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NBA Baller Beats seems to be a slam dunk

NBA Baller Beats (with ball) for Kinect

Of this year’s crop of dance and exercise games, NBA Baller Beats (Xbox 360 Kinect only) is without a doubt the most different.  It’s like playing Guitar Hero with a basketball:  bounce a ball to the beat of hit songs, following a scrolling guide visual.  The scroll includes authentic basketball moves like pump fakes and behind-the-back, and even comes packaged with a genuine basketball.

As with Zumba, Walk It Out and other “where no game has gone before” games, I was skeptical about whether this could really work.  Well, according to Amazon and other reviews, it scores!  Already there are some gameplay videos on Youtube, such as this one from Kinect Addict, bouncing to the beat of the new party anthem, “Party Rock Anthem”:

Now I couldn’t bounce a ball off the broad side of a barn, but I want this game anyway.  The soundtrack includes some real treats (for me) such as Santigold’s “Disparate Youth” and Onyx’s “Slam”, not just the same old Rihanna and Katy Perry stuff.  And look how that guy is sweating and panting at the end.

Unlike some other moms, I’m ready to play ball in the house!

NFL-themed EA Sports Active game has been announced

A rumor from last December has come to fruition:  EA Sports has announced an addition to its Active exergaming series, EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp.  According to the announcement on EA’s site:

EA SPORTS Active NFL Training Camp includes over 70 drills and challenges designed to improve strength, power and conditioning, as well as reaction skills, agility and first step quickness, which are key areas NFL players focus on. Users can choose their favorite team, step into a stadium and train alongside their favorite players.

The EA SPORTS Active NFL Training Camp virtual coach will encourage users through the drills and challenges for additional motivation, and to take it to the next level, users can participate in the NFL Combine 60 Day Challenge.  To enhance the competitive experience, users can get their game on in multi-player mode where they can go head-to-head in NFL training camp drills, including the QB Window Challenge and Field Goal Challenge, or with an online connected console, users can compare personal stats with friends and challenge them to beat their best results. In addition, as part of the NFL’s commitment to youth health and fitness, kids and families can choose special NFL Play 60 drills and exercises specially designed for them.

The announcement said that the Wii game, which will use the heart rate monitor included with EAS Active 2,  is coming November 16.  No word on whether you can also use that nifty Wii football to practice your passing, or whether there will be versions for PS3 or Kinect.  (If there’s a Kinect game, you’ll be able to use a real football – just make sure it never leaves your hand!)

A new football exergame may get guys off the couch

A few days ago, I noticed a Wii Football on Amazon, set to release later next month.  It’s from the same company that produced the calorie-counting Wii tennis racket, and I thought it was just another cute item to add on to Madden games.  But it turns out that the pigskin Wiimote skin may be the shape of things to come –  a rumor has it that EA Sports is planning a “guy’s” installment in their popular Active exergame line, and it’s going to be based on football-styled training, including instruction on how to make perfect passes.  Sounds like a good way to burn off those Super Bowl nachos and beer.  Maybe an old Slam Man can be suited up in a jersey and repurposed as a tackling dummy.

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