Written: 6.9.10 Acquired: 1.20.06 Status: Cart only Price: $2
When Konami's Run 'N Gun hit arcade halls across the nation in 1993, I realized that I had found my calling in life. It was a nice break from all the 2D fighters. It was loud. It was big. It was colorful. It was vibrant. It epitomized the arcade scene back in those days. I knew a Super Nintendo translation was inevitable... I just didn't think it would come out so late. The beloved SNES was fading in late '95, but I suppose better late than never, eh? Let's see how NBA Give 'N Go measures up then, shall we? RUN 'N GUN on my beloved SNES? I could cry, really
MEMORIAL DAY MIRACLE![note: written 5.29.10]
15 years ago today... TO THE FREAKIN' DAY!!!... as I write this, the infamous Memorial Day Miracle took place. What is that, you say? Oh young lad! This was before LeBron James was even born! [That's not true kids, don't listen to him -Ed.] *sigh* Let me break it down for those who weren't around back then...
Monday, May 29, 1995 is a day I'll never forget
It was Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals pitting the young uprising Orlando Magic vs. the Indiana Pacers. I was at the local mall and walking past Radio Shack when I saw they had the game playing on ten TV screens. There were 3 people standing there, watching in angst and talking in-between plays. I joined, making it a crowd of 4. The game was in the final 3 minutes, and as the drama unfolded, the crowd grew from 4 to 8 to 12. Even the employees stopped what they were doing to join the huddle
These are the moments you live for as a sports fan, and to boot it was one of the greatest finishes EVER in NBA playoff history
With under 15 seconds to go, this improbable sequence took place:
Brian Shaw's 3 pointer gave the Magic the 1 point lead
Reggie Miller answered with one of his own, putting the Pacers back up by 2 causing the Indiana crowd to erupt in a frenzy
Mere seconds later the player many then believed would carry Jordan's torch and the NBA into the new millennium, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway nailed a heart breaking 3, giving the Magic a 1 point lead with 1.3 seconds to go and left the sold out capacity crowd in stunned silence
As the game went to its final commercial break there was a deafening buzz within those small confines of Radio Shack. I was right in the middle of it and the raw adrenaline was indescribable. I felt like I was at the game myself!
I still can hear that infamous, classic NBA theme, being played on no less than TEN television monitors, mind, reverberating throughout the store and the entire mall
Suddenly, we were no longer just a bunch of strangers, no, this playoff basketball game had brought us together. We were basketball fans, enjoying and living up the moment
I never really *especially* cared for basketball, but in mid 1995 I was beginning to get into it. That fateful Monday.... pushed me over the edge
I saw the game in a new light -- the likes of which I hadn't viewed it with before. There was strategy, there were tactics. Beyond that, I started appreciating the concept of teamwork and five working as one
That day, I developed a much deeper appreciation for basketball in general
It was clearly evident who were the Pacer fans, and who were the Magic fans amongst those huddling in that small Radio Shack store. But it was also abundantly obvious who were just plain NBA fans... and new ones, like me. I was only 11 years old at the time, and everyone else around me in the store had to have been 20 or older. Those 20 minutes or so catching the 4th quarter and cheering and booing madly at the TV screen with a bunch of folks I never met before... PRICELESS
I think back 15 years ago today... part of me can't believe it, you know. It was the best NBA Playoff game I ever saw, and to this day, I have not seen a game better or more dramatic than the one that occurred on May 29, 1995 -- 15 years ago today -- the Memorial Day Miracle
Hats off to Rik Smits and the Pacers!
After years of waiting patiently, fans of the arcade hit RUN 'N GUN were finally able to play a home port courtesy of the ole SNES. Was it a case of too little, too late?
Lots of options and combinations... four player feature is nice indeed
All NBA teams and players are here, including that year's All-Star selections. The Shooting Stars and Supreme Team are five player teams that consist of the best five players from each conference. Think of it as a Dream Team. You can also edit it to form your own fantasy team. More on this later
Gotta go with the Pacers here... will history repeat itself?
Give 'N Go has an interesting quirk where players are rated per stars. Three max. This changes from game to game randomly. It basically indicates how the player is feeling that game. The more stars, the higher chance he'll have at making baskets. It's a unique feature that factors in the "human" element of players' feelings on a game by game basis. You can still have a good game with a guy who has zero stars, but it's tougher. Hey, maybe his wife cheated on him that day, who knows! Like a box of chocolate, ya never know what you might get! Who's HOT and who's NOT tonight?
I can't think of any other basketball game that gauges how a player is feeling. It was kind of fun firing the game up and hoping to see many stars across the board. As it was randomly generated game by game, it added an extra spicy element to the proceedings
Sometimes, it would spur me to sit a star player for a bench player -- say if the star had zero stars and the capable bench player was feeling particularly game with three stars. Good stuff
I once scored 102 points with JUST Nick Anderson on my bro -- true story
You get this extra lovely map before tip-off
Anyone surprised it would zoom in like such? Anyone? Bueller?
