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Jul. 23, 2002

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Street Hoops





Activision is hoping to deliver the most realistic street ball video game ever with Street Hoops. Dribble your eyes into our newest preview!

Street Hoops isn't your typical basketball game full of multi-millionaire superstar players. Instead, the game focuses on delivering an accurate representation of what goes on in countless communities everyday; street ball. Activision is trying to capture and bring the look, speed, energy and attitude of playground basketball competitions to the Xbox console this summer.

After having played the Street Hoops demo on Issue 9 of the Official Xbox Magazine gamedisc I must say the game is shaping up quite well. Keeping in mind the graphics weren't exactly what I would call "top-notch", the gameplay itself was pure entertainment. Simple controls allow for speed bursts, shots and passes to be done with ease and comfort. Neat and innovative dekes add to the whole street ball frenzy. The AI is a bit weak, but I'm sure that will be fixed on the final build of the title. The crowd and other athletes on the court also react truly by running their mouths according to the player's performance. Overall, I must say I'm impressed with how the game is turning out.

When it comes down to features, Activision has bagged a numerous set of them for its newest basketball title. In Street Hoops, players are given the choice of several of the world's most infamous street ball teams. The squads all have a diverse attitude and set of attributes. Some are based on speed, others on the more physical aspect of street ball. Together they reproduce the true feel of neighborhood sports. Each of the game's athletes also feature their very own customized deke move - and they're nothing you've seen before. A few of them were even taken from now famous And 1 mix tapes and Nike "Freestyle" commercials.

Game modes are where every game either makes or breaks it. Street Hoops brings with it 3 different modes; World Tournament, King of the Court and Pick Up Game. In the first, players are required to travel around the country to compete head-to-head with other teams; if he or she succeeds, hidden bonuses will be unlocked. King of the Court demands for the player to defend their home court against some of America's best squads. Last but not least, Pick Up Game allows the player to choose from either full or half court settings, as well as hand pick from 1 to 5 players per team. Just like in street ball, no referees are on hand for the matches. Fouls can be turned on and off however, depending on the player's likes and dislikes.

Activision's up and coming title takes the player across 10 well-known American neighborhood courts, from New York's Rucker Park and Indiana's French Lick to Baltimore's Dome and Oakland's Mosswood Playground. Each of the areas was modeled to represent their real life replica down to the smallest inch of detail. That means the quality of the court, the neighborhood vibe and the gang graffiti on the walls are all very authentic.

Create-A-Baller mode gives players the chance to tailor their very own star. Street ball athletes can also sport their own genuine gear from some of the worlds' most known providers, including Sean John, Ecko Unlimited, Southpole and Pure Playaz. Changing gear won't just be made with the click of a button though. In order to dress better, the player will have to play better. A revolutionary virtual money system makes betting more exciting then ever. The more gambling, and obviously winning, the player does, the cooler the accessories available get. In the end, the player will be able to access anything from clothes and shoes to expensive jewelry and warm-ups.

A neat save feature makes it possible for the player to bring his or her customized team over to a friend's house. Trades can even be made through a memory card, isn't that kick ass? I think so. Street Hoops also supports up to 4 players, like most if not all sports games nowadays. System Link seems to be out of the question, and due to the game's release date, Xbox Live is no longer a possibility.

Street ball isn't the same without a slammin' soundtrack. Snoop Dogg, JayZ, DMX, Nelly and Outcast are just some of the numerous rappers on hand to deliver that neighborhood vibe feel. No custom soundtrack option is scheduled for the title, unfortunately, but with this killer soundtrack, it's not that much of a big deal.

Activision is expected to release Street Hoops on the 27th of August, which isn't that far away at all. Anyone interested in basketball, street ball more specifically, shouldn't go without giving this game a shot. It's certainly starting to look like its going to bring a new meaning to neighborhood sports.

Matt Thomas
Thinks Street Hoops looks phat!

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