arch rivals

Double Dribble

Finally, one of the most awkward options screens in gaming history is found: Settings such as period length, team, and difficulty level can be altered, but with each button press, rather than simply and instantly scroll through the available selections, an on-screen player actually fires a jump shot at a rim that aligns with the intended option. This makes for an overly tedious selection process, which would be bearable if it were not for the already drawn-out effect of the opening ceremonies screen. [...]

Midway Arcade Origins

Thankfully I was able to get a lot of enjoyment out a few of the included offerings. Joust and Joust 2 hold up extremely well, as do Satan’s Hollow, Robotron 2084, Spy Hunter, Rampage, and both Gauntlet games (just don’t shoot the food!). Two titles I’d never played before, Wizard of Wor and Bubbles, ended up being my favorites. Smash TV and its sequel Total Carnage also play well with a modern controller, and they still serve as a reminder that most of these games were simply designed to get one more quarter out of the pocket of your Kangaroos. This is certainly a staunch contrast from the “save anywhere, unlimited lives” mentality that permeates game design today. [...]

Arch Rivals

On its surface, Arch Rivals is a basketball video game on the NES. There are a few features, though, that make it somewhat notable. This is not a five-on-five version; rather, this cart features two-on-two full-court style hardwood action. Additionally, the player only controls one character on the team, rather than the switch of controls used in many other games. However, the player can tell the teammate what to do, in the sense that pressing the pass button (B) not only makes the teammate pass the ball, but the player’s character is actually shown, via speech bubble, telling the teammate to do so, or to shoot by pressing the A button (also used to jump on defense). [...]