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NFL Street

Platform(s): Arcade, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PSOne, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Genre: Sports


PS2 Review - 'NFL Street'

by Hank on Feb. 19, 2004 @ 2:18 a.m. PST

Genre : Sports
Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release date: January 13, 2004

Buy 'NFL STREET': Xbox | GameCube | PlayStation 2

From the creators of NBA Street comes a new and upbeat game, NFL Street. This newest addition to their games is a test in a field of the unknown. I have played street football and enjoy it thoroughly, but I've never seen football played like this. Using NFL players in conjunction with their creativity, they have created a party football game that can take away Blitz's arcade football throne. So game on!

The first thing I suggest is that you go and watch the tutorial; it will inform you of the controls and whatever moves are possible, making it easier to attain victory. Unfortunately, these are video-only tutorials which don't allow you to practice the moves; it would have been really nice if they did, since the controls aren't one of the easiest to pick up (like NBA Street). The controls require you to really understand the layout and button configuration. You may be able to get a grasp of it after several games, and only then does the game take a turn for the best.

After watching this season of football, you will know that this year has probably been the year with the highest number of trick plays. No one can forget the Moss trick play that was replayed so many times. Not that it bothered anyone, because the play was just so awesome to watch; I give mad props to whoever thought it up since you don't really see this often in the NFL. Well, Streets has taken that special pitch and made it crucial in the game. It completely changes how the game plays - tackling one player doesn't mean you have stopped them. Rather, you have to make sure you tackle him and he doesn't toss off the ball to another player who scores the TD, forcing the player to strategically plan out his offense and defense. One toss can change the outcome of the game, but one good hit can reverse that momentum.

There are two types of tackles: the normal diving tackle and the power tackle. As you can already infer, the difference between these two is the strength of the hits. Normal tackles are the ones used most often, since they are the most accurate and work almost 70% of the time (unless you are like me and dive like a mad man, which is never a good thing). Though the tackle is more reassuring, players would want to use the power tackle more because it raises the chance of a fumble. Turnovers in this game are crucial since each player has four downs to get a first down, and there are no place kickers in this game, so stopping them is incredibly complex. Whenever you do stop their drive, you just can't help but celebrate because that can mean one thing: you are one step closer to victory.

Victory is achieved by a few means: finishing the objectives in the challenge mode, hitting a set point value which is usually 36 (identical to NBA Street's scoring method), or defeating the enemy by getting the most trick points. I personally prefer the scoring prerequisite because it is a lot easier for me to achieve, and this is the mode you play in ladder mode. I'm certain there are a few players who enjoy the trick battles more, but since I'm still weak at doing jukes, stiff arms, and the showy moves, I stay away from it. If you are good it is almost similar to how a player in THUG (Tony Hawk Underground) would try and execute them. If you are good, let's say one play and you can have a gamebreaker, but if you are pretty inexperienced, gamebreakers seem incredibly hard to come by.

In order to achieve a gamebreaker, players must achieve a set trick point amount, much like NBA Street where busting out many fancy moves raises the meter. There is one major difference, though; NBA Street's gamebreaker is only used on offense while NFL Street's will probably see the most use in defense. When you activate this gamebreaker, all of your players seem to get a power boost, turning them into legendary players that everyone is afraid of. I know I am scared when my opponent gets it; I start running out of bounds just to prevent myself from losing the ball to the opponent. Furthermore, these power-ups don't seem to go away unless they have successfully stopped their opponent from scoring.

Once the opponent has scored a touchdown, the point after occurs. Like I said before, there is no place kicker, so to make up for this you can only go for a two point conversion. But wait, there is a twist to the point after. You can only get two points if you throw it into the end zone and one if you run it. So it seems the game rewards you more for passing, or they know that players would like to run better. I personally prefer the passing over running. I'm just not very good at it.

The plays are nowhere near Madden's level. There are four different sets of plays; well, technically there are three, but you have four menus on the screen (All, Run, Pass, and Trick). For D it would be All, Stop Run, Long Pass, and Short Pass. There is a very limited number of plays within each category, nowhere near the amount of plays that the real football teams have, but you also don't have a full team. When your QB has to actually play D it's just kind of strange; I can never picture Garcia from the 49ers being a MLB.

Since there are no injuries in the game, you don't have to worry about losing a player. Otherwise, one successful drive would place your entire team on the IR. If that were to happen, I would probably have to say you are the unluckiest person in the world, since there are no back-up players that can be subbed in. Nor can I believe that real-life football players would enjoy this kind of beating. Although I do have to say that watching them get the smackdown does lend its own enjoyable factor.

I have always wanted to watch them perform moves like clothes-lining, jump tackling, flipping through the air, and many more. Anything goes in a full contact sport with no limits. Well, rather than taking on graphics of a regular football club, your players usually wear normal clothes when playing. All I can say is that they look sweet, wearing sunglasses and embarrassing the other team. To rub it in, players would bust out tricks and show off moves near the goal line. But do watch out for the environment; they aren't exactly your best friend. You can see a wide variety of fields ranging from standard grass to the beach. Within these levels, you will see objects on the sideline that can get in your way or even help knock you out. These fields do have boundaries which you should use to your advantage when the opponent has the gamebreaker, stepping out to prevent turning the ball over. Some of the more impressive fields are probably the indoor ones which are lined up with fences or even pillars to block the way. When you run into these, you don't want to be hearing a little whine no you want to be hearing the large grunt.

And boy, do they do that. The players are constantly smack-talking each other and showing that they are better than the other, giving each other the bone crush blow to stop their futile attempts. Yet the major audio feature is most apparent in the music track included in the game. EA has always had a major line-up for their sports games, and this one is no exception. In fact, this is probably the game with the most new and upcoming soundtrack, encouraging Sony to promote these artists alongside the game NFL Street. Such tracks include music from X-ecutioners, Fuel, DJ Kayslay, and many more.

Overall, this game did not really meet my expectations. I loved NBA Street and feel at this time no one can usurp its throne, but I have mixed feelings for NFL Street. It is definitely one of its kind, mixing great factors from NBA Street and adding in new ones, but I don't think it's as solid a game as NBA Street. It may just be the fact that I own and play Madden 2004, and I enjoy the game so much that this game just doesn't match its glory. I do have to say one thing, though: NFL Street is definitely a party game, and it is probably more fun with more players. Playing it alone is just not as satisfying as playing against a fellow friend or even taking it online against another opponent. Do remember that playing online gives a whole new experience, and smack talking in this game is a must. You just can't understand how many times I wanted to give the player a piece of my mind. It was a nice idea, but I just can't relate to it as well as I do with NBA Street. If you are a Madden fan, I suggest you stay away, but if you are a Blitz fan, try this game out. This may be your next favorite arcade football game.

Score : 8.3/10

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