Jammit

Jammit is a unique basketball game, in that everyone in the game sucks at basketball.  And I don’t just mean that they can’t do fancy dribbling moves, or miss a lot of their shots.  I mean, these guys jump past the net and forget to dunk, throw up airballs from everywhere on the court, score on their own net (while the other team does everything they can to prevent them from doing so), and when things go really bad, run headfirst into the pole that holds the net up.

Jammit005

Roxy defends the net the best way she knows – Flying Punch!

It’s almost as if every bad game idea from the early nineties got together and had a party.  Grainy, pixelated, digitized graphics, random sound clips that don’t make any sense, and cheap production values all conspire together with some horrendous design choices for the complete basketball experience… of sorrow.  The game obviously takes a lot of inspiration from the movie White Men Can’t Jump, but what’s really baffling is that they couldn’t somehow scrape up the $7 to get the official license.  The whole game is sloppy, ill-conceived and clearly done on the cheap.  Everything about this title screams “Atari Jaguar”, yet here it is on my Genesis.  It must be some kind of horrific anti-miracle.

The most laughable of all of Jammit’s “innovations”, is the dunk mode.  When a player takes a shot near the basket, the game cuts to a close up view of the hoop, allowing you complete control over your dunk, or the defense against it.  It’s a cool idea, but the execution is so bad that this ends up being either hilarious or extremely frustrating, depending on how seriously you’re taking the game.  Each player seems to have only a few frames of animation, and they hover through the air, usually crashing into each other and generally making it impossible to figure out what the hell you’re trying to do.  Even uncontested dunks become a challenge and the whole thing looks incredibly silly.

Jammit000Oddly enough, the game actually does end up being kind of fun in a dumb way.  Don’t ask me how, exactly – if I had to guess I’d say that watching both Stryker and the computer flop around and struggle as bad as I did was oddly reassuring.  Or else the sheer pleasure of dunking transcends the awfulness of this game.  Or maybe I just have a little crush on Roxy.  Whatever.  It’s not Seal of Quality worthy, but ended up much closer to getting one than I had expected going in.

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