Just hearing the words NBA Jam gives many of us fond nostalgic memories. EA’s NBA Jam On Fire Edition back in 2011 brought players back to the crazy arcade style the series became famous for, and now a new title will carry the torch. After being revealed at the Nintendo Direct event back in February, we now know NBA Playgrounds will be launching on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next month. We also got a round of new trailers recently courtesy of Nintendo and Sony…
NBA Playground features much of the same over-the-top, big-headed arcade hoops you could ever ask for. We are talking 2-on-2 street ball officially licensed by the NBA with over 200 of the game’s biggest stars from Steph Curry, George Hill and James Harden to iconic players from the past like Shaq and Allen Iverson. Developer Saber Interactive has built-in a player upgrade system which will unlock special moves and even “signature moves” for certain players. There is also a card pack system you can earn simply by playing to unlock new players for your roster.
You can still pull-off all of those gravity-defying dunks, as you can see in the trailers, but judging by a developer post on the Sony blog, there is some strategy here. For example, letting go of the shoot button at the peak of the motion will increase your shot percentage and more.
There is some interesting arcade power-ups of sorts in play as well with the Lottery Pick System. “Pour in enough buckets, and your team will get to spin the Lottery Pick wheel for a short term bonus”. They are basically short term power-ups that include everything from 2x-points on your 3-pointers and 12-inches of extra height on dunks to super speed shoes and more. But remember this is playground ball rules, so you’ll lose your “lottery bar momentum” if you play overly aggressive on defense. If that works the way it sounds, it should be a really nice touch to balancing things out. It looks you can play Playgrounds solo, in local-multiplayer mode or online against other players.
As of right now all we know is that it is releasing in May for $20 as a digital download for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We will update this post when the particular release date becomes available. For now you can get even more details on the game from Saber over on the PS Blog.