NBA JAM: On Fire Edition: FAQ/Strategy Guide

       ================================================
== NBA JAM: ON FIRE EDITION - ROAD TRIP GUIDE ==
================================================
for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Version 1.3
by Bill Wood (billwood661@ca.rr.com)
Last modified: 10/18/11

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition (c) 2011 Electronic Arts

NOTE: This guide views and prints best with a monospace typeface.
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==TABLE OF CONTENTS==
=====================

SECTION 01: VERSION HISTORY
SECTION 02: INTRODUCTION
SECTION 03: ROAD MAP
            - Match Types
            - Pacific Division
              - Golden State Warriors
              - Los Angeles Clippers
              - Los Angeles Lakers
              - Phoenix Suns
              - Sacramento Kings
            - Northwest Division
              - Denver Nuggets
              - Minnesota Timberwolves
              - Oklahoma City Thunder
              - Portland Trailblazers
              - Utah Jazz
            - Southwest Division
              - Dallas Mavericks
              - Houston Rockets
              - Memphis Grizzlies
              - New Orleans Hornets
              - San Antonio Spurs
            - Southeast Division
              - Atlanta Hawks
              - Charlotte Bobcats
              - Miami Heat
              - Orlando Magic
              - Washington Wizards
            - Central Division
              - Chicago Bulls
              - Cleveland Cavaliers
              - Detroit Pistons
              - Indiana Pacers
              - Milwaukee Bucks
            - Atlantic Division
              - Boston Celtics
              - New Jersey Nets
              - New York Knicks
              - Philadelphia 76ers
              - Toronto Raptors
SECTION 04: BEST TEAMS AND STRATS
            - Choosing a Team
            - General Strategies and Advice
              - Bronze
              - Silver
              - Gold
              - Platinum
              - Final Boss!
            - What To Do After Road Trip
            - Do's and Don't's Against Gold and Platinum Opponents
SECTION 05: CLOSING

===============================
==SECTION 01: VERSION HISTORY==
===============================

v1.3 (10/18/2011) - Minor additions and corrections.

v1.2 (10/17/2011) - Final Boss info added. Minor additions and corrections.

v1.1 (10/14/2011) - Updated with Eastern Conference team information. Other
additions and corrections as well.

v1.0 (10/13/2011) - First public version of the guide, all Western Conference
Road Trip teams have been detailed. A new version detailing the Eastern
Conference teams will follow shortly.

============================
==SECTION 02: INTRODUCTION==
============================
Welcome to the NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Road Trip guide! This guide will cover
the long and arduous journey that is Road Trip, from the easiest of Bronze
teams to the brutal Jambots (and beyond!). The various match types will be
outlined in detail, as well as some general strategy for dealing with the
tougher CPU A.I. opponents.

This guide assumes you are familiar with the basic game conventions. If not,
please consult the in-game guide before reading.

========================
==SECTION 03: ROAD MAP==
========================
Road Trip is basically the NBA Jam: OFE equivalent of Career or Season Mode, a
whirlwind tour that has you squaring off against all 30 NBA teams several times
over in various match types. Defeating Road Trip opponents and completing Jam
Challenges earns you Jam Bucks, which can be used at the in-game store to
purchase bonuses such unique balls, visual effects and numerous NBA legends.

The basic Road Trip layout is as follows: There are five NBA teams within six
divisions, each team having Bronze, Silver and Gold challenges with varying
stipulations for a total of 15 games per division. Beating those 15 games will
unlock the Platinum Jambot challenges for that division. The Jambots will
test the mettle of even the best Jam players!

When it's all said and done, you'll need to win (at least) 120 games to clear
Road Trip. I say "at least" because you can replay any challenge for extra Jam
Bucks. And even after beating all of the Jambot challenges, there may be
something in store for you!

         ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
         ++  The number shown on the right of your Jam Card  ++
         ++  reflects your Road Trip completion percentage,  ++
         ++       not the total number of medals won.        ++
         ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This guide assumes you are playing through Road Trip as a single player with
Tag Mode enabled. It also assumes that you have not unlocked any of the higher-
priced specialty teams, such as the Rain Makers. However, you should purchase
Larry Bird (Celtics) and Shaq (Magic) as soon as possible. They cost 1000 Jam
Bucks each, you'll have enough dough to buy them both after clearing any
division's Bronze challenges.

