So I'm bored off my ass, it's been raining all week, there is nothing good on TV, and I'm extremely tired of reading, and fiddling with my computer. I called a bunch of people to talk on the phone, and I never talk on the phone. That's how bored I was. None of my friends were at their houses, so I'm sitting here thinking to myself, what the hell should I do? I thought it'd be a good day to ask my mom to rent a game from Blockbuster. I hadn't rented anything in a while, and if I tell my mom that, she will usually let me get something. I'm at Blockbuster, wondering to myself what I should get. I see the cover to NBA Ballers. I hadn't really come to Blockbuster to get another sports game, I wanted a good FPS, but when I saw the cover to NBA Ballers, it intrigued me for some reason. I had heard so much hype about that game. People were calling it a new genre in gaming. Well, I got it, and this is what I have to say about it so far:
It is interesting that this game has somewhat of a storyline. This is probably the first sports game to have a story line. You can play the normal 1 on 1, set up tournaments, blah blah blah, but this feature called Rags to Riches is what the game is really based around. That, I suppose, you could call the storyline.
When you start Rags to Riches, you have to create a custom player. If you have ever played a basketball video game before, the creation of a custom player in this game is just like the creation of a custom player in any other good basketball game. Once you have created your player, there is a small clip showing two men who run a television network talking about their show called NBA Ballers. I can't remember exactly what happens, but they are discussing what they can do to get their network ratings up. One guy suggests that they pick up a kid of the street, and have him play against NBA players, earning goods once he beats them. They decide to call it, "From rags to riches." After the clip is over, the game then takes you over to Rucker Park, and you start playing these fictional characters. Once you beat a set of guys at Rucker Park, someone that has been watching you comes up to you and tells you about the show "From rags to riches" and says that you would be perfect for the part. You have a little conversation, and you then start playing NBA players. The NBA players in this game are categorized by their unique attributes. For example, Lebron James and Carmello Anthony are under the "newcomers" category, while Allen Iverson and Steve Francis are under the "ball handlers" category. After you beat a category of NBA players, points are added to your skills, making you better, you get to usually chose something to get, ranging all the way from shoes to houses, and then you advance into the next stage. I'm not too far into it, but I suspect that this is how the rest of the game is.
Albeit being an unprecedented idea, it is still rather dull. In my opinion, they should have never made a story out of a basketball game.
NBA Ballers only allows you to play one on one. While it may perk your interest, it gets extremely boring after a while. It's basically the same thing over and over and over again. It'll be fun for a couple of hours, but then your interest in it will quickly dwindle. If you can maintain interest in this game for longer than a couple of hours, you deserve a special prize.
The game is played on half of a court, just you against your opponent. There are people watching from the sidelines. Once you get the ball, it allows you to do a limited variety of things. First of all, you can dribble, like any other basketball game, by just walking around. You can do some cool dribbling tricks, called "playground" tricks, to juke your defender out, and sometimes make him fall. All these moves are basically the same thing you will see in the And1 mixtapes, except the moves in the game are slightly more exaggerated. It also has a seperate option to "juke" people. Basically does the same thing as "playground," just jukes people out, with moves such as a cool looking spin move, or a slip and slide. While dribbling, you have the option of running with the ball, or posting up. Once you have picked up your dribble, you can pump fake, shoot, or pass it off to someone in the crowd who passes it back to you and then you can dribble again. Obviously, this game doesn't follow the rules of proper basketball, but then again, it wasn't supposed to. It has some pretty sick moves once you get on the inside. Some of the lay-ups and dunks look awesome. You can also throw yourself some pretty tight alley-oops, or have a person in the crowd throw it to you. On defense, you can steal, block, or push the person. After pushing the person 5 times they get a free throw which counts 3 points and the ball back. There is also something called juice in the game, which is basically the same thing as turbo. It temporarily makes you run faster, jump higher, etc. etc.
There are a few different modes you can play in. You can play a quick game without having to set anything up, you can play in a tournament, you can play 1 vs 1 vs 1, (haven't tried that yet so I don't know how it works) you can play the storyline, and there are a few other options that you have. If you like this type of stuff, then you are probably thinking that all this sounds pretty cool, but in reality it isn't. The game gets repetitive very quickly.
This is what really makes this game stand out from other sports games. The graphics are phenomenal. It is by far the most realistic sports game I have ever seen when it comes to graphics. If you're familiar with NBA players, a quick glance is all it would take to recognize who the game is trying to portray, and when it takes you close up to a player, it is even more amazing at how well of a job they have done on the graphics. On top of that, many basketball games you have played before are probably pretty choppy. Not this. This is the smoothest game ever. When a player runs downcourt, it is like watching a basketball game on TV, not like you're playing a video game. So far, I haven't noticed an glitches. Graphics-wise, this game is great.
Nothing exceptional. You can hear the sound of the ball, and the crowd, the announcer and so forth. Personally, I find the announcer annoying in this game. Also, I don't think the crowd sounds too realistic, but then again, it never has in a basketball game. Who cares about the crowd. The soundtrack for the game is somewhat catchy, but if you don't like rap music you're out of luck. I'm sure there is probably a way to turn it off if you desire.
Overall Score: 4/10
You're probably asking "Why so low?" What you really should be asking is "Why so high?" Like I said, the game gets boring really quick because it is too repetitive. Perhaps if it had some extra things to do it would hold my interest, but this is quite honestly the first basketball game I have gotten bored with. The story does not really grip you at all. The amount of fun you can have playing this game is minimal. The only reason that this game gets a 4 is because of its unbelievable graphics. This is one of those games that didn't live up to its hype. This should be combined with a normal basketball game, so you have the option of playing 5 on 5 if you wish.
Last edited by Demosthenes; 2004-06-19 at 01:39 AM.