Title: NBA Jam (Tournament Edition)
System: Genesis, Super Nintendo





I’ve never really been a big sports guy. Sure, I can be competitive, but when it came to sports it was always hit or miss. Playing them in real life was fun depending on the game, but watching them could be dowright boring. So playing a video game based on a sport I have little interest in kind of met me in the middle. Other than the Mutant League titles and some Tecmo Super Bowl there were few I got into. But one of those few was NBA Jam.

The game is just plain fun. What would otherwise be a fairly normal 2-on-2 basketball game using real players from all of the teams of the time period really wouldn’t be as exciting if not for some of the features, cheats and random assortment of player character codes. I got an endless amount of amusement in being able to flat out knock an opponent on their butt, steal the ball, and dunk it over them. Do it 3 times in a row and you’re on fire (until your opponent scores). And that’s near-literal as the ball, while it’s in your possession, becomes a firey orb unable to miss the basket from literally anywhere on the court.

But wait, there’s more! This game comes equipped with an even more impressive assortment of cheat codes you can use to make the game that much more ridiculous (i.e. fun). Being on fire continuously means you can make shots from pretty much anywhere. Want something even more random? Input the code to be able to dunk from half court! Want to take it one step further? Put in a code to be the Fresh Prince holding a firey ball of scoring greatness that you can slam from 35 feet away and shatter the backboard in gratifying shards of awesome.

All of these extras might sound like they overshadow the gameplay quite a bit but in actuality they really don’t. They enhance it for extra fun but the game itself is still well put together and fun for single or multiple players. You don’t have to be Bill Clinton, Prince Charles or the occassional team mascot to make the game fun but it sure as heck doesn’t hurt either.

NBA Jam (Tournament Edition) really upped the anti with how many random characters you could play as, which is what this comic is referencing. Moreso, it’s referencing an issue of Nintendo Power where people would send in cheat codes and there was this HUGE list of characters that were never verified. So the list, which included Scorpion and Reptile from Mortal Kombat, had all kinds of bunk characters that I would have loved very much to play as. Also, come on. How awesome would it be to see any of these people available in a kick ball game?

College Slam (Gameboy, Genesis, Playstation, Saturn, SNES)
This game is exactly the same only with college teams and lacking the ability to put in codes to become random other people. And when I say “exactly the same” I really do mean just that. The gameplay is 2-on-2, the buttons are the same, the graphics are the same, the controls are the same, and the color your sneakers become when you press the turbo button are even the same. If you’re a fan of the gameplay from NBA Jam then this is a good way to break into the college basketball world but if you’re like me and you’re in it because it’s funny to be Bill Clinton the draw’s not quite there.