Double Dribble

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US arcade flyer.

Double Dribble is a basketball video game developed and published by Konami, originally for the arcade in 1986, ported to Famicom Disk System, NES, and PlayChoice-10 in 1987, the Amiga, Commodore 64, and MS-DOS in 1990, and the Game Boy in 1991. In the game, the player plays a game of basketball against another person or the computer's AI while viewing the court from a slightly raised side-view perspective. The game's gimmick is to show a large zoomed-in graphic of players when they dunk the ball.

Personal

My older brother was a fan of basketball growing up, so he got this game for our NES. I remember playing him in 2-player vs mode, and uncharacteristically doing better than him at it. I had discovered that, if you hold down the shoot button longer while you're in the air, it increases your likelihood to make a basket. My brother, on the other hand, would simply press the button and frequently miss. I remember silently hoping that he wouldn't notice my slower, but more accurate, shooting ability, and kept racking up baskets. He eventually got so frustrated rage-quit the game. Later, I practiced the game on my own and got good enough to beat the bronze level AI. I tried several times to beat the silver level AI, but failed every time. One day, on a lark, I tried bumping the AI up to gold level just to see how bad it would beat me, and I ended up winning! After that, I kept trying to beat the silver level AI until I eventually did just to say I could beat all three difficulties. I did this sometime in the early 1990s.

Status

I don't own this game, but I have beaten the NES port on all difficulty levels.

Review

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4 5 3 4 5

Best Version: NES?

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The large player animations during dunk shots were pretty impressive at the time.
  • Having speech in a game was still a selling point at the time.
  • The game plays several short musical themes commonly heard at basketball games, which helps create a professional basketball vibe.

Bad

  • The graphics aren't very good across every port. The human animation is very stiff, especially with the cheerleaders and mascots, and the backgrounds are ugly.
  • For the arcade game, play length is based entirely on how many quarters you spend, not your skill, which I find poor design.
  • In the NES port, the AI cheats by having the ability to pass the ball to players that are not on the screen, something human players cannot do. This gives them a advantage by allowing them to pass the ball all the way down the court to their ownbasket before any of your defenders can block them.
  • The music is quite lackluster in all versions, and mostly absent in the NES port.
  • The squeak of the shoes gets annoying after awhile, as does the dribble sound in the NES port.
  • It would have been nice to have 2-player co-op.

Ugly

  • Nothing, but I don't find the game very enjoyable.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Videos

Longplay - Arcade, hardest difficulty.
Longplay - DOS, easiest difficulty.
Longplay - Famicom Disk System, hardest difficulty.
Longplay - Game Boy, USA, hardest difficulty.
Longplay - NES, hardest difficulty.
Game play - Amiga.
Review - PlayChoice-10.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Double Dribble
English (Game Boy, Europe) Hyper Dunk
English (Game Boy, North America) Double Dribble: 5 On 5
Japanese エキサイティング バスケット Ekisaitingu Basuketto Exciting Basket
Japanese (Game Boy) コナミックバスケット Konamikku Basuketto Konamic Basket

Links

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