NBA Ballers Review


Midway Sports is known for taking an over the top approach to sports games, emphasizing the flash, personality, and hits of professional leagues over providing a true to life simulation of the games. Midway Sports brings that same approach to the NBA and streetball with NBA Ballers. The games don’t take place in the arenas of the NBA, but rather out on the streets and in the palatial homes of top NBA stars. NBA Ballers is all about putting on your best moves, razzle-dazzle, shnizzle, in one on one half court games.

Screenshots
Old school vs. new school.

The basic game is a best two out of three match in which the first player to eleven wins the game. However, you must win by at least two points, if time runs out the player in the lead wins no matter what the score, and ties force the game to be replayed. Baskets are two points each and there is a three point line as well, so you can probably guess that the games are pretty fast-playing since you only need to reach eleven to win. You’ll also have the chance to play games that modify these rules or add extra ones, such as keeping your opponent under five points or playing winner’s outs.

The gameplay is all about looking good while making your opponent look bad. Sure, you can dribble down court and lay the ball in, but you won’t earn any cash by being boring. The right stick is used to perform juke moves to dribble past your opponent, but even juking is considered boring play by NBA Ballers. To truly embarrass your opponent you’ll need to make use of the turbo buttons and key press combos. The game is packed with moves which include bouncing the ball off of your opponent’s head, using the backboard to perform a solo alley-oop, and passing the ball to a friend watching from the sidelines. There are also numerous ball tricks that would make the Harlem Globetrotters proud including dribbling between your opponent’s legs and 360 sweep and crossover dribbles.

Your goal is not just to use all of these moves to reach the basket, but to string them together into combos on your way to score. The more you can string together, the higher the cash payout and the better the crowd reaction. I’ll get to the cash in a little bit, but amping up the crowd will fill your “house” meter and drain your opponent’s meter. If you can manage to fill your meter then you’ll be able to execute the “bring down the house” slam and win the game.