Never thought the day would come where I could grind against Godzilla!
It has been a while since the masses were treated to a loose style of NBA title like NBA JAM. The previous NBA Jam was only on the Wii, which garnered relatively positive reviews, with the only negative comment citing the lack of online play. Fear not NBA JAM fans, On Fire Edition dunks its predecessor with online modes and a bevy of awesome features. Is it enough to make players shout ‘BOOM-SHAKALAKA!’ or is it simply a double dribble?
Go On A Road Trip
NBA Jam: On Fire Edition features a Road Trip mode that allows for players to choose a team, and players to their liking (they can even choose unlockable teams to play as), and go through in a two versus two battle against all thirty teams in the NBA. Each team has three challenge levels, bronze, silver and gold. Silver and Gold sometimes have slight modifications added to the gameplay, like three-pointers are now worth four points, and two-pointers are now worth three, and variants of that. The gameplay is very familiar to fans of the series and it is still as fun as many remember it. Classic two on two battles, with an over the top announcer as the players preform super-human moves. The graphics are a 3D body with what feels like a 2.5D head (hard to explain) that utilizes the actual players digitized faces. It is quite fun to look at and never takes itself too seriously, just like the gameplay itself. Players will push, shove, and throw elbows to try to get the ball back in their possession, so they can score three alley-oops to set the entire team on fire (which is indicated by a blue flame), that lasts twenty seconds of actual ball possession; whereas player flame (indicated by red flame) is ignited when a single player on the team scores three in a row. Utilizing these skills as well as stealing and timing blocks are essential to winning big in the game.
So Much To JAM
As you progress through the Road Trip mode you will complete various challenges that are located in Jam Central (available at the menu by hitting the select button), as well as the Jam Store, and leaderboards. There are total of twenty-five challenges each having five tiers, bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond. No matter what you do in NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, Arena (online), Road Trip or even Jam Now sessions versus the computer, or with friends, you will earn Jam Bucks, the game’s currency that you will use to unlock precious goods in the Jam Store. A variety of items are available for purchase such as a select group of NBA players, teams, privileges like ‘big head mode’ as well as icons, titles and backgrounds for your JAM Card, which serves as your online card for the Arena mode. As you progress in level you unlock more in the store as high as level 50.
JAM Against The World
One thing players always wanted to do was play against friends and random players online in an NBA Jam session. Now ‘On Fire Edition’ makes that even easier, and very much possible; not only can you play online with friends, random players, as well as hooking up another controller and playing with friends by your side. The Arena mode itself has its own progression system with a unique set of challenges to aspire for. The game also challenges you to reach Diamond status in the challenges in a set amount of time, with a countdown timer in the Arena menu to put even more pressure on the player. It is a cool idea and many players will have fun trying to out-do their friends on the online leaderboards.
There is no better game than to download at an appealing $15, with this much content behind it. Once you include teams that are unlockable, players are looking almost fifty (50!) teams and more with unlockable players. Challenges and couch play with friends will only add to the already, sure to be, lengthy gameplay nights. The sheer addictive level of this game should be legalized as a drug and sold. The product that they have put together could have been released as a full retail release and sold well. There is no better pick-up and play sports title out right now than NBA JAM : On Fire Edition. NBA Jam: On Fire Edition brings you in for the Boom and sucks you in with the Shakalaka and you are left playing until 3am dunking on Kaori with Obama screaming over the microphone “That just happened!!”.
Final Score: 4.5/5