Review by DoubleDribbler

"The best basketball video game ever made"

I'm sure many of you read my synopsis and thought, ''Well, I wouldn't go that far.'' And maybe I wouldn't either, but to this day, with all the improvements in graphics, gameplay, sound, animation, and memory, I have yet to play a basketball video game that is as fun (the most important word of all) as Double Dribble.

This game is a perfect example of why the 8-bit NES will never truly die... it's an arcade game. And the NES is the king of arcade games on a home system. There's no story, no continuation, you play one game and that's it. You can steal, pass, shoot, and sometimes block shots. That's it. The players' abilities are grossly unrealistic, which is much to blame for the limitations of the technology as the will of the programmers. This makes the game a fun arcade experience. The only basketball video game to come close to Double Dribble in terms of fun was NBA Jam. An arcade game.

As a related side note, Double Dribble is a perfect example of a time in video game history when simplicity was the key to a fun game. Think of all of the classic NES games. They aren't complicated, are they? Mario runs, jumps, and shoots fireballs. Mega Man runs, jumps, and shoots weapons. The boys in Contra run, jump, and shoot weapons. The list goes on and on, with most not getting more complicated than that.

If you were to grade this game based on the criteria today's games seem to be solely based on, it wouldn't do so well. The graphics are uninspiring, the dribbling sound is really annoying (but the three-point shot and swish are classics), the challenge is pretty weak even on the hardest level, and the control is only okay. But the game is so fun, it makes up for everything that it lacks. It reigns as one of the greatest two-player sports games ever.

This game came out when I was 8 or 9, and I still pop it in and play it a few times a week. And obviously since I've been playing it for years, I can beat the hell out of the computer every time (as well as everyone I play--I haven't been beaten in over ten years). But in spite of that, and in spite of everything ''bad'' about this game, Double Dribble will never get old to me. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/21/02, Updated 09/21/02

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