Review by Eastpolar

Reviewed: 05/12/01 | Updated: 07/16/01

SNES Improvement, there are better...

Well, the SNES is not a New-Gen console any more, so not many people are interested in it, I guess, but there also a lot of freaks, like me, who play Super Mario (Kart), Zelda, Final Fantasy III, and lots of other games. I'm just trying to get as many SNES games as possible, I know it sounds weird, but I think it's cool. Most of them can be bought for let's say, 5 bucks :)
So, I bought NBA JAM, because I didn't have a Basketball game in my growing collection, and I must admit it is an improvement to it.
Although you are playing with only 2 guys against two other guys, these 'guys' are 56 REAL NBA players, 5 years back :) The point that bothers me is you only can control one player in a game, of course this is in other NBA games also, but I really would fancy it, when you control both of your players, as of the AI in this game isn't just not so good, your teammate won't make as much Three-Pointers as you would like him to make. You can control him in-directly, by pressing the shoot button when he has got the ball, but it's difficult when you're a beginner.
I also don't get the idea of the two features you can play in the game, actually there exactly the same, except one is a tournament with password, so you have to beat all other teams. The other option is just a exhibition match, and the game restarts after you've played the game, al a bit too likely.

Graphics 8/10
I must say that this is the BEST part of the game, not because the other features are so bad, I think this is a game that has made good use of the SNES capabilities, there are lots of better graphic games, they would have been given a 9 or 10, sure, but most of the time there is a lack of sound, gameplay, and especially originality. All the photographs of the 56 NBA players are scanned and put in the game, so you can actually see your Star.
In-game is even better, the players are build up very good, no hanging limbs. The audience looks very natural on the background and the graphic quality when you make a special dunk, is very good.

Sound 5/10
A bit of a beeping sound, or is it music in the begin didn't make my heart beat, as it did with Zelda (not even compatible, but you get the idea, it can make you expectations come true). The commentary in game isn't something too, they could have better left it away. THREE POINTS! and SLAM DUNK! aren't the slogans I've been waiting for, the screaming and yelling of the (good-drawn) audience isn't best either.

Gameplay 8/10
As I said, the only control one player per game, maybe it seemed a bit negative in the introduction, but basketball games where you play 2vs2, shouldn't be 2-controlling actually. And the only thing you actually can't do with the non-controllable is moving around, when you hit pass, or shoot, he'll do that (passing to you). He won't make any slam dunks, because you have to put on turbo for him, and that's impossible, because you turbo your self.
The slam special dunks are very cool, every player has other dunks (of course players have the same, but not all the SAME), and easy to make, just as the controlling of your character, although sometimes he doesn't walk exactly where you want him to go.

Originality 6.5/10
If you see this game now, there isn't a bit of originality in it, but back then, there weren't many basketball games around (yet). But, there were some games around, and this one looks like it, cut CAN you be original in a sports game, not if you don't make it funny, and this game isn't. The slam dunks are very well thought up, but are actually in every BB game.

Lastability 6.5/10
Because there are so less opportunities, you won't find yourself playing this game for ages. A couple of weeks and you shouldn't see it for some months (weeks, if you don't have much games, but are an addict). The multiplayer will stretch it out a bit, so you can play it with your friends, but I rather play games with more players, like NHL, or FIFA games.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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