NBA Jam - Retro Reflections

Continuing my weekend NBA theme (couldn't the Pistons have at least put up a fight Friday night?) - here's my Retro Reflection.

So I posted the NBA Jam review for the Wii already, and that got me thinking to the SNES version. Now, I'll be honest - I've owned a few copies of NBA Jam over the last 15 years or so, but had completely forgotten we owned it for the Super Nintendo. Most of my older gaming systems have made their way upstairs to the "kids' living room", and I have probably forgotten at least half the games we own. I was always a bit of a gaming packrat - I kept boxes, booklets and I even stored them in alphabetical order. There was no easily accessible used game trading store when I was a kid, like Gamestop now, which keeps my current gen games going through a bit more of a revolving door.

Anyway - after having spent so much time lately with the Wii version of the game, I was a bit surprised by a few things when I fired up the Tournament Edition on the SNES. For starters, I recall playing the Wii game thinking: These graphics are pretty old-school. Gameplay is pretty much what I remembered it to be. The announcer is as awesome as ever. That sort of thing.

Maybe I should have done the reviews in opposite order? The Wii version is much improved on so many fronts - as one would honestly expect with a decade's difference between the releases. Still, the graphics were okay on the SNES version, but you could not really say: Oh yeah, that's Joe Dumars I'm using. Looks just like him. And while it's the same announcer, he has a whole lot more to say with the current iteration as well. It was interesting last weekend when I played the Ninja Gaiden games, and found them to be pretty much how I remembered them, and then to put in NBA Jam here on my SNES and realize - I remembered this game a lot more fondly than it may have deserved. It was still fun to poke around with, and some of the roster combinations cracked me up (like Pippen and... BJ Armstrong for the Bulls). There's some fun to be had here: both of these games are fast paced and have that same over-the-top style of action, but honestly if I have a craving for NBA Jam, I'm going to pick up and play the new Wii version first.

Screencast version of the video:

Youtube version.



  1. Ah, the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia! I hear a lot of people say if we went back and played games we thought were awesome, we probably wouldn't think that about a lot of them anymore...but so far I've been happy with GoldenEye 007 and WCW vs. NWO Revenge on the N64 when replaying them...I'm guessing the improved frame-rate in NBA Jam's current edition helped it a lot...though I can't really recall much from the old one...other than playing it for many, many hours.

  2. Yeah - it was odd because Tecmo Super Bowl didn't bug me nearly as much. I think though perhaps, playing something like NBA Jam for the Wii and then going back to the SNES version is just too much of a direct comparison. :)


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