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"[GAME] NBA Jam"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'NBA Jam'.
Wed 22/12/10 at 14:38
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
NBA Jam Review

For reviewing purposes, the Playstation 3 version of the game was used

BOOMSHAKALAKA!! Is there any other phrase that defines the arcade scene of the early nineties as that one? Yes, there probably is, but it is one of the most recognizable. NBA Jam was a 2 vs. 2 basketball game released by Midway in 1993 which popularized the action-styled sports games. Originally planned as a tack-on special for NBA Elite 11, EA Canada eventually released the HD reimagining of NBA Jam as a stand-alone title. But is it a spectacular dunk, or all jam and no doughnut?

Peanut Butter and Jam Time

In NBA Jam, you take control of one of the team of two, in cooperation with either an AI or human-controlled partner, in an attempt to outplay and outscore your opponents. The gameplay for NBA Jam is a fairly simple affair, keeping in tact with its arcade roots. Fouls and other offenses are ignored, except goaltending and the shot clock (which can both be disabled in exhibition mode settings), which means you can shove and elbow to your hearts content.

NBA Jam has always been about showmanship and ridiculous dunks, and this remake is no exception. Crossovers can be easily performed to disorientate and humiliate your opponent, whilst a huge variety of dunk animations are both present and necessary to punctuate the dominance. If youíre in the mood to be a bit more co-operative, the game gives you the option to jump up high without the ball, in anticipation of the alley-oop attempt, to finish for two points with authority. But itís not all about slamming it down; finger rolls, fade aways and generic throws from inside and from downtown are all present and may be more effective depending on the player.

Heís On Fuego!

Following a run of three unanswered baskets, a player will go on fire, and this is where the fun begins. As much as dribbling a flaming ball looks really cool, this also gives unlimited stamina, a more accurate shot, and most importantly, access to the most redunkulous dunks! Because jumping to the top of the arena before jamming the ball through the iron is not only awesome, itís necessary!

Covered Like the Rug on Your Floor

In terms of actual game content, NBA Jam offers a few game modes to complement the classic arcade campaign. Of the new modes, Smash is a favorite; a 2 vs. 2 race to destroy the other teamís backboard using heavy dunks and alley-oops, which is incredibly fun and satisfying to play. Domination is also a very good additional mode, where two teams vie for positions in the half-court to earn points by netting from them. However, the other three, especially Remix 2 vs. 2, suffer from a lack of imagination or just from being modes that just arenít particularly interesting or fun, but mastering them all is important if you expect to complete the Remix Tour.

Is It The Shoes?!

The roster contains a large selection of current NBA stars from the 30 teams across 6 NBA divisions, garnished with a sprinkle of legends and someÖinterestingÖunlockable teams and players. Players are unlocked by completing different challenges specified in the ĎJam Challengesí section. Each player has their own individual stats covering everything from dribbling to their ability from 3 point range which determines how well theyíll do certain things, as stats tend to, which means that, to a certain extent, stars are realistic in their ability relative to others.

Boom But Not a Lot of Shaka

Graphically, the game is both poor and good, and Iíll explain why. It sticks to the graphical formula that was successful at birth, a three-dimensional body with a two-dimensional head attached. Whilst this isnít exactly the most graphically intense way of doing things, many will argue that it has been possible for at least a generation of consoles, it definitely suits the gameís feel. The likenesses that appear in the heads, especially with the various facial animations that appear in a match, are both charming and amusing.

No Hoop For You!

Tim Kitzrow, voice of the original game, returns to his role as commentator for the new installment with classic lines and some new ones to boot. Thereís plenty of boomshakalaka to go round, with a great balance of enthusiasm and humor which ensures that the game doesnít feel like it drags on for too long. However, as with all sports games, the amount of commentary that is available is limited, and with such a fast pace, it can start to get awfully repetitive.

Dunkus Interruptus

One of my major complaints is the in-match difficulty ramp. Although, to be honest, difficulty ramp is a bit inaccurate, a difficulty wall may be a more appropriate description. With no bias toward difficulty settings, the second half of a game will always come out with much more aggressive and ruthless AI, sometimes to the point where if you donít take a huge lead into the second half, the match is pretty much lost. I understand the logic behind doing an incremental quarter by quarter increase in an arcade version but it seems a bit silly to do it on a console version where the difficulty is selectable.

Another complaint of mine is the team-mate AI. It simply isnít good enough to make the game a truly enjoyable single player experience, as they tend to miss passing opportunities for alley-oops, and fail to attempt to make openings for you. This ineptness continues, and it may be argued that it is worse, in the defensive role, where at times it feels very much to be a two-on-one affair. This problem is magnified is annoyingness when the AI opponents donít seem to have the same issue.

It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right

Although NBA Jam does come with an online multiplayer aspect, the online experience tends to be very weak. This is not down to the fault of the developers, but more due to a lack of players because of the high price. This leaves the online to be generally occupied by only the hardcore players, so expect a lot of learning to compete, or just enjoy the schooling.

With the Buzzer Beater!

If this game was available on the PSN store or XBL for around £10-15, it would be highly recommended, and probably one of the most complete downloadable titles available. However, it isnít, and despite the reduced price tag of the game, the one dimensional gameplay means the package is a disappointing one that wonít hold the non-hardcore fanís attention for more than a few hours at a time. But letís be honest, where else can you play as Barack Obama and slam down the facial against Sarah Palin?

