NBA Jam 99
Reviewed by Stryker
I used to have NBA Jam for Super NES, and I needed sports games
cheap for my system. I'm at Best Buy, strolling around, and I see a
bunch of really cheap Nintendo 64 unused games. NBA JAM 99 is
there, for (get this) $6.99! I decide that no game could be bad
enough to not justify seven dollars. I buy it and bring it home. Right
away, I see why this game was so cheap and unwanted. Honestly, it
wasn't that bad, but it is barely tolerable. NBA Jam's unique, two-on-two
gaming experience has been turned into a complete clone of all the other
five-on-fives out there right now. They have the audacity to stick Keith
Van Horn on the cover! There is a Jam Mode, but it is still five on five
and not as fun. All the teams are here, and again, Michael Jordan is not
included in favor of R. Guard for the Chicago Bulls.
Ewww. This stinks. All the memory to put standard pictures of players
in the menus must have taken a lot of badly needed RAM. The graphics are
ugly. The game's court is ugly bright colors, the players are messy chunks
of polygons, the camera angle is terrible. Try chucking a baseball pass
down the court, and then having to wait for the camera to catch up,
therefore compromising your player to either lose the ball to charging
or to a steal. Try dunking. The camera zooms in and the game slows down,
and if it is stuffed the outside court is obscured. There is nothing good
about it. The players do celebrations sometimes after scoring, but all
this does is compromise their teams. The instant replays are able to be
switched off, thankfully, because they are a view from a dreadfully jerky
camera view and you have to see the polygons up close.
Music and Sound
There is only one song, which plays on and on as you are in the menus.
They play a few stereotype ballgame songs, like "Charge!" and "Defense!"
that add a little. Two announcers argue and bicker, claiming "That was
a terrible call!" and "Knock him down and send him to the line!" There is
nothing bad about this, it's rather decent, but nothing special.
Game play and Controls
The controls are rather simple. The free throw device, a hoop with
a ball that does not want to stay in it, and you have to get it in and
press A, is rather good, even though I only miss with Shaq. Oh yeah,
and the AI is ridiculous. The opposing team never takes up the chance
for a fast break, instead moseying on over to the top of the key and
dribbling as all the other players converge on them. Your computer will
assign Shaquille O Neal to guard someone on the three point line as Vin
Baker drives in for the easy two. Your computer will assign Shaquille O
Neal to guard your opponents inbound after scoring, AND he'll go into a
seizure-like celebration. Your computer will not allow your players to
jump up to contest any shot outside the three point line. The computer
will try plays over and over, most likely the one where the guard passes
to someone on the outside three point line from the top the key, with a
pick, and shoots a three. After this happened for a while, I easily
learned to guard him twice, then steal the ball and run down for two.
The play calling was never something I could get to work, because as I
called a play a crafty computer player would come out and yank the ball
from you. Very frustrating. The season options are very good, as my Bulls
traded Toni Kukoc straight up for Shaq. The problem is, I went crazy
after playing 25 games and couldn't continue.
This has plenty. The Three Point Contest is very interesting. There's
a Free Throw Practice. This is the kind of game you come back to
every three months, play for a week, and chuck away out of boredom.
Besides, there are so many better games on N64 alone, not even
talking about NBA2k and NBA2k1, the greatest basketball games
of all time.
Overall: 61 of 100
A really boring, crappy game with entertainment value enough to
keep your attention for weeks at a time, then to throw away quickly.
This game will be irrelevant very soon, if not already, because there
are so many better basketball games. Out of kindness, I give it a