Retro Gaming: NBA Jam (Sega Mega Drive)


BOOM SHAKALAKA!!!! Those two words (if they can even be called words) were ingrained into my brain as a 9 year old. I’d walk past an NBA Jam arcade machine and hear the awesome music and kids screaming with laughter when they were ‘heating up’. Well folks luckily for us back in 1993 the guys at Midway gave us a great port of the arcade classic NBA Jam to the Sega Mega Drive and later the Super Nintendo.

For 2 on 2 Basketball it doesn’t get much better than this game, scoring three times in a row will put your player on fire, turning the basketball into a flaming implement of can’t miss 3 pointers! The series is well known for its gravity defying dunks and no rules basketball antics. The voice commentary in this game was somewhat revolutionary in its day also, no other basketball game at the time was able to capture the excitement of televised basketball in a video game before.

The soundtrack is excellent and the game includes all 27 NBA Teams (from back in 1993). Being a fully licensed game by the NBA was a major deal as you could play from a selection of great NBA players like Scottie Pippen, Dominique Wilkins, Clyde Drexler, the list goes on. Unfortunately Michael Jordan does not make an appearance in this game, but around the time not too many Basketball games were lucky enough to obtain the Jordan license anyway.

From a time when we had many many Basketball video games to choose from, most pretty good ones also NBA Jam stands above them all as a diamond in a sea of slightly less polished by otherwise fairly shiny diamonds!

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