NBA Ballers

Format: PS2
Midway Games

5 037930 071850
Age Restrictions: 3+
15 October 2004

Live the fantasy life of an NBA Superstar. You ability to get your hands on chromed-out cars, ice, ladies and jets all hinge on the killer crossover. Features NBA legends and takes the game out of the arenas and into some of the most lavish NBA player "cribs" for an up-close and personal one-on-one experience with more than 60 current and 24 all-time player legends...

Oops! I said in my review of NBA Jam that that game was "The most enjoyable basketball console game you will ever play!" Well, at the time it was. However there is a new game in the market that puts a new spin on the basketball genre.

NBA Ballers is over the top, in your face, and about as subtle as a slap in the face with a wet fish, however it has charm by the bucketsful. There is a whole heap of impressive gaming modes. These include a quick play, a career mode, and an on-line mode that allows you to keep an eye on records and tournament play.

You can play as any one of a number of basketball stars, or design your own character. This later option allows you to customise a player to look like yourself - which adds a lot to the overall game. And even if you are extremely overweight idle waster (like our editor) you can still design a character that looks almost identical to you - er... unless you happen to be female. And once you've created your character you can constantly upgrade his clothing and jewellery.

As with NBA Jam, this game will not really appeal to the non basketball fan, which means that outside of North America sales are not likely to be very high.

The biggest gripe I had was the length of time it took to load new levels. Also in the Rags to Riches mode your opponents suffer from some bizarre A.I. It took me ages to beat one guy, and then I sailed through the next three opponents, got stuck again and then sailed through another line of guys.

Apart from these gripes, NBA Ballers represents a very addictive game.

Nick Smithson

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