-----------
MATCH TYPES
-----------
You'll come across several different match types during the course of Road
Trip: Some limit the clock, while others reward you for dunking, while others
still reward you for staying outside and sinking long balls. Listed below are
all the match types with descriptions:

CLASSIC 2 vs 2 - Your basic NBA Jam set-up: 2-on-2 with four two-minute
quarters. Classic is far and away the most common game in Road Trip, all
Bronze and Platinum challenges are in Classic mode.

2 vs 2, 1 MINUTE QUARTERS - Same as above but with half the time. Score early
and score often! The Mavs are the only team to feature this challenge.

GO! - Fast shot clock, live ball, 1 quarter. A more uptempo game with an
emphasis on quick scoring. "Live ball" means no inbounding between possessions,
the ball stays in play even after a basket. Since the CPU is uncommonly good at
rebounding and picking up the loose ball, it's easy to fall behind quickly in
this mode.

BLITZ - Live ball, 15 second shot clock, 1 quarter. The difference between
"Blitz" and "Go!" is beyond me... I see none.

FULL COURT PRESS - Only 1 quarter. Again, scoring early is the key here. With
only 1 quarter to work with, even winning the tipoff can be important.

MINI MEN - Mini-sized players take the court. The size of these players makes
for a much more wide-open game, it also makes playing defense extremely tough.
Detroit is the only team to field Mini Men in Road Trip.

MAD AIR - Dunks and alley oops are worth four points. Needless to say, you'll
want your rim rockers on the court for this game.

PLAY THE PAINT - Dunks and 2's worth 3, 3's worth 2. They've taken basketball's
most basic scoring premise and turned it on its head! Just like Mad Air, you'll
want your big men swarming the rim in this mode.

RAIN - 3's are worth 4, 2's are worth 3, off-fire dunks/oops are worth 1. Even
though threes are slightly devalued compared to inside jumpers, it's still
worth your while to stick with your perimeter shooting. Obviously, dunks are
punished so don't even attempt them.

1's and 2's - 3's are worth 2, putbacks 4, everything else 1. It's difficult to
set up putbacks on a regular basis, so your best bet is to stick to three-
pointers in this match, especially since they are worth double the value of
dunks and regular jumpers.

FIRED UP - 1 shot to go On Fire, never expires. Doesn't have any real bearing
on game strategy, just play the game as you normally would.

OVER THE TOP - OTT dunks are worth 10, dunks are worth 3. Yet another mode that
features a strong emphasis on dunking.

FLYING FURY - "Mad Air" + "Go!". Your briefest of dunkfests, in a nutshell.

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        ++ Platinum/Jambot Challenges are unlocked only after you   ++
        ++ beat an entire division's Bronze, Silver and Gold games. ++
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

++  W  ++ ---------------------------------------- 
++  A  ++ PACIFIC DIVISION - GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
++  R  ++ ----------------------------------------
++  R  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  I  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Biedrins, Lee
++  O  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Hardaway, Mullin
++  R  ++ Gold       | Rain           | Hardaway, Curry
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Warriors Jambots

++  C  ++ ---------------------------------------
++  L  ++ PACIFIC DIVISION - LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
++  I  ++ ---------------------------------------
++  P  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  P  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Foye, Kaman
++  E  ++ Silver     | Fired Up       | Manning, Williams
++  R  ++ Gold       | Over The Top   | Griffin, Manning
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Clippers Jambots

++     ++ -------------------------------------
++  L  ++ PACIFIC DIVISION - LOS ANGELES LAKERS
++  A  ++ -------------------------------------
++  K  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  E  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Fisher, Odom
++  R  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Johnson, Worthy
++  S  ++ Gold       | Fired Up       | Bryant, Gasol
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Lakers Jambots

++     ++ -------------------------------
++     ++ PACIFIC DIVISION - PHOENIX SUNS
++  S  ++ -------------------------------
++  U  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  N  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Hill, Frye
++  S  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Johnson, Majerle
++     ++ Gold       | Rain           | Nash, Majerle
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Suns Jambots

