'NBA Jam' producer talks gameplay, graphics

Sun, Apr 4
9:19
AM ET
NBA JamEA Sports"NBA Jam" is back and looking better than ever.

LeBron James shoves Kobe Bryant to the ground (the bigger the shove, the bigger the love), steals the ball, spins his way through Pau Gasol, then hits a forward flip dunk where if he were any higher, King James' head would've spiked through the arena roof.

"Is it the shoes?"

"Boom-shackalacka!"

As a guy who grew up stacking quarters on top of the old "NBA Jam" arcade machine, all I can say after playing a full game of the upcoming Wii version is this: The magic is back.

Unfortunately for the poor guy playing as Shaq to my LeBron, I think I passed the ball only about five times in four quarters. What can I say -- he wasn't very good -- and I didn't want to miss out on the chance to get in as many "He's on fire!" moments as I could in the limited time EA actually gave me with the game.

"I like that you admit to that," laughs Trey Smith, creative director of "NBA Jam," talking about my inability to press pass during the four-player game. "You got a good sense of the shooting controls is what you're really saying."

And shoot the ball I did, lighting the net on fire from beyond the arc with LeBron as I brought myself back to another era of gaming, remembering with every block, shove and slam the days of playing the classic series as everyone from John Starks to Bill Clinton.

And while one game is never enough to judge a product, it was one game that left me not only drooling to dribble, but begging for one thing and one thing only … more.

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