NBA Street Vol. 2

May 11, 2003

Basketball is relatively boring in my opinion. You can’t touch
anybody, and you must let the opposition score in the most spectacular
fashion. I am a huge sports fan but I must bitch about the rules
of basketball more than anything. I would very much like to see
more street basketball on TV. That may be why I enjoyed the NBA
Jam games from the days of old. NBA Street Volume 2 has brought
back some of that nostalgia as well given a life to basketball that
I thought was lost.

I was hesitant to get another sports game that was not entitled
Madden. Usually I will play them and dominate, only to get bored
and turn it back in very shortly. It is not the game’s fault that
I enjoy replay ability that sports games do not give. With the high
hopes that I had for NBA Street Volume to, it turns out, while it
is a cool game, it won’t stay in my collection for very long. Allow
me to explain.

Graphics on the Gamecube are considered middle of the road; the
Xbox always will win the title for the sharpest graphics, and the
PS2 for the absolute shittiest graphics in the console comparison.
The version I picked up was for the Cube, and the graphics look
crisp as all hell. The character models are a good translation from
their real life counterparts. The courts are displayed nicely and
are modeled after actual urban courts from around the US. Around
the court are the spectators; which are modeled, instead of the
usual cardboard people we are accustomed to seeing as audience.
Buses and cars zoom by the streets and the graffiti is present on
the walls and the court itself. The look pulled off by the designers
is defiantly there. The opening menus are fucking sweet. I am a
fan of vector art so the transitions between videos were rather
easy on the eye, definitely a nice touch.

The sound of the streets is present as you ball up and down the
court. Cars honking, chatter and ambience of downtown will come
out of your speakers to illuminate the game itself. The game’s downfall
comes with the announcer. While some of his remarks are cool, the
majority of his comments are on the stupid side. When I say majority
I mean somewhere in the vicinity of 99.9 percent. The rattling on
the rims and the chain net sounds are perfect.

Depending on which platform you choose the control scheme is either
great, or a giant pain in the ass. On the PS2 the 4 upper buttons
come in handy as you have three separate turbo buttons and two trick
buttons. On the Cube you will have to use the Z button as your third
turbo, which is not too much of a pain. On the Xbox you will have
to press d
n your analog stick on order to activate your third
turbo, which I hear is a complete hassle.

The Cube controls are not too hard to pull off. Tricks come easily
with the press of the X or Y and a turbo. Figuring out all the combinations
of tricks and dunks is very cool, and easy to remember for when
you want to bring them out of the bag. All in all the controls are
very easy to master, and with some practice you will be tricking
the computer out of their shoes and pulling off double alley oops
in no time.

The challenge of this game, to me, is like the challenge of any
sports game. For a while it is hard till you learn the controls.
After you learn the controls and some basic strategy you will be
whooping the computer’s ass into submission in no time flat. The
game has three modes of difficulty but when you find the computer’s
tendencies you will easily beat the competition.

This game has your usual EA Big fun factor. What I mean is invite
the boys over to run smack and drink beer while you play this game.
By yourself it has a limited appeal, but with a crew I can see how
this game can shine. Even when playing co-op with Soda I already
get bored. Having owned the game for a few days I have had my fill
of super dunks and fresh looking passes. Don’t get me wrong this
is a very sweet game; if I were more a basketball enthusiast I would
be more eager to get exited about this game, or even keep it longer.
I recommend a rental when you know you will have some pals over,
the controls are a breeze to perform (on PS2 and Cube) and people
are quick to pick them up. Other then that, I say the game is just
fine; the only thing that bugged me was the loading times, however
that varies per platform. Have fun ballin’ it up.

Score: 5/5

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