NBA Hangtime

a game by Williams, and Funcom

Platforms: SNESSNESNintendo 64Nintendo 64PC

Genre: Sports

See also: Basketball Games, NBA Games

Reminiscent of the classic NBA Jam, NBA Hangtime]dishes out fun two-on-two half-court hoops. Despite the slow pace and stilted sprites, the killer moves, courts, and players will keep you dunkin' like a cop at a donut shop.

Makes the Playoffs

Billed as two games in one, this disc actually serves up the same gameplay in two scenarios. In the NBA Hangtime mode, you choose from all 27 NBA teams (with three real players each) and hit the court for standard hoops in a standard arena.

In the intriguing World Tour mode, you pick a team from 12 countries like Canada and Tahiti, playing on a different court for each. World Tour teams consist of fantasy players like Smedley from England, and some squads even have female players!

Each scenario offers ordinary two-on-two gameplay (though adapted to the half-court game) and the expected Exhibition, Season, and Playoff modes. The court heats up with an exciting array of special moves (such as spins and super passes) and dunks that you control with multibutton taps.

Experienced Jammers will relish the opportunity to choose exactly how they dunk in their opponent's face. The functional, easily learned controls support the long move list, but memorizing the button presses requires some studying.

Bounces off the Rim

Graphically, this game couldn't have a prettier wrapping. Nifty live video of ESPN's Dan Patrick (Hangtime) and ESPN2's Stuart Scott (World Tour) provides humorous commentary, even though the usual Sega CD color bleed and interminable load time choke things up.

Once you hit the court, however, the graphics become less impressive in a hurry. The realistic backgrounds, especially in the World Tour, spice up the action, but the tiny sprites lack detail, and the animation is so choppy that you'll think a strobe light is flickering during the dunks.

Even worse, the players move with a staggering slowness that diminishes the intensity. Fortunately, the hefty hip hop tunes and feisty announcer keep the action rolling, overcoming the flat grunts and ball sounds.

If rough edges don't saw away at your fun, Hangtime's controllable dunks and half-court gameplay provide a fresh change of pace. The adjustable difficulty and wide range of teams should keep the challenge constant -- just don't expect the sharp sprites and run-n-gun fun of NBA Jam.

ProTips:

  • To shoot accurately, tap Button A a second time at the peak of your jump.
  • Defense revolves around stealing, so stay tight on your opponents and reach in as much as possible.
  • Periodically bench your players to keep them fresh throughout the match.
  • Stick with man-to-man coverage; your players are generally too slow to chase someone down.
  • If you grab the rebound, pass to your teammate to clear the ball, then immediately fire it back for a quick dunk.
  • Never charge straight into an opponent -- the ball will always be stolen. Use the Spin move to roll around them.
  • To bag an easy three, lure the opposing team under the net and pass to your teammate.

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NBA Hangtime Downloads

SNES NBA Hangtime download

Rubbish arcade basketball game conversion with silly power moves and players with wobbly heads. Well worth a miss.

reggie posted a review

The problem here is that two-on-two basketball gets very boring, very quickly. Even with a cheats list, your attention will soon wander.

reggie posted a review

Wobbly-skulled giants trudge around the court in this silly basketball game where a 'create player' option lets you play as a pig, which seems somehow fitting. It's all stupid super-moves, 50 foot leaps and exploding baskets, rather than anything resembling a real sport. Those who enjoyed Batman And Robin might consider it 'awesome', which says it all!

reggie posted a review

If you haven't Jammed in a while, NBA Hangtime hits the court with fresh features that'll addict you all over again.

The benches are loaded with a large selection of top NBA players (excluding a few superstars like Shaq), so you can choose your squad from five-man rosters. Beyond the usual turbo, dunk, pass, shove, and steal moves, you'll also find rowdy moves like double dunks, alley-oops, spins, and fadeaways.

The excellent create-a-player option lets you put your name in lights, while the responsive, undemanding controls stand by your side throughout.

As far as graphics go, colorful, realistic sprites and courts deliver snazzy hoops action. The sounds, however, fall flat on their face with a lousy announcer and flat on-court effects.

Hangtime's gameplay doesn't deviate from the clich├ęd Jam formula, so if you're looking for real-life hoops, NBA Live '97 holds top honors. However, Hangtime's formula is unquestionably a blast, supplying enough cool features to deserve some game time.

