Score of the Game
by Kurt Johnstone
EA Canada creates possibly the greatest B-ball game in many years that focuses more on arcade play than a realistic basketball sim. The game that combines basketball with hip-hop should find a large audience as the previous NBA Street games have. All the courts are based on real ones and look great. Everything looks very impressive as expected from an EA game. All of the NBA players look similar to their live counterparts.
Framerate is locked at 60 fps keeping the game smooth. This game is very fast paced and entertaining with a large variety of moves to pull off. You can use the right analog stick to do more than 30 flashy dribbling moves. There is a turbo button to run faster for a temporary period of time which can be combined with fancier trick moves, dunks and better blocking techniques.
You are required to create your own team in the Street Challenge and online game modes. You can name your team and what city it is from. Aside from this you can even create your own baller. You can edit his appearance, clothes, and attributes. Your characters attributes are improved by your success throughout Street challenge. You get points which can upgrade different stats on your character. You can improve dunks, shot accuracy, blocking, rebounds, etc. The customization of your player proves to be fun and addicting. You can add teammates to the team other than yourself also. There are dozens and dozens of NBA players you can choose from each with their own unique strengths. Some players have good dunking while others are better at shooting and stealing. Its up to you to find what players you want on your team.
There is also a exhibition mode to head straight to a match and a practice mode. The sound is decent but not completely realistic. You cannot use custom sound tracks during gameplay, you can only use the 13 songs that EA supplies with the game which are just acceptable. The announcer is pretty good but becomes monotonous eventually.
This is a good game and is a lot of fun. The variety in gameplay is amusing and keeps the replay value high. Online play is put together well which is rare for EA. Creating players and teams is addictive and satisfying. However the gameplay needs to be balanced better. Defense is way harder than it should and offense has dunking being highly encouraged and hard to defend against. The one-on-one gameplay is tiresome. It would be great to see the two computer controlled characters replaced with human ones on each team. Three-on-three would create some strategy especially online. I find the game is great in small bursts but becomes repetitive for long-term play. But, this is probably the best arcade basketball game since NBA Jam, and I recommend it.