Double Dribble (NES) Retro Review

Double Dribble is a 1987 Basketball game developed and published by Konami. Back when it was first released it gained popularity due to inclusion of animation sequences and is also the first arcade game to include the US National Anthem.


Double Dribble (E) [!]-0


The Title screen looks quite nice although the voice clip saying the title was terrible, i heard a lot of people used to make fun of it. You can also tell the cutscenes had aged insanely although I could appreciate the effort considering it was pretty rare back then.


Double Dribble (E) [!]-2


The options screen was simple but also quite weird (enough to screenshot it), there wasn’t many things to choose from but what made it stand out was a player would shoot into the baskets as you press A to go through the settings. This was not a very good thing though since it simply made it take longer plus you can’t go back either. For example if you accidentally pressed A on the time but wanted to keep it at 5:00 you’d have to press it 3 more times.

Considering its only pallette swaps you can’t help but be disappointed at the fact there is only 3 teams (excluding the NPC).


Double Dribble (E) [!]-1


Getting into gameplay the concept was quite simple although actually playing was a different story. A was pass or jump (depending on if you had the ball) while B was shoot and it was interesting to see you had a surprising degree of control in the air, you can even turn around which doesn’t seem to effect your shot but just looks more impressive. The game also includes the penalties that you’d usually get like Out of Bounds, Pushing and Travelling.

The games way of highlighting the player character was a bit strange though. Instead of something like a marker above their heads they instead keep swapping between being white and black (skin color) which is really weird.

Also I couldn’t help but think that the NPC’s seemed far luckier than the player when it came to shots, i rarely saw them miss where some of my insanely close shots didn’t even get that close. Perhaps its an unfortunate leftover from its arcade origin.

Overall its an ok game, I can see why it was popular when it was first made but i can also see why some people didn’t. In my opinion its aged quite a bit as well so its probably not worth playing (I have heard it was ported to ios though).


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