NBA Ballers: Chosen One Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
NBA Ballers: Chosen One box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Midway Amusement 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Midway 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 21, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Building up your super-move has different affects on an opponent and is broken into three levels, from a simple steal or dribble, to a remarkable block or shot, or a devastating game-ender. When performing a super-move, a cutscene will show your character performing a completely over-the-top maneuver. There is just something about it that seems a tad borrowed, as the super-move concepts and cutscenes are very reminiscent of an NBA Street Gamebreaker.

NBA Ballers: Chosen One screenshot

But one of the biggest flaws in Chosen One is its game rules. While Midway is attempting to bring a streetball element to NBA players and teams, they have made a game that is completely devoid of normal streetball rules. Players do not have to clear a ball after it hits the rim, making much of the gameplay consist of hanging around under it to catch rebounds and slam the ball back down into the net. While not having to check or clear the ball increases the game's pace, it doesn't allow for any strategy, and though it doesn't affect a full court game negatively, half court simply just does not work. It would be nice if they at least offered the option to turn clearing and takeouts on or off at the player's choice, but unfortunately you have no other option than to play this illogical rule system.

Graphically, where Midway has done a great job of capturing the players' likeness and facial features, they have seemed to lack their concentration on texturing. Players such as Lebron and Dwayne look incredibly akin to their real-life counterparts, though their clothing looks almost solid and not at all mesh-like. Fluidity of motion is another problem with this game. Animations of trick moves look stiff, even with the most nimble players such as Iverson, and little things such as players floating through the backboard - and sometimes even each other - are never a good thing from a visual standpoint.

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On the plus side, there is a lot of detail in the courts where bright-lit hardwood shows the reflection of the players and interesting locations make for beautiful atmosphere. One cool aspect is the players' intros, which is where the "baller" status comes into play. Dwayne Wade pulls up to the court in his whip and Kobe cruises up in a yacht during story mode. Only some players feature an intro sequence, though it definitely is an original concept with a basketball game that focuses on the high life of being the best in the business.

NBA Ballers: Chosen One is definitely a game that focuses on its themes rather than gameplay or functionality. The theme is definitely the building of your "baller" status, though the process of doing so is sometimes nonsensical given the rule system and gameplay mechanics. Still, playing among friends or online can prove for fun times as you get a taste of the baller life - even if it is from you're living room.

By Pete Richards
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.2
Graphics
Excellent likeness of most of the players and atmospheric court locations. Animations seem robotic at times and textures need work.
2.9
Control
Button-prompting becomes annoying and repetitive for veterans, though it gives the game an arcade feel beneficial to newcomers.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Excellent instrumentals by Just Blaze for the soundtrack. Not too sure why Chuck D. is even in this game.
3.2
Play Value
Solo, this game becomes predictable and repetitive, though there is a lot of boasting and smack-talking to be had against friends.
3.2
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Earn Respect, Live the Fantasy - Your performance on the court will help determine the evolution of your career as both a player on the hardwood and as a superstar in life.
  • New "Shut 'Em Down" Super Moves: Take control of your superstar by unleashing over 30 unique and over-the-top "Shut 'Em Down" Super Moves. Collect them all and showcase your unmatched skills against the competition.
  • New "Act-A-Fool" Combos: Will you cross him up and use him as a ladder on your way to the hoop, or bounce it off his foot and pull a spin-move before stopping short for an easy 15 foot jumper? An all-new control system allows you to string together multiple combos to outshine your opponent like never before!
  • Take the Court Your Way: No matter if you're playing alone, with a buddy or online, NBA Ballers: Chosen One offers numerous ways to take to the court in 1-v-1, 2-v-2, or 1-v-1-v-1 matches. Available modes include: an All-New Story Mode, a Quick-Play Versus Mode, and a Fully-Featured Online Mode.
  • Custom Soundtrack: Hip-hop legend Chuck D calls the play-by-play action while producer, Just Blaze, mans the 1's and 2's with over 30 custom beats created exclusively for NBA Ballers: Chosen One.


  • Screenshots / Images
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