NBA Jam is ON FIRE in this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!
Game: NBA Jam (1993)
During the 1990′s, growing popularity of the NBA made it possible for this game’s popularity to soar. NBA Jam brought the idea of NBA Superstars into homes across America. The game made guys like Blue Edwards and Jeff Hornacek a household name. Guys who would otherwise never have been noticed in the league got needed exposure.
The unique, four-player arcade machine (reminiscent of X-Men and the Simpsons) played 2-vs-2 street ball with exaggerated movements, speed and pretty much everything else. The fun gameplay coupled with simple graphics hooked audiences even with a full game being at least $2.00.
Despite a great NBA representation, guys like Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal were not included (O’Neal not included in the home version) because they owned their own likenesses and it would have cost too much to put them in. This subsequently made Scottie Pippen deservedly the best player in the game. Despite this, the game had a strong following and broke arcade records across the nation.
The cultural impact of NBA Jam cannot be overlooked. Phrases such as “He’s heating up,” “He’s on fire!” and “Boomshakalaka” came into public view with this game. The magic spawned several official and unofficial sequels and a series reboot in 2010. NBA Jam continues to be revered by gamers everywhere for changing the game.