It’s been a while since I’ve been happily frustrated by a modern game (The last one being Gitaroo Man on the PS2). We all know the type I’m on about. A game that’s basically cheated you out of certain victory and instead of throwing your controller out of the window you simply say, ” Right you bastards, time you got taught a lesson.”
The first time I played NBA jam was on my SNES, (The first time I played the arcade version was ’95). I can still remember my initial reaction when I first played was, “You utter bastards”. Although, thinking back, it was probably less sweary as I was only 5. On my numerous re-visits, I still have the same reaction.
The anger in question arises in the fourth quarter of any match against the CPU. I shall set the mood with a brief description of events preceding this fateful time:
For the first 3 quarters I have been bossing the New York Knicks, (as I don’t like basketball and liked Space Jam, I am, of course, the Chicago Bulls), with three pointers from all over the court. My team is literally on fire and at the end of the third period I have a comfortable 15 point lead. I, always with regrettable hindsight , feel cocky of impending victory within the next two minutes.
The 8-bit music finishes playing and the tip off happens. The Knicks win and immediately score a three pointer. No problem I think, still 12 ahead. Play starts again, I skilfully play around the opposition and I go for the dunk. Rimshot. The ball bounces around, the Knicks run up the other end and score. Down to 10. Take scenario and repeat for 120 seconds.
Anger slowly starts to rise throughout the final quarter, as I start to wonder if maybe the teams have swapped players all of a sudden. Maybe someone spiked my guys drinks with Ketamine. These were the most likely possibilities to explain the slaughter which occurred in that 2 minutes, leading to them scoring 22 to my pathetic 5. Although, thinking logically, It’s probably a design intent, ported over from the arcade version so you’d keep plying at with 50p’s. It works, if I was at the arcade i’d have already blown through a tenner.
The anger raged inside me, as a feeling of shame descended upon me. I glared at the T.V, controller trembling in my hand. After a tense few seconds I yell out, “Do I LOOK like a Bitch to you?”. I press the start button and begin the cycle all over again. Only this time, I steal a 3 pointer at the buzzer from inside my own half. If a video game could have feelings, this one would be in the foetal position, crying, as I hurled a barrage of insults with a huge smile on my face.
This is, usually, how my play time on NBA turns out and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
If you’ve gone all bleary eyed with nostalgia but don’t have a copy of it you can always check out the new version, NBA Jam, out on PS3 and X-Box. Linky The On Fire edition is also out this month on Psn and X-Box Live.
Ch-Ch-Ch-Check It Out
Have you ever played through a Mario game and thought, “This is good, but I wish Aperture Science had a factory there?” Well suffer no more. Head on over to http://www.stabyourself.net/mari0 and check out the progress they’re making on it. I’ll wait here for you. Although, I probably won’t.