Cautious optimism came over me when I heard that NBA Jam was making a return for two reasons. One, I didn’t want my childhood memories of the game to get ruined by a potentially sub par product. That’s a fair concern considering recent attempts to revive Sonic (more on that later) and Bionic Commando have had mixed success at best. Two, the game has only been officially announced for the Wii so far. I don’t have one so I’d have to cash in heavy if I want to relive the days when half court dunks and buzzer beater 3’s took precedent over sim basketball.
Thankfully, these screens make me feel like the designers caught the spirit of the old games. If you’re wondering why the players look kinda goofy it’s because the 3D models are attached to 2D images of the players heads. We’ll have to see it in motion to get the full effect. But it’s a novel idea that fits within the series’ wacky sense of humor. Additionally Mark Turmell, one of the original creators behind the classic NBA Jam games, is working as a consultant for this project according to MTV’s Multiplayer blog. This gives me hope that the fun gameplay of the old games will be intact and perhaps we’ll see some humorous joke squads a la Bill and Hillary Clinton (Barack and Michelle?).
There’s no concrete release date yet but the title is supposed to drop later this year. In the meantime you can vote for what rosters you want to see in the final version on NBA Jam’s official site. I’m sure none of them will match the magnificence of LJ & Zo but a lil’ e-democracy never hurt anybody. You know i’ll pencil in DJ Mbenga if LA ever comes up.