Double Dribble

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Genre: Sports

Publisher: Konami

Total time played: 25 minutes

Short review:  One of the first playable basketball games on the NES.  None of the players have names and the use of actual basketball rules is very limited.


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Recently my cousin John gave me all of his old NES games and it brought up some memories of me spending the night at his house and playing Double Dribble.  I hadn’t played the game in years and decided to give it a shot.

When you turn the game on your are greeted with an actual voice that says “Double Dribble” even though it sounds more like “double dibble”.  You can choose the length of each quarter from 5:00 – 30:00.  But, keep in mind these are Nintendo minutes so 5:00 is actually about 2 minutes.  After choosing the quarter length you select your team.  You can choose “Chicago”, “New York” or “Los Angeles”, the only difference between these teams is the colors of their jersey.

Next, the difficulty is selected between 1 and 3.  I chose 1 as I had a feeling the game would be pretty broken and I would only be able to beat it on easy.

When the game begins you are greeted by a slightly off rendition of the national anthem as fans walk into the stadium.  This is cool one time but is annoying to have to watch every time a game is played.  The same can be said for the half time show.  The cheerleaders dancing while the mascots chase each other is cute the first time but a waste of time every other time.

It has been a long time since I have played or watched basketball in real life but I am still very familiar with all of the rules.  Double Dribble doesn’t follow those rules at all.

First off, each quarter starts with a tip off, the clock never stops even when the ball goes out of bounds, the teams never switch baskets and if there is a foul you always shoot two free throws.

Even with all of these issues the game is still pretty fun. Each player has their own strengths and weaknesses.  Some are better at dunking, some at shooting 3-pointers and all the players move at different speeds.  But, that being said, I could never tell my players apart which meant I could never use their individual skills to my advantage.  The only stat kept during the game is the score.  No stats are kept per player, in fact, the players don’t have numbers or names.

I haven’t really played many basketball games on the NES for more than a few minutes but I imagine this will be one of the most fun ones that I play.  Sure, some of the other games are more detailed and follow the rules of basketball more closely but I bet they aren’t as fast paced or as fun as Double Dribble.

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