Reminiscent of NBA Street and NBA Jam
One of the best commercials of all-time is an anti-drug ad in which a youth fends off peer pressure by emphatically exclaiming “I don’t smoke weed, I smoke clowns like you on the bball court.” It’s the closest mankind has ever come to achieving perfection and it’s the only time an advertisement could be considered art. No one disputes this.
We never found out if he made good on his promise. Chances are he didn’t. The kid is probably a foot shorter than the weed-smoker and presumably several years younger. He might sink some long range shots, maybe even enough to keep the game competitive. But, the Marijuana Man should have no problem driving for easy layup after easy layup. The scales are going to eventually tip in favor of physical superiority regardless of who takes the moral high ground.
Where this young dude might stand a chance is in NBA Playgrounds, a new arcade-like basketball game from Saber Interactive, a developer whose best-known original work is probably TimeShift. NBA Playgrounds eschews packed arenas to put pros in pickup games. Current and former NBA players are included; some notable inclusions from the trailer are the likes of Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, James Harden, and LeBron James.
It has been a while since we’ve seen anything like this, with the NBA Street games of the early ’00s being the easiest parallel to draw. More recently, we could look to something like EA’s 3 on 3 NHL Arcade from 2009 as an example of this sort of formula applied to different sports.
NBA Playgrounds is fast approaching, as it’ll release in May for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. It will be priced at $20. There will be solo play, as well as local and online multiplayer options. Finally, an opportunity to take your clown smoking to all corners of the world.