NBA Jam is back, and boy is it better than ever.
I've been hyping this game for months, mainly because it's a revival of the classic NBA Jam franchise for the Arcade (also known on the Snes and Genesis). In the late 90's, the franchise tried realism, which screwed it over. It's ironic that Electronic Arts out of anyone would want to resurrect this franchise, but surprisingly, they were extremely faithful to the original! In fact, the graphics look SIMILAR to the original Arcade and Snes/Genesis game! AMAZING!! And besides looking like a million bucks, it plays like it too.
Realism be damned, NBA Jam features players with big heads and gravity defying dunks. These dunks are satisfying as hell, and making three in a row (goaltends don't count against you), causes you to catch on fire, resulting in more spectacular dunks! To make it more satisfying, the hoop shakes up and down when you perform a spectacular dunk.
For the best control, I recommend the classic controller for all you Snes fans. It really feels like you're playing the original on the Snes, and that is a good thing. Motion controls are also supported, and flicking the wiimote up and down to dunk is awesome. You can also hold it Nes style, but using the B button for turbo is uncomfortable and awkward. There are a lot of blocks and steals in the game, but I guess that causes you to produce more strategy. The opponents defense tightens in the second half, but this makes dunking more satisfying. You'll score a lot without feeling underwhelmed at all. This is actually one of the few games where Kobe Bryant can BE Kobe Bryant!! One sad thing is that this is one of the first games to have LeBron James on the Miami Heat.
Besides being able to play a game immediately, you can also participate in a very addictive Classic Campaign. You c an even play with two people in Classic Campaign. Most of the Remix Modes are boring in my opinion, but the Smash mode is fantastic, letting you go two on two to see who can break the glass first. I also love how numerous secrets and players can be unlocked. You can unlock teams such as the Republicans and Democrats (Using them is hilarious as hell), THE BEASTIE BOYS (!!), Sportsnation, and the mascots of each team, just to name a few. In fact, you'll unlock so many secrets that you'll never get bored.
But nothing beats co-op multiplayer. My friends loved this game, and we put up quite a battle. My mom thought the line "Boom shakalaka" was hilarious, and my Dad was very interested in this game, and he doesn't even like video games (besides sports games)!
This Wii version of NBA Jam was criticized for having "limited" replay value and a lack of online play. BS!! The replay value is tremendous, and I never got bored one bit. The lack of online play is compensated by the awesome four player mode, which seems to get tiring. I think people are forgetting that EA probably didn't include online play to remind everyone of the original Snes game, that Nintendo wouldn't sell itself online like Microsoft and Sony.
In terms of graphics, they are fantastic. The players have digitized heads, and they look amazing., The background is rendered in 2D, and its resolution is off the charts. Plenty of details include teammates celebrating, mascots pumping their fists, a SILHOUETTE of cameramen in the foreground, and even a dimly lit stadium of fans that matches the color of the home team. Cool details even include Gatorade coolers and water bottles for the announcers! The Smash court looks beautiful. The audio is also fantastic, and I liek how the music remixes when you're on fire. What's with the song with the crying baby? Tim Kritzrow from the original NBA Jam returns (and he's even a playable character) with hilarious lines such as "Can someone shut that noisemaker off?" (on the goaltending seal), and "I'll bring the peanut butter, and you bring the Jam!" (on a dunk). The crisp audio effects also accompany the game well.
NBA Jam is back, and boy is it better than ever. If I had to complain about anything, it would be that I couldn't tell who had the ball after a rebound, and the lack of Tag Mode. Still, these are very minor issues. If you're looking for a fantastic sports game for you Wii, this is the best the console has to offer, and that's saying a lot! I played this game every day and I never got bored. Even if you're not a sports fan, NBA Jam will suck you in with its quality gameplay and never let you out!