Monday, March 10, 2014

CCG RETRO Review: NBA Hang Time (N64)

As the self designated N64 reviewer here at CCG, I have taken it upon myself to review ALL of the N64 games. Since at the time of writing, I only own 270 of the 296 North American N64 games, this may be a bit of an overwhelming task. However, I believe I am up for the challenge. I will be attempting this feat of reviewing by reviewing the games in the order that they were released. Since these are retro reviews of games at least 12+ years old, I may give away spoilers so be warned!

Not a single NBA game had been released on the N64 yet (12 NBA games were released by the end of the N64's life cycle). This meant that NBA Hang Time had the potential to be a big seller and capitalize on the lack of competition. Unfortunately it didn't do that. The game reeked of what had already been done on the SNES and PS1 with NBA Jam. This isn't to say that the game isn't fun. NBA Hang Time is purely an arcade basketball game. It features 2 on 2 match ups with unrealistic dunks and insanely easy scoring. What is unfortunate is the games use of sprites and digitized heads. It didn't use the N64's processing power in the least. With such shoddy graphics meant that at least it could have amazing sound! Right? Right?.... No. Technically this game is underwhelming. Underwhelming graphics, underwhelming sound, and no options to play more than 2 on 2.

However, the game is loads of fun! NBA Hang Time is all about the scoring and encourages you to do some crazy stunts. Somersaults, alley-oops, and double dunks are all the norm in a basic game. Luckily you can also go over the top with the defense as well, utilizing steals and blocks that should cause fouls... but they don't! There are not any fouls here and it is awesome. I did notice some players were missing that should have been here including, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and Shaq! I wanted to do some classic MJ and Pippen domination but sadly I had to use Rodman's craziness instead. Midway does make up for those missing players by granting you the ability to make your own character. By make your own character I mean almost anyone/anything you can imagine. Want an alien? Greetings NBA! Santa Claus? Ho Ho Boomshackalacka! A wolf? Drop some diiiiiimmmeeessss. There are also a lot of options to tweak the game (including big head mode) and a much appreciated Tournament mode. Hang Time may be lacking in the tech side of things but makes up for it with its over the top arcade goodness.

Play as a Mortal Kombat character - At the name screen, enter either "Kombat" or "Mortal" and then type in 0004 as the PIN. You can now play as Boon or Tobias from Mortal Kombat.

Cross Console Gamer Advice: The game is rated KA which is the old version of E. It is fun, over the top, arcade basketball that can be enjoyed by all.

Good – Gameplay, easter eggs, lots of options, tournament mode.

Bad – Graphics and sound is so last gen.

Ugly – No Michael Jordan, Shaq, or Charles Barkely!

Final Score – 3.5 out of 5

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