NBA Jam Makes Its High-Def Debut

Posted: August 7, 2010 in Wii
Tags: , , ,

If you’ve been following over the last week (and I hope you have), then you know that NBA Jam is coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the form of a one-time free download packaged with NBA Elite 11, EA Sports’ simulation basketball title. Recently I got the chance to head up to Vancouver for a day in EA’s studio. During my time I was lucky enough to get the first-ever hands-on with NBA Jam on high-definition systems.

It’s tough for a downloadable game to get me as excited as I was to get my hands on NBA Jam on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for the very first time. Not to diss the Wii version or anything, but the amount of visual flair that NBA Jam brings was clearly meant for high-def screens once you see it in action. The facial expressions that you’ll see when players go for dunks or get stripped of the ball are pretty hilarious and the fact that every team has a different set of players means you’ll have plenty to laugh at.

The game I played featured the Lakers against the Celtics. That meant it was Kobe and Pau Gasol for the Lakers and Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo for the Celtics. The guards played as you’d expect, with Kobe having the expected ability of slamming the ball home unless the big guys on the court timed their jump just right. As our direct-feed gameplay clips show, there’s the potential for a good amount of blocks in NBA Jam if players continually try to go inside for the dunk.

Don’t get me wrong, there were still enough dunks and alley-oops for me to be able to break the backboard (an insanely rewarding experience), but I never felt totally safe from getting blocked and totally embarrassed. That, in turn, only upped the satisfaction I felt when I successfully stuffed one in the face of my opponent.

The gameplay is pretty much identical to what you’ll find in the new Wii version of Jam. You can still alter your dunk in mid-air and turn it into a layup, and the ability to break your opponent’s ankles with a dribbling move is still very much intact. In fact, there are no gameplay mechanics exclusive to either version. The experience is the same throughout, less the enhanced graphics on the high-def systems.

That’s not to say that the feature set is identical. Those playing on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 won’t get any of the 91 challenges that Wii players will enjoy. Instead they’ll get the more straightforward Play Now and Classic Campaign (a ladder tournament) to go along with online and local multiplayer. Online multiplayer could be a point of contention for those planning to purchase the Wii version as the feature has yet to be confirmed for Nintendo’s system.

Well, that’s about all there is to say about NBA Jam on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s fast, it’s seriously fun, and the enhanced visuals really bring out the detail in each player and coach. Now the only thing left to do is feast your eyes on the first three direct-feed clips and wait for NBA Elite 11 to release on October 5.

  • Published by: Electronic Arts
  • Genre:  Sports
  • Release Date:US: October 2010
  • E for Everyone
  • Also Available On:Wii, PS3, XBox360

(via ign)

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