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NBA Jam Tournament Edition - The Atari Times

NBA Jam Tournament Edition


The Jag's 3rd best game is often forgotten
by Gregory D. George

April 12, 2001
Ya know, the Jaguar isn't hurting for basketball titles. There are three, if you include the proto of Charles Barkley: Shut Up and Jam and the (terrible) White Men Can't Jump and our game of the moment, NBA Jam Tournament Edition.

Behind Tempest 2000 and Alien vs. Predator, NBA Jam is arguably the Jaguar's 3rd best game. It's certainly a lot of fun, and probably the best version outside of the arcade. The Jaguar version is miles better in terms of graphics and sounds than either the Genesis or Super Nintendo versions.

You're probably familiar with the gameplay. It's wild and crazy 2-on-2 basketball high flying dunks and super fast action! There are dozens of real (and probably now retired) NBA players like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Karl Malone, and others.

The graphics are extremely nice for a sprite based game, and the floor has a unique 3D-ish scroll to it. There's a bit of background animation (from cheerleaders and such) but not much else to speak of. The character animation is very nice and you'll quickly forget it's a sprite game. The only issue with it is how blocky they characters get when up close. But they're still bigger than the Genesis or SNES versions.

The music is very catchy, and the announcer doesn't get too annoying. The sounds are nice as the ball is passed, the players get knocked down, or the rim gets rattled. Some of the comments are humorous, like "Boomshakalacka!" or "Take that!"

The gameplay is just fun. You can steal the ball, block, take 3-point jump shots, or just dunk it in. If you do it just right, you'll see some truly spectacular dunks! You can hold the Turbo button to make you run faster or jump higher, but you'll run out of energy if you hold the button down for too long. And if you hit three shots in a row, you will become "on fire" and will be able to hit just about any shot, you won't get tired, and it's easier to steal the ball.

There are TONS of options which can make the game even more enjoyable. You can turn on or off "hotspots" that will appear on the court. If you hit a shot from this hotspot, you can get anywhere from 4 to 9 points instead of the regular 2 or 3. Also, there are icons that appear on the court that can knock the other players down, give you 3-point power, "on fire" power, defensive power, and others. These options make the game really interesting! There are also tons of secret players (see the Jaguar cheats section) which can make the game more exciting.

The controls are very smooth and you can reconfigure them as you like. Just don't forget how you set them if you haven't played the game for awhile, or it'll cost you some points! There is no rumble pack for the Jaguar, but you can almost feel the melee when you get knocked down!

The music is catchy, the control is tight, and the graphics are arcade perfect. Forget about the Genesis, SNES, or any other version of this game. The Jaguar version is the one to own!

Don't you forget about me...
"Boomshackalacka!" You'll hear lots of intellectual phrases like this during the fast gameplay of NBA Jam!
If you jump when they shoot, they're less likely to hit the shot.
Try not to goaltend...
NBA Jam Tournament Edition
System: Jaguar
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Sports
Graphics Score: 90%
Sound & Music Score: 95%
Gameplay Score: 95%
Control Score: 85%

Final Score: 90%



Reader Comments for NBA Jam Tournament Edition

Very much Agree by Pete5125 on 2007-04-14 20:41:12
With the 4 player adapter, you have a almost arcade perfect NBA Jam, If you were to include this with a very selective 10 maybe 15 titles then you could convince your friends that the Jag was a hit system just, miss understood,(hide your 2 or 3 copies of Checked Flag and Cybermorph at al cost)
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