I’ve been pretty vocal about my life-long love of the NBA Jam franchise, and of my massive annoyance at the iOS version which continues to chart well and sell many copies every day despite having some fairly serious bugs and not being optimized for any recent iOS hardware or software (Its last update was in December of 2011). Phew, sorry, my blood just kind of boils when I think about it. Anyway, I’ve often wondered why nobody has swooped in and filled that over-the-top 2v2 arcade basketball niche that NBA Jam is letting fester.
Well, somebody is finally stepping up with PBA Slam. No, this isn’t a bowling game. The PBA, besides being the Professional Bowlers Association in the US, is also the Philippine Basketball Association located in–you guessed it–the Philippines. The PBA was the first Asian professional basketball league, and it’s actually the second oldest league behind the NBA as it’s been active since 1975. Developer Ranida Games has partnered with PBA to bring an officially licensed basketball game to mobile devices, the aforementioned PBA Slam. Check out the first trailer for PBA Slam, it’s quite obvious where they drew inspiration from.
The tricky thing is that the original NBA Jam is a total classic, and is one of those games that had that “secret sauce" of awesomeness that you can’t just replicate by throwing 4 professional basketball players on a court and animating a bunch of crazy dunks. However, there is so much room to improve on the current iOS version of NBA Jam as it exists now that PBA Slam would have to be pretty bad in order to not be better. At the very least it’s already done a great job at bringing awareness to the PBA, as prior to this game’s announcement I’d never heard of that league. PBA Slam is set to release sometime in April, and until then you can find out more in our forums.