Setup: NBA Jam T.E. puts you on the court for a 2-on-2 basketball tourney. You can play by yourself, with your partner being CPU controlled (and not very helpful), you and a pal can battle it out against a common hatred, known as the opposing team. All of this, of course, is similar to any other basketball game on the shelves. The differing factor in NBA Jam, however, is that you can make some wild-crazy shots! Like doing a 360, head-over-heals slam dunk, or a triple lutz nothing-but-net fadeaway jumper. Players: Every team in the NBA is available to play. Unfortunately, you don't get to make jump shots from all the players' shoes. There are 4 players available from each team. These aren't always the best players, but quite a few big names are present, like Charles Barkley, Penny Hardaway, and Reggie Miller. No team seems to have any technical advantage over the other; meaning you can go all the way even with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Extras: The Tournament Edition of NBA Jam simply means you have the ability to change things like shot clock time, hot spots (places on the court where you're sure to make the shot), and knock-outs (items that make the other players fall down on the court). Nothing outstading, but bells and whistles nonetheless. If you manage to steal the ball and make 3 baskets in a row, you become "on fire". Being on fire gives you a better chance of making any shot you take. You fire is extinguished as soon as someone else makes a basket. Using the turbo feature allows you to run faster and push when you steal. Turbo is almost a pointless additive. No doubt it's very useful, but the players should just be given these enhanced abilities outright. It would save some hassle. Graphics: The graphics in NBA Jam T.E. are not complex. The crowd is a mostly stagnant picture, with a few movements in the front row. The players run faster than their legs can. And movements in general are a little jerky. The jerseys are just plain colors with no logos. While the pixelated players aren't the spitting image of their real-life counterparts, some similarities can be seen. Sound: One of the biggest drawbacks of NBA Jam T.E. is the lack of background music. A few hip-hop tracks would've made this game tight. The announcer gets kind of annoying after a few plays because he repeats so many sayings, sometimes 4 or 5 times in a row. The sound effects are pretty basic: net swoosh, grunt, dribbling, buzzer, cheering, and vibrating rim. Simple as they are, the FX do accentuate the game. Gameplay: Overall gameplay is good in NBA Jam T.E. Control of the players is pretty accurate, although at times it's difficult to position your player to block or rebound a shot. Again, the turbo feature is rather annoying because since you end up using it all the time, you must constantly keep the turbo button depressed. The difficulty level in the game is low. Mastering the controls is easy and even the below average gamer will have this accomplished in less than a minute. You will likely win your first game and then lose your second because you haven't yet learned to strategize. If you want to shoot three's, get a taller baller. It's as simple as that. Game quote: "Boom shaka-laka!"
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