As far as my favorite sports go, Tecmo takes two of them on the NES: one, as you could imagine is football, and the other is basketball. Double Dribble was cool and all, but Tecmo really figured that they must be on to something with real players. And boy did we ever get real teams and players!
If I wasn't running around in a Cubs jersey as a kid, I would be wearing my Pippen, Drexler, or Ewing jerseys. I had all of them, both home and road. Meaning that this game came out at the perfect time; 1992. My friends and I would get together and play best-of-seven one-on-one series. Believe me, I know the pressure of being down three games to one. I was a year younger than a lot of them, but I had the height advantage. I won my fair share.
Of course, we had to deal with darkness, rain, and Old Man Winter. One night I saw this game at the video store and my mom rented it for me. I was watching the Bulls 1992 championship video against the Blazers earlier that day, and I remember being dazzled by Drexler jamming over Cartwright, and Jordan hitting six three-pointers in Game One. Much to my dismay, my friend was grounded and couldn't play real basketball. So I was pumped when I popped this in.
Tecmo NBA Basketball is really all you could ask for with basketball on the NES. Every one of the 1992 teams and players are included. Unlike its football counterpart Tecmo Super Bowl, you can set the difficulty for exhibition games. As mentioned before, all NBA players are included, although substitutions really only come in handy during certain times, since there's no fatigue. During the season, players get injured, and like Tecmo Super Bowl, their physical condition changes throughout the season.
Another cool part of Tecmo NBA Basketball is the graphics. The courts look fantastic, and I really got the feeling that I was playing in places like Chicago Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and The Forum with the correct colors on the court, and even the home team's logo. If you're the home team, you'll usually be wearing white, unless you're the Lakers, in which case you'll be in yellow. Road teams have their correct colors as well. Believe me, that was HUGE back in 1992.
About the only thing I don't like about the gameplay is the steal button being the same as shoot, but then on the NES, what kind of options did they have? If players were able to, they'd dunk, so I could recreate Drexler's sparkling dunks, and Ewing thundering away. Of course, if i try to dunk with someone like John Paxson, they'll simply try a layup. There are no signature moves, but again, NES. What do you expect? The game is fair, complete with fouls and official NBA rules.
This was as good as it got with basketball on the NES.
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I fully agree with all of this! This really is the best basketball game on the NES with stats and realistic player performance. I do wish the CPU was a little tougher but head to head with another player is where the game shines. I always liked the cut-away scene of the 3-point shot being made. I have wondered why the VGC has not reviewed this one.