++     ++ -----------------------------------
++     ++ PACIFIC DIVISION - SACRAMENTO KINGS
++  K  ++ -----------------------------------
++  I  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  N  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Thompson, Cousins
++  G  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Richmond, Slamson (mascot)
++  S  ++ Gold       | 1's and 2's    | Evans, Richmond
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Kings Jambots

++     ++ -----------------------------------
++  N  ++ NORTHWEST DIVISION - DENVER NUGGETS
++  U  ++ -----------------------------------
++  G  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  G  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Gallinari, Smith
++  E  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Mutombo, Martin
++  T  ++ Gold       | Classic        | Gallinari, Mutumbo
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Nuggets Jambots

++  T  ++ -------------------------------------------
++  -  ++ NORTHWEST DIVISION - MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
++  W  ++ -------------------------------------------
++  O  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  L  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Love, Beasley
++  V  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Love, Person
++  E  ++ Gold       | Go!            | Love, Person
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | T-Wolves Jambots

++     ++ ------------------------------------------
++  B  ++ NORTHWEST DIVISION - PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
++  L  ++ ------------------------------------------
++  A  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  Z  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Wallace, Aldridge
++  E  ++ Silver     | Rain           | Drexler, Walton
++  R  ++ Gold       | Classic        | Aldridge, Drexler
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Blazers Jambots

++     ++ ------------------------------------------
++  T  ++ NORTHWEST DIVISION - OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
++  H  ++ ------------------------------------------
++  U  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  N  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Ibaka, Perkins
++  D  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Westbrook, Ibaka
++  E  ++ Gold       | Rain           | Durant, Westbrook
++  R  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Thunder Jambots

++     ++ ------------------------------
++     ++ NORTHWEST DIVISION - UTAH JAZZ
++  J  ++ ------------------------------
++  A  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  Z  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Okur, Kirelenko
++  Z  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Malone, Stockton
++     ++ Gold       | Flying Fury    | Malone, Jefferson
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Jazz Jambots

++     ++ -------------------------------------
++     ++ SOUTHWEST DIVISION - DALLAS MAVERICKS
++  M  ++ ------- ------------------------------
++  A  ++ LEVEL       MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  V  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Stojakovic, Butler
++  S  ++ Silver     | 1 Min Quarters | Mashburn, Nowitzki
++     ++ Gold       | Go!            | Nowitzki, Terry
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Mavs Jambots

++     ++ ------------------------------------
++  R  ++ SOUTHWEST DIVISION - HOUSTON ROCKETS
++  O  ++ ------------------------------------
++  C  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  K  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Scola, Lee
++  E  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Olajuwon, Smith
++  T  ++ Gold       | Play the Paint | Ming, Olajuwon
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Rockets Jambots

++  G  ++ --------------------------------------
++  R  ++ SOUTHWEST DIVISION - MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
++  I  ++ --------------------------------------
++  Z  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  Z  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Gay, Mayo
++  L  ++ Silver     | Mad Air        | Randolph, Reeves
++  I  ++ Gold       | Classic        | Gay, Randolph
++  E  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Grizzlies Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------------
++  H  ++ SOUTHWEST DIVISION - NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
++  O  ++ ----------------------------------------
++  R  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  N  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Landry, Ariza
++  E  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Bogues, Johnson
++  T  ++ Gold       | Fired Up       | Bogues, Paul
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Hornets Jambots

++     ++ --------------------------------------
++     ++ SOUTHWEST DIVISION - SAN ANTONIO SPURS
++  S  ++ --------------------------------------
++  P  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  U  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Ginobili, Duncan
++  R  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Gervin, Robinson
++  S  ++ Gold       | Play The Paint | Duncan, Robinson
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Spurs Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------
++     ++ SOUTHEAST DIVISION - ATLANTA HAWKS
++  H  ++ ----------------------------------
++  A  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  W  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Johnson, Teague
++  K  ++ Silver     | Mad Air        | Wilkins, Webb
++  S  ++ Gold       | Classic        | Smith, Webb
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Hawks Jambots

