Review by PCGamer77

Reviewed: 12/28/01 | Updated: 12/28/01

A fun NES cart that paved the way for much better basketball games

Double Dribble was not the first basketball sim to hit the video game market, but it certainly was one of the most important. It had a devoted following when it was released and has a cult following even today. However, Electronic Arts changed the basketball game market forever when EA Sports gave us the legendary Lakers vs. Celtics game that eventually morphed into the outstanding NBA Live franchise.

So can we say that Double Dribble is still a good hoops game? Not really. Is it still a good Nintendo game? Absolutely.

There's quite a bit of flicker really, but some of that is the inevitable result of having eight players running around on the screen all at once. Also, the player under your control ALWAYS flickers to let you know that he's currently your man. Colors are few, but they are plenty sharp enough that you never get confused as to what you are looking at. Basically the graphics are pretty good for the time, but I don't think they were really anything special. The close-up dunk animations are superfluous but still a nice touch.

MUSIC & SOUND (7/10)
I can't say much for music (is there any, really?), or the comical attempt at announcing ''Dub-bul Dwib-bul!'' when the title screen pops up. The in-game basketball sounds are pretty darn good, though. Appropriately enough, the most impressive and memorable sound in Double Dribble is the dribbling noise the ball makes when it hits the hardwood floor.

With three difficulty levels and a two person ''versus'' mode, this game offers enough challenge to satisfy the die hard video hoops player.

Double Dribble isn't much of a basketball game. It is nominally a basketball game, and sometimes it even plays like a basketball game, but basically it’s the classic ''fun'' Nintendo game. In fact, Double Dribble bears a strong resemblance to another favorite NES sports game: Ice Hockey. Simple, smooth, and strongly oriented towards fun rather than realism, Double Dribble emulates the best things about Ice Hockey. Want an example? Ice Hockey had cute little zambonis come out after the second period, and Double Dribble has cute little cheerleaders come out and put on a halftime show! The atmosphere is generally one of good frivolous fun, and I give the game designers credit for knowing that fun is what really matters the most.

Ok, even though Double Dribble is a fun game, it does tend to get repetitive. It isn't an especially realistic game, either. Steals are far too easy for both sides - especially for the computer at the higher difficulty levels - and the result is that they are far too frequent and this totally destroys the flow of the game. I suppose many players will say this makes the game frantic and intense, but I personally find it to be frustrating and not really true to the real game of basketball. The computer is also a tad slow to let you switch players, which is frustrating when you are trying to defend on the break or get in position for the rebound. The big defensive rebound may never come, though, because the computer shoots a suspiciously high percentage from the field…

For an NES game, this is an extremely replayable title. None of that ''repeat this level for the 284th time'' business here. Still, by modern standards it doesn't have all that much to offer: just four teams, no real players or teams, and no regular season or playoffs mode.

Double Dribble can't hold a candle to modern basketball sims, but it's still a fun NES game. If you're trying to build a solid game collection for the original ''N-Box,'' then I would definitely recommend getting a copy of this one.

Konami shoots and scores with Double Dribble. Just be sure you realize that when it comes to hoops sims, this one is decidedly oldskool.


''Dub-bul Dwib-bul!''

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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