Haven’t heard of NBA Ballers? Neither had I until I received my copy of NBA Ballers: Chosen One – the fourth NBA Ballers title in the series which began in April 2004 apparently, but will it slam dunk into your disc tray or will it be collecting dust on the sideline? Read on to find out!
NBA Ballers is all about the streets; outdoor environments,fewer rules and fewer players. In NBA Ballers: Chosen One, gamer’s focus on the lifestyle of the basketball players rather than winning leagues and tournaments. Similar to NBA Street: Homecourt, after each game, your custom created player’s (a.k.a. “baller”) stats are boosted. Players create their baller at the start of the game using a basic player creator which they can then use in the single player story mode. Within the story mode, your baller is invited to a tournament to compete against NBA Elites which may seem like a genuine story mode but after the introduction to the story, there is no more to it. Players simply find themselves playing match after match before reaching a ‘boss’ who has a classy introduction, such as coming in on a yacht or flashy car. Within the NBA Ballers: CO story mode, there are six episodes each made up of five chapters which in total lasts around four hours. Each episode is introduced in the form of a television programme hosted by Chuck D, who also provides the commentary for the on-court action which is a nice touch to the story mode.
Other single player modes include 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2 and 1 vs.1 with customisable rules and there are also two mini-games. The first of the mini-games is “shootout” in which players make shots from circles with different point values within the time limit. The second mini-game is“three-point shootout” which is exactly the same as “shootout” but with more dynamic camera angles and more balls. I personally find “three-point shootout”the most entertaining out of the single player modes because it is quick and is generally fun to play.
The achievements in NBA Ballers: CO are quite disappointing.The 20 achievements can easily be obtained as they simply require players to complete the story mode twice, win 25 online ranked matches and complete special moves at certain levels in certain game modes in order to unlock the full 1000 GamerScore. I wouldn’t consider NBA Ballers: CO to be a “very easy” 1000 but many gamers can easily obtain quite a bit from this game.
Fans of “Just Blaze” and their music will love the soundtrack in NBA Ballers: CO as it is all Just Blaze. It is quite disappointing to only see one artist in the whole soundtrack after the variety of artists and tracks EA manage in their sports titles. The in-game audio is about average as nothing really stands out in the positive or the negative.
Like all street basketball games, NBA Ballers: CO contains special moves which can be gained by filling up the “juice” meter. The meter is filled up by building up a series of combos and scoring a basket. Once the meter reaches the top, players need to press certain button combinations to perform their move which is shown in a cut-scene. Whilst it may seem easy enough, the button combinations are slightly frustrating as some of them require the two bumpers to be held down whilst pressing a series of buttons. Despite the poor controls for the special moves, the rest is pretty simple and those familiar to basketball games on the Xbox 360 will feel right at home.
NBA Ballers: Chosen One has its good points. The menu presentation is superb and there are a lot of nice designs. Graphic-wise the game looks good because players can easily be made out despite the odd graphic slip up and the environments and cut scenes look incredible.
The local multiplayer for NBA Ballers: CO is great fun though it does come with its problems. Players can’t have more than one baller attached to a profile which can get frustrating when you want to set up a quick two-player game. NBA Ballers: CO does support online multiplayer but it can be very hard to find anyone playing due to “bigger titles” released around the same time of the game’s release though when players get a game, it can be very entertaining.