Genre: Sports Developer: ACME Interactive Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1-2 Released: 1991
Sometimes, I get the feeling that some games are trying to be something they’re not, like they try to revolutionize a genre or do something that hasn’t been done before, and not quite succeed in the effort. I feel like David Robinson’s Supreme Court is one of those games. On one hand, it’s WAY better than Pat Riley Basketball . On the other hand, there’s not a lot about this title that’s really any good. I’ll admit it: I’ve never been that much of a basketball guy and really haven’t played that many Sega (read: Genesis – when I say “Sega,” I don’t mean anything but Genesis – and that goes for all of my reviews) basketball games besides the classics such as NBA Jam TE, NBA Live ’95, etc. But, when March Madness comes around every year, I get very giddy. I like to watch the majority of the games and try to make it to a few local high school playoff games every year.
And it starts with this title screen? What is that garbage? It’s like the world’s worst Photoshop job. At least have the Admiral’s jersey read “Sega” if you can’t say “Spurs” – which was probably the case. It just says “Genesis” in horribly pasted-over text. After pressing start, we are quickly rushed in to a computerized and sleek main menu. A bevy of options are available, including everything from the basics (number of players, quarter length, etc) to whether you want the screen to instantly flip over when you cross the half court line or to fade. Also available is the option to keep the score permanently on the bottom of the screen (like on TV in real life), or to have it fade in and out after a bucket.
After setting up the type of game you want (exhibition, tournament or play the “all-star” team (picked by Sir Robinson himself), you get to what basically amounts to a fantasy draft. Take control of one of four teams: Detroit (which you should pick every time), Chicago, New York or LA. Then, just do what I do and make it virtually random – pick Detroit and just keep pressing start until you get to play. If you want to, you can draft who you think will give you the best chance to win. I have learned from watching YouTube clips (and by reading the guy’s stats) that Air Allnight is the best player on the game if you can get him. He’s apparently money from beyond the arc.
Finally- we get to play a game! Sheesh. It’s like playing those LJN licensed sports games for the NES in the ’80s. Well, it’s not that bad. Try playing MLB for the NES. It takes forever to play and it SUCKS. Anyways, we get a nifty little pre-game show by the C-squad in-studio host, Gil Godfrey. Grandpa from Sports Talk Baseball must not have been available, nor was the guy from Sports Talk Football with the same voice but who is miraculously thirty years younger. Gil does a decent job, just sitting there as his voice scrolls across the top of the screen at a blistering pace. I mean, come on, I have to read this! I think it’s a tad too fast.
After about three to five minutes in, we’re finally on the court. I like the view in this game; it’s kind of that twenty-third row of the upper bowl view that you can get cheap (less than $25 U.S.) nowadays in most arenas. It’s also something worth giving credit for – as far as I know, no other sports game has this kind of isometric (fancy-word) view. However, I do think the view makes the court kind of narrow.
The sound effects leave a bit to be desired. They feel as if the cartridge was running out of space and they had to cram them in, rather than making good sound effects. The squeak of the sneakers is legit, but the rest of it is pretty bland and not realistic.
The one big quip I have with DRSC is the controls. This game does have the backwards control problem, where A is pass/steal, B is shoot/block shot and C is change player/pump fake. you have to love shooting full court shots when you meant to pass it up court! You’ll get that a lot in this one. Getting the hang of blocking shots is also something that is an acquired skill. As of this writing, this reviewer still can’t quite get the hang of it. I think it has something to do with timing the jump with the shooter. Stealing is also kind of tough, when you place your player in the passing lane and hit A, sometimes nothing happens.
I take issue with a few things when it comes to the gameplay, one being the angle of the shot and two being the arbitrariness of the stealing. It feels like the game will commit steals from you and let you steal it whenever it feels like it. I’m sure there’s a trick to it, but I can’t seem to get it down. It feels so arbitrary. Another thing is, is that DRSC just isn’t that fun. Unless you play with a short quarter length, it can go on and on and on. I frequently get bored by the end of the first period, and the game is kind of tough to boot. I don’t know. I’ve played worse titles, but this one isn’t anything to go out to your shop and spend more than two bucks on. If you don’t remember this one, there’s a good reason. But, hey, it’s not all bad. There’s a reason this game is forgotten about in discussion circles.