Whether you're a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters or just looking for a basketball game to play on your Game Boy Advance, you're bound to be disappointed by Harlem Globetrotters: World Tour. This pathetic NBA Jam rip-off contains none of the Globetrotters' trademark shtick, and, worse than that, it serves up a flimsy rendition of basketball that's as broken as it is dull.
You can pick from 26 actual Globetrotters, but you won't see any of their signature dunks or antics in this game.
Long before the And 1 Streetballers, there were the Harlem Globetrotters. Since 1927, different incarnations of the Globetrotters have been thrilling audiences worldwide with their tongue-in-cheek brand of acrobatic basketball. If you've ever watched a streetballer dribble through an opponent's legs, bounce the ball off an opponent's chest, juggle multiple basketballs, or perform a somersaulting dunk, then you have some idea of what you'd see at a Globetrotters exhibition, because they were the first ones to do all those tricks. It's ironic, then, not to mention sad, that Harlem Globetrotters: World Tour neglects to incorporate any of the team's signature antics, aside from some high-flying dunks that look suspiciously like they were copied from Midway's NBA Jam games.
In fact, the whole game feels like a gimped knockoff of NBA Jam. Play is two-on-two, quarters last two minutes, and players take different canned shots depending on where they're standing when you push the shot button. Press it from the top of the key, for example, and you'll do a Michael Jordan-style hang-time dunk. That's nice and all, but there are only a handful of unique shots in the game, and the animations range from choppy to nonexistent. Half the time, the ball will disappear from your player's hand and appear in the basket. Passing animations are similarly jumpy, to the extent that you or the CPU can dish the ball down the court without actually seeing the receiving player grab the ball. The ref won't call you for fouls, so it's OK to mash the steal button with abandon. Unfortunately, doing so doesn't conjure up any antics worthy of the Globetrotters name. Just tap the button a couple of times and you'll end up with the ball. As if that weren't boring enough, the CPU rarely bothers to pass or steal, which means you'll be up by at least 10 points by the end of the first quarter.