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NBA Live '96

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Reviewed by Dyson Turner NBA Live '96 truly changed the face of Genesis basketball simulations. Even though last year's NBA Live '95 was a smash hit this truly surpassed that in terms of graphics and overall options. This year comes back with a bigger roster more players, and faster and better playing and controls. After being highly impressed with the '95 showing of Live I immediately picked this one up. My first impression was a good one and I really enjoyed the updated look and overall play control. Then this thing was also flooded with options and new ways to play like a draft for the as of the time new expansion teams Raptors and Grizzlies. The game just was overall better. When EA made this gem and last years everyone was truly impressed by it. When this came out Genesis was really lagging behind in basketball simulations. After several very unsuccessful ones like Bill Lambier's combat basketball and Pat Riley's Basketball no one knew back then that this game would be the start of one of the greatest series ever. In my opinion nothing rivals the NBA Live series, and this has to be one of the longest sports series still going strong today. Each Live still has the basics that this one possesses Graphics 9.5/10 I was totally blown away by the look and size of the characters in this game. The all had different faces and last minute touches to make them look fell and seem more realistic. You even had the white hair of Dennis Rodman, which he sported at the time this game was created. Shaq actually looked big; maybe not bigger than any over center but something about him he had a certain dominants about him. Every player had the realistic number on there back, and optional to have it under them as well. Each arena did look different and there was a realistic team logo in the middle of the court, and some times the real arena name under the basket like Nets Meadowlands. There were three different player sizes short, medium and large. Then you had two realistic looking moves like the cross over which resembled Tim Hardaway's UTEP 2-Step. Then you also had a spin dribble both of these looked pretty realistic for the time the game was made. The dunks you did, even though most of them were pretty basic still looked great and just as rim rocking as there real life counterparts. The entire graphics department did well, and it really did last years version justice. Sound 8.0/10 The music that played in the beginning was pretty good. That music was loud and enthusiastic and when I think about it, most of the music in the whole series sounded like this one did. There were really only 2 or 3 songs in the game and that was the extent of things. After that you had the sound effects which were pretty good. The basketball reaction time was great and it went perfectly with every ball bounce that showed on the screen. The dunk sound effects were great as well, and made the crowd go crazy. The crowd was home court orientated which was a welcome change of pace, if you were the away team and fouled some one on the home team you would hear about it in an eruption of boos and jeers. Unlike last year and other previous basketball simulations where the audience cheered for anyone, this brings a sense of realism to the game, and makes it more enjoyable. The sound department did an outstanding job in this game and reacted well with the graphics. Game Play 10/10 This game is for 1 to 4 players. It still has all of last year's features, team trading, league leaders and full stat tracking. This one does add some new things to the game, like the ability to create your own player. Creating your own player was big thing when this first came out and is regarding as a regular feature now. You designed everything his name his face height weight college and stats. Unlike the SNES version where you could create the Super Player you couldn't do it here you had to even the stats out. The highest you could get a player was the early 90's. Other than that you had the player trades if you chose not to create your own player; you could get any name you want for any low card player. This was kind of unfair in my opinion. You could get the NBA finest on one team and leave the rest with noting, or store all the other great in free agency so they can't come back. You could have all the official NBA rules or no rules at all, and have a game where you just totally dominate the. I think the simulation games are the most fun and they provide the most challenge. You also have custom teams where you could take any NBA player as many times as you want and a put them on the team. Or have each team devoted to one stat the choice is yours. These custom teams were great when you wanted a good team to play as and you didn't want to disturb the NBA rosters. The difficulty is adjustable, and there is battery back up to save your player's your season games and teams. Overall 10/10 This is a truly great game, and one of the best Genesis basketball simulations there is. You will truly have a good time playing this game I assure you. This is one of the few rare Genesis games, which is well rounded, and this showed us a new more realistic type of basketball, and changed the face of video game basketball, as we know it. The fun factor was exceptionally high, and you well have fun for days just playing with team trades and drafts and things. This game is also good for the statistical fanatics' because it has full stat tracking, and team leaders and player leaders. The replay value is high as well, with three other friends playing the games could get very close, and fun to watch and navigate. I really don't have no problems with this game and its one of the best on the market in terms of everything. If you are looking for a good Genesis basketball simulation, then this is definitely the way to go.

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