Electornic Arts has slam dunked NBA Jam onto Android and I couldn’t be happier! They have kept a lot of the elements of the original console game as well as adding some features that will be brought forth soon enough. I really just couldn’t believe it when I first saw this, and having to wait till I hit my WiFi to download it (it’s over 300MB) just added to my anticipation.
This 2v2 arcade basketball is just like the one you remember playing as a kid – but, simply put, better! Everything I enjoyed from the console versions is here, from the same announcer to the high jumping blocks. The thing that made this game so unique and fun was that there were really no fouls, free-throws or violations except for the 24 second shot clock and the goal tending. Everything else is fair game and it’s a bull rush of high flying antics to the finish.
Every comment in the Google Play Store on this app either says “Worth the price” or “really brings me back”. They really hit the nail on the head with this one and at $4.99 you’re getting a great deal on a classic title. The multiplayer feature is a great addition and I’m sure everyone who is playing it is just as thankful as I am.
Start Menu and Matchup
After the selection of your team – Celtics fan over here – and your opponents, the game commences and the jump-ball is where the action starts. The onscreen controls are responsive and there are different actions if you slide your fingers to each control. There are buttons for Pass, Turbo and Dunk. If you touch Turbo and slide your finger to Dunk, the selection pops up for Block (defense), Alley-Oop and Shoot. On the other hand, if you slide to Pass you can shove or steal the ball.
Now what’s great (and what I love to do because I’m a mean and unfair person when it comes to games) is if you double-tap Turbo you can throw elbows. This backs the defense off you to free-up some play space and get those desperate last second shots off. Also available are gesture controls which you can use to eliminate tapping the right buttons; sliding your finger in different directions on the pad given unleashes different moves.
Arcade and Gesture Controls
Make sure you read through the controls before playing because they’re consolidated and upon first glance can be hard to figure out.
Just like it says this is campaign where you choose your division: go for Northwest, Atlanic, Southwest, Southeast, Pacific, Central or play them all! Go on to select a team and defeat the 36 opposing teams. The great thing about this is that you can have multiple campaigns at once, and each is auto-saved to the SD card.
Once you have mastered the Rookie and Veteran difficulty try the harder ones, where the CPU really steps their game up, stealing the ball and blocking your shots constantly.
This game mode lets you get a quick game in. You can select teams for both yourself and the computer, and (once unlocked) you can select different players and customize your team.
Gamplay using Arcade Controls
If you get tired of the guy you picked you can substitute at half time for another one. This is great when you’re short on time and helps to unlock some challenges where you don’t want to mess anything up in your campaign.
In this area you can join or create a game between you and someone else sharing the same Wi-Fi. This is a cool feature and can leave some friendships on edge after a game or two. The only thing this is lacking is the ability to play against random people online, instead of just friends over Wi-Fi.
Campaign and Challenges
Another great mode is the Challenges section which is seen now in a lot of console games like Xbox360 and Playstation 3. Much like Achievements you can unlock, you are presented with challenges to complete. This provides that extra little bit of fun after you’ve beaten a campaign or are just taking a break from it.
Totally En Fuego!
The commentating in the game is the same as it used to be and features the same funky lingo that has been associated with it for years. The old sayings are starting to pop back up between me and my friends as it will between you and yours as well. It’s not that they’re great, exactly, but they are catchy and funny.
Thank the Android gods that this game has finally come to the platform, because something so great and simple like this classic can never get old. Since downloading I find myself playing less Xbox and just chipping away at my campaign and challenges. I’m happy it was given a new life on this mobile platform and believe me when I say that I have made all my friends download it.
From the graphics of the game to the background music and fluidity of gameplay, this is a solid game. I only ranked it a nine out of ten because of the lack of an online multiplayer option. Also, sometimes there is an additional Wi-Fi download upon loading the game, which can halt gameplay – though I haven’t played in an area that didn’t have Wi-Fi readily available so it hasn’t really affected me.
Those are my only gripes and they’re very small ones at that. Give it a shot, because once you’ve started, you will want to play more.