Review by Aganar

Reviewed: 02/18/03 | Updated: 09/07/03

Defying the laws of physics...

Not many people know about this game. And, for good reason too. This inspired such games like NBA Jam. But, while NBA Jam was able to be a good game, this is simply mediocre.

The graphics are merely ok. It is a decent transition from the arcade to an inferior powered console, but instead of just trying to look good they wanted it to look faithful. The characters look pretty bland. There is only one background. And finally, most of the animations just plain suck. The cheerleading squad consists of 3 people whose hips sway back and fourth, consisting of all of two frames of animation. The up close pictures also still look pretty stupid.

The gameplay is definitely innovative; I will give it that. It's a two-on-two basketball game. You run from one end of the court to the other, dodging the computer, trying to shoot or dunk. When your friend has the ball, you can have him pass to you or ask him to try to make his own goal. You can run up to the goal and dunk, or you can shoot from all across the court. Behind the line will earn you 3 points, while in front of or closer only gets you two.

Some things about it are rather weird, however. For one thing, you can shoot from all the way across the court and there is still a decent chance that it will make it in. The stranger thing is the fact that dunks can somehow bounce of the rim. Guess the guys have horrible aim. But, the absolute most peculiar thing about the game is the extended dunks. If your character was supposed to dunk but was a bit too far away, they will float in mid air for a few seconds slowly levitating towards the basket until they reach it.

The most innovative part of the game is the combat you are allowed. When the other team has the ball, you may literally walk up to the other players and punch them in the face. In fact, you are encouraged to! If one punch isn't enough, you should punch them multiple times. As many as you need before they are out cold on the ground and you have the ball. Also unlike NBA Jam, there are absolutely no rules. But, to compensate for the goal tending rules that were in NBA Jam, the AI is nice enough to wait while someone takes 30 minutes making a shot.

On the downside, the AI is some of the cheapest and most irritating players I have ever seen. The second I am given the ball, the player runs up, punches me, takes the ball and dunks. And it's not like NBA Hangtime where it only happens when they start to lose, this happened in the first 5 seconds. And they did it over and over until the score was ludicrous. More irritating is that they can seem to punch while running, allowing them to steal the ball from you even if you are ahead of them, while you will stop if you try to punch them, and let them get away. Cheap is what I calls it.

The control is ok. Your characters are always set to run, which is sort of nice. One button will shoot while the other passes. If you do not have the ball, you may press B to punch someone. If your partner has the ball, one button will instruct him to pass to you and the other to shoot. Typically, if they pass its very rarely actually to you, and often it seems like they were aiming directly at the CPU so they could intercept it. And, their aim still sucks.

Sound and Music is annoying. There is virtually no sound. There are several tunes, but instead of actually playing in the background, the makers decided to put them in at a completely inappropriate and stupid time. The tunes only appear when a coach is supposed to be talking. So, when someone appears to be speaking, out of his mouth comes baseball tunes. To this, I simply say “Huh?” and wonder what genius thought up that idea.

It has a good amount of replay value, fortunately. You can play with your friends, so that's a definite plus. And, it's just funny watching your guy beat the crap out of everyone else. The only real flaw is the annoying half time and quarter breaks, where they have annoying newscasters and fake advertisements. Was that supposed to be funny or something?

Overall, this is mediocre at best. It has its good points, and it was decent for the time, but now it's a load of crap. Games took its ideas and did them better, making this pretty much obsolete. If you want a game like this to play, just buy NBA Jam.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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