"The ultimate arcade JAM comes home on Mega CD!  YOU control the super moves, amazing blocks and awesome slam dunks of the NBA's hottest stars!"

"Updated roster - all new stars like Webber, Hardway, Mashburn, C. Robinson, Rider and Sprewell."

"Sky-walking slams - Cannonball, Tomahawk, Helicopter and more."

Game Information
Developer Iguana Entertainment Inc.
Publisher Acclaim Entertainment Ltd.
Distributor Acclaim Entertainment Ltd.
Copyright Date 1994
Players 1 - 4
Age Rating(s) ELSPA 3+
Save Type RAM
Cart Version Yes

Part Numbers
Game T-81035-50
Front Cover None specific
Back Cover None specific
Manual None specific
Spine Card ?
CD 1 None specific
Bar Code 3 455199 000039

Most gamers will be familiar with NBA Jam's 2 Vs 2 arcade style basketball, and the Mega-CD release didn't deviate from the formula.  For those unfamiliar with the series, it's a game of three minute quarters with no fouls (though there is still a shot clock), highest score at the end wins.  Controls are kept simple with  pass, shoot and turbo buttons, and thankfully there aren't huge numbers of combinations to remember either.  Use of the turbo is limited by a quickly regenerating bar, and allows faster sprints, massively over the top slam dunks, harder blocks and quicker passes.  Should any player score three consecutive unopposed baskets unlimited turbo is granted until the opposition scores or it fizzles out by itself over time.  Players who are "on fire" also gain a stat boost and are accompanied by plumes of smoke and flame, making shots from almost anywhere that incinerate the basketball net.

If you're playing on your own your team-mate will be AI controlled, rather than you having to switch between the two.  The computer does a pretty good job of making sure your partner is both where and when you need him, and you retain some vestige of control as you can insist they pass or shoot when you want.  Likewise the opposition puts up a decent fight through the variable difficulty levels, and there's even an "elastic band"-type AI setting in the options to help a team that falls too far behind.   Individual player stats do seem to make a difference to the player's abilities, and you do get to choose which half of the team you control before the match starts.  Naturally the best way to enjoy the game is with at least one friend (either co-op or against each other), and NBA Jam supports the multitap for four player action.

So is it any good?  That really depends on what you're looking for.  NBA Jam is fast-paced, end to end stuff - a combined tally of over 80 points in a 12 minute game isn't uncommon, and purists may be happier with the NBA Live series on cartridge.  If you prefer something more intense, less realistic (and possibly more fun) then you won't go far wrong with this.

Played side-by-side with the cartridge version of NBA Jam T.E. it's difficult to spot the difference.  Naturally the music and speech are clearer, the graphics are perhaps a little bit cleaner, and the hyperactive commentator seems to have been toned down a bit, as well as having had his repertoire expanded by a few lines.  Beyond that and a few new names and faces, there's no reason to replace your cartridge copy with the CD version, but if you don't have either then this one just edges preference.