face it, thereís a small army of basketball games being released for
the different consoles out there year in and year out, so developers
have to work extremely hard just to get noticed in the highly lucrative
world of sports videogames. Unfortunately
for Street Hoops it just doesnít have anything noteworthy to make it a
title fans of the sport would want in their collection.
Lackluster visuals, a lack of challenge, and some control issues
go a long way to hamper this already ho-hum experience.
an effort to stand out from the crowd, Activisionís Street Hoops takes
basketball to, well, the streets with playground rivalries complete with
real life street ball legends who were unable to make it into the NBA
for this or that reason. While
this is a novel approach itís only superficial at the end of the day.
The requisite trash talk is annoying at the best of times and
infuriatingly repetitive at its worst.
Itís all well and good to try and approach the sport in a
manner that doesnít embrace the pro ball level, but it really feels
like itís being done for the sake of doing it here.
Even more disappointing is the gameís presentation. The visuals donít exactly jump off the screen, as they have a definite blandness to them. Drab colors and a lack of detail are a sure fire way to keep the graphics from grabbing playersí attention. The players look like the character models out of the Tony Hawk games only tuned down a few notches. To the gameís credit, the frame rate is pretty respectable. Other than that, though, there just isnít all that much to look at in Street Hoops.
matters worse is that the sound picks up where the visuals left off.
There just isnít anything noteworthy about the audio properties
of the game. Hip hop music
that falls flat, canned sound effects that feel mashed into the
background, and irritating trash talk that will have you leaping for the
mute button in no time, thereís nothing worth listening to in Street
But itís the gameplay, where things really fall apart. First and foremost, after a few
hours of playing it becomes quite
easy to beat the computer in matches.
Doesnít matter what mode youíre on, what team you use,
whether or not youíre wearing your favorite underwear, or how much
cereal you had for breakfast, the AI isnít going to magically become
better. Youíll learn good
and quick how to pressure your opponents, force turnovers, and rack up
huge leads. The only thing
that will slow you down is the sometimes-buggy controls of the game.
Thereís also the choice to play one on one or a full team game,
with the usual mix of hot dogging, fancy pants moves to take the ball to
the hole, which are nice when you want to make a friend look bad, but
nothing to get terribly excited over.
problem with Street Hoops is that it is surrounded in such a thick haze
of drabness. Weak visuals,
a lack of challenge, and problematic controls do not an exciting game
make. If you want a fun,
engaging basketball game, this is not the title for you, look to one of
the more established franchises, they just handle the sport so much
- Mr. Nash
(October 5, 2002)
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