NBA JAM by EA SPORTS™ Review
- Classic NBA JAM with a shiny coat of paint.
- Easy to learn arcade controls.
- A huge variety of unlockable characters and modes.
- Repetitive background music; thankfully iTunes is supported.
- Multiplay modes not yet available.
If you loved the original or you're even slightly intrigued by this whacky basketball title, then I heartily recommend NBA JAM, but the lack of a multiplayer feature can be a sore point.
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There's only one thing holding me back from starting off the review by declaring NBA JAM by EA Sports an instant must-buy - there's no co-operative or multiplayer modes of any sort available. For a game that so lovingly recreates one of the Arcade and home console's most exciting basketball-related titles, it seems almost unforgivable that I can't share the fun with a friend or slam a firey ball of doom in the face of a random online player.
Coming to grips with the controls of NBA JAM for iOS devices is like learning how to ride a bike for the first time - the basic theory is easy to understand, but learning to execute it takes a few attempts. Whether you play with a 'dpad' or 'gesture' based system, you'll be using the left analogue stick to run around while the right hand manages the use of your Turbo, Shoot/Block and Pass/Steal buttons. Pulling off insane stunts like super dunks and mind-blowing alley-oops is easy enough once you learn how to slide from the turbo in to a shot, but putting up a defense in the form of stealing or shoving can be a real crap-shoot as the AI players react with an (understandably) inhuman level of speed to your actions.
It almost feels wrong to praise a game for basically reproducing a classic title in toto, as it seems lazy to simply update the game's technical features by replacing sprites with 3D models and pixelated heads with Jib Jab-esque photo cut-outs. Unfortunately for someone like myself (a rabid player of the original Arcade title), this results in a game that pushes all the right buttons and keeping classic bonus characters like The Beastie Boys and Bill & Hilary Clinton in the game is a great nod to the original.
NBA JAM is all about the spectacle of the game you're playing; tactically speaking there are a few things you can do to get an edge, but luck plays just as much of a role in winning as your skill. For some this may be a deal-breaker, but it's an easy game to forgive when you're flipping out a mile-high with a ball that's on fire before breaking a glass backboard with a giant-headed Al Gore.
DescriptionBOOMSHAKALAKA!!! Jam with a friend in Local Multiplayer and rock your iPhone or iPod touch with all the over-the-top, high-flying, 2-on-2 arcade basketball action just like you remember it – and like you’ve never seen before! Go to the hole. Go strong. Go for the monster jam. KABOOM!
FANS & CRITICS ARE ALL ON FIRE!
“NBA JAM brings arcade hoops directly to your pocket — no quarters required.” (App Store “iPhone GAME OF THE WEEK”)
“…overwhelmingly satisfies in every way if you were ever a fan of the original NBA Jam series.” (Jared Nelson, Touch Arcade)
“4/4 MUST HAVE…a sports game that action or arcade gamers will love…” (Andrew Podolsky, Slide to Play)
“…solid controls, great graphics, and fun on-the-court action” (Tracy Erickson, PocketGamer)
“It performs flawlessly in every way.” (IntoMobile)
HEAT UP ON iPHONE & iPOD TOUCH
Jam with all 30 NBA teams and your favorite NBA stars! Unlock legends from the classic arcade era like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Dr. J, Scott Skiles, Karl Malone, Detlef Schrempf, and Danny Manning – plus some secret players you can only get on iOS. Open up outrageous cheats, too. And if you can’t wait to go big, all the unlocks are available for instant purchase and download in the JAM store!
PLAY NOW! PLAY CLASSIC! PLAY HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST A FRIEND!
3 modes of play let you ball the way you want:
• Play Now – Select a team and jump right into the ballgame
• Classic Campaign – Defeat all other teams to win the championship, and unlock legends, hidden players and cheats
• Local Multiplayer – Go big head 2 big head against a friend on iPhone/iPod touch or iPad via local WiFi and Bluetooth
Also select from two different control schemes (D-Pad and gesture-based) and take advantage of the outstanding versatility of your iPhone/iPod touch. Is it the shoes?
YOU’RE ON FIRE!
If you’re from the Old School, you’ll feel the ‘90s nostalgia while you play the hottest new arcade sports game on the App Store. Featuring the voice of Tim Kitzrow (the original NBA JAM play-by-play announcer), you’ll hear all the classic catchphrases plus a few new ones recorded just for this game. This JAM is all about “boomshakalaka”¬– and beyond!
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What's New in Version 1.0.55NBA JAM IS READY FOR A NEW SEASON! The NBA heats up on Christmas Day, so we’re making sure all you hoops fans can share the joy of BOOMSHAKALAKA with friends!
Update now for these new features:
• Enjoy more action on the court with iOS5 support!
• Stay connected to other ballers with Origin
• Get your game-on with Game Center
Thanks for playing NBA JAM. If you dig this version, please give us a ★★★★★ rating and we’ll keep bringing it strong – all season long!