Platform: GC, PS2, XB
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Tiburon
ETA: Q1 2004
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EA Sports’ NBA Street series, part of its BIG franchises of extreme-style sports games, was a slam-dunkin’ success among critics and gamers alike. Past and present NBA stars hooped it up playground style in an over-the-top arcade-type basketball game. EA Tiburon, the developers responsible for the best-selling Madden football franchise, are bringing their expertise to EA’s NFL Street, which follows the same gameplay style as NBA Street, only this time with the biggest and brightest stars in the National Football League.
Ever wanted to have Donovan McNabb toss a football to Randy Moss? How about lining up a defensive wall of Warren Sapp alongside Michael Strahan? You will be able to with the Pick Up mode in NFL Street, which lets you pick sides just like you did (or do) playing neighborhood football in the closest playground, backyard, or local street. Choose your dream team from amongst today’s biggest NFL performers and some of yesteryear’s best, including the mercurial Barry Sanders.
With EA Tiburon at the helm of NFL Street, at the very least you can expect a quality football game to go along with the outrageousness that happens on the fields of NFL Street battle. The gameplay that I have seen so far looks incredibly sharp, featuring great environments and pumped-up caricatures of NFL players, who trade in their uniforms and helmets for some fashionable and stylish clothing. Gameplay-wise, there’s a plethora of great options when you have the ball on offense, including plenty of laterals, behind-the-back and between-the-legs tosses downfield to an open receiver. On defense, expect huge hitting and bone-jarring (and breaking) action, because there are no penalties in NFL Street, and even full-force tackling into building walls adjacent to the playing arena can occur.
Although NFL Street has a great package of features for either single-player and multiplayer-on-one-system gaming, sure to make Xbox and GameCube gamers envious is the planned online support for the PS2.
Here’s the official word on the Street from EA:
From the developers of Madden NFL Football comes a new brand of football where style is BIG: NFL Street. NFL Street blends fast paced arcade action with street culture to create a unique new gameplay experience where NFL stars become larger than life personalities. Players battle to earn the enhanced gear and attributes necessary to dominate the urban environments.
NFL Street features fast-paced, 7-on-7 gameplay where players high step, pitch, and crush their way down the field. Choose from 300 of the NFL’s biggest ballers from all 32 teams including legends like Barry Sanders. The gameplay controls are easy to pick up but challenging to master.
Outscoring your opponents is no longer enough. Bring some style to your game by showboating down the field to earn the gamebreakers necessary to rule the streets.
Gameplay: Hard-hitting 7-on-7 arcade gameplay challenges players to show their skills on both offense and defense. Big jukes with bone-crunching tackles, pitches, and a wealth of showboat moves are available. There are no penalties so everything is fair game, and none of that sissy stuff like punting, kicking, or field goals. Trick plays will leave your opponents head spinning—it’s all about style over strategy.
Create-a-Team: Create a player and build a team, filling all positions. Choose from hundreds of swappable clothing and accessories to customize player’s hairstyle, tattoos, and more. Choose the team’s colors and logo and unlock style and impact gear to enhance your player’s performance and style. Earn Dev points to build your players into superstars.
Game Play Modes: NFL Challenge: Bulldoze through 31 teams while building the ultimate team with dozens of unlockables.
Pick Up Game: You’re always the captain and you take turns with your opponent, selecting your team from 40 randomly selected NFL stars.
Online Play for the PlayStation 2: Rule the streets from coast-to-coast.
BIG-time NFL Personality: More than 300 current NFL stars and legends such as Barry Sanders. Each player model exaggerates the real-life features of their counterparts. No helmets, so their real personalities are front and center on the field.
EA Sports BIG Trick System: Great plays earn Showboat points, which will eventually reward gamers with a Gamebreaker. Gamebreakers put a player into “the zone” where they can plow through the opposing team or knock the ball loose on defense.
Original Interactive Environments: Seven unique fields will affect your strategy. Varying field dimensions and surfaces (including sand and mud) force players to adapt their rosters. Play on a beach, in a park, on a corner lot, and more.
BIG Audio: The game features a licensed soundtrack from top hip-hop and rock artists.
Competition: Cooperative gameplay or head-to-head action with up to four
of your friends.
In the spring of 2004 we’ll all get to see EA’s take on the extreme football of Midway's Blitz franchise, which has dominated the genre. It’s a bit ironic that the king of the football simulation game, EA Sports and its highly realistic Madden series, is entering into the extreme football game realm of Midway’s Blitz, while Blitz, for years the best at providing a fix for arcade-style football to console gridiron fans, is pushing their franchise closer to the simulation experience of Madden football. Football season’s right around the corner, and with EA, Sega Sports, Microsoft, Sony, and Midway all beefing up their football franchises, this is already shaping up to be a Super Bowl-worthy year for all-around football gaming greatness.
- Lee Cieniawa
(July 27, 2003)