5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: NBA Street Volume 2 (Video Game)
In the beginning, there was NBA Jam. And it was good.
But lo, then the NBA Jam series began to be less good. Various other basketball games came along, and for a while it seemed that we would be subjected to "serious" basketball simulations for the rest of eternity, or else just horrible ripoffs of NBA Jam. And it was not so good.
But then, along with the next-gen systems came NBA Street, a slick basketball game that wasn't a full-strength simulation and yet <gasp> wasn't a (complete) NBA Jam clone! It was good.
And now there is NBA Street 2. And lo, it is very good.
They've taken the gameplay of the original NBA Street and polished it up real nicely. The new cel-shaded engine looks awesome -- it gives everything a sort of cartoonish 70s edge without becoming goofy or overly unrealistic. They added dozens of new trick moves, tons of new (and old) players, and some much-needed new abilities (such as trick counters, special passes, and a way to control someone who's not the ball carrier). You can also play 3- and 4-player games now, while Street 1 limited you to just 2.
Other improvements include the new "Be A Legend" mode, where you can build a custom player up from humble beginnings (you start out at a neighborhood court in New York City) to be a national powerhouse on the street-ball circuit. There are a number of real-life courts featured in the game, rendered in fairly amazing detail (including a great-looking 3D crowd). They've also ditched their annoying announcer (Joe "The Show") for a real NYC DJ, who provides some high-quality (if occasionally odd) commentary that takes much longer to get old. Custom teams can now only have 5 players on them (down from 15), which means you can no longer have *every* good player in the game on your team at the same time. Gamebreaker shots (which subtract points from your opponent) are back, as are new, hard-to-pull-off-but-unblockable "Level 2 Gamebreakers" (which are just pretty damn cool to watch). There's also a new set of music, featuring the new "EA Trax" feature (basically, EA licensed a bunch of artists whose music is featured in all their games now).
Is there a downside? Well, you can play 3- and 4-player games, but you can't put 3 human players on the same team! That's kind of a bummer. Also, the AI is still pretty weak, even on the highest settings (the game compensates by basically crippling your characters stats' at the higher settings, which is *not* the way you should do it!). But it's still a lot of fun, and the multiplayer's great.
Anyone who enjoys arcade basketball will find NBA Street 2 to be a great game, and a big improvement over the original. If you're not sure, give it a rent, and it'll probably win you over.