Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Have you ever had a really bad idea? I mean, ever had a quick thought and then slapped yourself for thinking it? That's what those evil Midway executives did—only instead of slapping themselves, they tried to market it. I can see the meeting now.
Executive: Sir, I have a great idea. We'll make a really crappy one-on-one basketball game, then give it a hip-hop theme and have it hosted by an MC with really bad teeth.
CEO: Brilliant! Make sure it's done as shoddily as possible. Complete it by next we-
Secretary: Sir, we have Satan on line 2.
CEO: Has he completed the plan to resurrect Hitler, yet?
Secretary: No sir.
CEO: Then tell him not to call me back until he has!
The game is hosted by popular freestyling MC Supernatural and Bob Benson, who very well may be the whitest person on the planet. I really hope they were aiming for humor when they made him talk about "Lighting this ill pill up, homey beefs." I have a feeling he hung himself after realizing how stupid he looked. But enough of me bashing the game's premise. Let's get on to why the game itself is bad.
The graphics are dismal. I say this because they had to draw several locales and half a court on each. The graphics should be mind-blowing, but instead you've got a so-so court, characters that look like shiny Legos and an audience of cardboard cutout people. Bleh.
Gameplay? Where? The gist of "NBA: Ballers" lies in running up to the goal and slamming the ball in. Sometimes you get to press a button so your character can spin around. If you're lucky, you might steal it from your opponent and THEN slam it in. Sports games are good because they actually simulate sports, like the hundreds of plays you see in football. "NBA: Ballers" is closer to ski ball than it is to basketball. There are several types of play, including "Make it –Take it," "NBA Rules," "Keep Getting Points," "AKA Stupid Rules" and "3 Player Boringfest." Oh, and you can play as a no-name, no-game nobody from the streets. I'm enthralled, trust me.
The sound is … well, if you like rap … about basketball … you're in heaven. DJ Supernatural constantly throws in lyrics like "Ooh boy that fershizzlin shizz-ot was krizz-unk!" I'm not going to even pretend to know what that means, so they very well could be speaking in Germanic tongues. I personally couldn't stand the sound.
Story… storyline… hahaha… HAHAHA!!! The only storyline lies in the "Rags to Riches" tournament, and it's about you, a nobody, owning every good player basketball has seen, minus MJ and Dr J. Iverson, you ain't got nothing. At least in Midway's stupid version of the NBA Skreetz™©®.
"NBA: Ballers" fails. Miserably. If you want to hear MC Supernatural and other rappers devalue their careers, feel free to rent it. Otherwise, steer clear.