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Score: 9.0 / 10
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
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,
version for the Xbox 360 will poke your
nostalgia. The first spoken phrase is "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
Without the motion controls (see our Wii
review of NBA Jam) it felt like there was something missing from the
visceral feel of the game. Pressing a button is not the same as slamming
the controller down -- it doesn't convey that same sense of power
dunking over an opponent. The game still controls very well, it's just
missing that little extra thing. And my kids preferred the motion
controls of the Wii version.
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.
Unlike the Wii version, the fully functional online component means you
(almost) always have access to some stiff human competition over Xbox
Live. And it definitely looks much sharper.
NBA Jam is good for you. Find it, play it, love it.