NBA Street vol.2
Just put the ball in the bucket, that’s what a game of basketball’s all about. Next to football, and maybe rugby, this is one of the rare ball games that can actually be put into a decent videogame. Nevertheless EA still is the main developer when it comes to basketball titles. Not only do they offer a new NBA Live game on a yearly basis, they also developed the alternative NBA Street. Now they’ve come up with a worthy sequel, which was appropriately entitled NBA Street Vol. 2.
Once again, the NBA hits the streets, where teams compete with 3 players each on existing courts from New York to Seattle. Don’t expect any rules, not even those of gravity; an extreme high jump is a matter of course. But if you think this makes NBA Street 2 “just another arcade game”, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Although the game seems rather chaotic at first, you will soon understand there’s more needed than plain button bashing in order to achieve full victory. Once you mastered its easy controls and covered most special moves, NBA Street 2 is both fun and exciting.
The whole score system on the street is also slightly different. A regular dunk or throw gains 1 point, a long range throw adds 2 points. The first team with 21 points wins the match. While performing tricks, goals, combo’s, … you also earn trick points. These load up your “gamebreaker” bar. Once full, you can score a gamebreaker, which not only gets you a lot of trick points, but also takes away one point from the opposing team. You can wait till the bar fully loads twice as well, so you can watch a ball being marvelously put into the basket, earn an incredible amount of trick points, get 2 points and see your adversary lose 3. Gamebreakers can be crucial during the course of a game.
This basketball game doesn’t only offer a Street School mode that teaches you the basics and “Pick up Game”, where one can compete alone or with up to 4 friends, the modes “NBA Challenge” and “Be a Legend” are available as well. The first one lets you enter a tournament with NBA teams, while the other one actually turns you into a living legend. You can create a new player, throw in some local team mates and there’s your very own team that’s ready to stun the entire USA with it’s crazy moves. This mode is defintely the most exciting one, partialy because you can change almost everything about your player. With the earned points you’ll buy him new shoes, pump up his skills or teach him some new moves. After each match you can add a player from the defeated team to yours. As the game advances, your reputation will rise, your players will keep getting better and you’ll be able to enter new tournaments.
NBA Street 2 is one of those games that you just want to keep playing in order to unlock all sorts of things. You can collect baksetball cards, new locations, teams, moves, clothing, and so on. A real challenge for all you unlock-freaks out there.
Although one can perform a great amount of moves, the controls (at least those of the PS2 version) are both simple and brilliant. while there are only 3 real action keys needed, all different moves are performed by tapping one or more of the 4 shoulder buttons. A simple sum teaches that 16 tricks, 16 dunks, … are available. However, there’s an entire list of moves from which you can choose what 16 tricks you want to perform.
In comparison with it’s predecessor, NBA Street 2 does offer a lot of new stuff. Not only the teams, modes, … are brand new, some moves are as well. You can now pass the ball by kicking it forward, hit your defender in the face with the ball, etc. To people already owning the first game: NBA Street 2 isn’t a bad buy for you at all !
The graphics of this PS2 game are superbe as well, everything looks highly detailed, both on and next to the field (although the crowd sometimes moves a bit unrealistic).
The sound has been carefully designed. The music consists out of jazzy hip hop songs, while the commentary’s just marvelous. There are tons of diferent oneliners that suit the game very well. Nice job EA !
In conclusion: While I’m still not such a big fan of the sport itself, I think NBA Street Vol. 2 is a fantastic game that is yet whitout a peer. Extensive modes offer you hours of non-stop gaming, easy to pick up controls let you perform great moves, etc. etc. etc. I could go on for hours about how great this game exactly is, but I’ll just add all that in the small box below. No negativo’s this time, simply because I can’t come up with any. If you would however actually find one, make sure to leave it in the comments !