++     ++ --------------------------------------
++  B  ++ SOUTHEAST DIVISION - CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
++  O  ++ --------------------------------------
++  B  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  C  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Thomas, Augustin
++  A  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Augustin, Rufus (mascot)
++  T  ++ Gold       | Full Ct Press  | Thomas, Maggette
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Bobcats Jambots

++     ++ -------------------------------
++     ++ SOUTHEAST DIVISION - MIAMI HEAT
++  H  ++ -------------------------------
++  E  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  A  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Bibby, Bosh
++  T  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Rice, Seikaly
++     ++ Gold       | Blitz          | James, Wade
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Heat Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------
++     ++ SOUTHEAST DIVISION - ORLANDO MAGIC
++  M  ++ ----------------------------------
++  A  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  G  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Richardson, Turkoglu
++  I  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Skiles, Anderson
++  C  ++ Gold       | Over The Top   | Howard, Shaq
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Magic Jambots

++     ++ ---------------------------------------
++  W  ++ SOUTHEAST DIVISION - WASHINGTON WIZARDS
++  I  ++ ---------------------------------------
++  Z  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  A  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Jianlian, Blatche
++  R  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Blatche, G-Wiz (mascot)
++  D  ++ Gold       | Blitz          | Wall, McGee
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Wizards Jambots

++     ++ --------------------------------
++     ++ CENTRAL DIVISION - CHICAGO BULLS
++  B  ++ --------------------------------
++  U  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  L  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Deng, Boozer
++  L  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Pippen, Rodman
++  S  ++ Gold       | Classic        | Pippen, Rose
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Bulls Jambots

++     ++ --------------------------------------
++     ++ CENTRAL DIVISION - CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
++  C  ++ --------------------------------------
++  A  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  V  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Varejao, Jamison
++  S  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Daugherty, Price
++     ++ Gold       | 1's and 2's    | Price, Davis
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Cavs Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------
++  P  ++ CENTRAL DIVISION - DETROIT PISTONS
++  I  ++ ----------------------------------
++  S  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  T  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Prince, McGrady
++  O  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Laimbeer, Thomas
++  N  ++ Gold       | Mini Men       | Thomas, Rodman
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Pistons Jambots

++     ++ ---------------------------------
++  P  ++ CENTRAL DIVISION - INDIANA PACERS
++  A  ++ ---------------------------------
++  C  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  E  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Granger, Dunleavy
++  R  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Smits, Schrempf
++  S  ++ Gold       | Fired Up       | Granger, Schrempf
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Pacers Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------
++     ++ CENTRAL DIVISION - MILWAUKEE BUCKS
++  B  ++ ----------------------------------
++  U  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  C  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Jackson, Redd
++  K  ++ Silver     | Fired Up       | Bango (mascot), Jennings
++  S  ++ Gold       | Classic        | Bogut, Jennings
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Bucks Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------
++  C  ++ ATLANTIC DIVISION - BOSTON CELTICS
++  E  ++ ----------------------------------
++  L  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  T  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Rondo, Pierce
++  I  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Bird, McHale
++  C  ++ Gold       | Rain           | Bird, Allen
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Celtics Jambots

++     ++ -----------------------------------
++     ++ ATLANTIC DIVISION - NEW JERSEY NETS
++  N  ++ -----------------------------------
++  E  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  T  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Williams, Morrow
++  S  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Anderson, Petrovic
++     ++ Gold       | Full Ct Press  | Lopez, Petrovic
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Nets Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------
++  K  ++ ATLANTIC DIVISION - NEW YORK KNICKS
++  N  ++ ----------------------------------
++  I  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  C  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Billups, Stoudemire
++  K  ++ Silver     | Full Ct Press  | Ewing, Starks
++  S  ++ Gold       | Play The Paint | Ewing, Stoudemire
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Knicks Jambots

++     ++ --------------------------------------
++  S  ++ ATLANTIC DIVISION - PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
++  I  ++ --------------------------------------
++  X  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  E  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Iguodala, Williams
++  R  ++ Silver     | Over The Top   | Erving, Dawkins
++  S  ++ Gold       | Classic        | Iguodala, Erving
++     ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Sixers Jambots

