Boom-shaka-laka!!

User Rating: 8 | NBA Jam SNES
*** NBA JAM ***

THE GOOD

-Exciting, high-flying dunks
-Great multiplayer
-Good controls
-Fun commentating
-Superb audio

THE BAD

-Not much for single players
-AI teammate is useless

OVERVIEW

NBA Jam is not your ordinary basketball game. It's a 2v2 full court grudge match with an emphasis on electrifying in-your-face style slam dunks. Teams from the 1993-94 NBA season are depicted in the game with each team having only two players to choose from. There are plenty of well known athletes like Scottie Pippen, Dominique Wilkins, and Isiah Thomas; however, some key players like Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal were not featured due to licensing agreements.

GAMEPLAY

The thrilling dunks are a trademark for this game. Most players are able to soar high above the rim while doing 360 spins or other one and two handed slams. Plus, you don't have to be right under the rim to dunk the ball. Basically if you're holding down turbo anywhere around the paint will trigger a spectacular dunk. To make things even better the commentator will shout out things like the famous saying, "Boom-shaka-laka".

Unfortunately, playing by yourself can get rather boring quickly. Your computer aided teammate is practically useless because most of the time they'll just stand there and let their opponent take the ball away from them. Not only that but sometimes they'll take ridiculous shots that mostly end up being a turnover. However, throw in an SNES Multi-Tap and a couple friends and you've got yourself a well oiled machine. NBA Jam was really made for playing with other people so keep that in mind before you make a purchase.

The actual game itself works just like regular basketball with a few exceptions. The court looks the same with three-point arcs and other markings. After every score a throw in takes place and there is an opening jump ball at the beginning of the game. Some of the exceptions to the rules are that there aren't any fouls in the game so you can push your opponent to the ground to steal the ball. There is an invisible wall around the outside of the court so the ball is always in play. And lastly, if one player scores three consecutive times the announcer will yell "He's on fire". When this happens that player's shots always go in no matter where they are or what their stats are. Plus, the goal-tending rule is eliminated for that player. The opposing team needs to act quickly to nullify this situation by making a single basket. Like I said before this isn't your ordinary basketball game; the fun arcade style format is easy to pickup and proves to be fast paced entertainment.

The controls are easy to pick up and work well to complement to game style. On offense you'll be able to shoot and pass while on the defensive side you can steal, block and push. Each player has a turbo meter that can be used to give your athlete a quick speed burst; which is vital to the high-flying slams.

GRAPHICS & SOUND

Graphically this game doesn't do anything spectacular. The character design, menus and playing arena work fine for this type of video game. The flaming shots, when a player is "On Fire", look pretty neat and sometimes a serious dunk will shatter the glass on the backboard.

The groovy opening main theme and the ridiculous commentator antics are iconic in the gaming world. This and other aspects of the audio will bring a smile to your face. Especially when the commentator cheers and jeers your team with sayings like "Ca-boom" and "Puts up a brick".

CONCLUSION

NBA Jam is a great arcade style basketball game. The slam dunks are explosive and fun to watch while the controls and commentating are well put together. NBA Jam is made for two or more people to play at the same time; playing by yourself just doesn't do this game justice. I would recommend this game to all sporting fans and especially basketball lovers. With sweet dunks, quick action and no fouls, NBA Jam basically took all the good features from the game of basketball and left all the annoying things out.
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