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Barkley Shut Up and Jam! (USA, Europe)

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Sports

Console

Sega Genesis

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Sega Genesis

Barkley Shut Up and Jam! (USA, Europe)

Barkley Shut Up and Jam![a] is a basketball video game originally developed and published by Accolade for the Sega Genesis on North America in 1993 and later in Europe in April 1994. It is the first entry in the Barkley Shut Up and Jam series, featuring former NBA MVP Charles Barkley prominently and as one of the playable characters.

Featuring arcade-style gameplay similar to Midway‘s NBA Jam but closely following the rules seen in street basketball, players compete with either CPU-controlled opponents or against other players in matches across various cities of the United States. Originally known as Charles Barkley Basketball during development and initially released on the Genesis,[2][3][4] it was later ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and first released on North America in June 1994 and this version was released months later in both Japan and Europe on the same year by Den’Z and Sony Electronic Publishing respectively.[1]

Barkley Shut Up and Jam! received mixed but positive reception when it was released on both platforms, with reviewers praising the graphics, sound and multiplayer, while others criticized the controls, lackluster animations and gameplay, with critics also comparing the game with NBA Jam. Ports for the PC and Atari Jaguar were in development but never released.[2] A sequel, Barkley Shut Up and Jam 2, was exclusively released for the Genesis in 1995.

Gameplay

Barkley Shut Up and Jam! is a two-on-two street basketball game where players take control of either former NBA MVP Charles Barkley or one of fifteen fictitious basketball players in a progressive series of matches on outdoor courts across different cities of the United States, with the exception of Phoenix, which takes place in an indoor court.[5][6] Though very similar to NBA Jam in terms of gameplay and controls,[7] the game provides a faster and more aggressive pace by containing less basketball play regulations and never penalizing a player, which emulates the looser and rougher nature of casual, urban basketball.[5][6][7][8] The court locations has no effect on gameplay, while each of the playable characters has a unique set of status skills, encouraging players to figure out which character fits their play style the best.[5][6] Despite that, Barkley has the best stats overall.[7]

Like NBA Jam, players has access to a turbo function that allows the characters to move faster and steal easier.[5][6] The player starts with the ability to use turbo six times but must earn each use back by performing well.[7] Unlike NBA Jam, the player can not control their teammate, who is instead controlled by the computer. A stable mechanic in Barkley is that your opponents have a very high chance of performing a difficult shot in the final seconds of the match, scoring their team three of four points, if they have the ball at the time, requiring the player to plan around this as the match is coming to an end.[7] Aside from the main single-player game mode, there is also a series mode as well as a tournament mode that allows up to 16 players.[5][6][7] The game has no save feature and utilizes a password system to keep progress through tournament mode. There are no major differences between the Genesis and Super NES versions besides graphics and sound, while each version of the game features support for up to four players with the Sega Team Player and Super Multitap adapters respectively.[5][6]

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