++     ++ ----------------------------------
++  R  ++ ATLANTIC DIVISION - TORONTO RAPTORS
++  A  ++ ----------------------------------
++  P  ++ LEVEL        MATCH TYPE       OPPONENTS
++  T  ++ Bronze     | Classic        | Calderon, Bargnani
++  O  ++ Silver     | Classic        | Raptor (mascot), Carter
++  R  ++ Gold       | Play The Paint | Carter, Debozan
++  S  ++ Platinum   | Classic        | Raptors Jambots

=====================================
==SECTION 04: BEST TEAMS AND STRATS==
=====================================

---------------
CHOOSING A TEAM
---------------
This section is devoted to choosing the best team to conquer Road Trip. Of
course, you can always just stick it out with your favorite team if you prefer,
but don't be surprised to find they're not up to the task of Gold and Platinum
challenges. In most cases, it's better to choose a team that is suited for a
specific purpose.

When it comes to dependability, you can rely upon the Celtics tandem of Larry
Bird and Ray Allen for the majority of Road Trip. Both are rated 10 in the
three-point department, and three-pointers are the key to success in beating
the higher-level CPU opponents. The only exceptions are the games where dunks
are rewarded, in which case you should switch over to the Orlando Magic tag
team of Dwight Howard and Shaq (both 10's in dunking). If you don't own them
already, make purchasing Bird and Shaq in the Jam Store a priority.

If you're getting bored with using the same teams over and over and have an
overabundance of Jam Bucks to spend, you could always pick up one of the
pricier teams that excel at either threes (Rain Makers) or dunking (Dunk
Champs). Unfortunately, Bird and Allen also happen to be the best three-point
tandem on the Rain Makers, making that particular purchase a bit of a waste.
Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin rule the Dunk Champs, while the classic Sixers
duo of Julius "Dr. J" Erving and Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins will also
give you two 10's in the dunking department. If you're strapped for Jam Bucks,
Dr. J and Dawkins are the cheaper option.

-----------------------------
GENERAL STRATEGIES AND ADVICE
-----------------------------

BRONZE (EASY) - Unless you're a newcomer to Jam, Bronze opponents won't offer
much of a challenge. Simply pick your team of choice and utilize spin moves to
drive past the opponent and set up the easy slam, or practice your outside
shooting since you'll be getting lots of open looks all over the court. Bronze
opponents love to bite on the pump fake and you can abuse this to really run up
the score. Just don't make it part of your gameplan against higher level
opponents... they won't be having any of it.

One defensive strategy that works particularly well against Bronze opponents is
the full court press. Double teaming with shoves and steals right off the
inbound pass works wonders here and will definitely help you as the challenge
increases against tougher opponents. Once you have the full court press fully
mastered, it is possible to make Bronze opponents go an entire quarter without
ever reaching half-court!

In any case, consider the Bronze challenges your training ground for the
tougher tests to come.

SILVER (MEDIUM) - This is where the difficulty starts to kick in. The CPU now
reaches in for the occasional shove or steal (all perfectly legal mind you!).
You can employ the same basic strategy of spinning and driving to the basket,
but you should also be looking for the open man on the perimeter.

GOLD (HARD) - Gold level opponents can offer a true challenge and will more
than likely frustrate you with their ability to stage their "miraculous"
comebacks (a.k.a. rubberband A.I.). You might even consider the CPU tactics
cheap. Time to fight fire with fire!

This is when you should give the team of Bird and Allen some very serious
consideration, as their ability to nail threes all game long will give you a
much-needed advantage. Your basic strategy is to receive the inbound pass, then
sprint in a diagonal direction toward the top or bottom of the screen. Once
you've reached that point, run toward the basket until you're just outside the
three-point line, then "stop and pop". Make sure your feet are planted but do
NOT hesitate with your shot or hang too long in the air. Gold defenders have
a nasty habit of perfectly positioning themselves for the block and we don't
want that to happen!

Neither Bird nor Allen are lacking in consistency with their long ball, and
once you've established a rhythm you'll find it's tough for Gold opponents to
slow your progress. Even if they're stuffing the ball down your throat on the
other end of the court, they're losing the point battle, which -- despite the
word "Jam" in the title -- is what this game is really all about.

