NBA Jam T.E.
Did NBA Jam whet your appetite for slam dunking arcade action? Do you crave more options, more players and more dunks? NBA Jam T.E. will satisfy anyone's craving for a little more Jam on their Genesis. The game isn't called NBA Jam 2, so don't expect a radical change in gameplay. Players look exactly as they did in the previous cart, the announcer is back to add his "monster jam" or "oh my!" catch phrases, and the two-on-two contest has been left unchanged. The enhancements aren't dramatic, but they do add some interesting twists to the successful formula.
The biggest change is that you can now substitute players after every quarter. This puts a little strategy in the game, as you have to watch your player's injury level carefully. Putting in a fresh player will improve your scoring chances and allow the benched player to become fully recharged for the next quarter. Plus, you may decide you need some extra help on blocking or three pointers: each player is rated from zero to nine in eight different ability categories. Other significant additions are Hot Spots and Power-Ups to give the game some variety. Hot Spots appear on the court with random point values; if you make the shot while standing on the circle, you'll get the points assigned. Power-Up icons will emerge at different times somewhere on the court. The seven icons include: higher percentage three-point shots, monster jams from anywhere on the court, speed boosts, power boosts, unlimited turbo, automatic on-fire, or a bomb to flatten players. It's important to note that these abilities are temporary.
Otherwise, the game plays the same as in the original. You and your teammate (computer or human) attempt to outscore your opponents using gravity defying dunks, leaping blocks, steals and an elbow or two to keep players honest. A turbo button will make your player move twice as fast, but you need to recharge it if you hold the button for too long. Score three baskets in a row and you'll become "on-fire" for as long as the opposition is held scoreless. The player who is on-fire will have increased abilities and unlimited turbo--plus any basket he makes will leave behind a burning net. Your ultimate goal is to beat all 27 NBA teams to become champion and unlock hidden secrets (such as expanded rosters). Computer assistance is disabled in this mode, as are any Hot Spots or Power-Ups. The game will save your progress to battery as well as your win-loss records. If the game's speed is a little too slow for your tastes, a juice mode will increase it up to four times the default setting.
NBA Jam T.E. also features a Practice Mode to work on your teamwork, but it's not a big deal. It's just you and your teammate on the court. So the big question is whether this game warrants a purchase if you have the original. Yes, unless you hated NBA Jam, because the extra arcade options make the game more enjoyable. Yet it's a hesitant yes... ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The graphics don't look that different from NBA Jam. There are more players and portraits, but the basic elements have been left unchanged. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The announcer has a lot of phrases this time around, although he quickly grows tiresome. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The game is great fun with four players. The additional Hot Spots and Power-Ups help make this game enjoyable to play. The problem is that it still feels like NBA Jam--which gets repetitive after awhile. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
There are a lot of hidden players to unlock which will keep this game fresh. Multiplayer support also helps the replay value. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
For some reason all of the pictures are blurry and hard to see. The manual should be in color. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide