The first words you hear when you boot up the game are a crackly Japanese voice saying, “Da-bu Daribu.” Some poor developer/sound engineer/janitor over at Konami of Japan was made to utter two difficult English words into a microphone, and was forever immortalized within an NES basketball game. Excellent!
Double Dribble has more to offer than transcendent voice acting. The basketball is low on stat engineering and heavy on arcade action. The latter is exactly what this author wants from an NES sports game: no thought, just slam dunks ’til the proverbial wheels fall off.
The “B” button shoots the ball or switches to the next player, and the “A” button steals/blocks the ball. The controls feel natural and fluid, which is the key to success in any sports game. And the game is surprisingly fast, probably at the expense of the low-budget graphics (in the beginning cinematic, the people look like piles of gray entering the stadium).
Obviously, you’ll want to pass the rock with another person if you have the chance; one player is enjoyable, but lacking. Still, lonely sports game playing woes aside, this is the best basketball game on the NES. Long live Da-bu Daribu!
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Konami GENRE: Sports
RELEASE DATE: 09/1987 – (US), 12/13/89 – (EU)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Amiga, ARC, C64, FDS, PC, Wii VC