When EA released the first NBA Street in 2001 we doubt they had any idea what kind of success the game would have. Since then, we've see NFL and FIFA take to the streets and two other successors to NBA Street. The series is famous for bringing basketball back to its roots; that is three on three games in an urban setting. EA have brought the series over to the PSP in NBA Street Showdown, which is likely to please fans of the franchise, but also leave them a little bewildered.
The game includes a stripped down roster list from all of the thirty NBA teams and also includes 24 NBA legends, including Magic Johnson. One of the disappointments is that this game already feels out of date, as it has not been updated to reflect some of the recent changes in the lineups. Whilst casual fans are unlikely to see this as a big issue, hardcore fans of the franchise are likely to be understandably disappointed.
There are three main options in NBA Street, with the main mode being the career mode. In the career mode, you create your own player and take them through a series of challenges in an effort to win on every court. There are real life and fictional courts to play through.
EA have also included some mini games, which are idea for those looking for a quick play. The game includes two mini games (we would have appreciated a few more) Shot Blocker and Arcade Shootout. The objective of arcade shootout is to keep shooting at the baskets and try to combine as many of them as possible. In shot blocker you take control of one man and go up against a few players who are set up around the arc. Both of the mini games are fairly solid, and don't feel like they have just been tacked on.
EA have also included multiplayer support, which is one of the drawcards of the game. You can play a regular match in multiplayer or you can just go through the mini games, games are always better with a friend, and this game becomes a lot better in multiplayer.
Controls seem destined to be a topic of debate whilst the Nintendo DS and the PSP are around, and unfortunately some sacrifices have had to be made in the transition to the portable handheld. Players have the option of using the directional pad or the analog nub, but most people are likely to stick to the directional pad, as the nub isn't as accurate or easy to control as we'd hoped. This isn't a major big deal and you quickly get over it, but sometimes the controls also don't feel as responsive either, so in a fast paced game that can really throw you off. Aside from that the gameplay remains just as addictive as the console versions and we didn't notice any slowdown.
At times the camera can get in the way a little and this can hinder proceedings a little. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it is extremely irritating.
Graphically, the game looks fairly good. The courts and players are fairly detailed, but the courts themselves are fairly small. However, it is easy to keep up with everything that is happening on the court at once.
Like they have with all of their other PSP launch titles, EA have included EA Games Trax into the game, once again the soundtrack is fairly decent, aside from the music, there is all the sound effects which sound very authentic.
There are a lot of rewards to unlock in the game that become available as you play through the career mode. Courts and legendary players both slowly become available and you can earn points to purchase new clothing and upgrade your stats. The main career mode should last an extensive amount of time and there's always the addicting mini games to come back to. The wireless multiplayer is the biggest drawcard of the game and is just as addictive as it is on the consoles.
[b]NBA Street Showdown[/i] still feels a little inferior to the stunning NBA Street 3. The rosters are out of date (dating back to last year) and there are a few camera problems and control issues. However, if you're a fan of the franchise there is a lot to like with this incarnation, it's a fairly polished title and contains a career mode with a plethora of unlockables and things to draw you back.
It's likely that we'll see a future incarnation of this series in the very near future, and when that happens we hope the rosters are updated and some of the issues we've had have been fixed up. If you're a fan of NBA but are sick of the serious updates, then it is hard to go past this game; even though it seems more like a reworked port than an entirely new title.
13 Oct, 2005
13 Oct, 2005
NBA Street Showdown Review
PSP Review | We take to the streets.
|This is NBA with a little bit less seriousness. Don't take it to seriously and it's fairly entertaining.||7|
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