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August 14, 2004
NBA Ballers - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
15/10/2004Red AntMidway1-2$69.95

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Check out the time.
Good old Midway. During the Playstation era they released five NBA based titles, with four totally different series names. Obviously finding a winner and sticking to it was a tough task. On the Playstation 2 they have already released the quite mediocre NBA Hoopz. NBA Ballers is yet another fresh start for Midway and their basketball games, it has headed in a new direction and includes an entirely new game focus. Indeed this is not only shaping up as a good basketball game, but also one of the most impressive and original basketball games from any company in years. No longer is this just about the sport - but also the attitude behind it.

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Slams it.
Midway's own statement about the game really gives you an idea of what they are trying to capture about the sport: "NBA Ballers is the exclusive one-on-one basketball videogame highlighting the "bling-bling" lifestyle of NBA superstars: chromed-out cars, ice, ladies, tatts and jets all hinge on the killer cross-over. NBA Ballers also features NBA legends dropping dimes and dunking in your grill to determine who is the greatest baller of all time." It's certainly a change from the simulation style of EA's NBA Live games, or even the arcade stylings of NBA Jam. This game is certainly a lot closer to EA Sports BIG's NBA Street titles - and that's no bad thing at all!

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What the...
NBA Ballers includes over 60 of todays best players as well as over 20 of the games greatest. These players include greats such as Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neill, Kobe Bryant, and Magic. When the game begins not all of these players will be available - you will have to unlock them with skill points accumulated during the games. Also unlockable are special moves and new costumes for the players.

What remains somewhat unknown at this stage is if the online gameplay will make it to Australia.

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Through the leg crossover.
Graphics are fairly special in this title. Midway has spent considerable time on the animation of the players, while the backgrounds are varied, if a little sparse and lacking detail at times. The same can't be said for the player models which look stunningly detailed. Presentation is, as expected, fairly top notch. NBA Ballers also includes 19 new songs written specifically for the game.

NBA Ballers has sold extremely well in America - so much so that it came up for special mention in Midway's recent gloomy financial reports (which showed massive losses for the company). With a new direction, solid graphics and gameplay this game is one that looks like doing very well. Ex-NBA Jam fans will certainly want to check this out. Expect an Australian release in mid-September at a lower pricepoint of only $AU69.95.