| |

NBA Ballers Review

Developer: Midway Publisher: Midway
Release Date: April 5, 2004 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

NBA Ballers, considered by most as Midway’s reaction to the NBA Street series, mixes things up a bit with its one-on-one concept. We’ve all played three-on-three and five-on-five, but one-on-one has never really been tried. Even the NES games that I have played had two-on-two. Are there parallels between the two series? Absolutely, but Ballers is a fresh franchise with a clean idea.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

You have a couple game modes to choose from in Ballers. We have the quickplay, versus, 1 vs. 1 vs. 1, TV Tournament, Rags to Riches, and Practice. Rags to Riches will keep you occupied the longest amount of time.

Some network executives need to improve their ratings, so they turn to reality television. They create a spinoff called NBA Ballers, which takes a no-name from the streets and puts him against the best. Welcome to the Rags to Riches mode.

In this mode, you create a player. Select his name, birth date, nickname, facial features, and distribute player skills. Your skills will increase throughout the game. After done completing your player, you get thrown into a tournament where you face off one-on-one and play until you win.

Games give you “game rulesâ€?, where you must accomplish certain goals. This would include score limit, points to win by, best of x rounds, etc. A total of 18 tournaments will keep you busy for quite some time.

Let’s get graphics out of the way by saying that they are well done. The player models are done well and the courts are flashy. The best part is the smooth animation. With all of the moves that you will pull off, you should be glad that there is no lag.

The controls are easy enough for friends to jump in the fray without experience. Shooting is done with circle; lay-ups and dunks are automatic if near the rim and pressing circle. On the defensive side, stealing the ball is done with square, while jumping is done with triangle. A speed boost, called “juice� is accomplished by holding R1. Hold R1 and do some moves with crazy dribbles using the right analog stick to speed past opponents.

NBA Ballers is meant as an arcade one-on-one game. The standard match is set up in best of three rounds. Ties will lead to a continuation of a round until someone wins the round. Rounds go up to 11 points, unless specified otherwise, and there’s a time limit. Scoring is done by twos and threes and matches must be won by two. If the time runs out, the player ahead wins the round. Playing Rags to Riches you’ll find a number of rounds that have special rules.

Let’s put this simply. If you are a fan of the NBA Street series, you should enjoy this. One of my good friends, who is a fan of NBA Street, wouldn’t leave my house after playing Ballers. I must have gone nights without sleep because he was in my bedroom playing the game. I’m not much of a basketball person, but Ballers got me hooked.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.5
Written by Kyle Review Guide