NFL Street 2 - Review
|21/1/2005||EA Sports BIG||Tiburon||1-4||G||Medium|
There is probably no better day to finish off the review for a NFL title then on Superbowl day. It looks like being a fantastic game with the scores locked at 7-7 at half time. But while that is the big league it's the streets where many of the players hone their skills and with that in mind Electronic Arts developed NFL Street and released it in time for the Superbowl last year. It was a refreshing title in what is quickly becoming the "No Fun League". This years title from EA Sports BIG adds many new features, but is NFL Street 2 worth a purchase?
|Graphics are pretty nice.|
As with the other EA Sports BIG titles this game isn't just about playing on the streets, but also taking the sport to the extreme. In NFL Street 2 players can run up walls, lay spectacular tackles and dive for the end zone as never seen before. Tiburon have also included some spectacular one-handed catches and spectacular stripping of the ball.
NFL Street 2 includes 6 new street events including the rather entertaining Crush the Carrier. However it's the Own the City mode which takes up the bulk of the game, and will chew up most of your time. In this mode you create a player and teach him the skills before hitting the streets. As with most games these days the options when creating a player are impressive as you can not only determine their physical appearance but also deck them out with some of the hottest street wear. You can then recruit players to your team which must ultimately dominate the streets by taking over new neighborhoods. What's most interesting is the promise that you will be able to then import this player into Madden 2006!
The game takes place on twelve fields which are littered with bonuses such as unlockable characters and legends of the sport. A revamped game Breaker build to dramatic sequences where players go airborne. Running backs launch themselves off lead blockers to hurdle defenders, while linebackers throw defensive backs over the line to force a turnover. In fact running up and onto the walls now plays a major role in the game, and becoming proficient will take some practice, but the rewards in terms of advantage in the game, and unlockables is worth the effort.
|Jumping over the opposition.|
The NFL Challenge mode gives you 150 days to hone your skill and then take on a team of legends. By starting off with 7 individuals it's your task to build their skills through a series of increasingly difficult drills. Indeed it gets to the point where you'll need some serious skills to complete the tasks at hand, but it never becomes "throw the controller at the screen" type frustrating.
Sadly the biggest omission from NFL Street 2 is the one thing that brings it down from being a true "must have" title. That omission is online gameplay which is available in the American game, but not the PAL one. This is really a shame, but the 4-player offline mode is equally amazing. Besides that there is little to complain about, perhaps a little more of the "over the top" style would be nice, or more interactive environments, but all-in-all Tiburon have nailed this game pretty well.
When looking at this title it's not hard to be impressed with the visuals. The lighting is superb while the locations all look wonderful. Most importantly the animation of the players is second to none. The range of moves is impressive, but it's when you pull off that spectacular one handed grab, or avoid some tacklers while running up a wall that you realise how special this title is. All of this occurs at a rock steady frame rate. The trade off for this is an occasional low polygon count in the player models or the odd background object.
|Getting some massive air!|
In terms of audio this game doesn't disappoint. One of the most impressive aspects is the chatter and calls between the different players on the field. It relates well to the action on screen and is, at times, quite amusing in a good way. Also impressive is the music selection which ranges from rock to dance, and should suit most gamers tastes.
While this game is better then the original title, the lack of online gameplay in PAL territories really hurts. Still if you're not concerned with that aspect and are just looking for a great sports title then NFL Street 2 is the game for you and with a RRP of only $AU79.95 it's a steal.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC version)
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|GRAPHICS||The detail is a little low, but frame rate and animation are solid.||87%|
|SOUND||Player's chatter is quite amusing and the music suits the pace perfectly.||80%|
|GAMEPLAY||NFL Street 2 is very enjoyable to play. Everything gels perfectly.||90%|
|VALUE||No online gameplay in PAL version really knocks this down a notch.||75%|
|OVERALL||NFL Street 2 is better then the previous title, and certainly well worth a purchase if you're after something a little more fun then normal NFL games. The main disappointment is lack of online gameplay.||86%|