Reviewed by Matt Carlson
Overall Game Rating: 4.1
Overall 4.1 - Exciting and lasting replayability with
multiplayer play with saved created players that advance in ability
as you win more games, combined with the feeling I get of
playing a fast paced upright arcade game in a mall somewhere make this
well worth the somewhat steep game price.
Graphics 3.0 - Good 2D bitmaps, lots of variety of player
actions, good quality, but not great. I love the transitions between
selection screens and the game itself. It makes me feel like I'm
playing on an upright arcade machine.
Sound 3.0 - Good sound. Music is "arcadish", but I like that.
The announcer is pretty good and has a large vocabulary of nicknames
you can choose for your player.
Control 3.5 - I had no problems handling my character.
Everything is based on the joystick/d-pad, 3 buttons and combos of the
same. The initial button layout is terrible, but it is configurable.
In a one player game, I sometimes have a little difficulty controlling
Gameplay 4.5 - It's got all the gameplay you would want in a
basketball game of this type. The game isn't too simple, if you
wildly press buttons, you won't do well, but a mixture of passing
and wise shooting will help you do well. Lots of outrageously insane
basketball dunks and moves when combined with created players using the
alien heads (chickens, frankensteins, etc...) makes for hilarious play!
Lastability 4.2 - With the controller pack save, designing your
own player, then trying to increase his/her abilities over time, along
with a good statistic history of your player, there is a lot of replay
value here. If you're not going to play it much multi-player, I could
see it getting tiresome, though.
Having only played NBA Jam in the arcade, and liking it, I very much enjoy
NBA Hangtime. It gave me N64 thumb blisters within one day of playing it.
It is a very close port of an arcade basketball game of this type and all
the flashy transition screens make me feel like I'm playing in an
The gameplay is standard for a basketball game of this genre, but the
initial controller layout is just lame. It's a good thing you can
configure it however you wish. While I still prefer the analogue
stick, you can still use the digital joypad for control.
I found the computer players to be reasonably intelligent and the initial
difficulty setting provided me with a good challenge while I got the hang
of the game.
One area where is game really shines is in the create a player ability.
Note that a controller pak is needed in order to save stats and created
players. Make your own character and play with one or more friends for a
great time. You can choose from various special silly special abilities
like "big head" or "hidden attributes" and also adjust your attributes on
a sliding scale. Make a tiny fast guard who can shoot from outside and steal
your socks when you're not looking (not really), or a tall, skinny
center who can block like a wall. You can also choose (from a list)
your player's nickname and have it used by the announcer during the game.
The best part of making a player is that your statistics are saved
from game to game and every four games you win you are given more
points to spend on your created player. After awhile you can spend
points on special abilities not normally available. This is where the
long term replayability of the game will come in.
The second great thing about this game is the fact that its multiplayer.
Its always a 4 player game (2 on 2), but that can be any combination of
computer players and human. Who can't resist ganging up on the
computer in a 2 player vs CPU game? The top ten players in various
statistics are kept and the player is reminded of any overall
standings they have whenever they log into a new game with that player.
For those folks who love special hidden codes and cheats this game is
loaded with them. I personally don't see the point of hiding game
options from the player, but since I can find them on the internet I
guess it doesn't matter to me. There are hidden players and hidden
codes that give all players in a game strange proportions or special
Overall, I really like the game. I recommend it to anyone who's doesn't
hate basketball or who isn't tired of this particular genre. If you're
not going to get much of a chance to play it with friends, I could see
it getting old pretty fast. The concept is your basic basketball game,
so if you're not sure about buying it, a quick rent of the game should
give you enough of a sample to decided if it's your cup of tea. One
final reminder, since there is no save on the game itself, this game
looses a lot of its best features without a controller pak.