NBA Jam Tournament Edition


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 10

Overall: 9

The arcade classic NBA Jam has been brought home in many forms. From the SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, PC, Jaguar, PlayStation, Sega CD, and the 32X. Of all of these versions, the Saturn and PlayStation renditions are the most accurate to the original arcade game.

For the un-educated, NBA Jam is a 2-on-2 basketball game featuring real NBA players....with a twist. These guys can fly 20+ feet into the air and slam the ball through the hoop. No rules are present with the exception of the shot clock. Players can push their opponents to the ground all they want without being called for a foul. This game also brought the "turbo" button into play, the first game to do so.

All the NBA teams are present including a rookie squad and an unlockable all-star team. Special features like hot spots (that make shots worth up 9 points) are included, allowing the game to be customized to the players liking. The game allows up to 4 players take the court with the addition of a multi-tap.

By far, this is the most accurate conversion of the game graphically for any home console. The on court players can be recognized at times thanks to the individual faces and putting in the infamous "big head" code makes things a bit easier. Players scale as they run to the bottom of the screen and the court has thousands of lines of parallax scrolling giving the game great depth. The digitized sprites lack animation, but the overall look is superb. Full-motion video highlights of actual NBA games are present during halftime, a staple for games in this era

Play-by-play in NBA Jam is done by an enthusiastic announcer who would continue to commentate numerous other Midway games throughout the years. Classic quotes are present that are simply unforgettable to anyone who has ever played the game. The in game music keeps up with the pace of the game and roar of the crowd brings the stadium alive.

It's undeniable that NBA Jam is a classic. It paved the way for more Midway sports games like NFL Blitz and the recent MLB Slugfest. If your dying to play the game and an arcade is nowhere to be found, this is the way to go. The extra options, codes, and customization options are worth the price of admission to anyone who enjoys the gameplay.

Side Note: This game is identical gameplay-wise to the PlayStation version. The Saturn version seems to load slightly faster, but this difference is negligible at best.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:29 PM