Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
Publisher: Sony Imagesoft
Submitted by: Gavin Miller
Sir Charles Barkley, NBA Superstar, compulsive gambler, author, movie star and videogame sprite. In the early 90’s several NBA players were starring in their own video games, the likes of Shaq, Jordan, Pippen, David Robinson & Sir Charles to name a few. Great players, crap games.
Barkley Shut up and Jam! is basically a poor version of NBA Jam. Is has the same basic game play, 2 on 2 basketball but with much sloppier controls. There seems to be no skill in taking a shot, just tap the “A” button and pray you’ll find the net. The game does shine with its ‘over the top’ slam dunks but they still aren’t nearly as good as those seen in NBA Jam. Apparently you can shatter the backboard glass with a super dunk but I’ve yet to accomplish that feat. The player roster is quite hilarious with Charles Barkley being the only known player, most people will opt for choosing him (he does have the best player stats, big surprise) The other players look like a group of prison inmates with crazy names like Wildman, Chilly, Funky D, Spike and Sweet Pea. Why he calls himself Sweet Pea is a true mystery. It’s good to see a basketball game with different locations. Most if not all other basketball games from this time saw you shooting hoops in a stadium, very original. In Shut up and Jam! you can play ball on the beach side, down dark corner alleys and other ghetto hangouts. The game does carry a fair bit of options like tournament play, series play, best of 5 games, first to 21 points etc. Yet the overall feel of the game just seems very loose with the controls feeling unresponsive at times. Stealing the ball is a real treat if you pull it off but seconds later you’ll no doubt have it stolen from you.
Also released on the SNES and Atari Jag, Shut up and Jam! can be entertaining when you’re playing against a friend but unfortunately it didn’t have much staying power for me. How this game managed to get a sequel is way beyond me.