In 1993 Midway released NBA Jam and since then it has been one of the most loved sports games of all time. Back then my only option to play video games was to go to the arcades. I would go there each Saturday popping in quarters and it was well worth it. The moment I started playing the game I was hooked. You had insane dunks, crazy alley-ops, players catching fire after making three shots in a row, no fouls, and no backcourt violations. It made for some of the most insane gameplay I had ever seen. Since that time I never thought I would see a new NBA Jam. Its 2010 now and we have ourselves a new NBA Jam. I wasn’t sure what to think about the new version but EA Sports erased all doubt that I previously had. Its everything I remembered about the original and then some.
The insane dunks and crazy alley-ops are back and better than ever. You can still catch fire. The game is still fast-paced and very fun. The CPU does have rubber-band AI when its down big but that was present in the original as well. It makes for some heated contests for sure. The audio is an excellent package consisting of thunderous dunks, a pretty good soundtrack and some of the most hilarious commentary ever heard in a sports game.
Tim Kitzrow is back from the original game and is better than ever. He does use some of his old commentary along with new commentary. Hearing Boomshakalaka! sure brings back fond memories. The game looks very good with detailed player models. Even the arenas have been faithfully recreated. Gameplay is solid and smooth. Even with all the chaos on court the game never stutters nor does it slow down. You can even play as NBA mascots, the Beastie Boys and Republicans Vs. Democrats.
There is the new remix tour which features 21, elimination, domination and backboard smash. Along the way you get power-ups which alter gameplay. There are also boss battles. There is a classic campaign mode where you try to beat all 30 NBA teams. While going through these modes you can unlock a ton of unlockables such as a special basketball, legends, special abilities, cheat codes, etc.
There is no online for the Nintendo Wii. Its a shame because it will be available for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Despite the lack of online play, NBA Jam for the Wii is still a fast-paced, energetic and frantic game. If this version is any indication of what EA Sports is capable of then its safe to say that NBA Jam is in good hands. Its arcade basketball at its very best. I just hope that next time EA Sports decides to make NBA Jam for the Wii that they include online play. Its one of the best games I have ever played and its a candidate for sports game of the year.