Publisher: EA SPORTS™ Big
Developer: EA Canada
N Amer - 02/20/2007
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NBA Street: Homecourt Review
The NBA Street series has been a premiere series when it comes to the arcade sports genre for many years now, with the first title setting the pace for tons of imitators. Now, the title is debuting on next-gen consoles, releasing on both the PS3 and Xbox 360. The game keeps the important things, like the series’ fast pace and crazy combos, and ups the ante to keep things fresh for the new generation of consoles. NBA Street Homecourt is a great entry to the series, and possibly one of the best that you’ll find on the 360.
The new, main mode behind NBA Street: Homecourt is the Homecourt Challenge. You begin this mode by configuring your character. While the character configuration isn’t as deep as, say, Tiger Woods, it gets the job done. Also, you can determine who you’d like to play by configuring your character to play like an existing NBA Player. Once you’ve gotten your character ready to go, then you can begin your journey through other player’s homecourts in order to gain a rep as a ferocious ballplayer. This mode also has some pretty nice RPG elements, allowing you to beef up your character’s stats as you progress. If that weren’t enough, you’ll even be able to unlock new Air Jordans and uniforms along the way.
Controlwise, the game switches things around a little bit from NBA Street Vol. 3. You no longer use the analog sticks to perform your tricks, but rather the X and Y buttons to perform and tweak your tricks. This feels a bit more streamlined in my opinion, and it feels a little easier to perform the exact move that you are trying to perform.
One of the biggest fundamental additions to the Street series that comes about in Homecourt is the double-dunk. Basically, you hold down the shot button for a specific amount of time in order to fill up a gauge. Once the gauge is filled to the right level, your player fill perform a double dunk, garnering you two points for the price of one dunk.
The rest of the game’s combos are also pretty awesome looking. You can perform alley oops by passing the ball back and forth between up to three different players, you can have your player ramp himself off of another player’s back in order to launch himself in the air towards the basket, and several other great new tricks.
Graphically, the game is great, with very detailed character models complete with sweat and realistic facial expressions and silky-smooth animation. The courts look excellent and the action unfolds at a very smooth framerate. One of the best-looking basketball games you’ll find around.
The sound is also standard for EA games, meaning that its pretty good. The soundtrack features a good collection of hip-hop artists, really establishing the overall mood of the game. The sound effects and smack-talking are also pretty well done.
The online modes are pretty fun, but they aren’t really much to get excited about. You can play through each of them in the standard single-player games and the multiplayer single-console mode. You can play through the Gamebreaker Battle, where you face off for Gamebreaker points, Trick Battles where you vie for trick points, and Back to Basics, where you just have to play a standard game of hoops with no trick points or Gamebreakers. These are all pretty fun ways to take on your opponents, albeit a bit basic.
NBA Street Homecourt is a great basketball game, offering up fluid controls, great graphics, and some truly awe-inspiring dunks. A great continuation of the franchise, Homecourt brings the series to next-gen consoles in style.
Review Scoring Details for NBA Street Homecourt
The controls feel a little differently from previous games in the series, but they still feel and smooth and fluid as ever. Plus, the new combos are awesome, and getting extra-points for scoring them is a nice touch.
The graphics are fantastic, with detailed character models and smooth trick animations.
Like a good portion of EA’s sports titles, NBA Street Homecourt has a pretty robust soundtrack with a variety of great hip-hop tracks. The sound effects themselves are crisp and sound pretty good.
The game offers Gamebreaker Battles, Trick Battles, and Back to Basics both off and online.
NBA Street keeps the vibe of its predecessors while adding great new elements to keep the experience fresh.
NBA Street Homecourt is a solid basketball game with great controls and a fun arcade-style feel to it. It retains the fast and fluid gameplay of the series while adding new elements for the next-gen systems. All in all, a solid entry as well as one of the best basketball games out there.
NBA Street Homecourt is a great basketball game and one of the best yet on the 360.
Reviewer: Steven Hopper
Review Date: 02/19/2007