Jordan vs Bird: One on One

Download Jordan vs Bird: One on One and relive the legendary rivalry on the court! Choose your side, master your moves, and dominate the game in this classic basketball showdown. Ready to make history? Play now!
a game by Milton Bradley
Genre: Sports
Platforms: NESNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 4 reviews, 5 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Sport Games, Basketball Video Games
Jordan vs Bird: One on One
Jordan vs Bird: One on One
Jordan vs Bird: One on One
Jordan vs Bird: One on One

We back in the early 80's, a little computer called Electronic Arts released a game called “Dr. J and Larry Bird Go One-on-One.” The game featured two of the hottest players in the NBA, Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76ers and Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics.

A decade later, the now-retired Dr. J has been replaced by Michael Jordan, and Electronic Arts has grown into a computer and video game mega-company, due to the high quality of their products. Luckily for Genesis owners, Jordan vs. Bird retains the same quality action found in the original EA basketball game, plus some great new improvements.

Take It to the Hoop

Jordan vs. Bird is really three half-court basketball games rolled into one. The bulk of the game is head-to-head one-on- one, which is played to a set score or for a certain time period. You can play either NBA superstar -- the slick shooting Bird or the quick-footed Air Jordan. It all depends on your preferred style of play, a on who you like more.

The second game is a three-point shooting contest starring Larry Bird. You have 60 seconds to can five bins of basketballs – 5 balls per bin. The last ball in each bin is a Money Ball, worth double points.

ProTip: Speed is essential in the three- point competition. Grab for another ball before the last ball you launched hits the basket or you'll run out of time.

Finally, there's the Air Jordan Slam Dunk Competition. Here, you take control of his Aimess and maneuver through a selection of specialty dunks, such as the Hole-in-One and the Windmill. Then, your dunks are rated by a panel of judges.

It Must Be the Shoes!

Electronic Arts wouldn't have gained a great reputation for hot sports games, if they simply recycled games each time they ported it to a new system. Jordan vs. Bird for the Genesis is filled with new, exciting features that improve the game play without complicating it.

For starters, there's an instant replay feature, a standard in all new EA sports titles. You can set the replay feature on Auto or Manual. It all depends on whether you enjoy seeing yourself get burned by a great move over and over. If you're not a masochist, you'll want keep it set on Manual. The game also has a new Hook Shot feature, which is a one-handed, arcing shot that will befuddle a defender if executed correctly. The Hook gives you plenty of offensive shot selections-something the original game did not have.


If there's one knock on this game, it's that the computer player is a weenie. Even at the toughest setting, the computer can be tricked, outrebounded, and out-hustled (necessary to win this game). In all fairness to the programmers, however, this game was designed as a two-person contest, which is what one-on-one basketball is all about.

Download Jordan vs Bird: One on One


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

  • Manufacturer: Milton Bradley
  • Machine: Nintendo Entertainment System

It's amazing how resilient One on One has been through the years. The original One on One, designed and programmed for the Apple II computer, was released over seven years ago - eons to today's young video gamers - by an upstart company known as Electronic Arts. This computer basketball game featured NBA stars Julius Erving and Larry Bird as the principal on-screen ball players, going so far as including their real-life playing strengths and weaknesses. Two nice touches included were shattering backboards and an instant replay.

We're into a new decade now, and One on One is back. This time it's the Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan who's the main attraction and the system is the NES. Some things haven't changed, though. The new One on One is basically still a two-player basketball contest, and Larry Bird is back as well. Gone are the shattering backboards and instant replay. But in their place are some very worthy substitutes: Michael Jordan's slam-dunk contest and Larry Bird's three-point shootout. Welcome to One on One: Jordan vs. Bird.

Jordan vs. Bird contains three one-on one basketball contests. You can play against either a friend or the computer in a standard game (with two-, five-, eight- or twelve-minute quarters), a "15 or 11" competition, in which the winner is the one who scores fifteen or eleven points first, or a warm-up match where you and your opponent practice playing. Other selections allow you to change the difficulty level, the winner's-out rule and how fouls are called. On-court violations include traveling, going over the 24-second time limit and not clearing the ball. Charging while on the offensive or blocking while defending constitutes a foul.

The basketball players on the game screen are supposed to represent Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Player strength, weakness, style and technique - based on these two NBA players - are programmed in. Thus, the video Michael Jordan is supposed to perform like the real thing. Each player throws and recovers the ball in different ways, depending on whether or not he's standing in a "sweet spot" - those areas on the court where Jordan or Bird can make a basket easily and accurately.

The slam-dunk contest challenges you to perform Michael Jordan's famous aerial basket maneuvers such as the windmill, the twister, the back slam, and, of course, the famous "air Jordan". A warm-up screen lets you perfect these moves before going into the contest. And there's "follow the leader", where Michael Jordan demonstrates how to do the various slam dunks and invites you to do the same.

In Larry Bird's three-point shootout, you must make as many baskets as you can within a time limit and with a certain number of balls. The balls are taken from bins and thrown from five different places on the court. Like the slam-dunk contests, a practice screen is provided for you to hone your basket shooting skills.

