Review by Abbitray
"A refreshing break from the realism of the Madden games"
Bored with your copies of Madden, ESPN, and all those other by-the-books football games? Craving some high-speed action that makes every play look like a candidate for the highlight reel? Then look no further - NFL Street 2 is just the game you're looking for.
OWN THE CITY: Street 2's main feature is the Own the City mode, where you create a football player, and raise him up through the ranks. You participate in challenges around the city, mainly playing pickup games with computer-generated characters. For each challenge you complete, you get either points to develop your player's attributes (speed, passing, etc.), or you can select one player from the pickup game to add to your team. Once you have enough players for a team, the action gets a lot heavier. Take on team-based challenges to prove that you have what it takes to play with Xzibit's crew, all the while adding better and better players from pickup games. Eventually, as you travel from section to section of the city, your guy, and hopefully the rest of your team, will have some nice stats, and the fun begins. If you're able to take down Xzibit and his team of assorted NFL stars, you're then asked to join a tournament. The tournament is essentially a huge team of pickups of NFL players (and your guy). Build a team around you. Do you want Brett Favre gunslinging your way to victory? Do you want Brian Urlacher to give your team a smashmouth defense? Once everyone's team has been chosen, you begin the 16-team tournament. After beating the tournament, you have the option to export your created player to Madden 06's SuperStar mode. Also, you can export him to your NFL Challenge team - a mode which I will cover next.
NFL CHALLENGE: NFL Challenge is a mode which gives you complete freedom to make your team however you want it. Create a team of eight players to your specifications (you can also export your Own the City character). Do you want your WR to be possession, or speed? Do you want your QB to be a scrambler, or a pocket passer? NFL Challenge lets you make your players down to every last detail. Much like Own the City, your team starts out as a bunch of scrubs. You complete tons of challenges that test your skills in pretty much every aspect of the game. The challenges range from No Skills (score a touchdown by only rushing on the drive), to Mad Skills (get three user picks in a game to 21), and the harder the challenge you complete, the more points you get to better your players. Basically, once you've run out of completable challenges, your team should be looking good enough to compete in the next mode - NFL Gauntlet.
NFL GAUNTLET: In this mode, you use your team from the NFL Challenge, and take on actual NFL teams, in order from worst to best (from the 2004 season). You need to use all your skills learned in the NFL Challenge, because you'll have to be shutting down Randy Moss, evading Ray Lewis, and tackling LaDainian Tomlinson in the open field. Nothing special about this mode, you're just basically playing game after game after game, with nothing really in between. After taking out every team in the NFL, you play the NFL Legends team, made up of such stars as Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter, and Eric Dickerson. If you can manage to beat the all-time greats, you get to pick one player from the Legends roster to add to your NFL Challenge roster. That's pretty much the gist of Gauntlet, so I'll move on to Street Events.
STREET EVENTS: Here's where the real multiplayer fun kicks in, if you have a friend...or three. Compete in such events as Crush the Carrier (a classic schoolyard game of keepaway) 2 Minute Challenge (see who can score the most points in two minutes), Open Field Showdown (A 1-on-1/2-on-2 test of running and tackling), and many other events that make this game so fun. Even if you don't have a friend over, you can enjoy these events against the computer. Easily one of the most fun modes of the game.
GENERAL INFO: Alright, now that I'm done breaking down the modes, time to talk about the game itself. There were a few problems here and there, I will admit. Every player talks in the same voice, which gets pretty annoying when you hear Peyton Manning bust some mad rhymes. Also, some of the animations/hit detections were a bit faulty, but nothing you'd find outside of Madden. The controls, once you get used to them, make street ballin' a dream. Each of the locations has its own feel to it, and is well designed. And of course, what everyone played this game for - the big hits, crazy wall jukes, and highlight reel plays. I laughed to myself as I watched the replay of my guy hurdle over a fallen defender, stiff arm Brian Dawkins to the ground, and spin the ball on his finger all the way to the end zone. You get a feeling of pride when your quarterback ducks a diving linebacker, gets flushed out of the pocket, and jumps off the wall to throw a bomb to your receiver, who dives headfirst over the cornerback into the end zone. An awesome style to this game, plus the fact that there's no such thing as penalties, and you've got a winner on your hands in NFL Street 2.
Soundtrack: 6.5/10 (it's rap heavy, which may not satisfy everyone's tastes)
OVERALL: 8.7/10 (worth the buy)
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/26/07
Game Release: NFL Street 2 (US, 12/22/04)
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