NBA Live 96
Reviewed by Diane Cote
You know, there are some games that just can't be ported to the Game Boy.
There's no question that the Game Boy is a pretty impressive little number, considering
how long it's been around, but this game is absolute murder on this machine. If
you're looking for dumb visuals, sloppy controls, music to drive you insane and
a disappointing basketball experience all the way around, NBA Live for the Game
Boy may just be what you've been craving.
Now You See Penny, Now You Don't
Welcome to Flicker City, home of the Flicker City Mirage, the world's best
basketball team that almost was.
I could go on and describe how horrified I was when I took my choppy moving
point guard and sent him in towards the hoop and into traffic for the first time.
But I'd rather let you imagine the thought of paying 50 bucks to go see a
real live NBA game only to find out that every time there was any action around the
basket, all of the players near there would become partially invisible - what a fun
game to watch, huh? Get the idea?
I'll Pluck My Nose Hairs Out One At A Time
Ever hear music so irritating it made you feel like your brain was leaking out
through your ears? Oh, then you've heard this game's soundtrack.
Ever hear your big brother fart out the alphabet? Oh, then you've heard this game's
Where's The Live I Know And Love?
Anybody who's traveled to The Electric Playground before knows how much I love
the NBA Live series. I've either owned, or played to death, almost every version of
the series. NBA Live 97 for the PlayStation is my favorite basketball game of all
time. While this game does go far to capture the mood and flavor of the Live series,
it's obvious that the developers were being slightly too ambitious with what they
could get away with on the 8-bit portable. It just can't handle the demands of
keeping track of two full five on five teams. Perhaps a better handling three on
three game would have been the solution.
There are plenty of things that Black Pearl got right: the set up screens; the options;
the fairly complete rosters; the inclusion of offensive and defensive strategies; the
ability to create custom teams. All of this stuff is swell. But when you wrap it
around a severely flawed game engine that sports lousy, slow control, awful
graphics and horrendous sounds, guess what people notice?
NBA Live 96 is not a game anyone should go near, least of all of fans of this series on
more advanced systems. It's nice that the GAME BOY was thought of for this port but I think
it'd be wise if Black Pearl went back to the drawing board for the next iteration of
this series. Here's a little reminder for the developers: three on three is just fine
if you can see everybody.
I'm giving NBA Live 96 2 out of 10