Title		One-on-One
Game Type       Sport
Company		Electronic Arts/Digital Creations
Year            1985/86
Original Price  $US49.95
Players		1 or 2
Compatibility	OCS/not Kickstart 2.0+ or 68020+
Test Machine    A500/1Mb/Kickstart 1.3
Submission	Carlo Pirri (

This game is *really* OLD!!! My apologies go to those who have children
older than this game because frankly you would be ancient ;-) Enough of my
banter and down to the review. One-on-One centres around two of
basketball's most decorated stars of the 1980s.....Julius Erving (aka Dr
J) and Larry Bird. For those who don't know who these two living legends
are, then it's like this.....Dr J was the NBA's Magic Johnson of the 70s
and 80s (go stand in the corner if you don't know who Magic Johnson is!)
and Larry Bird was the white man's answer to Michael Jordan. The game pits
these two legends in a half-court battle of one-on-one basketball.

Originally this game was released in 1985 on the C64 and other 8 bit
platforms no doubt. It perhaps was the beginnings of the EA sports sim
dynasty witnessed on the consoles and PC today. On the C64 I thought it
was the best basketball game I had ever played. To this day I still play
the C64 version occasionally because it just kills modern basketball sims
for playability and simplicity. So how does the Amiga version compare?
Read on and find out.

Upon loading you are presented with a demo of Erving and Bird going
head-to-head with a very cheesy soundtrack that might have been heard
playing at an 80s NBA match. Hitting return thankfully brings you to an
option screen with a mouse pointer and no music. You can choose to be
either Erving or Bird and play against the computer or alternatively you
can talk trash and play against a friend. There are a range of other
options to tweak the game to your liking. There are 4 skill levels ranging
from the very easy 'Park & Recreation' level to the extremely challenging
'Pro' basketball level. The end of the game can be determined by scoring a
set number of points or by playing 4 quarters of 1, 2, 4 or 8 minutes
each. Finally the winners versus losers out option determines whether or
not you get the ball back after scoring against your opponent.

So what about the game itself? The graphics are likely to send you into
fits of laughter! You have a wooden half-court, two very blocky looking
sprites for players, a backboard, a scoreboard and a 24 second shot clock.
When you start playing though the players move around with impressive
court speed (albeit with minimal animation by modern standards) and this
single ingredient is what makes this basketball game stand out. Just like
the real thing you can twist and turn your opponent inside-out to put the
ball in the hole.

In one player mode controlling your player might take some getting used to
since you can only use a mouse. Strangely in two player mode the second
player is joystick controlled. It would have been nice to have been given
the option of using a joystick or a mouse. Stealing the ball from your
opponent is so much harder when you are as uncoordinated at playing games
with a mouse as I am. Slam dunks are also possible. Slam the ball hard
enough and the backboard breaks showering the court with glass. This
really is a nice touch and is just reward for a great in-your-face move to
the basket. The real corker is that no sooner has the glass backboard
crumpled to the ground, a man comes out on court with his broom and sweeps
it all up. Absolutely brilliant!!!

The programmers have really tried to scatter lots of little novel or
humorous touches throughout the game without compromising the basic
elements of basketball (i.e. travelling & shot clock violations, fouls,
time outs, player fatigue, player strengths & weaknesses). Breaking the
backboard is one such example. Others include instant replays for classy
bits of play, speech signifying a successful 3-point shot, and the
appearance of a referee that looks like he has a rubber glove stuck on his
head to announce fouls committed for hacking or charging your opponent. A
couple of the negatives I have already mentioned like the pitiful graphics
and the mouse control. Another minor flaw is the return of the score to
zero after reaching 99. Obviously the programmers didn't know about Y2K
compliance at the time of writing! ;-)

Overall I think this game was astounding for 1985. By rights in 1999 we
shouldn't even be entertaining the notion that such an old game can
provide any sort of enjoyment. However this is a classic example of
rubbish graphics and sound but great gameplay shining through. Closer to
home though it might also indicate the very sad state of affairs when it
comes to basketball games on the Amiga. I rate this and TV Sports
Basketball the only worthwhile basketball games on Amiga. I also curse
Gametek (?) for cancelling the Amiga conversion of NBA Jam a few years
back. Normally I would end off a review of a good game with some comment
like, "GET IT! BEG, BORROW, STEAL A COPY!!!", but in this case I doubt
that many people would know where to start looking given the age of this
classic. C'est la vie!

My Ratings December 1999

Presentation             60%
A good range of playing options. Speedy disk loading. Lack of joystick
option for one player mode was a bad omission though.

Graphics                 25%
Laughably blocky graphics and skate-like animation. Player court coverage
is speedy and some novel graphical touches like the breaking backboard.

Sound                    52%
Grating soundtrack plays throughout the game demo. Thankfully simple but
effective sound effects are used in the game without the music.

Hookability              50%
Initially difficult to get into because of the unwieldy mouse control.
Many merciless whippings will be had playing the CPU at higher skill
levels as a result. Practice makes perfect however if you're willing to

Lastability              91%
Persistence reaps its own reward in this case. A game that will have you
coming back for years after if you're a retrohead who prefers gameplay to
flashy graphics.

Overall                  82%
Vying with TV Sports Basketball as the best basketball game on the Amiga.

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