Video Games / Sep 13, 2011 / 4:00 pm

Video Game Review: Double Dribble

An integral part of Dime’s literary footprint is basketball-related video game news. This has become doubly important in the wake of the ongoing lockout, where getting one’s hoops fix sometimes leads to the digital world. With this in mind, Konami is prepared to launch a basketball game that will change everything. The Dime editorial staff has been provided with an advance copy, and I am privileged to give you a sneak peek. Plug in your controllers, blow on your cartridge, turn the television to Channel 3 and come with me.

Double Dribble

The first thing you notice about Double Dribble is that the game talks. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t know how they did it, but the developers managed to get actual words to come out of the speakers. When the game turns on, you hear “Double Dribble!” in a squeaky robot-man voice. When a player is fouled, the invisible referee screams “Fyoo Tho!” to signal the upcoming free throws.

Double Dribble

I decided to take the 1P mode for a spin. On the options menu you are given not one, but four teams to select from: Boston, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. For some reason you are only allowed to play against Boston on 1P mode, but I am sure that is just a bug that will be worked out by the time the game hits the market.

I select Chicago and take the court with Derrick Rose and the Bulls. The gameplay is stunning: The Celtics whip the ball to each other at lightning speed. What teamwork! Kevin Garnett gets the ball in the low block, goes up to shoot, and…


Double Dribble


Don’t get too cocky, though. If you don’t time your dunk just right, the ball will come clanging off the rim. And trust me – you don’t want to be that guy.

On difficulty level 1, the computer almost never misses a shot. On level 3 the computer misses frequently. The downside to level 3 is that the computer will literally steal the ball from you every time you dribble within two feet of an opponent. It is not uncommon to fall into “steal contests” with the computer wherein you keep intercepting each others’ passes and swiping each others’ dribbles in rapid succession. These frantic defensive exhibitions can go on and on, with neither team ever advancing far enough to attempt a shot. Jeff Van Gundy must have been a creative consultant.

In my test game, the Celtics built up an early lead thanks to a couple of steals and fast breaks by Rajon Rondo. I decided to put the ball in the hands of Rose. At least I think it’s Rose. It might be Kyle Korver. One of Double Dribble‘s innovative features is Anti-Racism Pigmentation Technology. Every time a player receives the ball he immediately begins to flash like a strobe light between white and black skin tones. This was done to prevent racists from only playing with a certain color player. I think. Anyway, I take Rose-Korver to the corner and launch a wild, going-out-of-bounds three that promptly banks off the glass and swishes through. I’m not sure that bank shot was geometrically possible, but whatevs, haters, that’s how I roll on the 8 bit.

Double Dribble

As with any game, there are shortcomings. Double Dribble is by no means a perfect play. My chief complaint is with the representation of the cheerleaders, all of whom have only one, um, boob. Another point of contention, one that the basketball purists will surely nitpick about, is the small matter of why two players from each team refuse to cross half court for any reason. Perhaps this is a new rule to be found in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the players. Stupid lockout.

Double Dribble, for play on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Coming soon. My sources tell me it will retail for $39.99 at Toys”R”Us.

Follow Matthew on Twitter at @ongreenmountain.

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  • Darius

    “Anti-Racism Pigmentation Technology” LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

  • James

    I fucken lost it at:


    This is the greatest thing ever posted on Dime.

  • Sean Sweeney

    I had the same reaction as James. LMAO at that line. Great job, Matthew.

  • SoulChorea

    Anti-Racism Pigmentation Technology is the line of the year. But we all knew it was exactly that, even as little kids playing this game. Good stuff. This piece is top 3 articles on Dime for sure

  • jzsmoove

    when i used to play Double Dribble my personal challenge was to be able to get 300 pts on level 3, 5 min mode. As well as keeping the opponent to 30 pts or less. when i dont beat that challenge, i consider the game a loss. i shot nothing but treys. that was a lot of time wasted well, now my 2 small boys play with me. i got a NES plugged in their room.

  • ztrini

    Thnx for bringing back some great memories.

  • bobby stew

    I sold lemonade for .25cents in order to purchase this game. I imagined I had Jordan, Paxson, Pippen, and BJ on my Bulls team

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Great article, I was on lollerskates the whole time

  • lifep

    I’m 36 years old and I grew up playing Double Dribble. The game (as was Tecmo Bowl) was a classic. Players jumping from the freethrow line…the CAN’T MISS corner 3pt shot…and who can forget the 720 3pt. shot (yes, you jump and do a 2 complete rotation before unleashing a spot on 3 pointer…..ahhhhh T.R.O.Y

  • Knicks86

    Best review of all time! I’m heading to Toys R Us right now in my Chrysler K car to get this game.

  • jdizzle

    HILARIOUS!!! Am I the only one that tried (and actually made) the dunk from behind the corner trey line? Or the 360 dunk(or 540 depending on what dunk animation they showed)? Wish I still had this game

  • Big Al

    You took me back to the christmas when I got this game and cranked it up for the first time… The first time I heard a game speak. Then you take the Star Spangled Banner playing… The never miss running fade shot from the top of the screen. The first time I saw the dunk screen, that was the end all to be all. Technology peaked and would never be able to top that moment.