June is the month to get your business organised. Enter today.
NBA Jam on Nintendo Wii is one of the most enjoyable 2-on-2 basketball games with no real rules!
- Plays like the original, plenty of unlockables, one of the best announcers ever
- Expensive for what's essentially an arcade game, lacks online multiplayer
A return to roots for one of the most enjoyable, outrageous sports games out there, NBA Jam expertly captures the over-the-top nature of the arcade classic.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
NBA Jam is a simple game: It's 2-on-2 basketball with no real rules. Pushing and knocking down opponents is encouraged. Players routinely jump 10-plus feet into the air and spin like a helicopter. And if a player hits three consecutive shots, they literally catch fire and become nearly unstoppable. This is how the game was played in 1993 when it first debuted, and as ridiculous as it sounds on paper, it was an absolute blast. The franchise went through a lot of ups and downs over the years, with various attempts to change or tweak the formula, but EA wisely decided to go back to the series' roots for this reboot, and the game is better for it.
As in the original, you pick a team and then take on the rest of the NBA, one team at a time. Rosters are current, which means that the Miami Heat, with their holy trinity of superstars, will likely be the go-to team for many -- just as the Chicago Bulls were in the original. Less-stacked teams like the Indiana Pacers, however, will probably only see play from people related to Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford, and Danny Granger. Old-school players (and NBA Jam alums) Dennis Rodman, Rony Seikaly, Kevin McHale, and many more are unlockable, which gives you plenty of incentive to play for and against every team.
The first few games start off easy, but it doesn't take long before the CPU gets challenging. Final scores are typically quite close thanks to liberal (but not excessive) rubber-band A.I. If you're pummelling either the CPU or a friend, expect to miss a few more shots than usual, and expect the opposing team to suddenly start hitting buckets from every spot on the court. This can be somewhat frustrating, but it keeps the games interesting and typically initiates more than a little bit of trash talk between players.
In addition to the traditional mode, there are a number of alternative game modes available as well. Remix has power-ups that sporadically appear on the court that will affect the on-court action in different ways -- shrinking the opposition, raising your shooting accuracy, or increasing your quickness, to name three examples. The most enjoyable game mode is Smash, in which your goal is to be the first team to break the backboard. Each dunk lowers the backboard's "health bar" a small amount, while alley-oops cause massive damage. There's something about the huge dunks, the sense of urgency that accompanies a dwindling life bar, and the close nature of the contests that makes this mode extremely entertaining.
There are three different control schemes available. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the Remote and Nunchuk combo the most. It was tremendously satisfying to flick the remote up to initiate a dunk, and then vigorously move it downward to slam the ball home. If you prefer more-traditional controls, you'll want to use a Classic Controller; turning the remote sideways is quite awkward because of how often you'll need to press the B button.
The motion controls may make NBA Jam feel modern, but its presentation certainly doesn't. This isn't a bad thing; on the contrary, it's one of the game's strengths. It wouldn't feel like NBA Jam if there weren't digitised players with big heads, choppy crowd animations, silly mascots, and ridiculous-looking dunks. The series' famed announcer, Tim Kritzkow, is back, and he's as outlandish as ever. Classic one-liners such as "boom-shaka-laka" are here, but you'll also be treated to a number of new phrases like "You're the man now, dog!" and a humorous imitation of American Idol's Randy Jackson.
NBA Jam is exactly what you'd want and expect from a NBA Jam game, even one being released in 2010. Everything that made the series great in the mid-90s is intact, yet just enough was modernised so that it doesn't feel too dated. The $79.95 price tag is pushing it a bit for a game that's somewhat light on depth, but hey, it's a blast, and that's what counts. If, however, EA goes to a Madden-like yearly release schedule, they're going to have to provide a lot more bang for the buck if they expect gamers to shell out that much on an annual basis.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- 2 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 3 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 4 Fitbit Versa review: New look, better price, same limits
- 5 Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 review: Smaller form-factor, higher performance
Latest News Articles
- E3 2018: Every big game announcement and trailer
- Computex 2018: CoolerMaster have new a mouse that can count your kills
- Computex 2018: Everything new announced and shown by MSI
- Computex 2018: Razer open up RGB ecosystem and keyswitches to third parties
- Computex 2018: ROG up their game with new Strix II notebooks
PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
- Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- Computex 2018: Nvidia launches new AI-focused hardware and software platforms
- Computex 2018: Everything you missed at Asia's biggest tech tradeshow
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?