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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre: Hybrid (Sports/ Fighting)

Awards: None
They Playin' Basketbrawl... Pros: Effective power-ups/ Winner stays up style ball
Cons: Brawling is lackluster/ Jumping is unnaturally vertical
How 'Bout a Sawbuck a Point?


Overview: In honor of the NBA Finals, this week I'm reviewing the basketball carts for the 7800. Basketbrawl's main game is a two-on-two (or one on one) affair where you and your partner play winner stays up style B-Ball...with a twist: anything goes! And I mean anything! Noogies, the Figure Four Leglock, punching, kicking, hair pulling, yo mama jokes... yoy name it. To make sure things are fair,
the Atari Sports League has issued a referee to oversee the games. Fairness is achieved in the ref's eyes by throwing knives at both teams! With all this madness, how long can your team endure?

Graphics: Basketbrawl's graphics are definitely the best for an Atari 7800 sports game. The players are big and detailed, and so are the courts. In fact there are up to six players to choose from and three courts to play on. This variety helps break the monotony most 7800 sports titles are victim to. The little touches in the game are sweet, from the nets being tattered and worn to paint lines disappearing with age. The game has a real 2D flat look compared to today's standards, but its good all the same. The color choices are most of the time OK, but sometimes the colors clash. Basketbrawl's menus look good and they are easy to understand. The worst graphics in the game are on the title screen. Other than those little "nit-picks", this game looks as smooth as a Kareen Abdul-Jabbar sky hook.

Sound: Audio is a weakness here. The title screen music is supposed to be some sort of hip-hop loop, but it just sucks. There are no noises in the game, except when the ball bounces or when someone is hit. Other than that...nothing. Give me a crack ho scream two streets over... or SUMTHIN'!

Gameplay: Overall, the game plays pretty well. Separately, this would not be a great fighting game, nor would it be a great basketball game, but together they make a pretty decent hybrid. The basketball part of BB has a real NBA Jam simplicity to it, even though the game is void of the great dunks and "Slamma-Lamma-Ding Dong!" sound effects. But, it is easy to learn, and that's a plus. The left button shoots, and the right button passes the rock. If your teammate has the ball, the left button punches and the right button calls for the ball. No great basketball strategy here, just get open and score. The fighting part of the game is a little disappointing, since you are limited to punches and beaning someone with the ball. Even though the latter is fun, Basketbrawl would be better if you had various attacks. You can win the game by Hook or by Rook: out scoring your opponent the old fashioned way, or by knocking your opponents out cold and then scoring all the points you can for a huge bonus. Nothing on the 7800 is quite as fun as scoring dozens of uncontested baskets over KO'd opponents!

Originality: I'm not sure which came out first, Arch-Rivals or Basketbrawl, but I like Basketbrawl better because of a few differences. One thing that I like here is the mini-RPG element in powering up your character with permanent power, speed, and energy boosts. At the start of a game, you pick a player from six that best represents what you want in a baller. For example, Bruiser is slow, decent shooter, but is strong as a bull. Simon, on the other hand, is a great long ball shooter, but a weenie who isn't very fast. As you win games, you will be able to accumulate power-ups to improve your player's power, speed, life, etc. By the end of three or four games, you could have the Michael Jordan of streetball at your finger tips. I love knocking suckas out cold. As mentioned before, nothing is quite as cool as KOing the opposing team. But, watch out punk, the reverse can happen too! Your partner can get KO'd, or even worse, you can too!

Value: I like how two people can play on the same team against the computer. Because of this, this is the 7800 sports cart with the longest life span. You can also take each other on in a two-on-two or a one-on-one game. The same is true with the computer. I like the two-on-two game better for a little tougher challenge and for the simple fact that knocking out two people is twice as fun as one.

Overall: This is one of those games that I probably like more than most people. And what I mean by that, is of course that I like Basketbrawl than most people... and in addition, I like this game more than most people would like it. Sorry, not sorry. This was a big boost in quality to the 7800's library of sports games. Graphics are good, and a few of the nice little touches makes this a fun game to play even today. Although not a pure blooded sports game, Basketbrawl without question is the best sports title for the 7800. If you disagree, I'll take the ball and bean you upside the head. See? Who says you can't learn life lessons by playing video games?

Other Reviews:
CV's Panoramic Froo-Froo: 4.0 out of 5.0 (Very Good)


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