Street Hoops
Genre Sport -> Sport
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher Activision
Date 2002-10-04
Publisher Activision
North America Retail Box ArtUnited Kingdom Retail Box ArtStreet Hoops is like the kid who shows up at the first day of school decked out in brand new brand-name trainers, trying really hard to be cool and laid-back, while his rival (in this case, NBA Street) effortlessly oozes hip, relaxed charm. It's not that it's a bad game--it just could have been so much more, if only it wasn't trying so hard and in the most shallow ways. Everything about Street Hoops is overly complicated, with no real payoff. The players can be personalised and stylised; you get to pick haircuts, jewellery, tattoos and clothing. But instead of being a cherry on top of an otherwise great game, this decoration is in some ways more interesting than the actual court time. This issue of mixed-up priorities really takes root in the mechanics of the game. Considering there's no tutorial, the overly designed controller configuration gets in the way of just starting up and playing the game for the fun of it. In another example, unless you assign controllers to teams in the opening menu, the game mysteriously starts playing itself. The music is great, with songs by mainstream hip-hop artists. But the abundance of tie-in deals seems like overcompensation for poor play. Hoops sometimes feels like a catalogue, heavy with ads for clothing, trainers and sunglasses. In a spectacular example of the obtrusiveness of this cobranding, US gamers can get cheats by buying real-world Sprite (vending machines for the pop are also littered throughout the game maps). Still, there's a fair amount to recommend Hoops--mainly the presence of real-life street basketballers. The opening cinematic of inspired tricking makes you want to invest the time to make this game pay off. But anyone who just wants to play a little ball with their friends--a pick-up game, instead of a tournament--would be better off looking to the unmatched NBA Street. --Jennifer Hauseman

- Platform: PlayStation 2
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Genre: Sports
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