It seems the Jaguar missed its calling. After
witnessing what it can pull off with NBA Jam T.E., it's a wonder why more
companies didn't give it a shot. On par with graphically and gameplay wise with both the
Saturn and PS One ports, this is a fantastic conversion of an already great game. And not
that it's saying much, but it's the best basketball game on the system.
If you're gamer of any age and haven't played a version of NBA Jam,
you're not really a gamer. It's the single most important arcade style basketball game
ever made, filled with flawless dynamics and over the top dunks. If you have the ability,
playing alongside three other friends in a 2-on-2 struggle is far more entertaining than
any serious basketball simulation. The substitution feature added to this edition is
brilliantly executed, creating balance regardless of what two teams are playing.
This port contains everything the other console versions did, complete with a battery
back-up, selectable hot spots, no fouls, and special teams comprised of all stars and
rookies. Even with the Jaguar controller, this is still perfectly playable, the B button
serving as the all-important turbo. This version does seem just a notch harder than its
counterparts, even on the easiest level.
There's nothing particularly special about this version to differentiate it
other than the graphics, which feature all of the parallax and scaling players. Colors
seem a little more muted that the arcade game, especially when it comes to the crowd. It's
just a notch below the arcade port. A few animations seem to be missing too, especially
when it comes to jump shots and complicated dunks.
The audio side doesn't quite fare as well. The music has been completely changed and it's
not for the better. The theme playing through the fourth quarter is disgusting and
annoying. Not a single track from the original has been included. Tim Kitzrow's
unmistakable voice still blares in the background, all of his calls seemingly intact, even
the players names.
Considering the only competition on the Jaguar is the unplayable mess White Men Can't
Jump, Jam T.E. has a nice home here. It certainly seems to fit better here
than it does on the crowded 16-bit consoles. It's a classic, and it deserves to be.