A few years back, a lot of people became obsessed with Guitar Hero. You know who you are. And it was fun, something to kill a little time in the afternoon. There was no real point to it though. It’s not like playing Guitar Hero made you a great Guitar player.
That brings us to NBA Baller Beats (for Xbox 360 with Kinect). I’m not going to say that you’re going to be Chris Paul if you master this game. After all, you still have to learn how to move your feel when you dribble. But like Guitar Hero, this game can be a fun way to spend 30 minutes or an hour one afternoon. But unlike Guitar Hero, this game can make you a better ball-handler.
The concept is very cool. Think of it as playing percussion in Rock Band, but instead of banging on a drum you’re dribbling a basketball to a beat of a song. The game has 30 tracks, mostly hip-hop type stuff (there’s some variety though, my favorite is a rock track, New Fang by Them Crooked Vultures). You’ll have to handle with both hands, pull off some crossovers, the occasional pump fake or pass (fake pass, that is) and even some behind-the-back dribbling (once you’re advanced). You don’t get to work on a lot of movement skills, but you learn how to dribble with both hands and, most importantly, learn to dribble with your head up.
Here’s my real problem with your game (if you don’t have a sick handle like me!). My mom always said “no ball in the house!” (my brothers and I didn’t listen). At some point, you or your sister or your brother or your friend are going to have to do a quick crossover, and you’re going to slip up and end up firing the ball elsewhere in the room. So you have two options. The game comes with a ball, and you can get an indoor ball that’s going to do less damage (but it’s also not as fun as playing with a real ball). Or, you can get the real ball but then make sure you only play in a really big living room with few breakable things.
So the potential for accidents is a problem. But if you can get past that, and you want to have some fun while getting better at basketball, Baller Beats is for you. For a better idea of how the game works, check out Kenny "The Jet" Smith's tutorial below: