NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Review: Boomshakalaka! Need I Say More

Posted: October 9, 2011 in Now Playing (Video Game Reviews)
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All the Jam you love without all the aftertaste
Tougher A.I. makes for better games
The announcer is still awesome

It’s still the same Jam you’ve played for over a decade

NBA Jam is back for another season baby, and this time it looks like EA has finally given fans what they wanted. That would be the downloadable version of the hit game. Remember last year when they said that NBA Jam was supposed to be a downloadable game? Instead they gave us a disc version and decided to jack up the price. For some fans that was a huge letdown. Now we finally got what we wanted and it’s “on fire!” Boomshakalaka!

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, from EA Sports (it’s in the game), is more of the over the top, in your face, arcade style basketball that we’ve been playing since the mid ’90s. No matter what the name is (NBA Jam, Tournament Edition, Showtime, etc…) I’ve always enjoyed the game.  Since it’s early roots the game has evolved yet still kept it’s core value which made it popular with fans. This edition of the Jam is no different. So get ready for some more high flying dunks, big time rejections, and pushing players to the ground all with no rules, no fouls, tons of turbo, and a kick ass announcer calling the play-by-play action.

While last year’s game left a bad taste in player’s mouths due to the overinflated price, there was some promise laid down that helps make this year’s edition amazing. This is more than just a roster update. Remix Tour is out and Road Trip is in. Like the Remix Tour, you go from division to division and take on all the teams in various challenges. From Classic 2v2 to even big heads, mini players, different scoring options and more, the Road Trip makes for the meat and potatoes of the main game. The best part is that you earn Jam Bucks which you can use to level up and purchase items in the Jam Store. The Jam Store features tons of extras like game enhancements, secrets, legendary NBA players, and hidden teams.

One of NBA Jam’s biggest enhancements is the addition of tougher A.I. Throughout my time playing the On Fire Edition I’ve noticed this change in how the AI plays. Unlike previous games, the rubber band A.I. is gone. No longer will you have games where you go on hot and cold streaks. With the On Fire Edition the computer will put up quite a challenge keeping games close and competitive especially on the easiest difficulty. Welcome the addition of R.E.A.L. A.I. These computer controlled bots mimic your skills and use them against you in games making for the most challenging experience possible. Even in the Road Trip mode you can unlock these tough A.I. teams for the ultimate challenge.

Talk to anyone who’s played NBA Jam in the past and they can tell you that they weren’t playing the game for the single player. NBA Jam was all about the multiplayer in the arcades as well as home consoles. NBA Jam On Fire Edition is no different. Multiplayer works with both on a single console as well as online for up to four players. This is where the real fun is. Where the excessive celebrating and trash talking exists. I don’t need to explain how good the multiplayer functions, because we all already know throughout the years. Each game in the Online Arena runs brilliantly with no signs of lag whatsoever making each match fun and entertaining. My one suggestion to online players out there is please no rage quitting.

Overall, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is all the Jam you’ll love without all the frustrating aftertaste of some of the previous versions. Tougher A.I., great arcade entertainment, awesome multiplayer, hidden goodies and the Road Trip mode. This is the best Jam to date and a must download for all NBA fans.

  1. Dan says:

    Unlike previous games, the rubber band A.I. is gone.”

    You must not have played the game much. Even on the easiest level, rubber band AI is present. On higher levels, it’s unavoidable. It’s actually funny that you said this, since just about every major media outlet reviewer has said the same.

    Regardless, still a good game.

  2. PS Vita says:

    Thanks for the info…I’d given up on this series a long time ago…it may be worth checking out. Some the character models look kind of feaky though….

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