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NBA Live 96

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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 sound effects. 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

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