It doesn’t happen often, but the Space Jam: A New Legacy video game released before the movie. We look at the two side by side and find out if the game does the movie any justice!
Head up, this blog has a Daffy Duckload of spoilers!
Does the Space Jam 2 game live up to the movie?
Ordinarily, a movie will come out and get a bigger following than an Instagram influencer. Then, the game will drop, giving eager fans something new to cling to, and a chance to experience the action from the inside. But, with Space Jam: A New Legacy, it’s different.
While Space Jam: A New Legacy, the movie, releases in the UK on 16 July 2021, the game is already out as a perks package. And, it’ll be free to play on 15 July – the day before the movie hits cinemas.
So, how can we tell if it lives up to the movie? We’ll just have to go with what we know so far. We’ll have a look at each separately first, and then see how they measure up to each other. Let’s start with the movie.
Space Jam: A New Legacy Movie
Michael Jordan’s custom-made Air Jordans are some pretty big shoes to fill. After all, Space Jam was adored by an entire generation thanks to its awesome blend of live-action and animation and its super inspirational story, backed by the lump-in-the-throat harmonies of I Believe I Can Fly.
So, can a sequel ever live up to the original? Well, we’ve only got the trailer to go off of, but it looks like yes. Here are our thoughts on why:
The key to nailing a sequel is to make it similar to the first one, but step it up a bit. So there’s that familiarity, but fans are still wowed. And, it looks like Space Jam 2 does just that.
Modern day basketball legend, LeBron James, must rescue his son from the clutches of the sinister Al-G Rhythm, played by Don Cheadle. To free him, all he has to do is win a basketball game.
On LeBron’s team we have the classic Tune Squad of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Lola Bunny, Porky Pig, Sylvester and Tweety, and other players from the original movie. They’re taking on the Goon Squad, a team made up of avatars of professional basketball stars.
But, they’ve got some formidable powers. Take Wet/Fire as an example. This dude’s made of water but can throw fiery basketballs. So, yeah.
Again, Space Jam: A New Legacy tips its cap to the original by bringing us some classic ‘90s style line drawings. But, then it juices up and delivers some amazing looking CGI, giving us the Loony Tunes like we’ve never seen them before.
Image credit: Warner Bros. via Screen Rant
As we mentioned, LeBron James is kind of a big deal in modern basketball, so he’s a great choice to take on the starring role. But, in addition, we’ve got some seriously big names in the movie biz joining him. Don Cheadle is one we mentioned, but look out for Zendaya, Michael B. Jordan, Steve Harvey, Laurence Fishburne, Gary Oldman, and more.
Space Jam: A New Legacy Game
So, the movie is awesome. Plain down. But, what can we expect from the game?
Well, the game could’ve easily taken the engine for the official NBA game, thrown some Loony Tunes in it, and called it a day. But it hasn’t.
Instead, it’s taken some serious inspiration from the ‘90s – the era that gave us the original Space Jam – and delivered a game that’s an experience all of its own. Let’s take a look at what it’s all about.
Gameplay and Graphics
Instead of a contemporary sports game, Space Jam: A New Legacy has honoured the ‘90s origin of the Space Jam universe, and the current rise in retro gaming, with a super arcade-style beat-‘em-up.
Play as key characters from the movie as you attempt to stop the evil plans of Al-G Rhythm. There are some basketball moves in there, but it’s mainly the characters moving through a 2D environment and using their basketballs to beat the bolts out of a robotic Goon Squad.
It’s a perfect homage to arcade classics that brings all of the movie’s zany antics into a fast-paced, altogether fun video game.
Image credit: Warner Bros. via Polygon
Al-G Rhythm has trapped LeBron James, Bugs Bunny, and Lola Bunny inside the Warner Bros. server. To escape, the trio must look for four pieces of Legacy Code that will help them find Al-G’s hideout. Easy, right? Nope. To find the code, they have to fight their way through swarms of Rhythm’s evil robots and, well, ‘Goons’.
Space Jam: A New Legacy the game is only available to Xbox players. Currently, it’s exclusive to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perks. But, on the 15th of July 2021 it’ll become available to download for free in the Microsoft Store on Xbox.
Space Jam: A New Legacy Movie vs Game
Image credit: Warner Bros. via Comingsoon
Usually games based on movies are really based on movies. In that, you play out the exact plot in the same way as the action unfolds on screen. But, Space Jam isn’t like that at all.
It’s refreshing to see the game take such a retro turn when the movie has brought the characters into the 21st century with insanely detailed CGI.
So, the experiences of the game vs the movie are both completely unique. On the one hand you have the movie looking forward in terms of story and graphics, and on the other you have the game giving a retro nod to the ‘90s origin of the Space Jam franchise.
Both the new movie and the game have their own identities, and we think that’s awesome.
Main image credit: Warner Bros. via Engadget