The very first game in what's now EA's NBA Live series, Lakers vs. Celtics counted many "first-evers" among its accomplishments in the sports gaming pantheon. Encompassing the eight NBA playoff teams from the 1989-90 season, players can opt for either a single game or full playoff run, choosing from the Lakers and Celtics, as well as the San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers, as well as both conference All-Star teams.
Among its more notable features, Lakers vs. Celtics was the first console game to feature (crudely) recognizable, real-life NBA players on their real-life, fully rostered teams, replicating their (somewhat) signature moves; this has extended to all sports games in the time since. Additionally, LvC contained an attempt at an in-studio halftime show, replete with highlights from other games. Interestingly, LvC is one of the very few video games with a representation of Michael Jordan, whose exorbitant licensing rights precluded him from being included in most basketball-related games.
The PAL Mega Drive version of the game is available in extremely limited quantities, thought to be due to licensing issues in that region that lead to a product recall. Subsequently, mint copies found in the wild tend to command high prices on auction sites.
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