NBA Ballers

Overview

When NBA Baller’s was first introduced and talked about to the general public I remember many skeptics, and also a pretty good fan base that was really looking forward to the title. Midway has been hyping up this title, and many have really been anticipating the arrival of NBA Ballers. Now the wait is finally over, and NBA Ballers has been released. How does NBA Ballers compare to the ever popular NBA Street series, well you may just have to read on to find that out.

Gameplay

When NBA Ballers was first unveiled, the one thing that really concerned many enthusiasts is that unlike NBA Street where you have three on three, in NBA Ballers its all about one on one, which doesn’t always fair overly well in the basketball market. Many will find that the change in the amount of players is what separates the two series, from being just complete mirrors of each other.

There are two main modes to play through in NBA Ballers; these include: Rags to Riches and TV Tournament. The modes consist of a small storyline that has a company looking for a new reality TV show, and decides on a basketball reality show. They look for an unknown streetballer (you), in which you get to create and get to customize your character from the ground up. This is actually a very detailed and well-developed create-a-player mode that is quite impressive.

In the Rags to Riches mode you will be placed in a variety of different tournaments that you will be put up against NBA Stars. This becomes a very challenging mode that’s story progresses as you win tournaments. Along with the furthering of the storyline you will also be getting many luxurious items to further yourself as a baller. These items could include new clothing, accessories, and other things that would go for your crib. The TV Tournament mode is set up very similar to the Rags to Riches mode just that you can have NBA Star vs. NBA Star. This mode is also a quite deep and rich mode that is an absolute, pardon the pun, ball to play.

Many could care a less about the game modes, and will tell you it’s all about the gameplay. So for all of you out there who are dying to know how NBA Ballers stacks up against NBA Street, here you go. NBA Ballers actually plays better then I thought it would. The gameplay sets a clear distinct style right from the get go, that shows a much offensive friendly title that shows its all about looking good while getting the ball in the hoop.

The gameplay in NBA Ballers consists of you trying to get combos before getting the ball in the hoop. Depending on what type of player you get, like a speedy point guard or a big center will set what different street moves you get to use at your disposal. Like I mentioned this is a game on how well you string combinations together. Using the right analog stick as the main juke maneuvers you will be able to string these great looking combos. Some of these combos are actually quite comedic, like the pass to yourself off the backboard, along with the pass to the crowd, both of which are a lot of fun to pull off.

Defense is not a priority in NBA Ballers but it does do enough to hold up its own. At first I thought that Midway had just skipped over this part of the game, but I came to realize that NBA Ballers does actually have some good elements to its defense that actually lets it work. Steals are not overly easy to pull off but can be done once the skill is perfected, blocking is all about timing and luckily Midway did a nice job of keeping the timing consistent.

Overall I have two gripes with NBA Ballers that do disappoint me and hold the game back from being on the top of my list. The first is the lack of Xbox Live support, which would have really put the game over the top in my book. The second gripe is the fact that you have to play through the whole game (in many instances) to unlock some of your favorite NBA Stars. For example it takes forever to unlock both Kobe and Shaq, two of my favorites in the NBA.

Put these annoyances aside, and you are given a pretty solid arcade style basketball game, that would make any basketball enthusiast very happy.

Graphics

Graphically you are looking at a title that really stands out, which is not an easy thing to do looking at the success that the NBA Street series has had. NBA Ballers has so much color, so much flavor, that it’s really hard to put a negative spin on this part of the review.

Visually you will find that the character models are just superb. The game really does a nice job of making all the ballers come alive on the screen. Each baller has a lot of animation to them, and they really take on a life of their own. The environments throughout the game really do get the job done, with bright glowing textures, and beautiful courts.

The animations on court contain all of this that I have been talking about and much more. Everything on screen moves perfectly, and really does equal and in many ways surpasses NBA Street.

Fun Factor

NBA Ballers is one of those games that if you like basketball you’re bound to have fun with this one. There is so much going on in NBA Ballers that it would be quite difficult to really look at the game in a negative tone. NBA Ballers’ two main modes really are rich with replay value and entertainment. The graphics help seal the deal for NBA Ballers as an extremely fun filled basketball game.

Overall

NBA Ballers does a great job of doing everything above average and beyond. Comparing Ballers with Street is a difficult task, which I have yet to come with a pure conclusion. The lack of online mode does hold the game back from being perfect, but all in all you are looking at a premier arcade basketball title.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.