E3 2010: New NBA Jam Hands-On

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The NBA Jam series is finally back. The question on everyones minds though is, did it lose the original magic that made it so much fun back in its prime?

The New NBA Jam will be coming exclusively to the Wii, and we have played it on the E3 showroom floor to bring you our impressions.

Read them all after the jump.

As stated already, NBA Jam is coming to the Wii. It is, of course, for this reason then that the developers have decided to integrate the Wii’s motion controls into the core control system of the game.

Most of the controls are the exact way that you remember them. You have buttons to shoot, steal, push and turbo and then move your character around using the nunchuck’s analog stick.

The major difference in NBA Jam for Wii is that the Wiimote is used to jump and shoot. Whilst playing the game, you flick your Wiimote upwards to jump, and then forwards/downwards to shoot, essentially mimicking the motions of taking a jumpshot in real life. While I felt a little put off while the guy from EA was explaining the controls to me, the jumpshot system actually works really well, and feels like it adds to the experience rather than being a pointless addition for the sake of using the motion controls.

The really great news, is that yes, it’s true, NBA Jam is back and it’s as badass as you remember it back in the golden days of Hangtime. The visuals are also really smooth, and the game even looked surprisingly good despite the fact that it was on a massive TV right in front of my face, with the Wii’s lower resolution being stretched to all hell. The characters look great and the animations are incredibly smooth and good to look at.

NBA Jam was a great lot of fun to play, and I am really looking forward to playing it again in future.

My only gripe? As much as I liked the motion controls, there is no reason that this game couldn’t work perfectly with normal controls. The reason I am mentioning this is that this game feels like its real home really should have been on the Xbox 360 and PS3, and if it never comes over to the HD consoles, it will really sad. It’s practically custom made for PS3 and Xbox 360 games and would have been perfect as a downloadable game over Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.

All in all though, fans of NBA Jam will not be disappointed with this one. Let’s just hope that it comes to more platforms in the future, it deserves as much.

Last Updated: June 17, 2010

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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