Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NBA JAM Review

Many iterations have been released, but none have recaptured the original feel and personality of NBA Jam like this one. The 2010 release of NBA Jam harkens back to its roots. The outlandish dunks, cartoonish style, and most notably, the over-the-top play by play announcer, have all returned. 

Players choose a team of two stars to compete for the team they represent and work through the classic arcade mode, or remix mode as well as a few other modes that put a little twist to the rules or gameplay. Nothing can top the spinning, flipping and showboating magic NBA Jam brings to almost every dunk. As a classic gamer, you’ll have a hard time not smiling when you hear “He’s One Fire!” This occurs after a single player hit three shots in a row without anyone else scoring. The dunk animations are all the more fulfilling while your on fire.

There is only so much variation you can make on the game of basketball. NBA Jam does have a few half-court games that can be interesting.  A real bright spot for the 360 and PS3 versions has to be the multiplayers. Being able to play 2v2 multiplayer matches either on the couch or over the internet will keep you coming back. The online games were running without any hiccups and I was able to find an opponent consistently.
Like the original NBA Jam, players can only control one player on the court. They can still tell their teammate when to pass and shoot, but they cannot control their teammate's movement. This can be frustrating when the AI does not defend the way you would, but fans of the original will be used to this. People new to the game may find this to be frustrating. 

The game offers a slew of unlockables:
  • different basketballs
  • changes in the size of players’ heads
  •  NBA’s greats
  • some hilarious team ups (no spoilers)

My biggest gripe for me is that this game got a full retail release. If you didn't follow the news on this game, it was supposed to be a pack-in downloadable title that came with every copy of NBA Elite 11. Then, EA cancelled NBA Elite and rushed released NBA Jam. NBA Jam is a great game, but it is not a full price purchase. 

If you can find this game for under $30, and you're looking for an arcadey sports game, then pick this one up.

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