Magic Johnson’s Fast Break Basketball

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Genre: Basketball

Publisher: Tradewest

Total time played: 30 Minutes

Short review:  This game should have been called “Magic Johnson’s Fast Money Basketball”.  A horrible basketball simulation with almost no skill required and no knowledge of basketball.


Interesting links related to Magic Johnson’s Fast Break Basketball:

Yesterday I decided to play Double Dribble and complained how the rules of basketball don’t really apply and you have very few options to alter the gameplay.  Looking back now, Double Dribble was a masterpiece.

Fast Break is a pretty horrible game.  The box art says “Slammin’ Jammin’ Basketball Action”.  Well, guess what?  Slammin’ and Jammin’ are both slang terms for a dunk and there is no dunking in this game at all.

Not only is there no dunking, there is no fast break.  The player dribbling the ball is always much slower than the defensive player meaning there is never a fast break towards the basket.

When you start the game you have the option to select one of five difficulties.  I experimented with a couple of different levels of difficulty and got demolished so had to settle on Rookie (or Very Easy) to actually beat the game.  Other than selecting the difficulty there is no other option.  You don’t choose a team, your players don’t have numbers or names and from what I could tell there was also no out of bounds, fouls, charging, blocking, goal tending, free throws or any other common basketball rule you could think of.

There was one exception.  The only rule, the only time I could make a whistle get called is for Back Court Violations.  Every time you would cross half court in the wrong direction a whistle would blow and a big pixelated smiling photo of Magic Johnson would tell you “Back Court Violation”.

The game is 2 on 2 so there are only four players on the court at any time yet the definition of each player is lower than in Double Dribble which had 10 players on the court at once.

The only spot in the game that was better than Double Dribble was that after the game you got to see each teams stats.  Notice the stats below, 102 steals in one game between both teams???

Magic Johnsons Fast Break Basketball Stats

Maybe I am missing something but this game doesn’t offer anything to the player in terms of replay value. I know it is possible to play with 4 people at once which might have made the game more fun 25 years ago but I doubt four people would find pleasure in playing Fast Break in 2015.

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2 thoughts on “Magic Johnson’s Fast Break Basketball

    1. As it turns out there are no truly classic sports games on the NES. You may have fond memories of one but if you replay the game now you will find that you have most likely outgrown your ability to love these old sports titles. Tecmo Bowl may be an exception.

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