NBA Jam 2004 is an arcade-style basketball game, where the emphasis is on fun and not substance. Not taking itself seriously NBA Jam keeps in-line with the same formula that has worked in the past. Unfortunately for NBA Jam it has to dunk with other competition like NBA Street Vol.2.
It wasn't until I put in the disk for NBA Jam 2004 that I realized that I have played this game before. It was the early 1990's and it was at my favorite coin sucking arcade spots. To my surprise that game isn't much different from other remakes of NBA Jam, even the ones from back in the day. Rewinding time to the time of the stand up quarter game, I remember this game was more fun then its current form on the Xbox. Back when it was an innovator of arcade b-ball games and not an old series trying to regain its former glory. In 10 years the stakes have been raised and there are more companies trying to rebound from there shot, but NBA Jam doesn't reclaim the courts of gaming greatness.
If you a familiar with other arcade b-ball games then you will know what to expect in NBA Jam. On the court you will play 3 vs. 3 which clears up the clutter and gives you enough room to pull of some unreal hoop moves. NBA Jam keeps a simple concept with the gameplay and can be picked up and instantly mastered in a few runs.
In NBA Jam you can experience real players, legends or make up your own star player. There isn't much to mention in extra features department except the ability to download new content via Xbox Live. Some cool over- the-top teams have been released, but overall there has been few updates for the game.
Graphics & Sound
Keep it simple is the best way to describe the overall tone of NBA Jam. The character models are very similar like they have been reproduced from the same cloning tubes. Uck! The game does throw in some cool funky players, but overall it's not memorable. The main gimmick here is the "Big Head" or "Bubblehead" style, so if you don't care for the big head phenomenon in early sports games, you're not going to care now.
The sound department mirrors the graphics end and really doesn't have anything that will turn heads. The grooves are efficient, but the best part of NBA Jam is partial commentary and one liners from Tim Kitzow (the original voice of NBA Jam). Good to hear ya Tim.
"He's On Fire!" are the words of Jam which ignites you player with some turbo madness brining the heat to the court. In NBA Jam when your 'Jam' meter fills you will have power-up baler who can bring in the big moves to pull the game ahead, like all power-ups this mode lasts a short, so make it count. The 'Jam' meter is the most memrable part of NBA Jam and it keeps it in par with other basketball titles, but overall this title is innovatively challenged.
NBA Jam brings little to the plate when you can play ultra modified balers like NBA Showtime and NBA Street. However, I digged how the gameplay and concepts are kept simple which will attract all levels of gamers. Plus somepeople will just love the big heads. Boy aren't they funny?!
The arcade style of NBA Jam 2004 makes it a great game to pick up and play; unfortunately there isn't much to keep you here after a few hours of action. NBA Jam needs to refocus there efforts and turn out a more cutting edge product in the next offering. Great barging bin stuff.
Gameplay: 6.5, Graphics/Sound: 6, Innovation: 5, Mojo: 5. Final: 6
Reviewed by Tinnanski -
- All the popular signature NBA JAM features are back - including over-the top gameplay, "On-Fire" & "Big Head" modes, no fouls, Hotspots and surprising hidden characters
- All 29 current NBA teams, players & arenas, plus many famous old NBA arenas and even outdoor playground courts
- Play against over 50 of the NBA's greatest players from the past 50 years in the Legends Tournament, taking you on a journey through the NBA of the 1950s - 1990s with era-specific music, uniforms, hairstyles, commentary and motions.
- Over 700 new motions, including signature moves for current NBA All-Stars and Legends.
- Game modes include quick-play Exhibition, NBA JAM Tournament, NBA Legends Tournament & Mini Games.
- All-new Create-A-Player allows you to build your own court warrior.
- Purchase upgraded attributes in the JAM Store
- Commentary by Tim Kitzrow - the original voice of NBA JAM - and special surprise guest commentary!