For the eight game in my conquering, I had a strange urge to play Takin’ It To The Hoop.
This basketball title is one of just two that made it onto the system (along with TV Sports Basketball). It provides a solid basketball experience with intuitive controls and everything you expect from your basic hoops experience. Past that, though, is not much of anything else.
The first thing you’ll notice in playing is that there are very few options. Aside from being able to play a game, a league year, or a tournament, there’s not a single setting offered. Games take about 30 minutes to play and it can feel torturous at times, especially when you have a huge lead and there’s nothing left to prove. In attempting to “conquer” the game, my goal was to win a 3-round tournament. (Of course, that’s the only kind of tournament because…no options!) It took me two hours to get through and very little of that time was competitive.
Graphically, the game is colorful and fine. It won’t blow you away, but it does offer some nice dunking animations that also double as a mini-game of sorts. (You can block a dunk if you match the dunker’s height and block at the right time.)
What one does miss from the game is an NBA license. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with not having real players, but I swear to you there’s only about 5-6 different sprites to be found in this game. Half your team is full of red heads, too. Which is odd since I can only name a couple red heads in all of NBA history off the top of my head.
In the end, Takin’ It To The Hoop is an average basketball game that can be dry and boring to play over long periods of time. Shooting from long range is extremely likely to fail and so dunking is your goal as much as possible. (I wonder if they did this intentionally to show off their fancy dunk cinematics?)
After three sports games out of eight, I’m going to spent a long stretch of time away from them. Next up will be an old favorite of mine, China Warrior!