Earlier this month, Nintendo Wii owners managed to get their hands on their own version of NBA Jam, and, for the most part, it lived up to its potential, combining some high-tech gaming tricks of today (motion controls, a new Remix Tour) with the classic gameplay of the Midway original. But since NBA Elite 11 was put on the backburner, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners were left out in the cold, without anything to fulfill their Jam-ming fix. (Elite was scheduled to include a downloadable version of Jam, for those who missed it.) Well, that problem will go away on November 17th, when the game makes its way to those platforms, complete with a few surprises in tow. And you Wii owners thought you were getting all the fun…
Like the Wii game, NBA Jam will feature the same traditional gameplay that made the original arcade games so much fun, complete with high-flying dunks, ridiculous on-court violence (pushes and shoves galore, without a referee in sight) and comical reactions from the pasted-on faces on the players. It’ll also feature the high-pitched antics of Tim Kitzrow, the original NBA Jam announcer, who’s back with a combination of both old (“Kaboom!”) and new (“Quack, quack, quack!”) comments as you run rampant up and down the court. The visuals will be noticeably better, however, thanks to a high-definition upgrade that’ll make the game much easier on the eyes…and perhaps make the players look even more ridiculous as they come down for a thunderous dunk.
So what’s new then? Well, right out of the box on the 17th, you’ll be able to take on players online through Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. You can hook up with a friend for some classic 2-on-2 action, going back and forth in heated matches and telling others just how much you rock…or suck, depending who you’re taking on. From what we’ve seen thus far, the online action runs appropriately smooth, even during some of the high-flying antics on the court. The only thing that stops the action is the shattering of a backboard…and that’s done ever so briefly.
Online play isn’t the only thing EA is adding to these versions of NBA Jam. In December, a free update will allow players to try out new modes. Remix Tour will be available, but the update will make it playable online, so you and a friend can take on NBA legends and unlock them for further play into the main game modes. Several “Remix Games” will also be included, though EA didn’t specify just what those were yet. Expect varied rules and challenges as you compete in slammin’ action, and perhaps even a few more hidden characters (along with the political faces and SportsNation hosts) as well. Online Progression will also help you enhance your player to new heights…perhaps even through the roof of the building. (Nah.) A four-player Jam Party mode is being worked on as well.
All that’s missing is the Tarzan yell.
Hey, it may not be the small treat that was to come with NBA Elite 11, but we’ll definitely take it. NBA Jam looks like a lot of fun on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and we can’t wait to take them through their paces next month. Be sure to check back for the Boomshakalaka-packing review!