NBA Jam is a 2-on-2 arcade basketball game developed by EA Canada and published by EA Sports for the Wii on October 5, 2010. PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version were released a month later, and featured online play. Unlike the previous installments, which were developed and published by Acclaim, the 2010 installment's gameplay is essentially an improved remake of Midway's original NBA Jam. (With help from the original designer, Mark Turmell, who worked with EA Tiburon at the time).
Returning from the original NBA Jam games is Tim Kitzrow, the iconic announcer who shouted famous catchphrases such as "Boomshakalaka!" and "He's on fire!". The game also brings back special guest characters and easter eggs, such as Bill Clinton, the Beastie Boys, and Big Head Mode, while adding modern secret characters such as presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
On January 11th, 2013, the online servers were shut down for the game.
The game was originally revealed to be a Wii exclusive, but was later revealed to also be available as a downloadable game on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, to be included for free with new copies of NBA Elite 11. This version of the game wouldn't have come with the Remix Tour game mode that is included in the Wii version. However, after NBA Elite 11 was canceled due to technical issues, EA Sports announced that NBA Jam would become a retail product for the two systems, and would include the Remix Tour mode, as well as online play. The game received a retail release for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 17, 2010.
NBA Jam is a fast-pace arcade style 2-on-2 basketball game that plays very similarly to the 1993 arcade game of the same name. Their are no fouls in NBA Jam other than goal tending (interfering with the ball when it is on the way to the basket) and shot clock violation (24 second shot clock expires before a shot is taken). Since their are only those two fouls, players have the ability to shove their opponents in an attempt to jar the basketball loose. In order to counter this, a new spin move has been added to the series. If the player spins just as they are about to be shoved they will spin out of the shove causing the opposing player to stagger over. Another new offensive move added to the series is a crossover move. A successful counter will cause the opponent to stagger for a moment giving the player a chance to score a bucket. Players also have the ability to perform alley-oops by passing the ball to an airborne teammate or by going up for an alley-oop themselves and having their teammate pass it to them.
If the player manages to score 3 times in a row they will become "on fire" (points scored via goal tending violations do not count). When on fire the player has unlimited turbo, better shot making ability, and the ability to perform gravity defying dunks. The only way to put out an opposing players fire is by scoring a bucket (scoring via a goal tending violation will not put out an opposing players fire). If the players on fire status has not been put out after 5 possessions, it will automatically go out.
In addition to the classic 2v2 game, several new modes have been added including 21, Smash, Domination, Elimination and 2v2 Remix. Classic Campaign only features the classic 2v2 game while Remix Tour features the other game types.
In 21 the player is stacked up against 1 to 3 AI opponents in a race to 21 points. Only half the court is used and the perspective changes from a sideline view to a view positioned at the players back. The first player to reach 21 points wins the game. It also is make it take it, meaning the last player to score gets the ball back.
In Smash the object of the game is to weaken the opposing teams backboard by performing dunks and alley-oops. Regular shots also do damage, but the damage is minimal. Each successful dunk, alley-oop or shot takes life off of the opposing teams backboard. Once the opponents backboard's life meter is completely empty, the backboard's glass shatters and the game ends with the player who shattered the backboard winning the game. The killing blow to the backboard must be a dunk or an alley-oop and not a lay-up or a jump shot.
In Domination the object of the game is to gain spots on the court by scoring a basket while standing inside the spot. As in 21, the game is played half court with the camera to the players back and the game can be played in teams of 2 or free-for-all. There are five spots on the court: 4 placed on the three point line and 1 in the "paint". Once a player has control of a spot they continually gain points from it until either the opposing player takes the spot or the spot expires after a certain period of time. The first team or player to reach 100 points wins the game.
Elimination is similar to 21 in many aspects, the only difference is that now the objective is to be the last man standing. The game is played in rounds, each round ends after a set period of time and the player with the lowest score is eliminated. This continues until only 1 player is left and that player wins the game. If 2 players tie for the lowest score then they both are eliminated.
2v2 Remix is identical to classic 2v2 except that it contains power-ups. Power-ups can provide benefits such as increasing the players speed or strength. However, one power-up shrinks the player having a negative impact on their ability to make shots. Power-ups randomly show up on the court and can be collected by simply walking over them.
NBA Jam features two different campaign modes, Classic Campaign and Remix Tour. Classic Campaign is similar to the older NBA Jam games, it pits the player against all NBA teams (except for the team chosen by the player to avoid the same team playing against itself). In addition to the games against NBA teams, their are also legend battles which pits the player against former NBA legends. Beating the legends unlocks them as playable characters.
Remix Tour has the player traveling through divisions defeating NBA teams in the various game types in order to earn trophies. Each NBA team has a bronze, silver, and gold trophy associated with them. Beating the team once earns the bronze trophy, twice the silver, and three times the gold. Remix Mode also features boss battles which puts the player up against a recognizable NBA star that has been given super-human or super-natural abilities. For example, in the boss battle with Magic Johnson, Magic Johnson has the ability to teleport around the court making him very hard to guard. After the player has earned all the trophies from all the NBA teams and after the credits have finished, they will enter one last game against The Beastie Boys in a game of 21. Defeating them unlocks them as playable characters
The standard roster for NBA Jam includes the 30 standard teams from the 2010-2011 NBA season. Unlike the original NBA Jam, in which teams are divided in the Team Selection Screen into Eastern and Western conferences, this installment lists all teams alphabetically. Each team has 3-4 standard players, and most teams have additional unlockable "legends" (Former NBA players).
NBA Jam also includes secret teams, which can be chosen by hitting the plus button (right bumper for Xbox 360 version) on the team selection screen. They can either be unlocked by inputting a secret set of initials in the enter Initials screen or by pressing a combination of buttons on the title screen.
DemocratsUnlocked by pressing Left 13 times, then "+" ("A" and "X" on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions, respectively) on the title screen.
RepublicansUnlocked by pressing Right 13 times, then "+" ("A" and "X" on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions, respectively) on the title screen.
Beastie BoysUnlocked by pressing up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, and Plus on the title screen or by beating the Beastie Boys team in Remix Tour mode.
ESPN SportsNationUnlocked by inputting "ESP" as player one's initials and "NSN" as player two's initials.
MascotsUnlocked by inputting "MAS" as player one's initials and "COT" as player two's initials.
Original Generation JamUnlocked by inputting "MJT" as player one's initials.
Cole & WonderUnlocked by pressing up, left, down, right, up, left, down, right, 1 and 2 on the title screen.
StickmanUnlocked by beating the Stickman team in classic campaign.
- Stickman Yellow
- Stickman Green
- Stickman Blue
- Stickman Red
Unlocked by inputting "MMK" as player one's initials and "D35" as player two's initials. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions
Team SpriteUnlocked by inputting "SPR" as player one's initials and "ITE" as player two's initials. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)
Team AdidasUnlocked by inputting "ADI" as player one's initials and "DAS" as player two's initials. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)
Team JordanUnlocked by inputting "JOR" as player one's initials and "DAN" as player two's initials. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)