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The Video Game Critic
Fans of the first NBA Jam (SNES, 1993) will miss the old "tag mode", but otherwise this is surprisingly faithful to the original. This new NBA Jam is a great alternative for hoops fans befuddled by NBA 2K11, or simply in the mood for some instant gratification.
Despite the relatively high asking price, EA Sports Canada has a done a great job of bringing NBA Jam up to date while remaining true to the original’s pick up and play mentality. If you have fond memories of the original then there is more than enough nostalgia fuelled gameplay here to make it worth the £30 asking price. The additional game modes and HD makeover may not be enough to win over the doubters but for those looking for a bit of classic arcade gameplay, NBA Jam still delivers the goods.
NBA Jam just about deserves release as a proper boxed retail product, boasting a fairly hefty array of modes and other content. What's important is that it preserves the gameplay and spirit of the original games, giving it a nostalgic cachet that makes it almost irresistible, despite its frustrations. It's worth reiterating however, that you'll get much more out of the game if you play it with friends. So, is NBA Jam on fire then? Not quite, but it's certainly heating up.
NBA Jam’s biggest flaw is its price point, even if some people were willing to buy the $60 NBA Elite solely to have Jam. Fans of the original will love this remake, as everything is just as great as the original, if not better. The new modes, while fun enough to play, don’t outshine the classic campaign and local 2v2 games, and thus don’t play as big a role as they should have. The online multiplayer is disappointing to say the least, though sometimes you can find a good game with fair players and it’s quite fun. But, again, this is NBA Jam and you know if you like it or not – now you just have to decide if you want to buy it or not.
NBA Jam works in ways most modern multiplayer titles don’t, as a four-player, trash talking, and controller swapping, scream-filled good time. And even though this new NBA Jam feels like a missed opportunity, the classic gameplay still shines through to make it a minor victory. So in the end, “he’s sort of on fire!”
OMGN: Online Multiplayer Games Network
Overall, this new version of NBA Jam would have been better served as a downloadable on Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network. You get the feeling EA tacked on the extra modes to try and justify the price tag for a disc-based game. If you can find it at a discounted price, it’s worth a look, but otherwise, leave this reboot on the bench.