Arcade1Up has been producing recreations of classic arcade machines at 3/4 scale for a few years now. Last year they introduced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, their first recreation with sticks and buttons for four players. This week at CES they unveiled a second four-player machine, and it’s a big one….do the words “He’s On Fire” ring any bells?
If they don’t, then just take this on faith: NBA Jam is the greatest arcade basketball game of all time. Bring four people together, start a virtual game of b-ball, remove the referees and rules, and you get magic. Its reproduction by Arcade1Up has been long overdue, and it also contains the two follow-ups, NBA Jam Tournament Edition and NBA Hang Time.
The latter game, released in 1996, had to be called “Hang Time” because it turned out Acclaim owned the NBA Jam brand when they cut their partnership with Midway to make their own basketball game. Hang Time, by the original team, is the third NBA Jam game in all but name…Acclaim’s effort hasn’t aged nearly as well, entrenching itself firmly in the 90s with crude polygonal characters and the name “NBA Jam Extreme.” It’s not on here.
But the good ones are. How could you make this better? This is how…online multiplayer. Atcade1Up says their NBA Jam machine will “allow users to play with other Arcade1Up cabinets in drop-in style games.” So even if you can’t round up three friends to play this game as nature intended, you can always pretend someone’s there and dial up a stranger from another state.
Arcade1Up announced several other machines at CES, like a new Sega cabinet that has Golden Axe, Shinobi, Altered Beast, Wrestle Wars, and Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder. There will also be a Burgertime cabinet this year that packs in Karate Champ, Bad Dudes, and Caveman Ninja. Plus, the company announced it’s working on partnering up with Zen Studios for a new series of pinball recreations.
[Photo from PCmag.com]