NBA Baller Beats

XB360 / Sports / Release: Sep 11, 2012 / ESRB: E10+

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NBA Baller Beats review

NBA Baller Beats review

There hasn't been a shortage of Kinect titles in recent years, but many of them have focused on mini-games or clunky shooting mechanics. The few gems that have stood out have been the ones that have utilized a unique game mechanic while making the most of the Kinect hardware. NBA Baller Beats is an example of the latter... sort of. Majesco and HB Studios have created a fun new way to experience Kinect, but the game still falls prey to some of the camera's greater pitfalls.

NBA Baller Beats is a smaller experience, coming with Play Now and Versus modes. The latter allows up to eight people to alternate on portions of the game's expansive soundtrack. The idea is to dribble along to the beat of each song while performing typical point guard maneuvers (crossover dribbles, pump fakes, behind-the-back fakes) to increase your multiplier. The game works well as a teaching tool, as the player must have eyes on the TV screen at all times in order to know what's coming. These skills can easily be translated to an actual basketball court.

Read more: Make sure you have space to play »

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NBA Baller Beats preview

NBA Baller Beats preview

After some clunky Kinect experiences, I approached NBA Baller Beats with a sense of lowered expectations. I've seen a number of Kinect games falter because of control issues and I didn't feel confident about adding an extra peripheral to the equation. However, Majesco Entertainment and HB Studios washed away any doubts I had after I went hands-on with the game for the first time. On top of being a fun rhythm game and a sound teacher of fundamental dribbling skills, NBA Baller Beats is one of the most responsive Kinect titles I've seen to date.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, NBA Baller Beats is a rhythm game played solely by dribbling a basketball. Players can select from three varying difficulty levels (Rookie, Pro, and Baller) and from 30 licensed tracks that include songs from Queen, Kanye West, and DJ Tiesto. The object is to dribble to the beat of the song in order to follow along with a highway of basketball-shaped notes, while performing different ball handling skills in order to increase your multiplier.

Read more: A Shack Battle in the making »

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Weekend Confirmed 110 - PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, Super Monday Night Combat

Weekend Confirmed 110 - PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, Super Monday Night Combat

PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale got announced for the PS3 this week and Garnett, Andrew, and regular guest James Stevenson all got to play it some. They share their experience with an envious Jeff Cannata. He too has had some fun, though, notching up his kills in Tribes Ascend. A discussion of free to play ensues, with a brief look at Super Monday Night Combat as well. There's also time to get into the new Walking Dead game, have a look at the NBA Baller Beats trailer, and talk about the potential for a "pure" survival horror game from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. All that and yes, even more before the curtain closes on Finishing Moves.

Listen: Weekend Confirmed Episode 110 »

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Portal 2 DLC, Zwei announced, NBA Baller Beats - Shacknews Daily: April 26, 2012

Portal 2 DLC, Zwei announced, NBA Baller Beats - Shacknews Daily: April 26, 2012

Portal 2 gets a new DLC puzzle creator, called the Perpetual Testing Initiative, for free next week. We'll look at it closer then. Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami is going back to the survival horror genre, after bowing out at RE4. His new game is codenamed Zwei. And finally, NBA Baller Beats is unveiled as a Kinect game where you do the dribbling. Put it all together for a great edition of Shacknews Daily.

Check out today's episode of Shacknews Daily.

Watch: Shacknews Daily: April 26, 2012 »

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NBA Baller Beats announced for Kinect

NBA Baller Beats announced for Kinect

Microsoft's Kinect packs some impressive technology, but it hasn't found a breakout game in its releases so far. It's been a tough nut for third-parties to crack, but Majesco and HB Studios have opted to try something a little different: a rhythm/sports hybrid that uses a real basketball as a prop.

Read more: Soundtrack includes Run DMC, Gorillaz, and more »

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