Double Dribble: Playoff Edition


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3

You can't fail Konami for trying to take advantage of the red-hot arcade basketball market. You can thank NBA Jam for that. Why they had audacity to slap a classic name on it is where the problem lies. Double Dribble: The Playoff Edition isn't even remotely like the original arcade or NES rendition. It's an utter disaster of a sports video game, one that should have been killed during pre-production.

The meager menu attempts to hide the fact that there is pretty much nothing to do here. You play an exhibition game either co-op or against a friend, play a randomly generated playoff, and well, that's it. Setting up the options supposedly lets you play the game arcade or simulation style, but since fouls are rarely (if ever) called, it's a waste.

The action on the court doesn't make up for anything. This is a very sloppy, hard to control mess that never comes together. The basic moves (shooting, steals, blocks, passing) are the extent of the game. That's usually acceptable for an arcade style game, but in this 'update,' it makes it seem even more limiting.

Players slide around the court, even more so than early versions of NBA Live. It's all but impossible to actually stop and take a jumper. You can start a shot at the top of the three-point line, and glide in uncontrollably for a two. On defense, it does feel a little better, but it's hard to tell whether your controlled player actually has gained possession in a mish-mash of opponents.

The only thing the game does right is offer up full (though not real) rosters, and even though it has this feature, it manages to somehow make it useless. Players never tire and your five starters are always the best on the team. The only switch you'll ever need to make is to get a decent three-point shooter at center. It hardly matters what their height it either. A guard plays just as well in a spot that should be reserved for a big man.

Playing from a side view, everything seems out of perspective. The court seems to be looking directly down, just angled slightly. The sprites have all been drawn as if they're in a direct side view. Their shooting animations are easily the worst of any basketball game you've ever played, tossing up hook shots from half court. It's hard to judge when you should release because of this. The only bright spot is the slightly rotating court, a small yet insignificant bright spot.

Filled with gravely voices and repetitive music, there's hardly much to discuss in terms of audio. You can play with either background music or, according to the options menu, 'real' sound effects. That basically boils down to a static crowd instead of annoying music.

Even of the game wasn't titled Double Dribble, it wouldn't matter. Basketball Video Game from Hell would be more suitable however. Then again, the game is titled after an infraction of the rules. Maybe it is appropriate since it defeats all the evolution basketball games had made up until the point of its release.


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Last updated: Sunday, May 01, 2005 08:06 AM