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Bringing the boom shaka laka with NBA Jam

Jul 23 // Ben Perlee
NBA Jam (Wii)Developer: EA CanadaPublisher: EATo be released: October 5, 2010 Some of the most exciting words from Smith indicate strong respect for the original arcade ROM. This isn’t a title that builds off of the SNES or Genesis versions of the game, here it’s all about striving for the best from the Midway original. For example, many players will remember that the shove was a common technique in the original, so EA has added a new ability to counter this with the spin move, which will render the shove useless. Also, there is a new radial attack move called the ankle breaker which will stop opposing players even more. While EA is still remaining mum on the issue that NBA Jam is going to be ported over to the Xbox 360 and the PS3, the fact that it is on the Wii aligns it with some motion control options. Basic turbo, pass, shove, and other moves are performed with the A, B, and Z-buttons, and combinations of those. Dunks and shots, however, are done by swinging the wiimote up, then down. Yeah, some people will hate it, but it's a simple enough motion that it gets the job done just fine without any problems. As a matter of fact, with four bros playing side by side, it's a chaotic and fun experience that recreates the fun of the arcade game quite well. There were two new modes shown. While plenty of different game options will be offered, the Backboard Smash and boss battle are what EA deemed appropriate for the press event. Backboard Smash was described as “NBA meets Street Fighter” as each team’s backboards have a health bar, and each dunk does damage to the backboard. While it’s a bit derivative and doesn’t really feel that different from, say, being the first to reach a certain score, it was still a blast to play. Hearing all of the crazy stuff from the announcer, which are the originals from the old school titles ("Boom shaka laka!", for example), made it feel like 1993 all over again. The second mode I was shown was the boss battles. Do well enough, and powerful players and legacy stars will challenge to a specialized match-up. Magic Johnson was the one we were shown, and the battle took place on a magician-themed half-court for a one-on-one match up. Magic has a teleporting ability, so he's able to pass to himself and even ally-oop, while the player has to struggle with just their normal skills. It's a challenge, to be sure, but a classic way of unlocking new players. There is going to be two ways to play the single player as well. There will be Classic mode, which is a standard tournament mode, and then there is the Remix tour. This mode is more about doing what you want, when you want, so players who want to skip certain modes and rule sets can skip right past. As well, there are some power-ups and extra arcadey stuff tossed in to mix things up. Other major additions include an updated roster to include all of the major recent team shake-ups. LeBron James, for example, is already rocking his Miami Heat uniform. When asked if NBA Jam could become an annual title like Madden, Smith said the dev team was open to the idea, but they are working hard on making this version of NBA Jam a proper return to form for the IP for when it launches on October 5. Visually, it looks like EA has hit this one out of the park. All of the character models have been designed with traditional 3D models, only instead of recreating the heads, EA just uses static images of each player's face. It's a funny method, with only 12 images to provide all of the range of actions and motions, but it actually gets the job done very well. This method is even applied to the cheerleaders and audience members, and the whole “NBA Jam” vibe is recreated very well. A return of cheats codes is a bit of retro nostalgia done right, with big head mode confirmed as just the first of many, making these headshots even more dramatic. NBA Jam is outlandish and gutsy, and is better because of it. Coming away from NBA Jam, I'm very impressed. With an obvious love for the original, while choosing a crazy new visual style, EA is doing something special with this one. Finger's crossed EA can bring the dynamite with this one when it comes out in October.

NBA Jam is the lost basketball game for a whole generation. Born in the arcades, this legendary title was the very first basketball game to properly recreate the likenesses of the players we grew up and loved. With insane com...


Check out the new Heat and Bulls in NBA Jam

Jul 14
// Samit Sarkar
We still don't officially know if NBA Jam will actually be coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but in the meantime, you can take a look at the in-game results of this summer's NBA free agency period. The Chicago Bu...

A fiery basketball? Yep, this is NBA Jam box art

Jul 08
// Jordan Devore
I hope you're sitting down, because we have the cover art for NBA Jam, courtesy of Twitter. This is the biggest story of the day, no question. My criteria -- "is there a basketball on fire?" -- has been met. You win this roun...

German ratings board passes NBA Jam to 360, PS3

Jul 07
// Nick Chester
Electronic Arts is bringing back NBA Jam this holiday, and I've played it, and it's awesome. Have you played NBA Jam before? You know what you're getting yourself into. But there's been some people thumbing their noses at the...

Tim Kitzrow might shout your catchphrase in NBA Jam

May 13
// Samit Sarkar
If you played NBA Jam back in the day, you have fond memories of the game's announcer, Tim Kitzrow. Spouting unforgettable lines like "he's on fire!" and "boomshakalaka," Kitzrow was a major factor in the game's brillia...

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson will be bosses in NBA Jam

Mar 31
// Samit Sarkar
NBA Jam is a revival of a classic game, so it stands to reason that the Wii-exclusive title will feature classic players. MTV Multiplayer confirmed this when they spoke to the game's creative director, Trey Smith, about ...

