Published on October 11th, 2010 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Review: NBA Jam Wii
Crossing someone up followed by a vocal pat on the back, “Stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey!” NBA Jam brings back those memories of uncomfortable controllers and the snapshots clicking while you soar through the air right before the “Boomshakalaka!” This time with a more suited controller scheme, the team at EA brought back the same deal and that definite jam feel.
The controls are what make this jam session feel like a real playoff contender. Shooting and dunking are some of the easiest to use controls. The usual sorta-knife-chopping motion makes the shot, the dunk, or reaching for the rebounds a breeze. Holding the C button either pump fakes with the “shot” motion, or without the ball, calls your teammate to take the shot. The Z button is the all important turbo. This is the most essential part in slammin’ right in your opponents regio facialis. Another way to use the turbo is when it is combined with the B button for the shove. The shove can also be dodged with the use of the ankle breaker, which is just B when you have the ball. Players can also swat with B to shake the ball loose. A passes and when used with the shot motion, your teammate can do the alley-oop. All of which come together for a very fluid control scheme. The classic controller is also supported.
The modes for NBA Jam provide you some comfortable stomping ground. If you play though the regular campaign, you will have a go at NBA teams as well as some legendary battles. Team ups like Ewing and Starks will have you wishing you had gone back through that tutorial ‘Jam Camp’. Rodman will be crossing you up in no time. Rodman and that Chicago Bulls court alone will have you doing a double take. Although the match ups may be tough, they are a satisfying completion.
Remix offers a great time if you are looking for more arcade-power-up action. Power ups like shrinking your player down to size and withstanding shoves are on the court for grabs. The boss battles give players another challenging area to slam and jam through. Other additives were things like hiding player hotspots on the court. Locate them and make it rain.
In-game challenges also give you the opportunity for unlockables and provide you with a lengthy game experience. Some of the challenges include items like doing 10 successful jumps shots in a game or things like 10 successful shoves in a game. Just a few items that give NBA Jam some great replay value.
There are a lot of great things about NBA Jam. Graphically, its one of the best looking games the Wii has to offer. Animations, players, and the all important team graphics give the game a 100% real deal arcade feel. I think I might have been listening to Tim Kitzrow a little too much. If you have not also noticed from any trailer or video, Tim Kitzrow, has made his return to the Wii version to delegate the who’s slammin’ and whose slippin’. There are enough phrases that you will not get tired from any time soon. This time around, the sounds are not limited to what small space a cartridge would have held. Especially after that big slam in someone’s face, its always good to hear a nice zinger in your direction.
The only thing that is a slight let down for this version being on a next gen console is that there is no online multiplayer. What better way to get in touch with a friend and run some co-ops with your favorite team? This is one game that I was expecting to pull out a great wi-fi feature, even though it wasn’t announced when we first laid hands on it at a preview showcase. Things like matchups or even online leaderboards would have made this NBA experience really jam, but the other aspects to the game put’s these feelings somewhat at ease.
+Unlockables, challenges, modes
+ Sounds-Tim Kitzrow makes a great return