NBA Ballers: Chosen One - hands-on

The Super Move meter comes in three flavors - Tier 1 is for jukes/steals, Tier 2 for blocks/shots and Tier 3 brings the game-ending super dunks. Activating a Super will cut to a dramatic camera angle of your player performing deliciously over-the-top moves. One Super had Vince Carter tossing the ball over the head of another player, and then doing a somersault roll past him to catch the ball. Knowing when to store your Supers and when to pull off these feats of showboatery brings strategy to your common basketball game.

Besides Shootout and Create-A-Baller - which sports more customizable gear and body parts then you ever thought possible (chin size?) - we snuck a peak at Story mode. Set like a reality show and played episodically, you’ll take your character through lavish courts like a happening nightclub or penthouse, while fulfilling objectives such as performing so many fakes for a commercial or defeating a “boss.” Each episode is introduced by Public Enemy front man Chuck D and was shot on the real NBA set. It’s kinda cheesy but draws you in with its authenticity.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how goddamn astounding Ballers looks; from Jason Kidd’s goofy smile to the shorts drifting off Shaq’s lumbering body, Midway’s crafted a finely detailed game that’s easy on the eyes and handles well even with a few months left before arrival. Save a few bugs that will surely be ironed out, Ballers appears on track to be the definitive pick-up-and-play hoops game this spring. Check back in April for a full review.

Feb 12, 2008