For fans of a certain age, the words "NBA" and "Jam" will have you slowly reaching into your pocket to place a quarter on the machine for dibs on the next game. By far one of the most entertaining coin-op sports games of all time, Midway's two-on-two basketball classic featured exaggerated moves, balls catching fire and preposterous three-pointers from half court when you mistook the shoot button for the pass.
(It was also an interesting personality test for gamers. What does it say if you've picked the Pacers -- Reggie Miller and Detlef Schrempf, shooting the lights out -- and your opponent selects Milwaukee -- Brad Lohaus and, uh, Blue Edwards? Confidence? Ignorance? The FBI should use this in its profiling.)
Now that EA Sports has taken over hockey gaming to the point where it runs its own virtual league, it's decided to corner the market on goofy "NBA Jam" knockoffs as well. EA Sports' "3 on 3 NHL Arcade" is a downloadable title available in Feb. 2009 on Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network. It promises everything from trick moves to six-player online gaming. From EA Sports:
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With no rules to hinder the action, deliver devastating checks that send your opponent over the boards and watch as he has to skate back onto the ice. If the goalie comes out of his crease to play the puck, check him. Exaggerated player-looks take center stage with 40 of the top NHL stars, representing every team, skating around the miniature rink. With game-changing power-ups falling on the ice throughout each session, serious is not the name of this game. Fly down the ice with a super-speed skater, and beat a giant sprawling goalie with a trick move for that highlight reel finish.
Yeah ... but will the nets spontaneously combust on a big goal while the announcer exclaims "HE'S ON FIRE?" A generation of "NBA Jam" fans wants to know.
How do you feel about the giant head thing? Sort of glad Mark Messier and Mike Ricci are out of the League right now; especially the latter, who would have looked like a character out of "Resident Evil" in this game.
H/T to First Cuts, which also featured a screenshot slideshow.