Saturday, September 8, 2012

NBA Jam is Still Great After All These Years

My 6-year old son has recently taken an interest in some of my old video games. I have an FC Twin system, which is an NES/SNES clone and a bunch of old game cartridges. This weekend we dove into a few of those old games, and the one we spent the most time with was NBA Jam for the SNES.

I think what people remember most about NBA Jam is the crazy dunks, the “en fuego” animations, and the long list of cheat codes that could unlock everyone from the NBA mascots to Bill Clinton.  What often gets overlooked about this classic though, is it’s fantastic gameplay. The controls are simple and tight, and the learning curve to becoming decent at the game is very minimal. Within five minutes of picking up the game, my 6-year old understood it, and was able to compete with me. By the time we were done playing, he had beaten my Danny Manning/Ron Harper led L.A. Clippers with his Horace Grant/Scottie Pippen Chicago Bulls.

NBA Jam has made a comeback in the past couple of years, and you can now download the new “On Fire” version of the for the PS3, XBox 360, Android and iOS devices. Of course, the rosters have been updates, which is why I prefer to play my SNES version, where Sir Charles and Kevin Johnson can still tear it up just like the old days.

Which system do you like best!?