NBA Jam Tournament Edition (1994)
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USA, Europe, Japan
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Sega Mega Drive
Sega Game Gear
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(Anonymous) (Game Gear review) 27th Mar 2012 09:26
"Iguana's best Game Gear title -- ever!"
Remember the good 'ol days when game companies gave us upgraded copies (at full price, of course) of games they released a year before, rather than something completely new or making a sequel? NBA Jam Tournament Edition is one of those games.
And you know what? I could care less! I got NBA Jam T.E. at FuncoLand (used) three years ago for a mere $12 and I still love [and play] it.
Not quite as good (or as multiplayer-friendly) as its big brother and its many sequels, NBA Jam T.E. packs quite a punch for such a small title. Plenty of Jams to performe when scoring, as well as the imfamous "three pointer" from the other end of the court.
The controls are almost perfect; NBA Jam has always been a three-button game, and Game Gear has three buttons, all pretty close to each other (having a plastic start button is a lot nicer than the rubber GameBoy strips).
My only gripe about the controls is that sometimes the button you press just doesn't seem to make the character do what he's supposed to do (that could be blamed on the system itself, though), and since all three buttons are in use, you can't pause it. So if you're on the go and you wanna bring this game with you, don't get into a really long game or you might have to leave it, which will result in the inevitable point gain for the other team.
Ugh! I (for the most part) cannot stand portable gaming music. There's nothing special about NBA Jam T.E.'s sound either. When you turn the game on, you wait twenty minutes (at least it feels that long...) while the intro credits pop up on the screen, and then finally, you hear the crowd cheering (sounds more like a cell phone that has a low battery to me). Then a small menu comes up and you can choose to play, practice or go to options.
Once the game actually starts, you're greeted by more dated sounds with quality worse than midi (but not as bad as Zelda 64's disappointing intro theme). Not much music, but there is some... nothing memorable, just annoying.
For a game released four or five years ago, it has some of the best graphics ever seen in an arcade-to-portable port. Even if it had been released just last year, it still would have had graphics almost above its time, especially when you look at how terrible NFL Blitz on GameBoy Color is.
Fluid animation, not-very-detailed players (they're more unique looking than Blitz's though) and some flashy graphical effects when making a Jam, top the game off pretty nicely. The players are pretty big, too, not stubby and short like another portable arcade sports game we know.
If you look closely, you can even see a slightly active audience. Some Dreamcast sports games don't even feature that!
Uhhhh... you're a b-ball player trying to make millions so you can say "I'm going to Disney World!" on national television. This game doesn't really have a story... I mean come 'on, it's NBA Jam! I can't write about a story for a game that doesn't have one.
NBA Jam games have always kept me and my friends busy for hours, and T.E. is no different. I can't say enough good things about this game. I don't like to give out 10s to games very often, if ever, because games rarely reach that "perfection" point where you just love every bit of it. So if my scores seemed a bit harsh, then maybe they should be. This game is great, but far from perfect. You'll enjoy it, you'll enjoy it a lot, but don't expect the best game in the world -- just the next best thing to going to the arcade and spending $0.50 a game on NBA Showtime.
Should I buy/rent NBA Jam T.E.?: Yes.
You definitely should buy NBA Jam T.E. as soon as you possibly can. Even if you're not a fan of sports games (I hate most regular sports games...), you'll love this game. Anyone who likes action, anyone who liked the arcade and/or home versions, just about any hardcare gamer can get into this game. The only way I could not recommend this game is if the only FuncoLand close by charged $40 or more for it (some FuncoLand's charge more than others), and for a used Game Gear game, nothing's worth that much.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10, Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99
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This title was first added on 16th December 2006
This title was most recently updated on 27th March 2012