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NBA Playgrounds Review (PS4)


Saber Interactive has released NBA Playgrounds for PS4.

NBA Playgrounds brings the arcade feel of your favorite old-school basketball titles to current-gen consoles.

As you start the game, you open up three player packs to see what players you can pick from. After that you will be taken to the main menu where you can play Exhibition, look at your Cards Collection, and adjust your profile/options settings.

In Exhibition, you will be able to pick team members based on the cards you just unlocked. There are various map locations you can play in such as New York, Tokyo and so forth. Once you have looked over the controls then you are ready to learn the basic moves. A variety of pop-ups will come on the screen to guide you in learning the different mechanics of the game and help you become a better NBA player.

The graphics for NBA Playgrounds are very colorful and cartoon-like. The characters resemble that of a bobble-headed caricature since all of the players heads are way too big for their bodies. The mechanics are easy to pick-up and the game's vivid animations create a high depth of immersion. As you play, your character's bar will fill up giving you an insane advantage once its all the way full. Different players will get different power-ups, for example, if you get the speed power then your player's shoes will turn a bright yellow.

There are a lot of fun features in NBA Playgrounds to keep the game fun and exciting. As you level up, you will get new rewards and player packs after the completion of each game. After playing a few games, you are able to unlock Tournament mode. You start out in New York and unlock other tournament locations as you progress. NBA Playgrounds uses a retro style aesthetic to give players the feel of old-school arcade basketball games.

The visual animations in NBA Playgrounds is off the chart and a great amount of detail was paid to some of the player's signature moves. The game's pacing and progression system worked very well for NBA Playgrounds allowing you to play for hours without the feeling of repetition or boredom.

The players you choose to use the most will also level up as you play NBA Playgrounds giving them fun new animations along the way. Tournament mode, exhibition and online play will give you several hours of playtime. After you complete each of the six tournaments, you will gain access to a new court and a special "gold" pack of cards. The game's online play with other gamers still needs a little work in regards to the matchmaking component, but all-in-all, offers a solid experience.

In the end, NBA Playgrounds offers up a fun gameplay experience with responsive and tight controls. The colorful, cartoonish visuals and upbeat soundtrack works really well with immersing the player fully into NBA Playgrounds. The ability to earn new packs and unleash a wide array of power-ups kept the game feeling addictively fresh and fun.


Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed for PS4


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