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whatshot NBA JAM PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 6.5
Graphics 6.0
Sound 7.0
Value 6.5
Distributor: EA Sports
Classification:
E
Review Date:
December 2010
Reviewer:
Ash Pinch

6.5


NBA Jam

From the early screenshots of NBA Jam this looks as though it was going to be an exciting and fast paced game, as someone who never had the opportunity to play the original on the SNES this was a good chance to delve into some classic game play.  Recreated by EA Sports, NBA Jam was initially set to be released as an addition to another, cancelled, EA Sports basketball game.  Does this hold its own as a standalone game?

There are a number of game modes featured in NBA Jam based around the classic two-on-two formula, these include the classic campaign mode and the remix tour.  Classic campaign involves going around and playing all the teams in the NBA and some classic teams.  Remix tour involves a similar set-up but throws in some new game types, these are  21, Elimination, Domination, Backboard Smash), power ups, 1 on 1 Boss Battles against NBA legends.

The game play in NBA Jam feels very simple basic, for those use to other basketball games may find the controls a little difficult to become accustomed to, and these cannot be changed.  Playing through the tours quickly became very repetitive with patterns emerging in each game; generally the player controlled team would open up a substantial lead, then with about 40 seconds left in a quarter the opponents will start to abuse the push and make life difficult.  Jump shots are virtually non-existent in NBA Jam, as the time it takes to release the shot, this will be most certainly be blocked, it is just as easy to block the opposition shots too.  This leaves the key to scoring with the dunk, this feels very underwhelming.

Playing this with friends is definitely the way to go, as this can be a lot of fun.  When playing single player your AI teammate is infuriating, and misses a lot of opportunities that you set up, and will very often play awful defence, this is particularly frustrating when you have been pushed over down the other end of the court. 

Visually the game is not bad, although the graphics are not groundbreaking; they really suit the game and add to the experience.  The players will turn and face the camera when performing impressive feats and all the players are highly recognisable.  And some players will have physical characteristics that distinguish them, for example, Patrick Ewing has a very large upper body.  The effects are not all that impressive, but again, get the point across.

The highlight of the sound in the game is the commentary, including the classic “Boom-Shakalaka!!".  Other than that the sound is very mediocre, this may be a throwback to the SNES days, but doesn’t quite hold up with the current generation of games.

Overall, NBA Jam is passable as quick pick up and play game, but offers very little for players looking for something to really sink their teeth into, NBA Jam is best played with friends as the AI is infuriating.  This game would fit right in as a budget release game or as a download on Xbox Live or PSN, but as a full release title it is hard to recommend this to anyone who does not wish to relive their youth spent playing the original on the SNES. 





 

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