Review by EJRICH

"Putting the Jam in NBA Jam"

One of the easiest ways for a developer to make a quick buck on iOS is to port a game. No matter how hard people may say it is to optimize gameplay for the iPhone/iPod Touch's display, the fact of the matter is that while controls may or may not need to be revamped, the actual game itself is still practically there. NBA Jam by EA Sports is really no different. Practically existing as a replica of the many NBA Jam released in the past, the latest iteration to hit the iPhone brings with itself an essentially complete experience to those who may be clamoring for some zany basketball goodness on their mobile device.

If you've never played NBA Jam before, the concept itself is pretty simple to wrap your head around. Two players represent each team, and in order to win, you must score more points then the opponent's team. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Unlike your typical basketball experience, NBA Jam simply has no rules. You can shove, knock down, steal at will, or even dunk on outrageous proportions all while hearing a raucous announcer highlight every play you make. While the backdrop of NBA Jam is basketball, the experience itself reminds me more of the late Space Jam then anything else.

Gameplay aside, it should be noted that NBA Jam does contain very few modes to play through, which may or may not lead to boredom after some time. Essentially, you have the ability to play both an exhibition and a mock ladder mode. Exhibition is exactly as it sounds, while the ladder mode simply lets you choose a team and take that team through the ranks of different opponents that Jam has to offer. Along the way you will find yourself unlocking different achievements (although the app itself is not Gamecenter compatible, strangely enough), which will then unlock certain abilities and or players for your squad. While that may sound like fun, how long this remains that way to you will solely depend upon how much you enjoy the core concept of the game itself. If you find it interesting and fun, then you will probably enjoy the gameplay and modes quite a bit. If not, the app itself does tend to get a bit stale after playing through a few games of exactly the same thing.

Other then that, the game looks and controls rather smoothly. The graphics are solid for a mobile platform and retain much of the flare that made the original Jam titles the funfests that they were. The expressions on the player's faces are priceless in many cases, and thankfully, can be seen easily as they are rendered perfectly to the screen. The music is solid, although it does have the potential to get a bit stale after a few games because essentially the same tracks are played in every game.

If you're looking for a standard basketball game for your iDevice, NBA Jam is probably not for you. This is not a standard basketball game. If you are looking for a zany basketball experience, though, NBA Jam may be just the right app for you. Redundancy issues aside, this is a fine port of the original, and if you liked that, then you'll undoubtedly like this port as well. At a measly buck in the app store, NBA Jam may be too good to pass up.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/25/11

Game Release: NBA Jam By EA Sports (US, 02/10/11)

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