Review by Shinnokxz

Reviewed: 06/06/03 | Updated: 06/06/03

An instant classic, should be in everyone's collection.

In the Arcade, NBA Jam was an immediate hit. The outstanding and exciting gameplay stood well with audiences, and the pure originality of it all made a favorite of any gamer.

NBA Jam is all about fast paced basketball play, and of course, the slam-dunks. But how would one successfully keep the games fast pace game play chugging and losing frame rate? You couldn't be able to do it with five players on court, stumbling all over controls trying to control any of them. Instead, Acclaim set up basketball with only two players to a team. This gives you the ability to worry less about where everyone is, and more on getting the ball down the court to score points.

With a one-player game, you only get to control one of the members on your team (what member you control depends on how you select the team in the team select screen). But, with two players, you can either help each other out on the same team, or face off against each other in the Head to Head mode. This adds great fun to the game.

This game also sports a nice season mode-- or record mode if you will. By entering your initials and a password into the game, it will save it into its memory. It keeps track of how many wins you have, losses, winning percentage, and teams you've defeated.

What this game's all about, though, is the dunks. By pressing turbo, and running up to the basket, you will perform an amazing anti-gravity super dunk. There are a wide variety of dunks to see; such has helicopters, double front flips, and towma-hawks.

The only problem found in NBA Jam is the sketchy AI. No matter the difficulty; no matter how much you're ahead in scoring-- the opposing computer will always fight back in the fourth quarter. It's rather frustrating at first, but it's fun at the same time: trying to steal the ball away and to try and get the easy two points from a dunk.

The visual and audio qualities have taken a step-down from its arcade counter part. Character models are smaller than ones in the arcade, and a lot less detail went into the faces of the players. The jerseys only contain the team's main color. Such as Jazz is purple and white, Heat is red and black, and the Mavericks are blue and green. The courts are pretty much the same; without much detail. They sport colors, but no icons or logos to be seen anywhere.

But, I might say, adding to the super-dunks is the way cool camera flash effect that you can see in the audience when your player is hung in air ready to slam the ball down the rim. It's a small effect that gives the game a real stylish feel.

Audio wise, there hasn’t been a lot of a change from the Arcade port. The normal and up-beat chime that occupies you while going through the menus has a nice touch to it. But what's missing in action, though, is the music that plays during the game. Instead, you get nothing but silence, the announcer, a few 'Ughs' from the players, and the bounce of the ball.

NBA Jam for the SNES has took a few steps down from the Arcades, but it's still full of fun. -Shin (4/12/02)

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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