Defunct Games
On Running Feuds
NBA Jam vs. Sonic Youth
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 01, 2002   |   Episode 19 (Show Archive)  


Videogame cameos are nothing new, Coolio, Bill Clinton, and even Spider-Man have been in enough games now to where people don't even seem to notice. But how can you do the right thing and still manage to foul out completely?

In the case of NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, fans of influential rock band Sonic Youth both get nods, and also get a slap in the face. But before we get into the pain, let's discuss the finer points of this franchise. For years NBA Jam had made musicians, celebrities, politicians, even royalty run up and down the court looking for an opening for a three pointer. The makers of the game are on record as saying they put the people that they like, especially when it comes to musicians.

Sonic Youth, Snoop Dogg, and even the Fresh Prince (I mean Wil Smith) all made it into Midways' Saturn and PlayStation port of this arcade hit. To access these characters one has to put in a special birthday and code name. And that's where we start to get into problems.

You see, Thurston Moore, singer/guitarist, is accessed by using the birthday June 8th ... even though his birthday is actually July 25th. Kim Gordon, bassist/singer, is acquired by

using July 3rd as the birthday, not April 28th. Drummer Steve Shelley gets similar treatment, as you use June 8th to play with him, and his real birthday lands on June 23rd. It's Lee Renaldo who comes out the best looking in the end. He is picked up using February 4th, while his birthday is just two days earlier, on the 2nd!

If the designers really are fans of the band, why wouldn't they put in the thirty seconds of research it takes to get the right birthdays? After all they spent that much time to scan the images, why not go the extra mile to make it seem that much more authentic?? Maybe this is something we'll never know.
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