Review by EliteMan
"The Undisputed Sports Multiplayer Champion."
Hardcore fans will remember the first roll of Street, take one look at the sequel, then kiss its predecessor goodbye. Anything and everything that wasn't acceptable in the first Street has been perfected and polished. For example, trick moves in the first were unstoppable and too lame to not be ridiculous; now there's plenty of flashy tricks that can now be countered resulting in a steal. I know I've said that NBA Live 2003 was the best basketball simulator, and I remain with that statement that it IS the best SIMULATOR. Street Vol. 2 is hands down the best non-sim basketball out there.
There basically isn't any real storyline in Vol. 2, but a pleasing Be a Legend mode takes care of that. The player gains a reputation while they make progress through each of some major streetball cities. Reputation can grow so high from progress that it gains its own levels and grants the player a new ranking such as Superstar. I also suppose that just beating the game would make a terrific story for your grandkids...
The menus have a retro classy look that truly brings the essence of old school basketball. Usually the better tunes occupy your speakers while selecting what to do, and vibrant colors highlight every word you see. Some Create a Player and Team sections are a bit difficult to coordinate for the beginner, but still well organized for someone who knows what they're doing. All in all, nothing looks ''normal'' and every part, every menu, every word, every letter has its own originality.
Unrivaled by any other sports style out there, Vol. 2's streetball can even take the first Street veterans by surprise. The so many different things to do while playing always keeps the mind and focus busy. The extremely swift play along with tracking the ball with your eye holds any realism pasted to the game. Ballers jump high enough for any people that have ever dreamed of flying before. There are much more trick moves and some so incredible that you probably never would have imagined. Shooting is fair by the stats, but some block parties that come your way can be very frustrating to a novice player. Dunking is what everybody orders, and the amount of gourmet slams to do is almost endless. Blocking is more fair in Vol. 2 because of the requirement for the hands to be in the exact same spot as the ball. Stealing is a very fun addition to the game and never enough or too much of it goes down. Alley-oops stamp the streetball logo on this game with numerous passing available for the ultimate oops. Along with many different dunks in the game, ways to shoot have been excelled since Street. Hella far hookshots, power thrust shots, and silk smooth layups are always in your arsenal.
I'm sure many wish that a PS version would unashamedly come out with four controllers and at least claim they didn't copy Nintendo products. Even though only two players without a Multitap can ball at a time, there's still equally skilled CPU opponents/teammates to play by your side. Now in Vol. 2, team oops (alley oops) can be called for so you can be the one ooped now. Solid team factors are a major part of Street's foundation of excellence, which is why moving the ball around never looked so good. The options that both players can roll on the same team or go head to head retains the rugged rivalry that the first Street gave birth to that hasn't been seen this well stood since early Mortal Kombat arcade games.
The gigantic load of modes to play and extras to unlock boosts many more hours of gaming. Just viewing a part of the mammoth sized menu of items to be unlocked can leave the rookie speechless. Just about every thing imaginable to get to use is able to unlock. The only problem I have here is that a lot of the same stuff costs very similar, taunting you to just buy one and maybe the others are just like it. Hundreds of thousands of possible Create a Player and Create a Team configurations can be made, making your jaw drop even lower.
Though Vol. 2 has taken a much needed step in graphical modifications, another stair or two wouldn't have hurt. The faces, bodies, limbs, and animation physics are more detailed, but maybe not quite enough to satisfy most picky gamers today. (like me) Shots landing and dunks rockin' the rim needn't any more improvement except a more realistic effect and not the same up and down bounce that would only be seen on a rubber hoop.
MUSIC AND SOUND
Yes, there's another pesky commentator in this Street chapter. Although a completely different person and voice, the new Bobbita Garcia is just as annoying and idiotic as Joe the Show, if not then worse. About half the tracks are creamy to ears, but the other half will make you want to quit. FAST. You either have to learn the names of each one you like/dislike, or you could lose patience and just turn all those puppies off. This section was given a high rating by me only because the music and sound in Vol. 2 is very clear, even though occasionally irritating. More sounds for each effect like dribbling could vary once and a while, not to mention the usual exact same swishing sound. Where's the one of a kind chain net clink sound?
The energy built up to defeat the NBA's best teams or the hunger to gain more Reward, Development, and Progress Points to unlock dozens of extras, will bring you back like a magnet. Most people will only stop playing if they begin to lose or actually complete everything in the game. Personally, I think if this game went online, it would set a record for time played.
With minor scratches in its gold plating, Vol. 2 brings a new level of gaming entertainment that hasn't been this great since NFL Blitz titles. Even with the seriousness of streetball, any person that isn't a sports fan can easily be addicted for life. This one is for everyone and anyone who's willing to have fun.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/08/03, Updated 07/08/03
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