NBA Jam (2010 video game)
North American Wii box art
|Platform(s)||Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, OS X, Android, Windows Phone|
|Mode(s)||Single-player or multiplayer|
NBA Jam is a basketball video game developed by EA Canada and published by EA Sports. It is the latest installment in the NBA Jam video game franchise and it was released on October 5, 2010. The game was initially planned to be available as a full retail release for the Wii, with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions available for download via a coupon upon purchasing NBA Elite 11. However, on September 28, 2010, EA announced that Elite would be delayed. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were released as standalone titles on November 17, 2010.
The game has a unique visual style, using 3D models with high-resolution photographs for the heads of each of the players. Several aspects such as the outrageous slam dunks and the ball catching on fire return from the original games. Original NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell is serving as a consultant. Tim Kitzrow, the announcer from the original NBA Jam also returns, re-recording all the lines from previous NBA Jam titles. All NBA Rosters are accurate as of April 7, 2010. The Mac version of the game is also available for OS X through the Mac version of the Mac App Store, making it the only official computer version of the game.
NBA Jam is a 2-on-2 basketball game that has a unique way of showing the players from the game off. In the game, the bodies take on a 3D look, while their heads take on a 2D look, which have realistic digitized likenesses.
The game retains its usual exaggerated nature of play - players jump many times above their own height, making slam dunks that defy both human capabilities and the laws of physics. There are no fouls, free throws, or violations except defensive goaltending and 24 second violations. This means the player is able to freely shove or elbow his opponent out of the way. Additionally, the game has an "on fire" feature, where if one player makes three baskets in a row, he becomes "on fire" and has unlimited turbo, no goaltending, and increased shooting ability, until the other team scores (or the player has scored nine consecutive baskets while "on fire").
Some new features in NBA Jam include Campaign, which has 1-on-1 boss battles; Elimination, which includes up to four players and the player with the lowest number of points is the loser; 21, which is a 1-on-1 match where the first one to get 21 points is the winner, and Domination.
The game is filled with easter eggs, special features and players activated by initials or button/joystick combinations. For example, players can enter special codes to unlock hidden players. Some characters can only be unlocked by completing certain challenges.
The Wii version of the game is stripped into two modes, a classic mode which plays like a traditional NBA Jam experience, and a Remix Tour which features all new camera angles, power-ups and boss battles. Players are able to choose between Wii Remote, Wii Remote and Nunchuck, Classic Controller, and Classic Controller Pro control styles. Online play is not supported.
At the end of the game players have to battle NBA legends Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson. The game also features more than 30 other legends including: Manute Bol, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Kevin McHale, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dennis Rodman, Detlef Schrempf, Isiah Thomas, Spud Webb, and James Worthy.
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
On November 26, 2010 a standalone game was released from EA Sports. A downloadable HD version of NBA Jam for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was planned to be bundled with copies of NBA Elite 11. This version initially lacked the Wii version's Remix Tour mode, but included online multiplayer. However, due to the delay of NBA Elite 11 (followed by its eventual cancellation), the HD versions of NBA Jam would now be standalone products, and was released on November 17, 2010, and will include the Remix Tour mode. EA Sports President Peter Moore stated that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions would be released "before the holidays" in 2010, and the game would be released on retail disc. On October 21 EA announced they would release full retail copies of the game on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 17, and would retail for $49.99. These enhanced versions would feature upgraded HD visuals and online play, and would receive further online updates in December.
An enhanced On Fire edition of NBA Jam was released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 4, 2011 as a downloadable title. NBA Jam: On Fire Edition compensates for this with improved gameplay mechanics, graphics, and sound. The Xbox 360 version has an 85% rating on Gamerankings while the PS3 version has an 83%.
The Wii version of the game has received positive reviews. IGN gave the game an 8.5 score and an Editor's Choice award, calling it "an incredibly fun pick-up-and-play game with an insane competitive edge." GamesRadar gave the game 9/10, calling it "virtually perfect", save for the lack of online play. 1UP.com gave it an A- rank, saying it "heralds a bold new era in arcade-style sports games." Game Informer gave the game a score of 8.25, saying its only major flaw is its lack of online multiplayer. GameTrailers gave the game a score of 7.5, saying the lack of online play hurts its value as a retail product. Nintendo Power gave it a 9.0.
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