ProTips:

  • Listen for the announcer to call "Raises up..." so you know when to pass to your teammate for an alley-oop or double dunk.
  • If you have an open man along the side, dish out of the dunk and go for the three-pointer.
reggie posted a review

Overview

This is definitely not your father's NBA. Somehow the Flying Karamazov Brothers or Greg Louganis have been transplanted into the bodies of your favorite NBA stars. Well, minus Jordan, Barkley, or Shaq, that is. You are placed in a 2-on-2, full court, anything-goes environment where for some strange reason the crowd always seems to root against you. I guess you could almost say the NBA stars may have been processed through the comic book oven and transformed into the Wonder Twins, form of freaks of nature. You'd best not possess a fear of heights, as the players soar to dizzying elevations to produce Sportscenter-esque dipsy-doo dunkeroos.

You start NBA Hangtime by entering your password. Then, off you go attempting to defeat each and every one of the 29 NBA teams in order to become a Grand Champion. You start out with the patsies (Boston, Vancouver, etc., ) working your way through many bumps and bruises to mess with the likes of Seattle and Chicago, the NBA elite. The computer does not like to give it up easy, though. You may choose to use any team in the league. Each team has 20 combinations to choose from its five representatives. You may switch your team from game to game, or you can become your very own Dr. Frankenstein and create a player from scratch. This player is given mediocre attributes, though you are awarded points to power him/her up after three victories. The selection is varied -- some 50 or so characters to choose from including the game designers and Martians, werewolves, pigs, chickens, basically all the naturally basketball-inclined creatures of the earth and beyond. Don't forget the secret codes which can be entered on the matchup screen, taking you to different arenas, characters and options.

Gameplay

This hoops game is a translation from an arcade hit of the same name. It is relatively straightforward when it comes to strategy: take the ball to the rack, baby. Power is a big aspect to this game, especially when it comes to ball handling and defensive thievery. Mount Motumbo is one strong cat and is able to knock people all over the court, making getting by him very difficult. It makes it tough to play those masters of brutality, the Knicks, also. One thing the computer does seem to enjoy is close games. As you try to conquer Scottie Pippen and The Worm, Dennis Rodman, and jump out to an early lead, the computer tightens its defense while in turn its shots seem to start falling with increased regularity. It can be quite frustrating. Two distinct, yet similar strategies can alter your offensive success: 1) If you can get yourself or your teammate three consecutive buckets without the other team scoring, he will become "on fire." "On Fire" basically affords you incredible shot accuracy and bullet passing. 2) If you can execute three consecutive alley-oops or "double dunks" without the other team scoring, you will be on "team fire." Double dunks happen when you go up for the jam and your partner jumps behind and you lay it up for him to monster slam -- it looks a lot like high-wire somersault acts at the circus. "Team fire" basically gives you 25 clock ticks, offense only, to make practically any shot you take and the goaltending rules seem to become liberally relaxed. If you can hit "team fire" you should only take three-pointers and try to pull away. This style of action is not a new format, it's clearly reminiscent of NBA Jam or even an earlier game -- Archrivals. Everyone dunks in this game, even Steve Kerr and John Stockton, and you'd think that Luc Longley was the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain.

Graphics

The graphics are not spectacular, but they suffice. When you have all four players about 12-15 feet off the floor near the hoop, it's hard to tell what's what without the Gulf War Infrared night vision binoculars. At some angles the players will look like a miscreant high schooler's attempt at reanimation using sugar cubes.

Audio

Rhyme provides the backdrop for the game's statistical screens and pre-game with a nifty little rap about the game. During gameplay, the commentator sticks to a bare-bones approach of announcing names and helpfully letting you know when your teammate is "raising up." When you take flight to complete a super dunk you may garner a Tarzan yelp or sound like a bomber going down. Otherwise not much else happens.

System Requirements

Minimum Requirements: Windows 95, DirectX enabled 90Mhz Pentium, 8 MB RAM, 1 MB available hard disk space, 1 MB video card (DirectDraw supported VLB or PCI with SVGA 32,768 or 65,536 colors at 640x840), CD-ROM drive.

Recommended: SoundBlaster or 100% compatible sound card, 16 MB RAM or more, 2 MB RAM on video card, 120 Mhz Pentium or higher, Gravis PC Game Pad, Gravis GrIP or other DirectX compatible multi-player adapter

Bottom Line

I seem to be having deja vu when playing this game, only it just doesn't seem to be as good as the first time. That's probably because what I see in NBA Hangtime has been done before -- and better -- by NBA Jam. That said, this game is relatively entertaining albeit one-dimensional. If you are looking for a simulation or sense of realism, turn right around and head back where you came from. However, if you are looking for an escape into high-flying no-brainer fun, you're here. I think the game would be better enjoyed playing a human counterpart and may be a big hit with the youngsters who seem to thrive on '90s-style basketball -- dunk and dunk some more. Therefore, the Richter Scale registers a mid-range rumble at 71.

reggie posted a review
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