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Electronic Arts



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E (Everyone)



October 5, 2010



- Extreme pangs of nostalgia but the youngsters should like it too
- Great use of motion controls
- Is as deep as you want it to be (for an arcade sports title)

- Loads of different modes



- Boss Battles can be maddening if you take them seriously



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Score: 10 / 10


nba jam          nba jam


I still have my fingers crossed that arcade sports experiences a resurgence. It has definitely made some promising rumblings but it hasn't exploded yet. NBA Jam is a great leap in the right direction though; maybe it'll be the catalyst that gets things rolling.

If you're old enough to have a memory of the arcade classic NBA Jam, with its comical dunks, over-the-top commentary, and flaming basketball, this updated version for the Wii will poke your nostalgia. The first spoken phrase is




- Wii Game Reviews

- Sports Game Reviews

- Games Published by Electronic Arts

"Boomshakalaka!" That should be enough to slide you right into that younger frame of mind.

It did something to me. It made me happy playing it. Not just an amused, "Oh, I'm having fun with this" but actually made me feel better after playing it.

I don't really have an explanation for this beyond pure nostalgia but it might have


something to do with feeling like I was really interacting with the game, especially with the dunks. It feels good to run toward the hoop, leap into the air with a flick of the Wii Remote than slam it down with a solid kick from the bass line and a Tim Kitzrow screaming something nonsensical. Just thinking about it makes me smile!


NBA Jam supports the Classic Controller, but that just doesn't have the same kind of impact as some quick Wii Remote swinging.


nba jam          nba jam


Another aspect that I really like is that I can play the game with my kids, who seemed to instantly grasp the controls and the basic player moves. There's some added depth with things like cross-overs and throwing elbows to clear a crowd, but for all but the most difficult challenges, it's not really necessary to use that stuff. The emphasis is on having fun and I have had and continue to have fun playing it.

While I have spent the most time with the "Play Now" option, there are many more modes to explore, including the Remix Modes and Remix Tour, which up the wackiness and fun with all sorts of specific criteria. Take for example Domination. Circles appear on the court; score from that area and you have control of the circle. As time passes, fewer points are awarded. Put that in a 2v2 situation and you have some fun times on your hands. In general, the craziness of the NBA Jam sensibility runs throughout, so it still remains fun, but for me they don't have quite the appeal of just jumping in and playing a game.

NBA Jam is good for you. Find it, play it, love it.

- Aaron Simmer

(October 25, 2010)


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