Move over “NBA Street,” there is a new king of the
cage, and it goes by the name of “NBA Ballers.”
Midway’s latest release features jaw-dropping, ankle-breaking
fake-outs that would make any baller proud, all spectacularly
animated within rich environments.

What matters most in “Ballers” is style. Games are
typically played to 11, and you have to win two out of three
matches to advance. Players can win without pulling many tricks,
but the character’s overall ranking will suffer. The more
tricks pulled, the more credits will be earned, which the player
can use to buy special skills or items to outfit his crib.

“Ballers” brings the NBA fantasy to the consoles.
Gamers start as lowly street ballers and play through the ranks of
the NBA’s finest, ranging from T-Mac to KG and even Darko.
Along the way, all of the accouterments that go with stardom are
acquired, including a posse, rides and even a mansion.

Perhaps more amazing than the engrossing gameplay is the
character models for the more than 80 current NBA players and
legendary greats. The familiar faces of NBA favorites explode on
the screen with lifelike accuracy. Combine these realistic models
with the mind-blowing animations, and “Ballers” is one
of the best-looking sports games available.

Not only are the visuals superb, but a lot of thought was put
into the sound of the game as well. The in-game effects are
humorous, and the announcing by M.C. Supernatural adds a little
flavor to the game, as do the jeers from the sidelines.

As good as the announcing is, if there is one complaint to level
against the game it is that Midway shamelessly references its other
games in the process. After a foul, commentary such as
“That’s a move that belongs in Mortal Kombat” or
“We’re not playing Blitz” is likely to be

Overlooking the annoying cross promotion, “NBA
Ballers” is a must have for any sports games fan.


Videogame review: 4 out of 5 stars

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