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. Originally a Wii-exclusive, it was later released on November 17, 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, featuring upgraded HD visuals and online play. (This version was originally planned to be a feature-limited downloadable title included with new copies of the unreleased NBA Elite 11, but was later made a retail release.)
Unlike previous Acclaim-developed installments of the franchise, the 2010 installment features gameplay and aesthetics reminiscent of Midway's original NBA Jam. (With help from the original designer, Mark Turmell, who worked with EA Tiburon at the time, and Tim Kitzrow, the iconic announcer of the original game, who shouted famous catchphrases such as "Boomshakalaka!" and "He's on fire!").
Building upon the 2010-2011 NBA roster, the game features a "Remix Tour" campaign (featuring new crazy features such as power-ups, new camera angles, and boss battles) and special "legend" characters (legendary former NBA players). The game also brings back special guest characters and easter eggs from the original, such as former president Bill Clinton, hip-hop band Beastie Boys, and Big Head Mode, while adding new, modern secret characters, such as presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
An enhanced version, titled NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, was released as a downloadable title for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade) and the PlayStation 3 (via PlayStation Network) on October 4, 2011. On January 11th, 2013, the online servers for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the original game were shut down.
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 there 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.
Unlocked by pressing Left 13 times, then "+" ("A" and "X" on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions, respectively) on the title screen.
Unlocked by pressing Right 13 times, then "+" ("A" and "X" on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions, respectively) on the title screen.
Unlocked by pressing up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, "B", and "+" on the title screen or by beating the Beastie Boys team in Remix Tour mode.
Unlocked by inputting "ESP" as player one's initials and "NSN" as player two's initials.
Unlocked by inputting "MAS" as player one's initials and "COT" as player two's initials.
Original Generation Jam
Unlocked by inputting "MJT" as player one's initials.
Cole & Wonder
Unlocked by pressing up, left, down, right, up, left, down, right, 1 and 2 on the title screen.
Unlocked 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 only)
Unlocked by inputting "SPR" as player one's initials and "ITE" as player two's initials. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)
Unlocked by inputting "ADI" as player one's initials and "DAS" as player two's initials. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)
Unlocked by inputting "JOR" as player one's initials and "DAN" as player two's initials. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)