Ball handling is a core aspect of games seen on the tour, so logically it is a very big part of And 1 Streetball
as well. Rather than taking the route of most basketball games, ball handling is controlled primarily by the right analog stick. All of your fakes and jukes are assigned to different directions on the analog stick and are ranked by tiers. You have level one moves that are quick and consist mostly of basic fakes, while tier two moves are a little flashier. Then there are tier three moves that shoot the game into slow motion and cause an “ankle-breaking” fake out. As you successfully pull off moves you’ll earn respect points, eventually earning you a Mic. These can then be used at any time to either unleash a “breakdown dunk” or get your entire team pumped up, giving them a stat boost.
Execution is where And 1 Streetball fails. Ball handling sounds amazing when its described, but once you try to use it, you’re essentially just wailing around on the analog stick and hoping for the best. Trying to execute specific moves is difficult, especially when you get to Tier two and three moves that require use of both sticks. Also, moves must be completed within a specific time limit that only adds to the frustration since there isn’t a clear indicator as to when to pull off moves because of the choppy animation and a few noticeable clipping errors.
Building up a high rep and earning Mics also leads to massive balance issues. The bonuses are too great to ignore and easy to get. Most of your time will be spent with one guy as you wail away on the analog stick, build up points and get the big reward… This takes away the “team” aspect of the game as there’s little incentive to pass or shoot around.
Defense is just as non-existent as team-based gameplay and strategy, beyond flicking a stick for hours. There isn’t much to defense other than mashing the steal button or blocking every shot you can. The more aggressive you play, the more rewarding it is. So, as is the case with offense, most of your time is spent sticking with one person and throwing yourself at whoever has the ball.
The idea behind And 1 Streetball is a good one, and is one that could work (in fact, it has worked with other titles). But, for whatever reason, And 1 Streetball never really pulls everything together, resulting in a game that is tough to recommend to anyone.