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Wayback Wednesday: Hoops for NES

Wayback Wednesday: Hoops for NES

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! From retrospectives of basketball games and their interesting features, to republished articles and looking at NBA history through the lens of the virtual hardwood, Wednesdays at the NLSC are for going back in time. This week, I’m taking a look back at Hoops for NES.

Early basketball video games can be difficult to revisit, or truly appreciate if you didn’t grow up with them. It wasn’t until the mid to late 90s that we started to see titles that resembled modern releases, and it wouldn’t be until the 2000s that some of the contemporary mechanics and features were implemented, and their approach codified. Beyond their primitive graphics, early titles can be oddly designed, and cumbersome to play. Depending on your history with the virtual hardwood, the further back you go, the more challenging it may be to have a satisfying retro gaming experience.

However, in evaluating these old basketball games – or indeed, any retro title – we need to keep in mind the technology and design standards of the era. What was once cutting edge has now been surpassed, and certain mechanics and control concepts weren’t yet standardised. Nevertheless, there are some games that stand out as true classics, even though they do show their age. Titles such as Double Dribble, Jordan vs. Bird, and Lakers vs. Celtics, are definitely in that category. Today, I’m profiling one of their contemporaries from the late 1980s: Hoops for NES. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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