After creating a successful pile of NBA Jam games on numerous other platforms, Acclaim Entertainment have delivered the best of the lot, this time for the Playstation 2.
Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, the fast paced and highly entertaining game play still remains, but this time a visual face lift was added which is all for the better. The 3 vs. 3 playing restrictions, compared with the older games 2 vs. 2 is not a negative but adds life to the overall game, and allows users to create some of the most astounding and sometimes ridiculous combinations of passes, alley-oops, fake oops and dunks. As always the ?ghe?fs on fire?h catch cry is plastered throughout the game and the inclusion of cleverly crafted super-dunks (my favourite the Egyptian) creates not only a sense of character but also a humorous side to the game.
The overall gameplay of this piece is much improved since the last rendition of this type of game. This time around Acclaim has created a game that flies around at a cracking pace, sometimes leaving the player to wonder where the ball is and what he?fs doing with it. The Passing is slick and smooth while the ability to control your player whilst in possession is very simplistic. The advanced features of the power-spot can get a little annoying as the R3 button is out of reach when handling the controller. And while the ability to make a player attempt and alley-oop while you have already scored is humorous for about 5 minuets it does tend to become annoying after about 10. Overall the game-play has improved significantly since the games last re-appearance and is definitely a key selling point for NBA Jam.
In the older versions of the game, graphics seemingly took a backseat to the gameplay and overall idea of the game, but this time around it seems Acclaim have put graphics at the forefront of improvements for this game. The players themselves have been upgraded to look almost cartoon like while stadiums have had a face-lift, which makes the scene of the game more suitable. The crowd looks semi-realistic and can create a sense of atmosphere.
This is where the game falters for me. After getting over the general excitement that an NBA Jam game packs, after testing out all the jams and twists and turns, the game isn?ft as exciting or interesting. After an hour?fs worth of game time, you?fre ready to shelve this one, and not pull it out again until the boys come over and want a team game. Lack of substance has resulted in this games only fault.
Sound is pretty basic in this game, as expected, with just your dribbles, foot movement passing and shooting. The only nice touch is the added ?gscratching?h when a player scores a normal shot and also when a player does a decent dunk, the musical accompaniment is kinda cute. Overall for sound, ok nothing special, but shouldn?ft be expected to be. We?fre here to play SPORTS!
Overall NBA Jam is a great resurrection of a past classic and certainly, with new graphics and advanced gameplay, deserves to be put next to the past and present games in this ?glarger than life sports genre?h. Enjoy!