Comments Shares I don't follow sports as much as I used to. Penny Hardaway! Al Gore! Personally, it takes me back to a time when shattering the glass backboard wasn't just allowed - it was encouraged.
While it may not carry the Jam title, it features a similarly bombastic announcer, 2-on-2 gameplay, and enough high-flying dunks to make Bill Clinton blush. Just like in Jam, you pick two players, which can actually come from any two teams, to take to the court.
There is a nice selection of both current and older players letting you mix things up as you see fit.
On a moment-to-moment basis, NBA Playgrounds left me satisfied. The action is fast and fun and I quickly got wrapped up in the showmanship of it all.
It took me a handful of games to get the timing down on shots as it felt much more difficult to master than in previous arcade-style basketball games.
Once you figure it out, though, it becomes easy to drain threes like crazy, leaving the relatively easy A.
As you play the game you gain XP that levels up your profile, and your players, when used, gain XP that levels them up individually. Players get boosted stats when they increase a level, while you earn packs of player cards.
The cards are split into varying levels of rarity and quality and you can earn extra packs for winning tournaments and unlocking new levels. Additionally, a representative for the game told me that Tournaments will also receive online functionality after launch, but not at this time.
Also, the Switch version of the game is supposedly launching without Online functionality, which seems like a pretty big oversight.
Yelling in excitement as you line up the perfect alleyoop or slam down a huge dunk is tempered by the heart-sinking sadness when your buddy drains a buzzer-beater three point shot right at the end of a game.
But it missteps in a few places as well. For one, the power-ups feel unbalanced and poorly designed.
Sometimes it makes your feet glow blue, giving infinite boost, other times it makes certain spots on the court worth double points.
The power-ups themselves are mostly fine, but some feel out of place or needlessly obtuse.