I remember a bunch of my friends were really into the NBA Jam remake back when it came out, but I never gave it a spin. I'm not sure why. I was super into the original game back in the day. I can't even guess how many hours I put into the vanilla SNES version or its Tournament Edition upgrade. I think back fondly to finding all those hidden characters. Great stuff. So I'm glad to finally be trying this one... nearly a decade after release.
My wife and I played some co-op, opting to be the Celtics naturally. It's cool because of the time it came out, we got to relive the glory years of the Pierce, Rondo, KG, and Ray Allen era. So nostalgia on top of nostalgia. We did however find that this game plays a hell of a lot like the arcade original - which has some pretty aggressive AI. It turns out that I am OUT OF PRACICE. And my wife had never played NBA Jam at all shockingly, so this was an uphill climb.
We started out playing against the Lakers and Kobe did not make things easy on us. It was embarrassing. So we thought we'd try against some less legendary teams. But it turns out that, no, we're just not that good right now. We need practice. But it's still a blast even when you're losing. We seriously were discussing some defense strategies before bed, which is no doubt a sign of a good game. Right?
For me, I was thrilled to find that despite the visual upgrade and newer rosters, this game is classic NBA Jam through and through. It plays the same. Feels the same. It has some new commentary, but really, it's a total nostalgia bomb. I did find that I really needed to use a Pro Controller instead of the sideways Wii remote. But once I did that, the controls felt really good. We'll definitely be spending more time with this one.