JAMDAT Sports NBA 2005
Itching for some basketball action when you're on the go? JAMDAT has a pretty decent solution for you in NBA 2005.
Cell phone games are becoming more popular, and JAMDAT is leading the charge that'll put quality games into the palm of your hand. Its latest sports game, JAMDAT Sports NBA 2005, is an easy to play hoops fest that, despite some minor issues, offers a unique gameplay experience that should please those looking for a quick pick-up game on the go.
NBA 2005 looks a lot like the blockbuster NBA Jam. It's a two-on-two single-player 2D basketball game that features "on fire" players and dramatic dunks and blocked shots, so if you like the old school classic, NBA 2005 will probably please more than irritate. The game features all 30 NBA teams and includes some of today's hottest stars such as Ben Wallace, Vince Carter, Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett. Each game consists of two short quarters (divided into halves of 4, 8, or 12 minutes each), and you can choose to play a quick game by selecting Quick Start, or begin a season that lasts for 1, 7, 15, or 29 games (complete with playoffs).
The reason why you can't go into a full NBA season is because NBA 2005 was designed to consider the cell phone gamer, that being someone who doesn't have the time to necessarily sit and enjoy an 82 game b-ball fest complete with several playoff series. In fact, as you play the game, you'll notice that JAMDAT took liberties with actual league rules. For starters, you can't go out of bounds, which a great idea because you wouldn't be able to see your baller's positioning near the line anyways. Also, you can't be whistled for a back court violation. Once you cross the half court line, you can't go back.
The gameplay isn't the greatest B-ball portable experience, but it's very addictive once you get the hang of it. OK is shoot, the direction buttons move your player around, and * passes the ball. You can also charge up special shots, perform crazy moves, and do alley oops, long-ranged dunks, and super blocks. Of course, you shouldn't expect the most fluid animation from the players. While there are different types of dunks, you won't see anything graceful about how they're completed.
While NBA 2005 is fun to a point, there are several flaws that keep it from greatness. For starters, every player seems to have longer arms than they should, because as you'll see, you're going to get rejected a lot. The AI's intensity gives new meaning to the phrase, "not in my house!" Even when it seems like you've jumped into the rafters, your opponent can still make a play for the ball. It makes dunking more difficult than it should be, and may turn off players and cause them to jack up jump shots.
Unfortunately, shooting isn't easy. The game tries to help by placing a colored disc underneath the player with the ball that's let you know how open he is, but it's still hard to drain the jumper. Every single shot that I missed went into the rim and bounced out (they always look like they're about to go in), which is somewhat of a heart breaker when the game's on the line. It actually works for and against the game. Some of you may find the constant missing to be a pain, while others might appreciate and get a huge adrenaline rush out of making the clutch basket in those final clutch seconds.
I also had an issue with the game's controls. Now I know we're talking about cell phones, so nobody should expect total comfort, but basketball is a fast-paced sport that requires constant finger movement on the keypad, and after a short while my hand cramped up.
NBA 2005's graphics are on par with the old Game Boy Color b-ball games that released eons ago. The game isn't pushing any boundaries (even for cell phones), but that doesn't mean it's not fun to look at. It's easy to distinguish teams (but not necessarily players), and the court is well detailed, though I wish there was more than one.
The game's bells and whistles aren't anything to write home about. Theme music plays at the menu screens, and during gameplay, a horn goes off each time a team scores. Other than that (besides a ref whistle and taps when shots are blocked), you play the game in silence.
While NBA 2005 didn't initially impress me, over time I warmed up to it after I got a better grasp of the controls and how to move the ball. It's not loaded with features, but as a cell phone gamer, I never expected it to be. Fun to play at work, home, or on the go, JAMDAT's NBA 2005 is a winner!
What's Hot: A good amount of fun once you get used to the controls.
What's Not: The controls have a bit of a learning curve, and can be a bit too frantic!