Outside the Box: Put “Street” In.
(AfroGamers.com) Of sports video games there are three sports I enjoy. Hockey, soccer, and basketball—in that order. I’m no good at basketball games, actually I better at football titles and I don’t really care for them. However, basketball games used to get incredible treatment outside of your usual sports simulation. I’m talking about the arcade treatment. During the early 2000s on Playstation 2 and Xbox, there were two streetball games that join the Pantheon of Party Games: Street Hoops and NBA Street Vol. 2.
What can I say about Street Hoops? It was released at the perfect time in 2002 and developed by Black Ops Entertainment. If you remember, streetball got a lot of shine during the early-mid 2000s and was even given a regular slot on some of the cable sports channels. Street Hoops had some legends to play with such as Hot Sauce and ½ Man ½ Amazing. If they were on the AND1 tapes, you could find them here.
Not only that but it featured some big league legends and celebrities. You could unlock Rodman, Master P, Cypress Hill, and Xzibit. Oh yeah, you could unlock Silk the Shocker too. In addition to unlockable players, there were also music videos to pick up. These were my favorite unlockables.
Now, I’ve talked a lot about everything but the actual gameplay. I got to say, for a game that got little promotion and was generally rated in the middle, the gameplay is tight in Street Hoops. The main mode, World Tournament plays like a blend of story mode in wrestling games and franchise mode in sports games. You’re busy building your own streetball team and along the way you’ll add better players. Its basically about becoming the best team in the sport.
The Lord of the Court mode has you defend your home turf against rival teams. Here you’ll pick up most of your unlockables. Both modes allow for you to play with other players but are mainly single player. Basically, Street Hoops was an arcade-style sports game with a little more to keep things on the rails. While its not the prettiest sports game out there, on first glance it comes off as a traditional basketball game from look and camera angle. You have all the dunks, shots, and handles of streetball and basketball but the look is that of a traditional game.
NBA Street Vol. 2
Now, if you want something that goes a bit off the rails and with an exaggerated look, this is what you’ll play. Of the two, EA Sports BIG’s NBA Street Vol. 2 was the one I enjoyed more. Unlike Street Hoops, NBA Street Vol. 2 had modern players from the 2002-2003 NBA season, streetball legends, and old school NBA legends in a arcade-y streetball setting. That’s all it was. The graphical style also had a cooler look to it.
Gameplay-wise, NBA Street Vol. 2 was smooth. It played so well, much better than Street Hoops actually. Dunks and handles were super rewarding when pulled off, special dunks got everyone off the couch, and it had that sweet, sweet arcade-style speed to it. All of this with the Street art style made for an extremely enjoyable experience.
The players that could be unlocked were mostly all of the legends. You’d think once you got both versions of Jordan then you’d beast through the game but who you want are Wilt and Bird. I mean, you could add Jordan 80s and 1994 Jordan to your team if you want, but for flash and fun, get Wilt.
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.