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PS2 Reviews: NBA Street 2


NBA Street 2 screenshots


The Final Say!


NBA Street 2
 -  reviewed by Tory Favro 
Review Date: 20 May 2003
Review Score 9.5/10
Distributed By: Electronic Arts

Is this the best basketball game ever? Well in my opinion it certainly is which of course I know will upset all the BBall purists out there. NBA Street 2 is the second instalment of this series as you would have most likely guessed from the title. With the success that EA Canada had last time with NBA Street, I had expected a few minor tweaks and of course an updated roster of players to choose from.

Bear in mind that when it comes to sports, I know absolutely nothing. My basketball hero from back in the day was Michael Jordan during the Bulls era so in this game of 3 per side, I choose to play as my self created player, Michael Jordan from the Bulls and then the latter Michael Jordan from the Wizards. Considering that my own character is a fat little guy with a shaved head and beard, he needs all the help that he can get on the court and Jordan is the man for me.

It's a credit to EA Canada for the sheer amount of extra work that went into this game. Not content to sit on their previous success, Street 2 comes with a plethora of new moves and generally brilliant animations. The Artificial Intelligence is just as strong as last time and can adapt to the way that you play, making sure that no game is truly a walkover.

Graphically Street 2 is sweet as hell and absolute eye candy to look at. The level of detail and colour in the texture work is brilliant and the animation of the players needs to be seen to be believed. It's certainly one of the smoothest games that I have played for some time and I am sure that everyone will get a blast out of watching the game run, let alone actually controlling the action.

We need to remember that the whole premise of street is the trash talking, fancy footwork and general attitude of the people who play it. These games dont take place in some multi thousand capacity forum, they take place in down and dirty parks and even on the roof of an apartment block. I think that really nice thing about this is that most of us with a passing interest in the game, could have conceivably played basketball in surroundings similar to this, whereas an arena is most likely out of the question.

As always the gamebreaker is back in this edition, however this time around it's broken up into two different levels, 1 and 2. A level 1 gamebreaker looks great however can be broken or otherwise tampered with by the opposition whereas a level 2 is it y'all with no way that the bomb is going to be messed with. That baby is unstoppable and the animations before, during and after the shot ensure that your player is looking damn fine when he puts one through. Another innovation is that gamebreakers can either be pocketed to elevate a level 1 to a level 2 or you can sacrifice your own gamebreaker to make sure your boy can't bust out with his by stealing it.

As always, the name of the game is to win, however you might as well do as much as you can in order to get to gamebreaker status in order to kick big time butt. Tricking is the best way to do this and the more combinations that you can pull off the better. Also dissing your man by bouncing the ball off his head is fun and a good way to get the smack talk happening.

Asides from all the detailed action happening on the court, Street 2 also brags one of the most detailed living breathing game environments that I have seen in some time. You can see fans talking, waving and also talking on their mobile phones as the game goes on. It's almost detrimental though as pretty soon their animations do get repetitive and stale.

Another cool point to this game is the featuring of the legendary players of the sport and more importantly, accurate captures of their signature moves and dunks that made them stand out in a sport filled with great athletes. These moves can be unlocked during the game and are fantastic to watch. It gives you a real feeling of accomplishment to recreate a moment in history with your electronic athlete.

NBA Street 2 is one of the best looking, sounding and best playing sports titles currently out there on the market, if not the very best. I suggest to anyone that this game is worth a look at if not a purchase. It takes ages to get through and then there's a great multiplayer mode anyway for you to whip a friend with. Value for money? NBA Street 2 has it in spades and in my books is the sports title for 2003. It'll certainly take a hell of a game to change my mind on that one!

Get it today!

- Tory Favro

Copyright 2003 www.impulsegamer.com