Then you get this cool space-y-ish scene thingy, oooh
In it? Like it's based off an arcade or something... [Shut it -Ed.]
You gotta love how big the players are. There's a nice 'thickness' to them [That's what she said -Ed.] and they really do look like the actual stars themselves. Can you tell that's Reggie Miller there? Quite easily, I'd wager. Look at the defensive stance of that bloke over there -- very realistic eh? One hand guards the ball, the other guards the passing lane
Miller is cocked and ready to shoot [That's what she said -Ed.]
"JUMP, YA BUM!"
Miller soars up with the greatest of ease as Nick Anderson is caught with sand in his shoes
Great visuals, eh? Now this is basketball! Player mechanics are accurately mimicked
If it's Reggie, it's good
The ball bounces off the rim and...
... goes right through the net! Gotta love those lucky bounces :)
They all run back to their invisible benches and coaches
Stats shown after each quarter concludes. Miller was simply red-hot there -- three 3's!
"And after one it's a real tight ball game we have here today, Bob"
"Indeed. If this is a sign of things to come, fans I hope you are all strapped in -- it's gonna be one heck of a ride!"
"What a great first quarter of action, Bob"
"Can't ask for much more on this beautiful Memorial Day, 1995"
"It just may come down to a buzzer-beating last shot for one of these teams..."
Will the 'Dunking Dutchman' live up to his name?
NOT THIS TIME!
Smits pulls down the power rebound
Make no mistake about it... slam dunking looks great, and feels great. Sock it to 'em!
Never know what these players are thinking or saying during the course of a game!
One of my favorite dunk animations -- the player not only hangs onto the rim, but swings too! In real life with no one nearby, that's a technical. Here it's just a sweet SWEET taunt!
Ol' four eyes Horace Grant is itchin' to put a facial on Smits [Get a room! -Ed.]
But AH-HA! It's the REVENGE OF RIK SMITS THE DUNKING DUTCHMAN MWAHAHAHA!
Don't worry you Horace Grant fans (yes, all four of ya)... Horace gets his in the end!
What thrilling action in the first half -- to the second half we go!
Pacers really pulled ahead there in the second
An extremely powerful dunk, just without the hang and swing. Still packs quite a punch
Speed depends on the player's actual FT % from that NBA season
Damn, times are getting tougher than I thought!
Life is like a hurricane HERE IN... Duckburg Race cars, lasers, airplanes It's a... DUCK BLUR Might solve a mystery... Or rewrite history!
Indeed, but not so much here. Not quite the Memorial Day Miracle, eh?
Player stats tallied up at the end... sorry no SHAQ
A solid all-around team performance, with Miller leading the charge
Finally, overall team stats are shown
RANDOM NEAT STUFF
The pump-fake-defender-bites-as-you-glide-in-for-the-slam is one of the best plays in the game, bar none. Or the pump fake followed by the smooth nothing-but-net jump shot :)
Followed by the player's taunting fist pump -- NICE
As blocking is far too easy to do in Give 'N Go, you have the option of altering your dunk into a mid-air circus shot. It's accurate most of the times, and prevents your opponent from swatting your shot. It's a much needed option as it sort of repels the abundant blocking in the game. Groovy
All that PLUS it just looks and feels right on. Good stuff
Game occasionally will fire up the replay feature -- for alley oops f'rinstance. Adds to the arcade feel, no doubt. Can be skipped with a simple button press. Win-win for all
As I said earlier, players look like the real players. Here you see Dennis Rodman in all his crazy madness. Unfortunately though, the game does not account for the size differences. John Stockton is just as tall as Patrick Ewing. Shame about that, but oh well, what can ya do? [Play NBA Jam -Ed.]
Rodman's liable to shoot the ball from right there, the nut!
"YOU'RE IN OUR HOUSE!"
One of the really neat things about Give 'N Go is seeing all the different NBA arenas. Though they're not as unique as, say, baseball ball parks, some of them definitely have their own sense of history and atmosphere
Boston Garden is always a fun place to play at
But my absolute favorite is easily the All-Star court. With its brightly colored court, it just makes it fun to shoot at all odd corners of the floor. I don't know what it is about that, but on this court, I just love pulling up for 17, 18 foot jump shots. Something about shooting on that solid purple floor is mighty addicting...
Any court can be selected for any game... I like choosing this one
WHO ARE THOSE DREAM TEAMS?
Let's check 'em out
You get the five best players (it's very subjective you see) and only five. No bench
Woot! I love assembling my own team of favorites!