Score: 7.0/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Wed 22/12/10 at 14:38
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
NBA Jam Review

For reviewing purposes, the Playstation 3 version of the game was used

BOOMSHAKALAKA!! Is there any other phrase that defines the arcade scene of the early nineties as that one? Yes, there probably is, but it is one of the most recognizable. NBA Jam was a 2 vs. 2 basketball game released by Midway in 1993 which popularized the action-styled sports games. Originally planned as a tack-on special for NBA Elite 11, EA Canada eventually released the HD reimagining of NBA Jam as a stand-alone title. But is it a spectacular dunk, or all jam and no doughnut?

Peanut Butter and Jam Time

In NBA Jam, you take control of one of the team of two, in cooperation with either an AI or human-controlled partner, in an attempt to outplay and outscore your opponents. The gameplay for NBA Jam is a fairly simple affair, keeping in tact with its arcade roots. Fouls and other offenses are ignored, except goaltending and the shot clock (which can both be disabled in exhibition mode settings), which means you can shove and elbow to your hearts content.

NBA Jam has always been about showmanship and ridiculous dunks, and this remake is no exception. Crossovers can be easily performed to disorientate and humiliate your opponent, whilst a huge variety of dunk animations are both present and necessary to punctuate the dominance. If youíre in the mood to be a bit more co-operative, the game gives you the option to jump up high without the ball, in anticipation of the alley-oop attempt, to finish for two points with authority. But itís not all about slamming it down; finger rolls, fade aways and generic throws from inside and from downtown are all present and may be more effective depending on the player.

Heís On Fuego!

Following a run of three unanswered baskets, a player will go on fire, and this is where the fun begins. As much as dribbling a flaming ball looks really cool, this also gives unlimited stamina, a more accurate shot, and most importantly, access to the most redunkulous dunks! Because jumping to the top of the arena before jamming the ball through the iron is not only awesome, itís necessary!

Covered Like the Rug on Your Floor

In terms of actual game content, NBA Jam offers a few game modes to complement the classic arcade campaign. Of the new modes, Smash is a favorite; a 2 vs. 2 race to destroy the other teamís backboard using heavy dunks and alley-oops, which is incredibly fun and satisfying to play. Domination is also a very good additional mode, where two teams vie for positions in the half-court to earn points by netting from them. However, the other three, especially Remix 2 vs. 2, suffer from a lack of imagination or just from being modes that just arenít particularly interesting or fun, but mastering them all is important if you expect to complete the Remix Tour.

Is It The Shoes?!

The roster contains a large selection of current NBA stars from the 30 teams across 6 NBA divisions, garnished with a sprinkle of legends and someÖinterestingÖunlockable teams and players. Players are unlocked by completing different challenges specified in the ĎJam Challengesí section. Each player has their own individual stats covering everything from dribbling to their ability from 3 point range which determines how well theyíll do certain things, as stats tend to, which means that, to a certain extent, stars are realistic in their ability relative to others.

Boom But Not a Lot of Shaka

Graphically, the game is both poor and good, and Iíll explain why. It sticks to the graphical formula that was successful at birth, a three-dimensional body with a two-dimensional head attached. Whilst this isnít exactly the most graphically intense way of doing things, many will argue that it has been possible for at least a generation of consoles, it definitely suits the gameís feel. The likenesses that appear in the heads, especially with the various facial animations that appear in a match, are both charming and amusing.

No Hoop For You!

Tim Kitzrow, voice of the original game, returns to his role as commentator for the new installment with classic lines and some new ones to boot. Thereís plenty of boomshakalaka to go round, with a great balance of enthusiasm and humor which ensures that the game doesnít feel like it drags on for too long. However, as with all sports games, the amount of commentary that is available is limited, and with such a fast pace, it can start to get awfully repetitive.

Dunkus Interruptus

One of my major complaints is the in-match difficulty ramp. Although, to be honest, difficulty ramp is a bit inaccurate, a difficulty wall may be a more appropriate description. With no bias toward difficulty settings, the second half of a game will always come out with much more aggressive and ruthless AI, sometimes to the point where if you donít take a huge lead into the second half, the match is pretty much lost. I understand the logic behind doing an incremental quarter by quarter increase in an arcade version but it seems a bit silly to do it on a console version where the difficulty is selectable.

Another complaint of mine is the team-mate AI. It simply isnít good enough to make the game a truly enjoyable single player experience, as they tend to miss passing opportunities for alley-oops, and fail to attempt to make openings for you. This ineptness continues, and it may be argued that it is worse, in the defensive role, where at times it feels very much to be a two-on-one affair. This problem is magnified is annoyingness when the AI opponents donít seem to have the same issue.

It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right

Although NBA Jam does come with an online multiplayer aspect, the online experience tends to be very weak. This is not down to the fault of the developers, but more due to a lack of players because of the high price. This leaves the online to be generally occupied by only the hardcore players, so expect a lot of learning to compete, or just enjoy the schooling.

With the Buzzer Beater!

If this game was available on the PSN store or XBL for around £10-15, it would be highly recommended, and probably one of the most complete downloadable titles available. However, it isnít, and despite the reduced price tag of the game, the one dimensional gameplay means the package is a disappointing one that wonít hold the non-hardcore fanís attention for more than a few hours at a time. But letís be honest, where else can you play as Barack Obama and slam down the facial against Sarah Palin?

Score: 7.0/10

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