Excited for another option in terms to NBA as aside from 2K and EA’s attempts and strives to greatness? Saber Interactive has stepped in to fill that void as the “new court on the block” with NBA Playgrounds. With this new title making its entrance on all current platforms, does it shoot and score or brick off the rim?
NBA Playgrounds is definitely a rim-rattler that keeps the beating heart of the NBA Jam and NBA Hangtime. It’s 2 on 2 street ball with only one quarter and 3-5 minutes to get the job done. Each possession is 12 seconds and the game is extremely fast-paced.
This game possesses some of the cleanest alley-oops, crossovers and dunks I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s simply because Playgrounds style is animated and based between fun and fundamentals. They don’t say it in-game, but it’s on fire!
While three shots won’t actually give you set you and the team on fire, there are plenty of opportunities to gain the upper hand through Lottery Picks. By stealing, performing game-changing crossovers and phenomenal dunks you fill your meter which allows you earn perks such as Turbo, a guaranteed shot, double points for dunks and more. One ticket that allows a 12-point basket is in the mix; respectfully changing the game’s entire outcome or causing you to rage quit a scenario not in your favor.
Be sure to time your shots perfect or embarrassment is sure to happen. Then again it will happen quite often. I found myself missing pull ups and dunks, only shooting air balls and completely misfiring early and late dunks. In other words, plenty of boom with no shaka-lakas! The dunks in-game though is still well worth the acknowledgement, even when it’s the A.I. making you look silly.
As you complete each game win or lose you earn XP for yourself which leads to additional card packs and new players, and XP for the players you chose that can unlock extra dunks and crossovers. The card packs are the most valuable option as you only gain them through leveling up and when playing tournament mode.
My only issue with the card packs is receiving duplicates which only awards 100 XP. My biggest complaint from my experience is having players that are already MAX XP and receiving points that are not valuable whatsoever.
The Tournament game option is a fun and rewarding factor NBA Playgrounds, allowing you to unlock additional court, basketballs and gold card packs that can possibly hold the epic players that are less likely to appear in normal packs.
Graphics are nice and hold close comparison to the old school arcade style, delivering a newer refined presentation worth more than the asking price of $19.99. Commentary also works pretty well, at least until it’s not in your favor. Words hurt. Lol