NBA Baller Beats for Kinect can make you a better basketball player
If you’re a basketball fan with an appreciation of the slick ball-handling skills of the likes of Kobe Bryant, but your dribbling skills are best left on the bench, NBA Baller Beats might get you to your feet.
This new Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect title from Majesco Entertainment aims to sharpen your dribbling skills—yes, crossovers and ball fakes included—by making you dribble to the beat of popular songs. The more beats you nail with your dribbles, the higher the score and the more difficult the challenges get.
The $59 game, which goes on sale on September 11, comes packaged with a Spalding basketball along with the game disc. Majesco Entertainment CEO Jesse Sutton said that while you can play the game with any basketball, he didn’t want NBA Baller Beats to be just another game pack on store shelves.
Sutton noted that the included basketball is a regulation-sized, game-quality ball, not a cheap toy that true ballers would readily eschew. With NBA Baller Beats, the Kinect sensor tracks the movements of the basketball and not your body—something unique as Kinect games go.
Former NBA star and current TNT basketball analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith, who demonstrated the game at a press event in New York on Tuesday, said that the game reflects the way he used to teach dribbling skills to aspiring basketball players: he made them dribble to a beat. When asked to consult on the development of NBA Baller Beats, Smith told game makers, "This game is my lecture for the last 20 years."
As Smith and others, including Essence Carson of the WNBA’s New York Liberty and teenage dribbling phenom Jashuan Agosto, tested NBA Baller Beats on a small screen in front of them as the audience kept up on a much larger screen behind them. The amount of concentration needed to master the game at the higher levels was evident as Carson lost the handle on her dribble at one point and had to chase the ball down.
“If you have no rhythm and two left feet, this might not be your game,” said Smith to a chorus of laughter.
Smith’s parting advice for an old right-handed blogger who never mastered the crossover dribble? “Start with the rookie level—you’ll pick it up,” he said with a smile and a pat on the back.