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Tecmo NBA Basketball (NES) artwork

Tecmo NBA Basketball (NES) review

"All in all, the gameplay of Tecmo NBA Basketball is far from perfect, but there's really no other comparisions."

Tecmo NBA Basketball is a very flawed product. Of all the team sports, basketball is the hardest to duplicate; until the release of the NBA2k series, not one game could even boast a decent post system, a basketball essential. Therefore, when looking at basketball games, whichever one has the LEAST amount of flaws usually wins. Stat tracking, a huge part of real basketball, is also essential for a successful basketball game.

In Tecmo NBA Basketball, you play, what else, basketball. The modes of play include exhibition (any two teams against each other), season (play a season of various length), or skip straight to the NBA Playoffs. One or two players can play in any mode, head to head, or on the same team. There's full and extensive stat tracking for all modes, a rarity in the NES days.

The rosters have a very retro feel to them. That's because they're from the 90-91 season. Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, and Isiah Thomas are all still on the Detroit Pistons. Jordan is on the Bulls, Bird on the Celtics, and Magic on the Lakers. Shaq is just a pipe dream; Nick Anderson is the Orlando Magic's best player.

However, since the game is for the NES, it's a bit hard to ask for updated rosters, seeing as no other games have been made for it for ages. If you don't mind playing with outdated rosters, then there is a decent game underneath the surface, and a great one for its time period.

First, the things Tecmo NBA Basketball does well. The shooting in the game is top-notch. All players have appropriate range factors for the players they really were; Chris Mullin can pop three's all day long, but Mark Eaton can't. Besides shooting ability, players are also rated in other categories, such as speed, jumping power, and blocking ability.

Tecmo NBA Basketball also creates an extremely fast paced gameplay experience. Sure, not everyone can shoot, but it's not that hard to pass your way through defenders and to get easy layups. Good ball movement leads to open shots everytime. Typical games can surpass 130 points for each time, which is what the NBA was like before the mid 90's.

Offensive plays make a primative appearance for the first time ever in a basketball game. However, since you can't post up or anything, it's a simple matter of just running a play where someone cuts in front of the basketball. Then, just pass the ball to them for an easy two.

As previously stated, there is no post up option. This cuts down on the offensive strategy; however, this difficulty can't compare with the experience that is defense. Playing defense in Tecmo NBA Basketball is just about impossible, unless you can predict the computer's movements. Going for a steal usually just fouls the player dribbling. You're better off just letting the computer handle the defending; the computer D occasionally blocks a shot or two.

Graphically, Tecmo NBA Basketball has one glaring flaw. The flicker in the game is out of control, and can actually cause you to lose sight of your player. Outside of that, almost every player in the game looks alike, excluding skin tone color. Each court also looks similar, except for the logos.

Musically, well, there's a whole lot of nothing. There's a little rinky-dink theme that's constantly played, but it's not really worth listening to. The standard effects are present; ball hitting court, ball hitting backboard, ball hitting rim, whistles, ect. Nothing really substantial.

All in all, the gameplay of Tecmo NBA Basketball is far from perfect, but there's really no other comparisions. Double Dribble is the only basketball game that can hold a candle to Tecmo NBA Basketball, but offers no simulation options. Tecmo is the game if you want to be able to play a season, and not just a couple exhibition games.

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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