Magic Johnson's Basketball

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RAM Requirement: 768k RAM

Other Requirements: ROM01 (ROM03 incompatible)

Control: Joystick and/or Keyboard

Release Status: Abandonware

Year: 1989

Publisher: Melbourne House

Developers: Synergistic Software

System 6 Compatible: Yes

Hard Drive Installable: Yes

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Magic Johnson Basketball is one of the few games for the IIGS I had never heard about.

Understandable considering the game was never released, the reasons why, I don't know. According to the opening screen, the game was converted in 1989 by Synergistic Software's Robert Clayton. The original was developed by Sculptured Software, a big name in the gaming console market.

It's the third basketball game made for the IIGS, and each of the three has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the case of Magic Johnson's Basketball the graphics aren't too bad, but where they fall down most is the lack of smoothness - the players moving about are quite stiff in their movement. Sound is there, but it ain't pretty. Ditto for music. I should let it slide though because the game wasn't released and therefore it's possible it wasn't fine-tuned.

The best aspect of this particular basketball game is that anyone can play with very little knowledge of basketball, like myself. There is a simple training area that defines each of the offensive and defensive moves. Joystick or keyboard can be used, and both can be used for a two-player game. Either button 0 or 1 can be used as the fire button on the joystick and "0" (zero) is the fire button for keypad. You may have to adjust the joystick centering for Magic Johnson's Basketball to respond properly to joystick. The moves are executed in combinations of the fire button and directional prods.

The main menu's options, oddly, are chosen by the first letter of each option e.g. press "2" for a Two Players, "G" for Go Training, etc. Some of these options only toggle between different settings, which don't become apparent until you start a game, "S".

Game play wise, the game isn't too bad. I haven't had the chance, but I would imagine a two player game could be quite fun. Enjoy!

Note: The game doesn't work on ROM03 machines; the graphics don't display properly. If anybody is able and willing, a patch to Magic Johnson Basketball for play on ROM03 machines it would be appreciated by ROM03 gamers out there.