Fast Break
Copyright/Publisher: Accolade, Designed By: Steve Cartwright, Artist: Roseann Mitchell,
Producer: Sam Nelson, Release Year: 1988, Genre: Basketball, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

OK, Los Angeles Lakers, here we come! Well, maybe you're not quite good enough for the LA Lakers yet, so how about the LA Jammers or the Boston Slammers? Or the Houston Hammers? No, nly koing, you can't have Hammers, just Slammers and Jammers. Er...yeah.

Whichever team you pick (the computer or your mate takes over the other one), you select your three players (each has different aptitudes) from a possible team of six. After that you can head straight for the bonce-crunching match itself or go for a bit of playmaking.

So what is playmaking? Er... well, because you can only control one player at a time while you're on court, you choose the overall team strategy from a series of 14 team plays - the 15th you can even make up yourself.

OK, you're out in the arena and this is it. You can pass, dribble, steal rebound and block: a press of the firebutton and you change player control. The screen flips between the two halves of the court and fouls, half-court violations plus the 24-second rule are recognised.

You can select the length of the quarters and there are three timeouts per half. And that's it. Well, what more do you want from a basketball sim?

Gordon Houghton
Norammly the only time I have anything to do with basketball is when I switch on my old telly and open a bag of crisps. Fortunelately, you don't have to get off your bum to play this and I had heck of a good time thrashing the pants off Kati in two-player mode. (Oi, I won 12-2 - Kati).

The one-player game isn't that hot, though, and nor is the action, which comes out a bit on the jerky side. I reckon that if Accolade had concentrated a bit less on all the strategic options, which I didn't find all that interesting, and a bit more on the scrolling and execution they'd have had a really good game.

Don't get me wrong: it just could have been better. Anyway, give it a go before you buy - it might just grow on you.

K.H.
Can't say I'm the biggest basketball fan in the world (I'm pretty skinny actually) but I did enjoy Fast Break - when I was playing with someone else. Slam-dunking against the computer on the other hand is a definite no-no because the opposition's just too tough.

By the time you've switched players, the other team is already shooting from a couple of yards short of the centre line AND THEY NEVER MISS. Aaargh! Oh yeah, that's the other thing I didn't like - the action's pretty jerky and the screen doesn't scroll at all which means that mid-screen (bang in the middle of all the action) there's this awkward, jarring flip.

If you've got a brother, sister or mate that's willing to play, definitely give this a go - it's great for a two-some. If you haven't, stick to International Basketball - it might not be as fancy but it'll probably give you a better run for your dosh.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 78%
Two-player mode, choice of quarter-lengths, timeouts, loads of options and little diagrams but no skill levels.
GRAPHICS 70%
Detailed sprites but the action and scrolling are on the jerky side.
SOUND 44%
Just the usual crowd and bouncing ball effects.
HOOKABILITY 68%
Loads of options make it slightly difficult to get into...
LASTABILITY 71%
...but that soon wears off.
OVERALL 68%
A neat little basketball sim but only really worth it if you've got two players.


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