The two major players in basketball games have upped the ante for their forthcoming releases (available October 5 in a store near you!), the incumbent king, 2K11 will be sporting Michael "Air" Jordan as their cover boy, and the game will include playing some of his classic moments, while EA sports have canned NBA Live and are pioneering a new title - NBA Elite - and will feature a remake of the classic NBA Jam (well, 3 parts of it).
Even though I live in the basketball backwaters (Australia) I've been playing EA Sports' basketball games for 20 years! It all started with the old Lakers vs. Celtics (released in '89), the first 'NBA Live' game from the 95 season (Drexler was still on the Blazers roster but he got traded that season), and I bought a couple of games in the 00's including Live 09 (which includes almost all of our current beloved blazers). However, after 2K announced that Michael Jordan would be gracing their cover my heart got all kind of pitter-pattery about reliving the 90's glory days- I was assuming if they were featuring Jordan that they would have to include some of the other 90s teams (imagine being able to re-write history by having the blazers win the 1992 Championship!).
NBA Live, on the other hand, seemed to be going backwards - they totally scrapped their franchise and have changed game controls, and they don't have Michael Jordan (not that I was a fan at all, but still - he is the g.o.a.t.). But then they announced they were including for download 3 parts of the new NBA Jam which was previously only going to be released for the Wii. NBA Jam was amazing back in the day, and I spent a fortune playing it down at the 'pinny parlour' (where we used to play arcade games here in Oz), and then loved it on Super Nintendo (although I confess I used to play with the Spurs who I think had David Robinson and Dennis Rodman, and you could sub in Sean Elliot for 3 point shooting)...
My concern is that even though you need to bring your A-game when you're competing against Michael Jordan, throwing in NBA Jam means that the main product must be pretty ordinary. And what if the remake of Jam isn't very good? (it's being designed for the Wii, so it can't be that great anyway, right?) What if 2K's newest product features a few Jordan moments (it does include his six 3-pointers vs. the blazers in that '92 series) and little else from that era?
What are your thoughts?