By: Joe Rolfe
opinion, the single, greatest addition seen to the sports
gaming scene in the last few years has to be the one-on-one
street mode introduced in NBA Live 2000. For the first
time in the series, gamers were able to take their favorite
two NBA stars and have them duke it out at the place where
real basketball is played, the "streets". I found
this mode personally gratifying and added a lot of reply value
to the game. When EA first showed screens of its NBA Street
game for the PlayStation 2, though, I lifted a critical eye. I
questioned how just a simple mode from the Live series could
turn into a full-blown game without it being merely a cash in.
Thankfully, that answer was cured once I heard that EA Sports
BIG/EA Canada would be developing the title, the same group
responsible for the glorious SSX, and learned what they
planned to do with the game.
is not, and should not, be classified as just another
"NBA Jam rip-off." No, instead of just making
another redundant, flashy arcade hoops title that Midway have
become pros at, EA Canada wishes to bring home the fun and
excitement found in basketball games taking place on the
pavement. As anyone with a hint of basketball knowledge will
tell you, playing in a street game and playing in an
organized, hardwood competition are two different monsters.
Whereas full collegiate and NBA play is mainly based on
teamwork and simplicity, playing outside and on the street
relies much more on a show of crazy dribbling and dunking
skills as opposed to just "playing by the rules."
With NBA Street, EA hopes to capture this by going the
SSX route – giving the gamer the base of the sport at hand,
but making it more lighter and adding razzle-dazzle.
will capture this street feel by implementing real outside
games. Such choices as 21, 3-on-3, Around the World, and an
assortment of other selections will be available as well. A
"Story Mode" of sorts will be set up too, giving the
gamer control of a team traveling from park to park,
challenging other teams as a way of proving the court
dominance. This appears to be the game’s closest
representation of a Franchise mode, I assume.
contains special moves, too, allowing the player to create
some vivid and outrageous slams and ball handling moves that
will make a regular NBA game look as exciting as a rugby game
with 80-year old men. Users are able to build up a gauge
meter, permitting one to perform bigger and badder tricks to
outplay the opposing team. You can select from a host of real
NBA players (some to be unlocked), plus a wide variety of
pre-created characters with monster attitudes and even larger
Afros. Multiple courts and playgrounds will be accessible,
not really into the heavy basketball sims, but NBA Hoopz
left you wanting more, then look forward to the next
revolution in gaming hoops, NBA Street. The game has a
ton of promise so far, and being backed by the same guys who
brought us the notoriously good SSX, Street will require a lot
of problems and flaws to truly let us down. If all turns out
as planned, we may very well be screaming "Boomshakalaka!"
with authority once again due in part to NBA Street.