Schu-Review : NBA Jam-a-lamma Ding Dong

Entertainment, Games

Let me be clear about this right up front, I like this game. I think it is fun. It’s just that NBA JAM comes squarely from Frustration city USA. I really want to like it more as they have captured the game play of the original EXACTLY. Unfortunately they also captured the most frustrating elements of the old version. Like many games of it’s generation NBA JAM was severely lacking in the AI department and it plays like there is some dial that the computer is using that just has two settings ‘do nothing’ or ‘make it impossible to stop’. I have to admit that I’ve never been that good at the game anyway so that might account for my frustration.

I’ve started the career mode on Easy (because that’s the default setting).  I’ve played about 15 games and have won them all, right now I’m trying to beat the computer by double their points and thus unlock Danny Manning. Because that’s all there seems to be to this game is unlocking characters by doing things (10 blocks, etc)

more stuff after the break… featuring charts!

Here’s how a typical game has gone, recently.
Wizards (Andre Blatche – Minute Bol)


Spurs (Tim Duncan – Tony Parker)

first 32-4
second 37-24
third 54-38
final 64-50

Now you could say this was because I was playing the Spurs which are a pretty good team, but this same kind of thing happens against teams like the Clippers.

I didn’t suddenly get shittier after the first quarter. I was getting a Minute Bol block party in the first and then suddenly he grows roots and becomes poster fodder in the second and third. Apparently when you get up about 20 points the computer decides to flip the dial to ‘Block Everything’ and can just own you at any moment. No matter what you do you get blocked every time and they make every shot… its very frustrating.

It’s not as bad as NBA Jam knockoff ‘NBA Hangtime’ for N64 where no matter how much you were up the computer would ALWAYS come back and ALWAYS make a full court shot in the final second… and I mean ALWAYS. But it’s more like Need for Speed where you could be driving like you were drunk and blind and somehow be right behind the leaders going into the final stretch.

All I’m asking for is a little more consistency… at least on Easy.

Update: The consistency is apparently on the ‘Normal’ difficulty where they play similar to the second quarter in this game the whole time and you really have to be on your defense the whole time of they can get out of control easily.

The only things that are wrong with this game are that the AI kind of sucks and that it plays esactly like a game that came out around 1993.  So it’s a little hard to pay full price for it knowing how deep other games are out there for this generation of consoles.  But these can be solved by having friends to play with and waiting until it goes on sale to buy it.  I’ll have to play it a little more to get a definative review score, but early reports are in and I give it…

4 out of 5 Schus

2 thoughts on “Schu-Review : NBA Jam-a-lamma Ding Dong

  1. Just destroyed my NBA JAM DVD. I had the same frustrating experience as you had. I made it to double up the score against the CPU, but I didn’t made it to defeat Magic Johnson and Karl Malone in the Remix Tour. Finally, Karl gave me the rest and I gave the DVD the rest.
    Multi Player is ok… Single Player really sucks!

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