PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous
DEVELOPER: Sculptured Software
RELEASE DATE: November 1992
Tecmo NBA Basketball was, at the time of its 1992 release, the definitive basketball title on the NES. All of the teams, players, and stats from the ’91-’92 season in NBA basketball are here. There’s a Preseason mode (good for non-basketball players, such as myself), Season Mode (play up to 82 games if your fingers can take that much button tapping) and an All-Star Game mode (best players from East and West represent). Like Tecmo’s other sports games, NBA Basketball is easy to pick up and play. The on-court action is smooth, switching between players is effortless, and the AI is balanced according to the stats (warning: do not pick Sacramento). There can be quite a bit of sprite flickering, particularly if you have a swarm of players in one concentrated zone. Still, given the lack of slowdown, I was surprised by how quickly the players moved (I’m sure it helps that every single player shares a generic sprite template). Based on other reviews I’ve read, NBA Basketball is easy to conquer, once you understand how to block and steal shots from the opposing side. I found the game challenging enough for my lack of skills, but be forewarned, all ye hoop-lovers: the computer might not hold much of a challenge for you. Then again, that’s what two-player is for, eh? Another solid outing from Tecmo, King of Sports (and Sculptured Software helped, I guess).
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2 replies on “#645 – Tecmo NBA Basketball”
Agreed again. Once you get the hang of some cheap tricks, beating the computer by 50+ points is commonplace, which isn't as satisfying here as it is in the next game you'll be reviewing. But me and my friends really enjoyed playing this against one another. It's kind of pointless to play compared to more recent games unless you really dig the nostalgia for the old players. It definitely needed more spectacular cut scenes or arcade elements to make it more satisfying.
Man, this game right here was such a time sink for me. I absolutely loved it, but prior to this the only b-ball games I had been exposed to were Double Dribble, Hoops and Jordan vs Bird. And the stats keeping and season format were miles beyond what those games had to offer.