Greetings and salutations to you all and welcome back to my little corner of the T4 website. This week, I’m covering yet ANOTHER EA Sports title, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition. It’s available today on the PSN and the Xbox Live Marketplace for $14.99. And I know what you’re thinking…..”William, didn’t I just pay $40 for this game last year?!” Same name, different game and a better price.
For a vintage/retro title like NBA Jam, I really don’t see why they would’ve thrown such an expensive price tag on the “other” edition of the game. What all changed outside of updated graphics, updated rosters, and online play (which wasn’t around back in the day the original NBA Jam came out)? Pretty much sounds like your standard sports game to me. Charge people a hefty price from the same ol’ game with little changes here and there (i.e. EA’s Madden series). And the even better part was that NBA Jam wasn’t even supposed to be a $40 game originally. It was supposed to come FREE with EA’s NBA Elite ’11 game, but EA cancelled NBA Elite ’11, so they converted the Wii version of NBA Jam to Xbox 360 and PS3 and just threw it out there onto the store shelves to cover up their failure. But with all that being said, kudos to EA Sports for putting out this new edition of NBA Jam out for a better price, available to download on the marketplaces, and actually made some major changes to the game since last year’s model. They’ve made some gameplay/balancing changes, including tag mode where you can use both players on your team instead of just being that one single player, added some new teams, players and legends, and brand new A.I. system that has player archetypes (i.e. big guys play like big guys, 3 point shooters go for 3′s more often etc.), unlockables, and then “Road Trip” mode and an “online arena” mode.
The Road Trip mode is a pretty cool addition. It’s basically you taking on all 30 teams of the NBA and each team has 3 levels to complete: Bronze, Silver, Gold. Your Bronze level is the basic two on two NBA Jam game against current players. Silver level is two on two against “classic” players (was gonna say legends, but some teams just don’t have legends in their history books). Gold is two on two, one classic player and one current player and then has some gameplay modifications. For example, playing against Boston Celtics on Gold level put me up against Larry Bird and Ray Allen, and the scoring was changed to 3 pointers are worth 4 points, 2 pointers are worth 3, and dunks and layups are worth 1 point. Another big of good news with this mode is that it’s co-op enabled, meaning if you want to, you can play with a friend on your team. “Online arena” mode is the basic two vs two games that we are all used to from the arcade machine days.
Another nice feature they added in this year is the unlockables, points, and challenges. As you play through the different modes, you unlock challenges (Make three 3 pointers, smash out the backboards, finish an online game and so on), which in turn unlocks point for you to unlock teams, legends, mascots, different bonuses (big head mode, unlimited turbo) different looking basketballs like Molten Lava ball and USA ball. So that’s a whole of replayability, at least in my eyes.
The only negatives I can say for NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is the horrible music choices (sounds like all techno and you have to leave one of them on) and the default control scheme. For the most part, the controls feel fine, except instead of having the pass (offense button) being the same button as steal (defense), the pass button has you attempt to block shots on defense and the steal button has no purpose on offense. It takes a bit of getting used to and I’m sure there will be times that you screw up by pressing the wrong button.
With all that being said, thank you for reading my review. If anything in this review caught your interest, please check out this game. It is definitely worth the time and money. Feel free to leave comments and feedback. They are greatly appreciated. If you agree with what I have written, say so. If you don’t like the game or my review, say so. If there is a certain game you’d like to see me review out of my collection, once again, just say so, and I will do the best that I can to write one up for you.
My personal video game collection: http://www.icollectmedia.com/collection/game/wboyd31/?display=
My Xbox Live Gamertag: WBoyd31
My PSN Gamertag: LonesomeRaven