Graphics definitely aren't a disappointment. No elflike basketball players here. These video depictions of Jordan and Bird are full-bodied characters complete with moving limbs. And the smooth animation is a plus, too. When you perform a successful "air Jordan" in the slam-dunk contests, the video player moves like the real Michael Jordan. Flickering, a common ailment in many Nintendo sports games, is nonexistent, which is especially nice when playing the one-on-one games. The only problem with the visuals - that's noticeable right off - is that the video Michael Jordan has more hair on his head than the real Jordan. Yes, I know. I'm nit-picking here.

Jordan vs. Bird is a superb update of the original One on One, making its predecessor look dated in almost every aspect. It is, however, a title that might have limited appeal. Unlike the many other basketball games for the Nintendo, this is a showcase of the celebrity status of its two endorsers - make no mistake about this. Though competitive play is central to the one-on-one games, Jordan vs. Bird turns basketball into more of a show than a sport. In fact, it's basketball spectators and fans that should be the most enthusiastic about Jordan vs. Bird.

Electronic Arts' Jordan vs. Bird for the Sega Genesis promises to be one of the hottest sports games of the year! With realistic graphics and fantastic game play, this cart boasts some of the coolest moves ever to hit the court. Choose from a variety of options like slam dunk contest, three point competition or go one on one against either the computer, or against a friend. If you chose the slam dunk contest, you can pick from a list of the greatest dunks that you have ever seen. In the three point contest, you must get as many baskets as you can within the time limit. If you are looking for a basketball game that is realistic as well as a great challenge, give Jordan vs. Bird a shot. The game should be available in March.

One-on-one basketball with the NBAs creme de la creme. As in the NES and PC games of the same name, you take the role of Air Jordan or the Birdman in a hot game of half-court. But if that's not enough, there's also a Three-Point Shooting Competition and a Slam Dunk contest. Just think, you could answer the burning question: Is it Michael or the shoes?

If you're a hoops maniac like me, your heart probably starts cranking at double time whenever you see "His Greatness," Mr. Michael Jordan perform one of his patented, gravity-defying moves. But if you've ever tried to score tickets to a Bulls game, chances are you were left out in the cold. Chicago Stadium only has so many seats...

The good news is you can now catch plenty of Air Jordan action courtesy of your Game Boy and Electronic Arts. Jordan vs. Bird: One-on-One is here, and it features the moves that made MJ great, not to mention some incredible action from the Birdman as well.

But while having Jordan and Bird on hand is great, you might be a little bummed at the head-to-head play versus the computer.

A Bird in the Hand...

There are three sections to Jordan vs. Bird - The 3-Point Contest, The Slam Dunk Contest, and One-on-One. In the 3-Point and Slam Dunk competitons you face off against CPU versions of Larry Bird and Michael Jordan respectively.

When you take on the Birdman in the 3-Point Contest you'll have 60 seconds to shoot 25 shots - five balls from five different bins stationed around the basket.

The Slam Dunk contest enables you to play three rounds versus Jordan - each player gets one dunk per round. There are 10 patented Jordan dunks to choose from such as the Windmill, the Statue of Liber-and, of course, the Air Jordan. You get seconds for each dunk and a bunch of computer judges score you 1 to 10.1 think I got stuck with the Russian judges -my scores were bogus!

Talkin' Trash

Once you've tried your hand at dunking and 3-point shooting, it's time for some real action - one on one! You control Bird or Jordan, depending on who you like more, or your preferred style of play. Jordan, of course, is the better dunker and quick on defense. Bird is a good shot blocker and an eagle-eye sharpshooter. He's a better 3-point shooter than Jordan.

In the One-on-One game, you play to 11,15, or a full four quarter game. As in real basketball refs call fouls such as charging, blocking, travelling, and failing to clear the ball.

If you're familiar with the NES version, you'll pick up on the gameplay immediately. But even if this is the first basketball title you've ever played, it'll only take a couple of games before you're an expert. The gameplay is simple, and there aren't too many moves to master. The most difficult thing to learn is how to keep your player from floating out of position everytime you jump to block a shot. Both Bird and Jordan tend to drift if you're on the move before you jump.

Post Game Highlights

The Jordan and Bird figures are large and easy to see - always nice in a Game Boy game - but the floating problem means they're often tough to control. This cart is a good sports diversion, but ideally you'll want to team up with a Game Boy-owning friend for some head-to-head competition. That's when this cart really cooks! Jordan vs. Bird is more like the 1991 Boston Celtics than the Chicago Bulls - a good, solid team, but not quite championship caliber.


  • Each dunk has a certain takeoff' spot on the floor. It's a good idea to play Follow the Leader before entering a competition to see how Michael does the dunk.
  • The last ball in each bin is the "money" ball - worth two points rather than one. Take your time when shooting it
  • Set both feet before you attempt to block a shot If you're moving as you jump, your player floats or drifts in the direction you're moving - often leaving you completely out of position.

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

See Also

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