The hip street basketball has been a favorite occupation for the gaming couch potato and now there’s also Ubisoft’s AND1 Streetball where you can do your thing on different fields with your black alter ego. It immediately becomes clear that Ubisoft doesn’t go for simulation but from the first second wants to give you a lasting adrenaline shot.
Heavy beats, sweaty and jumping bodies fill the screen and speakers while one hoop after the other gets dunked. It’s all very flashy and quick but does it play smooth? No. And the sad thing is that despite Ubisoft putting a lot of effort on the technical aspects and even more on marketing, the whole concept just fails.
The backbone of this game is the I-ball control. With the right joystick you can do all sorts of tricks and this arsenal gets enlarged when using also the left one as well as the R1 button. Next to the pre-programmed and very realistic tricks you also have a possibility to create some of your own.
This all sounds very good were it not that the system doesn’t work so fluid and your players react quite slow on your comments, even if you keep yourself to the time interval between the tricks. Next to that it’s almost impossible to steal the ball from the computer which makes most games turn into a 10 minute long goal-against-goal-against-goal routine. Very boring and totally not motivating to continue playing. You can throw away the ball from the hoop by elegantly jumping up and giving it a hard push but actually stealing is limited to this which is quite pathetic. It could be a lot better as many other games proove that you can use the joystick for tricks or different shots at the hoop. And then we’re looking especially towards the FIFA and NBA 2K series for that.
Also graphically AND1 Streetball drops the ball heavily a couple of times. Beware, the cartoony atmosphere fits perfectly with the game but the coolness of the urban lifestyle (and then especially the black one) is so over the top that it becomes laughable. The graphics are ok and the framerate remains constant but here and there we see clipping or some things that are finished with a loose hand. The only thing that’s really well done is the soundtrack which blows your ears with bass. I’m not really a rap lover who sinds about his bitches in the hood but the music here forms a perfect addition to the atmosphere.
AND1 Streetball fails in its goal because it hyped itself and doesn’t manage to keep its promises. And if that wasn’t enough, it doesn’t even manage to be a mediocre basketball game by failing in about each technical aspect except for the music. A very expensive music DVD, there’s nothing more to say about this “AND1″