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NBA Live '96

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Reviewed by Tim Martin NBA Live '96 is the best basketball game hands down for the Super NES. This game was a great sequel to the pioneer of b-ball games, NBA Live '95. Though this game is old (four years old), there are still many features and potential for fun to pull out this game and play a couple of games.

Graphics 7 out of 10

For the SUPER NES the graphics are above average. The graphics are not any thing worth bragging about, but the players are very clear and easy to see. The players actually seem to be bent over like ostriches, but you eventually get used to it. There is a nice difference between players in their height. In a couple of basketball games around this time, Mugsey Bogues would somehow be the same size as George Muhresan! In this game there is a clear difference in height which makes the game seem a little more realistic. I can't say the same thing about their body build, though. Some of the skinniest and whimpiest players in the NBA look about as buff as some of the strongest. Reggie Miller, known for his gangly arms and stick like legs looks like a carbon copy of Shaquille O'Neal, one of the league's strongest players. Now, I know that to expect all these great features on a 16-bit system is a tad out of hand, but I'm just trying to give some perspective.

Music and Sound 10 out of 10

I thought, and still think the sound effects and music in NBA Live '96 can match any other basketball game on the market. The sound effects are great. Every Scottie Pippen dunk, or every Shaquille O'Neal clank from the line sounds great. In Live '96, for the first time they added crowd sounds. There are only two or three programmed sounds, but they had to start somewhere. The music also is incredible. I read that NBA Live paid someone to do the music for this game. Whomever they paid did a great job. The music has sort of a rock or alternative sound to it. Whatever it is, it sounds great.

Game Challenge 1 out of 10

I didn't want to disrespect the game so I gave the game challenge a one. As soon as you learn the buttons(which takes a whole five minutes) you will easily dominate every opponent you face. I bought the game when it came out almost four years ago, and still have not lost a game. Even at the hardest level, you still make the opposing team, even if it is the best team in the game, like the Bulls or Rockets, you can easily make them look like the Denver Nuggets or the Los Angeles Clippers. There is no game challenge at all. You can score at will, and when I mean score at will, you can go through games without missing a shot. This game is not going to be played to have a challenge, and you are not going to get a challenge. Well, you could close your eyes and play, but you'd still probably win.

Game Play-Fun 8 out of 10

NBA Live '96 is an extremely fun game. The only reason it falls short of a ten, is because of the game challenge. How long this game will be fun is another question, but the first couple of games you play this game is a riot. All you do is dunk, shoot threes, and swat shots. You basically dominate in every aspect of the game. You have pretty decent control of where you want your players to go. The game play is nothing spectacular, but is decent enough that you will not throw the controller on the ground.


This game is fun, but can also get frustrating. There are so many bugs in this game it isn't funny. Sometimes your opponent will just dribble right out of bounds or do something wacky. This game is frustrating because you can beat opponents so bad that it actually gets frustrating. The computer do the same moves over and over again. This can really get annoying.

Replayability 5 out of 10

When you first play this game you can play it for hours on end, but as soon as you have it for a while the game gets repetitive and boring. Once in a while when I feel in a basketball mood I will play it once in a while. Since NBA Live keeps such cool stats, the game is worth playing a whole season just to see what astronomical season stats you can achieve. Some hearty advice is, never play a game with quarters longer than five minutes or have a season longer than 28 games. If you do you will eventually quit the season and watch Live '96 collect dust on the floor. I like to pull out this game once and a while and play it, so there is some replayability.

Game Value 6 out of 10

If you pay more than $15 for this game(unless it is brand spanking new, then maybe you might pay $20 for it), you are insane. Not only is this game four years old, it is on a system that doesn't even make games anymore. You shouldn't pay big bucks for this game, but if you can get it cheap, this could be a good investment.

Cool Features 9 out of 10

In NBA Live '96, EA Sports brings you something in a basketball game that you rarely do NOT see in a b-ball game anymore, and that is to create a player. You can create any player you can think of. This feature is great.

Overall 82 out of 100

I've done some bashing to this game because I wanted to show not only the great things about this game, but also the flaws. I loved this game when it came out and I still like this game. Anyone who wants to get a solid game for the Super NES and own the best NBA game on the system should get this game.

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