NBA Baller Beats is a new game for Microsoft's Xbox Kinect that puts a real basketball in gamers' hands as they dribble and perform moves to music.
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The Kinect, Microsoft's gaming hardware that relies on human movement as the controller, has been used for some inventive gameplay, but this is the first time a game has added such a large non-technological peripheral, and probably the first integration of sports equipment into modern gaming. So of course Mashable had to test it out.
The game is packaged with a real Spalding basketball, and the package boasts that it is standard NBA size. The gameplay is constructed similar to many popular rhythm games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero; you are given a track where notes move toward a hit zone. Players then time either dribbling the basketball or performing one of the moves specified in the right-hand corner. Anyone who has played a little basketball will be familiar with the moves, such as the crossover. The game will also have you mime passing or shooting the ball, but won't jeopardize your living room lamps by asking you to throw it.
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Still, we definitely had to question how quickly a mishap might happen where the ball accidentally does leave your hand. Flying gaming equipment was the reason Nintendo had to add wrist straps to all Wii remotes, after all. And apartment dwellers may not be popular with their downstairs neighbors if they play this game.
Still, the rhythm mechanics in the title are solid, and it's easy to imagine the repetition of moves would actually make you better at basketball fundamentals, as the NBA Baller Beats suggests it might. The game interface was also very easy for anyone to pick up and play, even with a limited introduction, which has party game written all over it. The best feature was NBA Baller Beats soundtrack, which features 30 songs from a diverse lineup of artists like B.o.B., Cee-Lo Green, Justice, Santigold, Queen and Skrillex.
NBA Baller Beats and the basketball are priced at $59.99, the same price as a regular Xbox 360 title, and its available now. Check out our video review above.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
- Sports & Recreation