Deeply Americanised, heavy on the product placement and chockfull of highly improbable moves: And 1 Streetball really should turn out to be the equally ugly sister of FIFA Street 2. Instead it's the game that the FIFA Street series badly wants to be, managing to jazz up a pretty mundane sport without ever losing sight of the individual skill and teamwork involved.
Unlike other basketball games, scoring isn't just a case of holding down 'sprint' and pressing a random button when you're near the hoop to slam-dunk. All the offensive and defensive moves are handled using one or both analogue sticks, meaning that every single dribble, trick and block is solely down to you. Tricks can be kept as simple as moving the right analogue stick in different directions, or as complicated as holding R1 and moving both sticks in different directions.
These combinations are difficult to get to grips with initially, but a little bit of perseverance and you'll soon be able to pull off the big pointscoring dribbles and baskets. There's even a version of EA's Gamebreakers, re-dubbed Ankle Breakers, which leave helpless opponents on the deck while you have a clean run to the basket. Of course, just like FIFA Street 2, it's pretty frustrating when the same thing happens to you and there isn't a thing you can do about it.
At the same time as scoring baskets, you'll need to build up respect points during a match. These points top up the Ankle Breaker meter, and you'll often need to earn a set amount during a match as part of the game's objective-led Career mode. The vague attempt to create a story around your efforts to get signed up to the pro And 1 team is weak, but there's plenty of variety in terms of the challenges and types of basketball matches on offer.
The barrage of 'street'-speak, stupid player names (we want to punch the prick who calls himself '1/2 Man, 1/2 Amazing'), yawnsome hip-hop and seriously over-the-top commentary all becomes a bit much, though we guess it kind of comes with the territory. If you're after a more skilful alternative to NBA Street V3 then And 1 Streetball should be right up your, er, street.
The Fight Night-style control system puts the emphasis on player skill, which you'll need plenty of to get the most out of it.
- Innovative controls
- Create-a-move feature
- Requires plenty of skill
- Very difficult to master
- Tiresome urban theme
- It's still just basketball