Hey, I am Brazilian, I should be reviewing a soccer game. I don’t know anything about basketball. Well, maybe basketball is your game. If it is, you can play it in your Blackberry too.
NBA 2-on-2 SLAM, as the name indicates, is a game of basketball with 2 players on either side. I guess cramming 10 players in a mobile device’s screen wouldn’t have been such a good idea. But 4 players fit just fine and can result in a very enjoyable game. I am definitely not good at action games, especially with a keyboard this small, but still I managed to run along the court, pass the ball to my teammate and slam dunk. Scoring three points was a little more difficult, but I managed to do that too.
NBA 2-on-2 SLAM is one of those simple action games that just work. It involves a very popular concept, the graphics are pretty good, the movement works very well, it is reasonably fast-paced, so gameplay is guaranteed. No, it’s not original. No, it’s not a cunning new concept. No, it’s not likely to become a classic – or is it? Yes, you have seen many similar games before. But if all you want is a game to keep you entertained on a bus, train or dentist’s waiting room, NBA 2-on-2 SLAM has very little chance of disappointing you. Seriously, I really don’t like basketball. But this really works as a video game. My favorite feature is the Play Now item at the top of the main menu. It’s no questions asked, you just get the ball trotting on the double.
I wonder if it is really important to go into the entire concept of how the game is presented. Frankly, I don’t really understand it so I would like to avoid it, but here is the gist: you get to select teams and players and pretend you are one of them. You also get to choose another team to play against you. There is a fairly extensive list, and a quick search on Google tells me these teams and players really exist and are super stars of the NBA. So you play against all these teams and stars while pretending to be one of these teams and stars. I apologize to basketball fans, this must be important to you, but I really have no familiarity with basketball and I think this super star name choosing doesn’t really matter. None of it is real. I just picked the “Play Now” option all the time. The game is fun, that’s what matters.
The game is divided in four quarters, of course. Each quarter may last 1, 2, or 5 minutes. So a game may last from 4 to 20 minutes, depending on how much free time you have. I think longer games are more thrilling. Controlling the players was a bit difficult to me. Because I am a lame player, of course, but also because the Blackberry keyboard is too small. You can use the trackball to move the players around, but the trackball is too slow. I wish the game could override the device’s trackball sensitivity and make movement a lot faster. Then it would be perfect. But the keyboard controls are not as bad as those in White House Rumble. In a boxing game, we keep punching all the time and must react a lot faster. NBA 2-on-2 SLAM let me move around at my own pace, I still managed to play and even win a couple of times, although by a very thin score difference. I suspect that players with good coordination may find the game a little bit too easy, but probably not too much. Even if you win every time, passing the ball around and scoring slam dunks against the clock is very entertaining.
Pros: good fast-paced action game, certainly thrilling enough for a sports theme; game length is adjustable from 4 to 20 minutes.
Cons: skilled players may find it a tad too easy; moving players around with the trackball is too slow.
My rating: 9. Call it a 10 if you’re comfortable with the controls but not comfortable enough to decide that the game is too easy.