NBA Jam Extreme
|NBA Jam Extreme|
Sega Saturn cover art featuring Shawn Kemp and Hakeem Olajuwon
NBA Jam Extreme is a 1996 basketball arcade game by Acclaim Entertainment based on the 1996–97 NBA season. After Midway Games released two NBA Jam games, Acclaim, the developers of the home versions of Jam, ended up winning the exclusive rights to use the NBA Jam name. NBA Jam Extreme was the first Jam game from Acclaim, as well as the first edition of the game to use 3D graphics. In contrast, Midway's competing NBA game NBA Hangtime featured 2-D visuals similar to the previous Jam games. Extreme also features longtime sports broadcaster Marv Albert doing commentary instead of original commentator Tim Kitzrow. New to the game is the "Extreme" button, essentially a super version of the series' trademark "Turbo" button.
The game was used as the basis for a PlayStation demo game (which has gone rare) based on the NBA's 2Ball competition, which included 1997-98 rosters. Acclaim released a series of follow-ups to Extreme, most of which were more traditional basketball simulations.
NBA Jam Extreme features many of the top players from the 1996–97 NBA season. Rosters accurate as of September 11, 1996, with some notable omissions. Chief among them were Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal. Jordan and O'Neal had contracts with Electronic Arts that resulted in the Jordan game Chaos in the Windy City and O'Neal appearing in Shaq-Fu and the NBA Live games. Barkley had signed a deal with Accolade to appear in its Barkley Shut Up and Jam! games.
The home versions of NBA Jam Extreme received largely negative reviews from GameSpot. Matt Rubenstein wrote that the graphics compared favorably to those in Midway's NBA Hangtime and also praised the large number of hidden features. However, he criticized the slow pace of the game and loading time and scored the game 6.1 out of 10 ("fair"). Josh Smith heavily criticized the game's visuals as "blurry and unclear, choppy and awkwardly animated" and said that they hampered gameplay. While he did offer praise for the game's special features and sound effects, he gave the game a "poor" rating of 4.2. Writing about the PC version, Tasos Kaiafas criticized the game for being largely the same as the previous Jam games and pointed out performance problems as well as lackluster visuals compared to other PC basketball games. He gave the game a 4.9, "poor" rating. In a review for the Sega Saturn version, Game Revolution also faulted the game for not making much progress beyond the original NBA Jam, as well the loading time, giving the game a C-.
- "NBA Jam Extreme Review - PlayStation". GameSpot. December 12, 1996. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- "NBA Jam Extreme Review - PC". GameSpot. April 11, 1997. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- "NBA 2-Ball - PlayStation - IGN". IGN.
- "NBA Jam Extreme Review - Saturn". GameSpot. December 19, 1996. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- Tennenbaum, Jon (March 1997). "NBA Jam Extreme Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved June 12, 2012.