Don't know why but the Japanese version of this game is battery-backed, while the US version we received a super crappy password feature to save the regular season games. Talk about absurd -- look how long the password is!
[Sadly, they are not -Ed.]
HUH! Yep, sometimes players will shrink for a very brief period of time. It hasn't affected gameplay so far that I've been able to witness, more of a sight gag if anything. I guess it's just the SNES straining from the odd time to time. Give 'N Go is no Killer Instinct or DOOM in terms of pushing the system to the limits, but it also wasn't Super Tennis
Talk about a HIT TO THE MANHOOD!
Some others include:
- It's easy hitting 3 point shots in the 1st quarter. After that, oddly enough, it becomes hard even if you're a 3 point specialist like Reggie Miller. Not saying it's impossible to nail 3 point shots past the 1st quarter -- it just becomes much harder
- Rim physics aren't realistic (then again, it IS an arcade game)
- Whoever is running down court has a disadvantage. The rim on the bottom half of the court isn't visible at all times
- Stat tracking leaves something to be desired. No assists -- what?
- Guards are as tall as centers. Those who can't dunk in real life can dunk in the game
- Alley oop system can be abused
- Gameplay is not as quick as NBA Jam or NBA Live. It may feel too slow for some folks. Personally, I think it still plays fine in spite of the less-than-stellar speed
+ On the PLUS side though, I gotta give PROPS to the announcer. He's pretty wacky. "REBOUND AND JAAAM!" (adds to the early-mid '90s arcade feel of the game)
+ Speaking of the sound, unlike many basketball games, Give 'N Go actually incorporates music during the game. I found the upbeat melodies to be pleasant
+ Visually, the game's quite ace. Players are huge and easy to make out. Amazing little details like Dennis Rodman's wild hair and Horace Grant's goggles give the game a sense of "life" and personality. Plus the NBA courts are nicely detailed
+ Another praise for the 0 to 3 star rank system. On any given night, any player can be a capable threat. Some nights your star players will feel like superstars. But on other nights however, perhaps your 10th man on the bench is feeling particularly spry. It's all randomly generated and you never know who's feeling hot (or not) on any given night. Cool feature if you ask me! It's nice too that 0 star players can STILL have a big game for you... 3 stars only mean he's THAT much more capable
+ Rarely slows down. Impressive considering the size of ten big players running around
+ Can edit your own Dream Team of stars and scrubs however you like
+ Menu's and game presentation is absolutely top-notch and crisp
+ It's RUN 'N GUN on your SNES! 4-player games rock :)
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
NBA Give 'N Go fared quite well with both Super Play and GameFan Magazine. Take a look:
Super Play: 85%
I still remember fondly the day I rented this game in late '95 for me and my brother. Back in the day he always had me rented the games he wanted, but for a change, we both couldn't wait to play this. We loved it. It was a long wait, but Give 'N Go did not disappoint. It brought home the large colorful graphics, the squeaky sneakers, massive slam dunks, monster block shots and thrilling games that came right down to the final second. It's not without flaw though: the game plays slower than other SNES basketball titles. It's hard to make 3 point shots after the 1st quarter, the alley oop feature can be abused (though easily fixed by agreeing to have a 1 per quarter limit or so), player sizes are all the same so Stockton can dunk (yeah right!) just as well as Shawn Kemp, and so on. But you know what, this was never the perfect basketball game to begin with. What it was -- and as I found out recently -- what it *IS*... is a damn fun basketball game with an impeccable arcade-like feel. In many ways I liken it to Super Baseball 2020, taken for what it was intended to be, it does its job well. I have as much fun with NBA Give 'N Go today as I did nearly 15 years ago. Anytime I can say that, that game's all right by me. It's not the first basketball title I'll pull off my shelf to play, but it's a nice alternative to the NBA Lives and Jams of the world
So many fond memories of Memorial Day 1995 as well as with NBA Give 'N Go. Hell, I just love basketball, period. Give 'N Go does an admirable job of bringing the zany arcade experience home
Hard for me to believe it's been over 15 years now since that epic Memorial Day playoff game between the Pacers and Magic. It was the game that cemented me as a basketball fan for life. What a mad finish! And what a shot by Rik F'N Smits! From the classic NBA on NBC tune to the countless strangers huddling around that Radio Shack monitor cheering and booing, it was one heck of a way to kick off the final summer of my pre-teen youth. Some images, some sounds, and some smells stay with you for a lifetime. May 29, 1995 was such a day for me :)
NBA Give 'N Go is a fond reminder of the good old days. When times and things were a bit simpler. When you could walk into an arcade hall not five blocks from your house, smell the hot cheese and hear the innocent laughter of children. Not only that, I find Give 'N Go still holds up to this day. Better late than never? Yes. Or p'haps I should say "YES SIR!" [Pack yer things -Ed.]