Title One-on-One Game Type Sport Company Electronic Arts/Digital Creations Year 1985/86 Original Price $US49.95 Players 1 or 2 Compatibility OCS/not Kickstart 2.0+ or 68020+ Test Machine A500/1Mb/Kickstart 1.3 Submission Carlo Pirri (firstname.lastname@example.org) Review This game is *really* OLD!!! My apologies go to those who have children older than this game because frankly you would be ancient ;-) Enough of my banter and down to the review. One-on-One centres around two of basketball's most decorated stars of the 1980s.....Julius Erving (aka Dr J) and Larry Bird. For those who don't know who these two living legends are, then it's like this.....Dr J was the NBA's Magic Johnson of the 70s and 80s (go stand in the corner if you don't know who Magic Johnson is!) and Larry Bird was the white man's answer to Michael Jordan. The game pits these two legends in a half-court battle of one-on-one basketball. Originally this game was released in 1985 on the C64 and other 8 bit platforms no doubt. It perhaps was the beginnings of the EA sports sim dynasty witnessed on the consoles and PC today. On the C64 I thought it was the best basketball game I had ever played. To this day I still play the C64 version occasionally because it just kills modern basketball sims for playability and simplicity. So how does the Amiga version compare? Read on and find out. Upon loading you are presented with a demo of Erving and Bird going head-to-head with a very cheesy soundtrack that might have been heard playing at an 80s NBA match. Hitting return thankfully brings you to an option screen with a mouse pointer and no music. You can choose to be either Erving or Bird and play against the computer or alternatively you can talk trash and play against a friend. There are a range of other options to tweak the game to your liking. There are 4 skill levels ranging from the very easy 'Park & Recreation' level to the extremely challenging 'Pro' basketball level. The end of the game can be determined by scoring a set number of points or by playing 4 quarters of 1, 2, 4 or 8 minutes each. Finally the winners versus losers out option determines whether or not you get the ball back after scoring against your opponent. So what about the game itself? The graphics are likely to send you into fits of laughter! You have a wooden half-court, two very blocky looking sprites for players, a backboard, a scoreboard and a 24 second shot clock. When you start playing though the players move around with impressive court speed (albeit with minimal animation by modern standards) and this single ingredient is what makes this basketball game stand out. Just like the real thing you can twist and turn your opponent inside-out to put the ball in the hole. In one player mode controlling your player might take some getting used to since you can only use a mouse. Strangely in two player mode the second player is joystick controlled. It would have been nice to have been given the option of using a joystick or a mouse. Stealing the ball from your opponent is so much harder when you are as uncoordinated at playing games with a mouse as I am. Slam dunks are also possible. Slam the ball hard enough and the backboard breaks showering the court with glass. This really is a nice touch and is just reward for a great in-your-face move to the basket. The real corker is that no sooner has the glass backboard crumpled to the ground, a man comes out on court with his broom and sweeps it all up. Absolutely brilliant!!! The programmers have really tried to scatter lots of little novel or humorous touches throughout the game without compromising the basic elements of basketball (i.e. travelling & shot clock violations, fouls, time outs, player fatigue, player strengths & weaknesses). Breaking the backboard is one such example. Others include instant replays for classy bits of play, speech signifying a successful 3-point shot, and the appearance of a referee that looks like he has a rubber glove stuck on his head to announce fouls committed for hacking or charging your opponent. A couple of the negatives I have already mentioned like the pitiful graphics and the mouse control. Another minor flaw is the return of the score to zero after reaching 99. Obviously the programmers didn't know about Y2K compliance at the time of writing! ;-) Overall I think this game was astounding for 1985. By rights in 1999 we shouldn't even be entertaining the notion that such an old game can provide any sort of enjoyment. However this is a classic example of rubbish graphics and sound but great gameplay shining through. Closer to home though it might also indicate the very sad state of affairs when it comes to basketball games on the Amiga. I rate this and TV Sports Basketball the only worthwhile basketball games on Amiga. I also curse Gametek (?) for cancelling the Amiga conversion of NBA Jam a few years back. Normally I would end off a review of a good game with some comment like, "GET IT! BEG, BORROW, STEAL A COPY!!!", but in this case I doubt that many people would know where to start looking given the age of this classic. C'est la vie! My Ratings December 1999 ------------------------ Presentation 60% ------------ A good range of playing options. Speedy disk loading. Lack of joystick option for one player mode was a bad omission though. Graphics 25% -------- Laughably blocky graphics and skate-like animation. Player court coverage is speedy and some novel graphical touches like the breaking backboard. Sound 52% ----- Grating soundtrack plays throughout the game demo. Thankfully simple but effective sound effects are used in the game without the music. Hookability 50% ----------- Initially difficult to get into because of the unwieldy mouse control. Many merciless whippings will be had playing the CPU at higher skill levels as a result. Practice makes perfect however if you're willing to persist. Lastability 91% ----------- Persistence reaps its own reward in this case. A game that will have you coming back for years after if you're a retrohead who prefers gameplay to flashy graphics. Overall 82% ------- Vying with TV Sports Basketball as the best basketball game on the Amiga.