Reviewed by Scott McCall
After two disappointing in-house conversions (MK Trilogy
and Cruis'n USA), Midway turned to an out-of-house developer
(Funcom) to do an N64 version of NBA Hangtime. Guess what? The
difference in quality is astounding.
NBA Hangtime is the true sequel to NBA Jam T.E. Just because
Acclaim has a game called NBA Jam Extreme (because it bought
the rights to the name under Midway's nose) that doesn't mean
Acclaim's game is in the same series, or even in the same league.
Right away, let it be known that this is essentially a better
version of NBA Jam. Don't expect any radical changes because
there aren't any.
As a whole, the Nintendo 64 port of NBA Hangtime is excellent.
They squeezed all the animation, all the voice samples and,
yes, even the halftime rap song into a 96 megabit cartridge.
The graphics are pixel-perfect, right down to the scaling from
the arcade version. The sound, although in mono, is near-exact
to the arcade; it's not the grainy samples that you were used to
from the 16-bit era. The control does what you want and is
There is one flaw with the game, though some people will appreciate
this. The artificial intelligence in the game is very good, but resorts
to some "cheating" techniques when it gets too far behind. This can
make the game very frustrating and difficult even on the easiest level
One of the major pluses to this game (other than the four-player
mode) is the ability to create your own player. The downside is
that you need a Controller Pak to save them. However, that means
it's easy to take your creation over to your friend's house and play
it on their game.
Overall, NBA Hangtime is the best version of NBA Jam on any system.
And there's no load time to contend with! If you're a Jam fan, then
you'll want to pick this game up, or at least rent it. Non-Jam fans
need not apply, though, as there's nothing new here. Just a solid
(albeit unrealistic) basketball game that's great for parties.
Graphics: 3.7 out of 5
Sound: 3.8 out of 5
Control: 4.2 out of 5
Gameplay: 3.9 out of 5
Lastability: 4.0 out of 5
Overall: 3.9 out of 5