The game doesn't perform all that well on the PC.
There's really no point in dissecting NBA Jam Extreme. The game is basically the same as its non-Extreme predecessors, and it's pretty much a straight port from its console brethren. However, for those unfamiliar with Acclaim's NBA Jam series, here is a brief overview: The series really gained popularity in the arcades, where four players could compete at the same time in a two-on-two match-up with easy-to-learn controls. It eventually made its way onto the Saturn and the PlayStation, with new features added to the original to create NBA Jam TE (Tournament Edition) and now NBA Jam Extreme.
The only reason these games can even be called basketball is because there are baskets and a ball and NBA players (except for Jordan, Barkley, Shaq, and a few other famous players who were not licensed). Unfortunately, Acclaim takes these NBA players and turns them into comic book-like superheroes and puts them on a court. There are no fouls - in fact dirty, aggressive play is an important part of the game - or out-of-bounds, and goal tending can be turned on or off. After the tip-off, it's nothing but mayhem on a basketball court with supernatural feats and dunks. The high-flying, fast-paced action has attracted many an arcade sports fan, and the home versions include a number of secret codes that allow access to strange teams and other concealed features.
What makes this new version "Extreme" is little more than an Extreme Turbo button, in addition to the standard turbo button. Although it gives you higher flying dunks, it also drains your player's turbo energy faster than normal turbo.
The game doesn't perform all that well on the PC. Though it uses DirectX and Windows 95 (watch out for the fairly demanding system requirements), its graphical speed and detail is inferior to other Windows 95 round ball games, like NBA Live 97 from EA Sports or even Mindscape's NCAA Basketball Final Four 97. The frame rate is extremely choppy with full detail on. Throw in a washed-out appearance during play and you get a game that is a little hard on the eyes, especially with the pace of the action. Plus, because the camera view pans around and zooms in so much, following the action can sometimes be like trying to read the label on an old LP as it spins on the turntable.
Marv Albert of NBC Sports provides the play-by-play with about as much variety as the vegetarian selections on a McDonald's menu. Marv's sensationalistic style, however, is perfectly suited to the gameplay.
If you've never played any of the NBA Jam games, go down to your local arcade and spend a couple of bucks giving it a try. If you like it, you'll probably like the home versions, though NBA Jam Extreme is not the best translation. It has a new graphics engine and runs in Windows 95, but the previously released Tournament Edition was more fun, with more interesting in-game features such as oncourt power-ups.
Finally, a photograph of the developers is periodically flashed onscreen, an action as laughable as Tony Kukoc (as well as other, less soulful, NBA players) churning his hips in immodest jubilation following a big dunk. But then again, maybe that's what the kids expect from Acclaim. Anybody ready to be dogged? Well bring it on! My gamepad's ready to light it up!
- Game Universe:
- NBA Jam (GEN, GB, GG, SNES, PS2, XBOX, GC, SCD, SMS),
- NBA Jam Extreme (PC, PS, SAT, ARC),
- NBA Jam Tournament Edition (32X, PC, PS, SAT, GB, GG, JAG, SNES, GEN),
- NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC (DC, N64, PS, GBC),
- NBA Jam (PS3, WII, X360),
- NBA Jam: On Fire Edition (PS3, X360),
- NBA Jam 2002 (GBA),
- NBA Jam 2001 (GBC),
- NBA Jam 2000 (N64),
- NBA Jam 99 (GBC, N64)
- Number of Players: