Barkley Shut Up and Jam!
|Barkley Shut Up and Jam!|
North American Sega Genesis box art
Barkley Shut Up and Jam!, known in Japan as Barkley's Power Dunk (バークレーのパワーダンク? Bākurē no Pawādanku), is a 1993 basketball video game developed by Accolade for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. A version for the Atari Jaguar was developed, but never released. The Genesis version was released in North America in 1993 and in Europe in April 1994, while the SNES version was released in Japan on September 30, 1994, in North America in June 1994, and in Europe in December 1994.
This video game puts the player in control of featured, former NBA MVP Charles Barkley, or one of fifteen fictitious basketball players, in a progressive series of two-on-two basketball matches in outdoor courts in different NBA cities. Though incredibly similar to NBA Jam, Barkley Shut Up and Jam! provides faster-paced slams and jams, contains less basketball play regulations, and never fouls a player, which is meant to emulate the looser and rougher nature of casual, urban basketball. Each playable character has a unique set of stats, encouraging the player to figure out which character fits their play style best. Despite that, Barkley has the best stats overall. There are a few court locations other than the typical blacktop courts, including one at the beach, and one in an official stadium; the court location has no effect on gameplay.
Like NBA Jam, the player in this game has access to a turbo function that allows the player to move faster and steal easier. The player starts with the ability to use turbo six times but must earn each use back by performing well. Unlike NBA Jam, the player can not control their teammate, who is instead controlled by the game code. A stable mechanic in Barkley is that your opponents have a very high chance of performing a difficult shot in the final seconds of the match, scoring their team three of four points, if they have the ball at the time, requiring the player to plan around this as the match is coming to an end.
The game has no save feature and utilizes a password system. Aside from the main single-player game mode, there is also a tournament mode that allows up to 16 players. There are no major differences between the SNES and Genesis versions of the game.
Release and Sequels
An Atari Jaguar version of the game featuring digitized graphics was developed, but never officially released. A sequel, Barkley Shut Up and Jam! 2, was released in 1995 exclusively for the Genesis.
Over a decade later, a surreal, role playing, indie fangame under the misleading title Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, was released in 2008 as an unofficial sequel to both this and Space Jam. Due to critical acclaim, coverage by several gaming journalism sites, and its novel premise, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden and it's upcoming sequel have dwarfed the official series in both popularity and relevance.
GamePro gave the Genesis version a positive review, citing the variety of distinctive playable characters, the multiple gameplay modes, and the "distinctive urban look" to each of the seven courts, though they did criticize the controls as being inconsistent in their responsiveness.
A reviewer for Sega-16 was more critical overall, countering much of GamePro's positive opinions. Sega-16 took offense with the "incomprehensible" voice samples and called the music hit-or-miss as well as too often reused for different locations. They took a stance that the controls were responsive and tight, but were disappointed by the size of the roster, when NBA Jam, the game's foil, had been out already and had more than three times as many characters to choose from. They did agree that the visual details and overall urban-street atmosphere were both surprisingly a treat, and consistent.
- "Release information (Mega Drive/Genesis version)". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
- "Release information (Super NES version)". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- Sponsel, Sebastian (2013). Horowitz, Ken "Melf", ed. "Sega-16 Barkley Shut Up and Jam! Genesis Review". Sega-16.com. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- "Barkley, Shut up and Jam: Gaiden". Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Schreier, Jason. "An RPG About Guns, Dwarves, And The Power Of Basketball". Kotaku. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
- "You should play Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden". pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
- "Charles in Charge". GamePro (59). IDG. June 1994. p. 77.
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