NBA JAM is a franchise that most, if not all people who play video games has heard of. We all remember the days of playing NBA JAM for hours with our friends on our SNES consoles. When it first came out it brought something new that was missing in the basketball genre; fun. NBA JAM has been non existent over the past decade until now. After the long wait NBA JAM is finally here, will it bring back old memories or will it put up a brick?
GamePlay: NBA JAM has always been known for its arcade style gameplay. That same gameplay that we all know and love is back again and aged to perfection. NBA JAM for the most part is played 2v2, and there are no fouls called in the game except; “Goal Tending” and “Shot Clock Violation”. Their are a couple of gameplay modes in NBA JAM, I will breakdown each mode below.
Classic Campaign: In Classic Campaign you get to choose your favorite team and play against every other team in the game to become the crowned champion. After every 5 games you are treated with a “Secret Team” match. In the “Secret Team” matches you get to play against certain NBA Legends. The Legends are a fun departure from the regular campaign, as playing the solo campaign can get monotonous really quick. After winning a “Secret Team” you unlock a certain something, but I wont spoil these for you.
Remix Tour: Remix Tour could be a game all by itself. There is so much stuff to do in this mode. The objective of the Remix Tour is complete certain bronze, silver, and gold challenges. The challenges vary for each level. Below I will break down each of the different challenges.
-Remix 2v2: This is basically normal gameplay but with a twist. During gameplay, power-ups will appear on the court for you or your opponent to use. Some of these power-ups give you a speed boost while another power-up might make you immune to pushes and shoves. There are a lot of power-ups in this mode so take advantage of them.
-Domination: In Domination the main goal is to control the court. There are various spots on the court that you can control. To take control of a spot you either need to make a shot or complete a dunk from the spot you are trying to control. Spots can be taken-over by shooting or dunking on an opponents taken spot. You gain points during the time your spot is in control, although the points diminish over time and the spot resets itself. The player at the end of the match with the most points wins the match.
-Elimination: Elimination is just what it sounds like, eliminating players. In this challenge it’s everyone vs everyone. The player with the least amount of points when the round is over is eliminated, then another round begins. This continues until only one player is left, this player can now brag all he wants because he is the winner.
-21: If you have played any basketball in your life you should be familiar with 21. 21 is a half-court played game that has players trying to score 21 points first. To win all you have to do is reach 21 points and be leading by at least 2 points.
-Smash: This is an interesting mode. The object of Smash is to tear apart the court, literally. Teams play against each other trying to destroy the opponents court with powerful dunks and shots. Every time a player dunks or makes a shot, a little bit of the courts health is lost. Once the court has no more health a dunk has to be made to fully destroy the court and win the match.
-Boss Battles: The Boss Battles are played one on one. It’s you versus an NBA Legend in a half court match. Each Boss Battle is different because each Boss has his own rules and winning conditions.
Graphics: The graphics in NBA JAM look very good considering it’s a Wii game. The graphics aren’t made to impress, but they do impress. The art style is very simple in NBA JAM, just like it always has been. The character models are the best, they are basically composed of a still head shot of a certain player then it’s attached to a 3D character model of that same player. The graphics in the game keep the same recipe of the original NBA JAM, which is a god thing.
Sound: The sound in NBA JAM is what made the franchise so memorable. All, and I mean All of the original quotes from the original are back! The music in the game is also done very well, it goes perfect with the pace of the game and all of the wacky quotes from the announcer. Old and new fans will have a good experience in this department.
Controls: With all the good things said about this game so far there has to be something negative to say, or is their? I was very skeptical when I first played the game with the standard control scheme (Wii-Mote, NunChuck). I wasn’t open minded when it came to playing this game with motion controls, I just wanted to play it the way I remember playing it back in the day. I’m glad that I stuck with the standard control scheme because it is so much fun. The motion controls bring new life to the already perfected gameplay. I’ll give an example of how you would perform a dunk; you flick the Wii-Mote up and then slam in down. Its that easy, and also very fun to do, although you might look pretty funny doing it. The controls in the game are very well done and are almost near perfect. The only flaw I found is that the motion controls aren’t 100% accurate, but they are still pretty accurate.
Wishes: The only thing that I wish this game had is online play. Online play is a huge thing right now and it should be standard to have it in your game.
Final Thoughts: This game is a breath of fresh air from the old franchise. There is also a ton of re-playability in this game. All of the modes can be played right from the start, except for the Boss Battles, which have to be unlocked. Other than the lack of online play I’d have to say that NBA JAM is definitely worth buying. NBA JAM is awarded 4 Michelas out of 5.
(4/4.5 Michelas? What does this mean?) 4/4.5 Michelas is like drinking 4 of your favorite drinks, you are feeling amazing and socializing with everybody in your group. You are at the peek of your buzz and only 1 michela away from Perfection.
Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: EA Sports
Platforms: Nintendo Wii