The smile never left my face as I played the new NBA Jam

Mar 31 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]167063:28281[/embed] NBA Jam (Wii)Developer: EA CanadaPublisher: Electronic ArtsTo be released: Fall 2010 NBA Jam fans, you're the reason a new entry to the series has been made. The fan outcry was the driving force behind EA's decision to greenlight the project at all. NBA Jam is all about the fans of the original and the team at EA Canada made sure to stay true to the Jam roots through the game's Classic Campaign mode. Players will be in control of two-man teams as they go up against other teams. I used the Nunchuck and Wiimote combo, but you will be able to just use the Wiimote or the Classic controller as well. You'll be able to perform turbos, steal balls, spin and shove others around in the no-holds barged game of basketball. To shoot your ball you'll move the Wiimote upward and then move the controller down to either shoot the ball or do a lay up. The visual style remains true to the series as the player animations keep the quirkiness of the franchise intact. Players' bodies are rendered in 3D while the heads are shown off in 2D. The head and body move independently of each other, and it's a hoot to see the players running around the court. While purists will be pleased with the classic mode, there's also the Remix Tour mode for those looking for something more. The remix mode will offer a ton of new features -- such as a boss battle mode featuring legendary NBA players -- but EA won't be going into detail about the new stuff just yet. NBA Jam supports four players, but as of right now, multiplayer is limited to local play. EA isn't ruling out online multiplayer just yet, so fingers crossed that online makes it into the final game. Either way, NBA Jam is one of those games that you really want to play with others in the same room. I played a few rounds during the preview event and the smile on my face never left me. My cheeks were hurting by the time I stopped! NBA Jam is about having a good time and EA Canada certainly has certainly achieved that feeling.

Growing up in the days of the Super Nintendo was a huge blessing for me. I love Nintendo' s second videogame console with all of my heart and still believe it to be one of the best systems ever made. Many cartridges went thr...


NBA Jam debut trailer makes me giggle like a child

Mar 15
// Samit Sarkar
This is the first footage of EA Sports' Wii-exclusive (as far as we know, anyway) NBA Jam, and my goodness, is it glorious. Just as I hoped in my list of NBA Jam suggestions, developer EA Canada looks to be including a ...

Rumor: NBA Jam coming to PS3, 360 as well as Wii (Update)

Feb 21
// Samit Sarkar
It looks like somebody at EA Sports may have been listening when I implored EA Canada to bring NBA Jam to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 along with the Wii. The publisher has always spoken of the game as a Wii exclusive,...

Five things EA Canada should do with the new NBA Jam

Jan 12
// Samit Sarkar
[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or ho...

'He's heating up!' NBA Jam info and speculation

Jan 11
// Samit Sarkar
Is that a kick-ass logo, or what? This morning, EA confirmed earlier rumors of a revival of Midway’s arcade classic, NBA Jam, exclusively for the Wii. That last part -- that the game is only coming to the Wii -- seems ...

Wii-exclusive NBA Jam revival confirmed, releases 2010

Jan 11 // Brad Nicholson
BOOOOOOM-SHAKA-LAKA! EA ANNOUNCES NBA JAM New Take on Classic Game to Appear on the Wii in 2010 REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Jan 11, 2010 – Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that EA SPORTS™ is developing one of the most popular and culturally influential arcade basketball games ever made — NBA JAM — for the Nintendo Wii™. EA SPORTS NBA JAM™ revives the classic franchise with vintage NBA JAM gameplay, and all-new features that deliver a fresh new take on the game. Featuring the sights and sounds that fans of the franchise will instantly recognize, EA SPORTS NBA JAM mixes the old school with the new, to deliver a one-of-a-kind sports presentation on the Wii.“NBA JAM is one of the most recognizable franchises in videogame history,” said Peter Moore, President, EA SPORTS. “Diehard fans of the original game have been asking for a remake for more than a decade. We’re very excited to give them their wish this year with the return of this iconic franchise.”Featuring gameplay that is true to the original, NBA JAM will have players spinning with ankle-breaking moves to the basket and on the way to high-flying, backboard-smashing dunks. In addition to the classic experience, EA SPORTS NBA JAM will also introduce new game modes, characters and gameplay depth.NBA JAM brought an all-new visual style to the sports videogame genre when it debuted in 1993. Now, the new EA SPORTS NBA JAM re-defines the visuals for a sports game yet again by bringing true-to-life body types, updated physics and visible player emotion to the over-the-top experience.EA SPORTS NBA JAM is currently in development at EA Canada in Vancouver, BC and will be available for the Nintendo Wii videogame system in 2010. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB or PEGI.For more information, visit

Rumors of an EA Sports-developed NBA Jam revival are true. This morning, the publisher officially announced EA Sports NBA Jam, a Wii-exclusive throwback to the original arcade title with a “fresh new take” on the ...


Rumor: New EA Sports game is NBA Jam

Jan 05
// Brad Nicholson
Even though EA Sports has remained mum about its mysterious IP set to be revealed this month, inside sources have been talking. Last month, our source said the new game is being called “NFL Trainer,” a Wii exclusi...

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