I grew up on NBA Jam. The year was 1993, the console Sega Genesis I was just starting middle school, my friends and I would always head back to the house after school to throw down on some NBA Jam. For its time the game was brilliant. Simple controls and hours of fun yet repetitive game play. The games controls were simplistic enough that no one ever really dominated which is a good thing in a versus mode game. The “Career mode” in the original console version was very simple. Play each team and until you’ve beaten them all then. Game Over! So 17 years later I find a new version of NBA Jam in my console. A console generation where arcade basketball games have lost their appeal. When I heard EA had purchased the NBA Jam rights from the company formerly known as Midway I instantly had a smile on my face. I was filled with hopes for the best. When it arrived I got a true to its roots updated version of the arcade classic I’d loved in the past.
Graphically the game looks pretty good though it still has a bit of an XBLA feel to it. It may just be the static images of the player’s faces that are bothering me. They remind me of the heads in the XBLA title Wits and Wagers. The sound is what you should expect from Jam, over the top catch phrases and yelling. Still it brings me back to a simpler time.