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Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

Episode CXLIII: The E3 Texas Hold ‘Em

The King returns from LA…

This week the B3 crew gather around for another edition of “Guess Who Died This Week?” and Chapter 63 of the MBTA “Oh, For Fuck’s Sake!” KBD shares his thoughts and favorites about this year’s E3, Anvil gives his weekly sports report, and another discussion about the movie Goon is raised.

It’s all plugged in here in Episode 143: The E3 Texas Hold ‘Em!

Episode CI: 101 Problems But A Bitch Ain’t One!

Not even giant robots can stop the Bastards from recording their weekly show!

This week King Baby Duck and Mr. Cuse share with dismay their viewpoints on the latest film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Blueonic reviews Bad Teacher and Anvil gives a second opinion on True Grit. King Baby Duck goes hands-on with the Uncharted 3 beta, Blueonic gives a 21-gun salute to Trenched and the demos for Sonic Generations and Lucha Fury are given a close look at.┬áThen Anvil and Mr. Cuse give their weekly sports report, King Baby Duck gives a thumb’s up to Matt and Kim’s live show (but a thumb’s down to the rowdy crowd), and he and Blueonic look at the debut album from Foster the People. (Plus a little movie news and a small “Oh For Fuck’s Sake!” is tacked on at the end for good measure.)

It’s all right here in Episode 101: 101 Problems But A Bitch Ain’t One!

Dirk to Infinity and Beyond: The Tale of the Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks are going back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2006! They hope for a better result than five years ago, and frankly I can’t blame them.

In 2006 they were up two games to 0, and seemingly poised to win their first NBA title when disaster struck. They proceeded to lose four games in a row to the Miami Heat, the team they will play against in this years finals. Dwayne Wade scored 42 points and Dallas blew a 13-point lead with six minutes to go. Dallas’s phenom center Dirk Nowitzki actually had a chance to tie the game with a little over three seconds to play, but uncharacteristically missed one of two free throws. Dallas never recovered from that painful loss, and lost the next 3 games.┬áDallas went on to win 67 games behind Dirk the following year and earn a #1 seed, only to fall to the Golden State Warriors despite Dirk’s efforts.

The Mavericks have continued their winning ways mostly because of their star center. This year the Mavericks put together a strong nucleus of Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, and J.J. Barrera. For most of his time in Dallas Dirk has led a slightly above average Mavericks team to 50+ win seasons, which is quite a feat if you think about it. Being Dallas’s only superstar he has had to deal with double and triple teams; but he has somehow managed to overcome all of this adversity. He has been like a machine in the 2011 playoffs, hitting the most impossible shots. I hope Dirk wins the championship because of all he has been through. Now he gets his chance at redemption!

Written by Mr. Cuse

It Has The Moves, But "Jam" Lacks The Groove

NBA Jam is one of my fondest memories of childhood. I sunk so many quarters into that machine that I swear I could’ve used that money to buy my own arcade cabinet. Of course when it finally was made for a home console I wasted no time buying it and playing the living hell out of my Sega Genesis. The flaming hoops, Tim Kitzrow shouting “Boomshakalaka!” when you dunk it, Big Head Mode, playing as then-President Clinton, it was — at the time — the best sports video game title at the time. Seventeen years and a few mediocre knockoffs later EA brought NBA Jam back to its glorious roots, revamping everything that made the original a classic; so why doesn’t it impress me as it once did?

NBA Jam features the original 2-on-2 baller with the current NBA Roster, along with hidden legends like Kevin McHale, Scottie Pippen and David Robinson to pass, push and slam through the quarters, with the original Jam commentator Kitzrow spouting his trademark phrases. Along with the classic mode players have the ability to battle it out in Remix Tour mode, where the hoop masters can face off in games of 21, Power-Up mode and (my personal favorite) Smash, where the first team to break their backboard wins. The more Jam Challenges you complete throughout the game the more items you unlock, which can range from special basketballs to secret characters like Dr. J, President Obama and the Democrats and the Beastie Boys.

Players have the option to control the game using the Wiimote, the Wiimote/Nunchuk combo and the Classic Controller. When playing with just the Wiimote or the Classic Controller the original feel of NBA Jam is right at your fingertips, and is still as easy as ever. The Wiimote/Nunchuk combo adds an extra challenge to the Jam experience, where you will have to flick the Wiimote at the precise moment to get the ball in, unlike the Classic Controller mode where you have to simply press a button at the right time. While adding a sort of realism to the game using the Wiimote/Nunchuk combination can be a tad frustrating, with the chances of missing or having the ball snatched away rising up more often than not. Having said that the realistic free throw movement makes the combo peripherals the must-play version of the controls.

The graphics in NBA Jam are far smoother than its original counterpart, thanks to its Flash-like appearance. While lacking in the realism department (which is the point) the graphics showcase the true cartoonish aspects of the game. These aspects showoff best in Power-Up modes, with players grabbing these abilities becoming either super strong, very elastic or quite tiny. Watching the ball and rim catch on fire after three consecutive baskets is also a thrill to watch. They also put in some nice details in the background, including the specific coaches to each team. (Shame we can’t unlock them and have ’em battle it out on the court.) The hip hop soundtrack also adds to the nostalgia of the game, not to mention the commentary from Kitzrow. Granted some of the lines in the game fall flat, but other quotes are very classic. After all it wouldn’t be NBA Jam without a few “It must be the shoes!” or “He’s on fire!” phrases.

The Wii version of NBA Jam is nothing short of completing what it was meant to do: reinvent the classic game for a brand-new generation. Everything that made the original NBA Jam a classic is still intact in this redo, and that, my friends, is one of the big problems of this game. Because of the evolution of games since the first NBA Jam was released the moves and fiery hoops aren’t as impressive as they once were. If they evolved the Jam experience the same way that, say, the world of Madden NFL Football had been we would’ve had a true successor to the NBA Jam name. Unfortunately what we were given was just the original game with updated rosters and a gloss of better graphics, not to mention no online mode for battling it out with people across the country.

PROS:

  • Classic Jam modes, cool unlockables
  • Remix Tour has some fun moments
  • Kitzrow’s commentary is as refreshing as ever

CONS:

  • Doesn’t add anything stellar to the franchise
  • 21 mode can be a bit frustrating
  • Online mode would’ve been nice

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The new NBA Jam restores everything that made the classic game good again, but unfortunately leaves little for surprises. The game still is as fun as I can remember, but it’s not as fantastic as it once was. It’s definitely a great title to play with friends, but as a solo game it doesn’t leave a whole lot to jump for joy for. In short: NBA Jam is one “ka” short of a true “Boomshakalaka!”

FINAL GRADE: 7.2 (out of ten)