For everyone that like's Mike.


Horrible Basketball Video Games

Slam City with Scottie Pippen (1995)

Slam City is a full motion video basketball game -the only one of its kind to my knowledge, that uses actual people for street basketball. The entire game is played from third person -over your shoulder, and since its street basketball it's only half court with no rules, and I actually mean no rules other than traveling, just as it should be in a video game.

Right from the opening intro -which Scottie Pippen himself sings, it is clear that this game is something special.

From the thug-in and buggin street dancing to Mad Dog nearly getting curb stomped on a basketball court, I haven't even played the game yet and I feel as if Slam City was money well spent. Packed onto a massive 4 discs, my only big criticism of Slam City is the constant disc changing. Each of the 4 basketball opponents has their own disc, except the first disc which has 2 for the final 5th battle against Scottie Pippen, so be prepared to switch back and forth between discs quite frequently while playing the game, thank god games now days allow you to install onto hard drives.

As far as I know you are playing as "Ace", although I always imagine myself as the main character, after all, the best games allow you to immerse yourself into the role, and the 4 selectable opponents from the start are Fingers, Juice, Smash, and my personal favorite, Mad Dog. Mad Dog is the buffed out steroid user who has meltdowns on the basketball court if he starts losing, probably the steroids kicking in.

The gameplay of Slam City is nothing special, in fact it's rather confusing. The game also has a respect meter that you're trying to build up, since basketball is all about earning mad cred. Making a shot, getting a rebound, and successfully defending your opponent all add hundreds of thousands of street cred points, but missing a shot, getting blocked, or giving up a shot makes you an Urkel and takes away your cred.

Slam City is by no means an easy game. In fact, it's one of the hardest Sega CD games I own, and trust me, the Sega CD is full of brutally difficult games. Maybe I lack the cred necessary to be able to hang with Fingers on the court, but I can barely manage to make the games competitive, much less actually win one. Scores are often 7-3 or 7-4 in favor of the opponents, so I've never actually gotten to play against Scotty himself, and lord knows he's got to be invincible, it's his game after all.

But what keeps me coming back over and over again to Slam City is the absolutely hysterical dialogue. Now I've ranted about funny lines in games like NBA Jam, "is it the shoes?" but Slam City blows them all away. Pretty much every time you start a game, make a basket, give up a basket, get rejected, lose a game, or win a game there's a cut scene that follows. For example every time you miss a shot there's a cut scene where your opponent smacks the ball right out of your hands and either looks at you disappointed or trash talks you with lines like "what did you think was going to happen?" Or in Mad Dog's case he flexes his muscles and smiles at you, probably foreshadowing what's going to happen in the shower after the game.

Now the best lines come from when you lose, as something hysterical always happens. I searched high and low for YouTube videos of Slam City to no luck, other than the intro which I already posted, so you're going to have to take my word for it. I'm not going to sit here explaining every Oscar-caliber losing cut scene to you but I will describe my favorite.

So you just lost to Fingers in an embarrassing defeat. Looking for sympathy, Mad Dog let's you know that you suck and have no game. So being the loser you are, you just want to get out of the spotlight and return to your girlfriend who probably thinks you're a loser as well. But not only do you get cut off and shoved away by Juice as she walks by, but Fingers than pulls the ultimate playa move and rips a giant weed out of the ground and hands it to your girlfriend as she looks on with "f*ck me" eyes. That's right, not only did you lose in basketball to Fingers, but he takes your girlfriend as well. But it's ok, she's obviously a whore if she's won over by a guy named Finger ripping a weed out of the ground and handing it to her.

Other quick but notable insults from Slam City: "He polished you like China", "You fell like an angel out of the sky", "Boy I'm going to drink you like milk", "I'll stuff it so far down your throat you'll look pregnant with twins", and "there's a pen and paper in my jock strap, start taking notes".

While I will admit Slam City doesn't offer much in terms of gameplay, the dialogue and cut scenes in Slam City are more than enough to warrant the $15 bucks I spent on E-bay for it. It's a shame there aren't more games like this.

Thank Mark Salmela at for the breakdown.

No comments: