The Dream Team 3 on 3 Challenge. (game software) (evaluation)
by Richard Rapp
With the long, hot days of summer quickly approaching, basketball fans find themselves dreading the long wait for the action of their favorite sport to heat up. The wait is over! In the Dream Team 3 on 3 Challenge, three of the NBA's top stars are waiting to bring their brand of half-court action right into your living room.
Joe Dumars, Patrick Ewing, and Dominique Wilkins are the team to beat in this fast-moving arcade challenge. For one or two players, The Dream Team can be played either competitively or cooperatively and with one-,two-, or three-man teams. In any variation, players are chosen from a roster of 24 of the NBA's finest.
You can also participate in the ultimate challenge, the Dream Team Tournament. This single-elimination showdown is played between right three-man teams, which are randomly paired each game. Up to eight of the teams can be controlled by humans, so you can invite seven of your friends over to see which of you really is number 1.
The mechanics of this game are easy to master. Your players dribble automatically as they move; everything else is just a matter of positioning and timing. Press button 1 on your joystick to shoot, rebound, or block a shot; press button 2 to pass. The colored "pad" that appears beneath the feet of one of your players makes it instantly apparent which player you control at any given time.
The Dream Team also involves tactical considerations, requiring you to select one of four active plays before inbounding the ball. Choose from 16 preprogrammed plays, or design your own. You can change your active plays as often as you like. Calling plays adds a bit of realism to the game and makes passes easier to execute because you can anticipate the movements of your players.
The Dream Team's designers obviously paid a great deal of attention to creating an attractive game, and it shows: This is easily the best-looking basketball game on the market. The graphics are rich and detailed to the point of shading the ball so that it appears rounded and three-dimensional. Unlike some other games, The Dream Team won't strain your eyes. The players are large, bright, and colorfully animated, with moves such as a behind-the-back lay-up and a soaring two-handed slam along the baseline.
The weakest part of this game involves the sound effects, which are limited to the sound of dribbling, the ball hitting the rim, and the referee's whistle. While these effects are well done, there should be more. Where are the squeaking sneakers? Where is the roar of the crowd when a player comes up with a big slam-dunk or a long three-pointer?
Overall, this is a commendable effort from Data East. The graphicx and animation are engaging, the sound effects are sparse but good and, most important, it's fun to play. So all you sportsgamers out there--grab a joy-stick, lace your sneakers up, and try The Dream Team 3 on 3 Challenge.