayback Wednesday: Super Dunk Shot Teams

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 teams in Super Dunk Shot.

One of the first games I covered in a video retrospective for Wayback Wednesday was World League Basketball. It’s the PAL release of Sculptured Software’s NCAA Basketball for the Super Nintendo, replacing the college teams and tournament with a fictional global basketball league. The change was made because no college sports games have been licensed for release outside of North America, but the Japanese version – Super Dunk Shot – made an even crazier alteration to the teams. The game is basically a bootleg NBA title, from the season structure to the teams and players.

I’ve talked about the names of teams in Super Dunk Shot in previous articles and on the NLSC Podcast, but I believe they deserve their own feature. Some of the names really are ridiculous, but in the best possible way. These days I have all three versions of the game in my collection, but I wish I had them all those years ago. I loved World League Basketball, but I would’ve spent a lot of time with a college hoops and bootleg NBA game as well. Again, the teams in Super Dunk Shot deserve to be spotlighted, so Division by Division, let’s take a look back…way back…

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The Friday Five: Top 5 Coincidences 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 countdown of the Top 5 coincidences that we’ve seen in basketball video games.

Coincidences are everywhere in basketball gaming. As Thunder Shaq and Dee4Three pointed out, NBA 2K used very similar phrasing to my Familiar Faces in Strange Places series of Wayback Wednesday articles to describe a themed set in MyTEAM. Of course, there are only so many ways to phrase things, and similar ideas will end up with similar titles and terminology. As this 2015 post about joke stealing explains, the phenomenon of parallel development accounts for many similarities, especially when something is topical or a common point of interest.

Beyond that, a lot of coincidences are fun, owing to the way they seemingly predict the future. We’ve seen coincidences like that occur more than a couple of times in basketball video games over the years. It’s easy to call them predictions in hindsight, while conveniently ignoring a lot of things that aren’t…well, anything! The ones that do look like predictions and foreshadowing are merely coincidences, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. Today, I’m counting down my picks for the Top 5 coincidences in basketball gaming. There’s some overlap with my previous article on predictions, but there are also some new coincidences that you might find amusing.

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NLSC Podcast #346: And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #346 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Derek (aka Dee4Three) and I are your hosts for this week’s show.

Controversy strikes as an unskippable ad has made its way into NBA 2K21 Current Gen. It isn’t the first time this generation, but the backlash has prompted a statement from 2K, one that we find questionable. This prompts us to recall other controversies, and the tendency for some gamers to make excuses for them time after time. We also talk about the logistics of an indie developer making a fully 3D 5v5 basketball title. With the release of the third gameplay blog for NBA 2K21 Next Gen, we have our first look at MyPLAYER builds and AI improvements. Once again, the included clips seem to tell a different story to what’s been written in the blog. The changes to builds, Badges, and the Takeover system leads to a discussion of stories and RPG mechanics in MyCAREER. After summing up our thoughts on the gameplay blogs, we dive into a fun topic: the amazing fictional NBA team names in Super Dunk Shot!

What’s your take on this week’s conversation? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. 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: Old School Season Modes

Old School Season Modes (NBA Live 96)

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 old school Season modes.

Modern basketball games have their issues which are important to discuss, but one thing we can’t say is that they don’t offer a variety of experiences. Even though NBA Live’s modes are still in need of fleshing out, by including Franchise, Ultimate Team, and The One with its connected experiences, we’re presented with a few choices. One of NBA 2K’s strengths for many years has been its deep modes, with MyLEAGUE, MyGM, MyTEAM, and MyCAREER’s online and offline modes keeping us hooked year after year. We’re provided several different ways of playing virtual basketball.

As much as the controls, graphics, physics, and any other aspect of modern titles, it’s the modes that make old basketball video games look primitive. The most in-depth experience on offer was generally the single Season mode, with minimal GM options and no independent action by the CPU teams. Nevertheless, we made the most of those old school Season modes, until they evolved into the multi-faceted, multi-season experiences that they would eventually become. They’re an important step in the evolution of basketball gaming, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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