NBA Ballers: Chosen One combines elements of streetball, NBA Jam, and the hyped lifestyle and players of current and past great NBA rosters. It’s the third in the series and the first on the Unreal Engine.

Utilizing the power of UE3, Chosen One introduces more than eighty playable current greats or past legends in amazingly lifelike detail. The players look true to life and the animations are silky smooth. You’d almost think you were watching a streetball tournament on television if it weren’t for the over-the-top arenas in which the action takes place. Old school rapper, ChuckD hosts the event and does the play by play and thirty custom tracks by Just Blaze are played dynamically, depending upon the action on-court. Players make their entrance in helicopters, private jets, and fancy cars and take to the court to talk trash and show off their best moves.

Chosen One throws most of the standard rules of basketball right out the window, and true to its streetball and NBA Jam roots, you’ll find that the rules are that… there ain’t no rules! Well, not many anyway. Pick your mode - 1-v-1, 2-v-2, or 1-v-1-v-1 (online or off), then pass the ball to a spectator on the sidelines, juke your opponent out of their shoes, and take the pass back just in time to tip the ball to yourself from the backboard for a slam. You can pull off moves like bouncing the ball off of your opponents head, dropping to the floor to do a breakdance spin and knock them off of their feet - it’s almost like basketball combat. Act-a-fool combos can be performed by pressing buttons in a timed sequence and can be used to show up your opponent with feats such as bouncing the ball off of your shoes or rolling it around your neck 'Globetrotters-style'.

To keep things fresh, you can build a player of your own and choose to wear your home or away uniform, come to play in your street clothes, or put together an outfit with customized gear like shoes, clothes, headbands, and tattoos. Midway promises new players, clothes, and more (500 items in all) will be available as downloadable content. The

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this title. I’m a huge basketball fan and have always found the titles that attempt to recreate serious five on five games to be a little stiff and somewhat lacking. Thankfully, NBA Ballers: Chosen One seems to abandon any attempts at recreating the official NBA playstyle and instead concentrates on star power, outrageous moves, and lots of glitz. There is an attempt at recreating ‘stats’ that affect how your avatar plays, and I’m sure that when it comes down to shot percentages it actually has an effect. However, in Chosen One, you’re just as likely to see Yao Ming do a break-your-ankles driving move from the three point line as you are to see the likes of Jason Kidd do an outrageous 360 degree slam dunk. Like I said before, think of it as basketball combat and you’re more likely to enjoy it from that perspective.

The controls are very intuitive and responsive. Even a gamepad-impaired gamer like myself found it quite easy to make a few impressive moves on my opponent. Chosen One hits the shelves this week and should find a home for anyone that considers him or herself an NBA fan. It should also appeal to those of us who fondly remember the NBA Jam arcade/console series. The build-a-player mode should provide some longevity

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