Now, on to the most aggravating part of Road Trip... the shovefest.

At some point in each quarter, the CPU will go into its patented "ultra-shove"
mode. Instead of letting you pass by uncontested with each drive, the CPU will
now make a beeline straight for your player and begin shoving like there's no
tomorrow. Spinning will NOT help you here, if you're anywhere within range of
this shove you WILL hit the floor, most likely losing the ball in the process
and turning it over for the easy dunk.

Bottom line: When the CPU goes into ultra-shove mode, it's time to change your
gameplan. Instead of immediately heading upcourt with the inbound pass, you'll
want to hang in the backcourt while holding the LB (360) or L1 (PS3) button.
This forces your partner to sprint toward the nearest opponent and start
shoving him, in this case the guy who is trying to shove you! Form a wedge so
that the CPU can't get to you, lining him up with your partner instead. The end
result is that the defender will hit the floor after one or two shoves (how's
THAT for turning the tables?), leaving your offensive options wide open.

Once your opponent is eating parquet, it's time to Turbo toward the stripe,
only now you should have a single defender to worry about instead of two. If
you see this defender coming up to make a play on you, hold RB/R1 as you head
toward the 3-pt line. Your goal is still to nail the three, but holding RB/R1
will send your partner up for the alley-oop, and since the defender can't be in
two places at once, odds are one of you will be wide open for the basket.

When it comes to defense, shoving is again your best friend. You should have
your finger glued to LB/L1 whenever you're on defense as it will bring your
partner A.I. in for an additional shove. Double-teaming works well off the
inbound pass, as a double shove will often result in the CPU coughing up the
ball. Of course this does leave the other player wide open, but there are two
things to remember here: Not only can the CPU be difficult to guard in 1-on-1
situations (rendering practical defense useless), but if they're slamming down
uncontested dunks while you're raining threes... well, it doesn't take a
mathmetician to realize that the point total will eventually be in your favor.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      ++ The key thing to remember is that at higher levels, you WILL ++
      ++   reach a point in the game where shoving is every bit as    ++
      ++  important as shooting. In order to be successful, you must  ++
      ++  not only win the shooting war, but the shoving war as well. ++
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PLATINUM (REAL A.I.) - These hidden challenges appear only after you've cleared
all challenges in a particular division. They are hosted by the Jambots, robot
opponents who are meant to mimic your own team's A.I. All Jambot challenges
are in Classic mode, so you won't have to worry about special stipulations to
win these contests.

The basic Gold strategy also applies to the Jambots: Pick a team that can rain
consistent threes and always outshove your opponent. The Jambots are slightly
more imposing than your average NBA duo, they seem to block shots more often
and don't go down quite as easy. This means you'll have to be even quicker with
your release and more persistent with your shove game.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      ++  SPOILER ALERT: Avoid the following section if you don't want  ++
      ++  to know which team lies in wait after the Jambot challenges!  ++
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FINAL BOSS!
So you've thrashed all of your NBA rivals and schooled the Jambots, now what?
After beating all of the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum challenges, a
special star shows up on your road map near New York City, where the Beastie
Boys are waiting to take you on!

The Beasties are decently rated as a b-ball team, but they're definitely
bringing their A-game to this challenge. Expect a lot of shoves and blocked
shots, even more than the Jambots. (I also noticed a sharp decrease in shot
accuracy on my end, although it may have been my imagination.) In any case,
stick to the same strategies outlined above and eventually you will prevail.

--------------------------
WHAT TO DO AFTER ROAD TRIP
--------------------------
After you've completed Road Trip, you have several options. You can forget
about this mode completely and stick to online and Jam Now! matches, but this
may not be the wisest decision. Why? Because odds are that even after you've
finished Road Trip, you'll still have plenty of Jam Challenges ahead, and even
though these challenges can be achieved in the Online Arena, they'll be much
easier to earn against Bronze opponents.

As you know by now, Jam Challenges earn Jam Bucks. And you'll need plenty of
Jam Bucks to purchase everything the store has to offer. Additionally, there
are numerous items in the store which are only unlocked once you've met a
certain criteria (score X number of points, win X number of games with a
certain team, etc.). Beating a Bronze team is an easy 400+ bucks, and you can
repeat them as many times as you'd like.

