Review: NBA Jam


Boomshakalaka is back!  EA Sports brings this legendary 2 vs. 2 arcade hoops game to the 360, PS3 and Wii!  I can’t begin to tell you how many days or better yet months my brothers and I spent playing the original on the good ol’ Super NES days.  Much of what you remember has not changed and that’s a good thing.  3D rendered players with a dynamic audience fills up the screen. The great sound effects and catchphrases were also brought back including the original voice of NBA Jam, Tim Kitzrow returns.  Those classic lines which include: “Kaboom”, “He’s heating up” and “He’s on Fire” top my favorites.  Is this remake a “Monster Jam”?

All 30 Teams and more. You’ll find the top 3 players from each team has made the cut.  Before the games release, fans submitted who they wanted to represent each team.  To go with the standard players, you’ll be able to unlock over 100 characters, teams, mascots and privileges.  Of course, Big Head mode is back too.  One of the cooler features I discovered are all the classic NBA stars play in their short shorts.  Larry Johnson and Spudd Webb would like ridiculous in anything else.

Classic and updated controls. I’m glad EA Sports included button gameplay.  I was worried when I first played and read you could also flick your R3 or Right Analog stick for shooting.  This may be added for the newer NBA JAM fans.  While I respect the developers for this extra control method, I’m old school.  Give me my “shoot” and pass “buttons” and I’ll be fine.

Take your game online. Along with the ‘Classic NBA Jam’ gameplay, you can test your skills online with some of your friends or join a random opponent.  Heed my warning.  Online ‘Jammers’ are skilled.  The same moves you mastered against your little brother won’t hold water online.  Other online modes include:

– Classic JAM — 2v2 with two rules, No goaltending and a shot clock.
– Backboard smash — Damage your opponents backboard with dunks and alley-oops.
– Domination (w/ 2vs. 2) — Score from spots on the floor. Score from flashing spot to reset the timer on all your spots.
– 21 — Like the schoolyard game. 1 on 1, first to 21 wins!

Also, be prepared to see lot’s of Kobe and the Miami Heat roster.

You’re Here to Cheat. Unlocking players is what makes NBA JAM fun.  I’ll list some of my favorites below.  To enter these codes you’l need two players.  After successfully entering the codes on the PS3, press “R1”, 360 “RB” and Wii “start”.

Play AsPlayer 1Player 2
Team JordanJORDAN
Team Sprite SPRITE
Team AdidasADIDAS
Mathias Murphy and Kevin Durant (The Neighbors) MMKD35
Mark Turmell (developer) and Tim Kitzrow (announcer) MJT
Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle (ESPN SportsNation) ESPNSN

Boss Battle the Legends. I only wish this was more apparent.  To begin a “Boss Battle” you must first complete challenges in Remix Tour mode.  For example, Successfully complete the Boston Celtics Gold Challenge in Remix Tour mode to unlock Larry Bird.  That means select the Celtics as your opponent and complete the Bronze, Silver and Gold.  Playing against Larry Bird was so difficult and frustrating.  He’s a pure shooter and I couldn’t stop him from anywhere on the floor.  If only Michael Jordan was in the game.  I’d show him who’s boss.

Final Thought: There’s no question about it.  NBA JAM is as good as it was and playing against your friends online makes it better (when people are online).  Something I noticed will not break the bank, but why there isn’t switching baskets at half confused me.  Did they forget?  Nevertheless, all in all, for fans of NBA JAM and those looking for a pick-up game against friends, this game is it. While Midway is long gone, their arcade 2vs. 2 basketball game lives on. “No Soup for you”!


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One response to “Review: NBA Jam”

  1. Kezins says:

    Nice review. I was thinking about renting this from Gamefly. I’m definitely adding it to my GameQ now.

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