He’s on fire. Wild shot. Boom-shaka-laka. These are phrases that may be yelled at us again on the Nintendo Wii.
The NBA Jam remake that was rumored last week to be coming exclusively to the Wii has been officially announced. The ultimate multiplayer arcade basketball franchise is back, with an apparent focus on revisiting and updating the original play mechanics that made it great.
Multiple games have been labeled with the NBA Jam moniker since the original’s release in 1993, with none reaching even close to its level of popularity. NBA Jam still inspired an entire genre, leading to other “extreme” sports games such as NHL Hitz and MLB Slugfest, while the popular NFL Blitz may even owe its existence to NBA Jam. EA says the remake, titled EA Sports NBA Jam, will be “true to the original” while also adding updated physics, visible player emotion, and new game modes.
Though last week’s rumor stated that EA Sports NBA Jam would be exclusive to the Wii, the press release doesn’t mention exclusivity, though it does only mention the Wii. I can’t imagine why any company other than Nintendo would develop an exclusive Wii game anymore, especially a game like NBA Jam which would thrive on Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. The Wii may be billed as a family machine for people of all ages, but those families seem to only want to play Wii Sports Resort and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. NBA Jam is immediately something I think of as an experience meant for either all consoles, or those other than the Wii. Maybe EA knows something I don’t.
Not a whole lot on EA Sports NBA Jam has been released yet and its official website isn’t even working as of this writing. Original NBA Jam designer Mark Turmell is back to put his two cents into the project, but I just hope he’s not putting effort into something that will fly under the radar of most Wii owners. EA Sports NBA Jam is currently scheduled for a vague 2010 release date.