Repeating against Bronze opponents serves another purpose as well -- boosting
your point differential and moving up the leaderboards. Go back and revisit
your Bronze scores and try to top them, and don't be surprised if you can
triple or quadruple your previous attempts!

----------------------------------------------------
DO'S AND DON'T'S AGAINST GOLD AND PLATINUM OPPONENTS
----------------------------------------------------

    ++++++++++
    ++  DO  ++
    ++++++++++

* SHOVE OFTEN. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: When it comes
to defeating your Jam computer opponents, the importance of shoving cannot be
overstated. Even if it feels cheap and disrupts the flow of the game, this is a
war you NEED to win against the computer, and they're certainly not going to
ease up on you.

* RAIN THREES. Every day, all day. The only exceptions to this rule are the
contests that feature an emphasis on dunking.

* WATCH THE CLOCK - This should go without saying to anyone who knows the game
of basketball, but it's very easy to get lost in the moment with a fast-paced
game such as Jam. With shorter quarters, time management becomes even more
crucial in a tight game. For example, chucking up a prayer with 10 seconds left
and a two-point lead when you could have simply held on to the ball is a move
you'll end up regretting on more than one occasion.

Which leads us to...

* SLOW THE TEMPO WHEN YOU HAVE A SIZABLE LEAD. Once you've established a nice
lead, get into the habit of hanging in the backcourt and holding down the LB/L1
button. You can really grind down the clock with this technique, and every
second chewed off the timer is one less second for the A.I. to stage another
miracle comeback.

Also, if you're getting crowded while holding a huge lead and feel that a
turnover is inevitable, chuck the ball toward your basket. Even if you're at
halfcourt and the ball doesn't have a chance of going in, you're shaving
precious seconds off the clock by forcing the CPU to chase down the rebound and 
head upcourt, which is better than letting them pick you off for free.

    +++++++++++++
    ++  DON'T  ++
    +++++++++++++

* SPIN. Spinning is supposed to counter shoving in this game. Problem is, it
doesn't work against high-level CPU opponents. Try a fancy move with a Gold
defender in your face and you're asking for the easy turnover. Keep it simple
against the CPU and save the flashy stuff for your online matches.

* PUMP FAKE. Gold opponents won't fall for it, and more often than not you'll
find yourself flailing to the floor because the CPU decided to shove you out
of your pump fake. Focus instead on a quick "stop and pop" approach to nailing
your jumpers, it's vitally important to get your shot off before the CPU is in
position to shove or block.

* WORRY ABOUT CATCHING OR PUTTING OUT FIRE. If it happens it happens, but it's
never something you should consciously work toward. It's far more important to
be consistent with your perimeter shots, which are easy enough to sink, fire 
or not. And if the CPU catches fire, don't sweat it. He'll get doused soon
enough... that's what open threes are for.

* DUNK UNLESS IT'S NECESSARY. The CPU can be a monster on defense, and this
usually includes camping under the basket and waiting for the inevitable dunk
or oop attempt. When this happens you can expect to come out on the losing end
of the battle, even with a top-rated dunker such as Shaq. Only resort to
dunking in games where it is rewarded with extra points (Mad Air, Over the Top,
etc), and even then you need to make sure you have a clear lane to the basket
before taking to the air.

* PLAY FAIR. Just remember, this is rubberband A.I. we're dealing with here.
Even if you're tempted to play a straight-up game, there will come a time when
your open shots will start bricking inexplicably while your opponent snares the
rebound for the easy dunk. With the odds stacked against you, playing fair
usually results in a quick trip to the "Rematch" option.

=======================
==SECTION 05: CLOSING==
=======================
I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read this guide. Hopefully it has
helped your Road Trip progress in some way.

Thanks also to EA Sports for producing one of the best action-sports titles
since T.E. in the SNES days. ^_^

Thanks to GameFAQs for hosting this guide.

NBA JAM: ON FIRE EDITION - ROAD TRIP GUIDE
(c) 2011 Bill Wood

     
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