This year, EA Canada and EA Sports have collaborated to provide audiences with NBA Jam. The game, fit for PS3, Wii and Xbox 360, is an extremely nostalgic game that reflects Midway’s graphics and gameplay of old. EA, this year, have produced an excessively loud, interactive game that comes off a long list of already existing NBA Jam gaming titles dating back to 1993. This year’s release of NBA Jam is absolute entertainment. It has amused audiences for nearly two decades in a variety of formats fit for different consoles. To put it simply: NBA Jam has not (and cannot) fail!
The game’s graphics are definitely worthy of mention. 3D bodies are married with 2D heads, which gives players an impressive look. Whether it’s players on-court, or figures riding the sidelines, facial expressions are incredibly defined. Players leap and jump all over the place at varying heights too; the eye is never bored. It might seem like an unfair comparison, but the 2010 installment absolutely destroys the graphics and gameplay of past NBA installments. Acclaim Entertainment’s 2001 and 2002 NBA releases, for example, both of which were fit for Game Boy Color and Advance respectively are completely inferior to EA’s most recent contribution to the series. NBA Jam is too big for the small screen!
Gameplay, overall, is brilliant. Turbo meters keep gamers engaged and informed of how players are running onscreen. A variety of players also feature insides from both Eastern and Western conferences. There are also secret players that can be accessed too. Whether it’s one of the guys from Beastie Boys, G-Wiz from Washington Wizards, Barack Obama or even Sarah Palin, there are plenty of familiar faces that feature and entertain audiences. It’s a seriously tongue-in-cheek game, but its playfulness makes it such great value for hours on end. It’s a significant increase on the series’ previous 2003 installment, which only featured basketball players from the 1950s all the way through to the year of the game’s own release.
The game’s value is second to none; its variety of special features and easter eggs means plenty of exploration and hours of game time. Whilst audio gets a little repetitive in parts, the game is defined by fast-paced, cutthroat competition. Please, don’t fear: competition onscreen is always punctuated by hysterical commentary (the best feature of the game’s sound) and crazy on-court action. Whether you’re smashing the backboard or watching bosses tiff with one another, there’s never a dull moment. The classic campaign and remix tour game modes also mean that gamers can play the traditional 2-on-2, or they can alternate the format. In this sense, I’m a traditionalist: stick to the classic. Whatever game mode you choose though, there’s no time to be bored.
The Final Verdict
The 2010 release of NBA Jam has truly taken me back to my childhood. Whether it’s back to memories of playing NBA Jam on SNES, or battling NBA Jam Extreme out on Sega Saturn, EA’s most recent basketball release evokes nostalgia. It’s schizoid and tongue-in-cheek, but it’s completely and utterly awesome!