Xbox

  News 
  Reviews
  Previews
  Hardware
  Interviews
  All Features

Areas

  3DS
  Android
  iPad
  iPhone
  Mac
  PC
  PlayStation 3
  Vita
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Media
  Archives
  Search
  Contests

 

And 1 Streetball

Score: 60%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer: Ubisoft Entertainment
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Sports (Basketball)

Graphics & Sound:

If you’ve ever watched ESPN late at night, you’ve likely had the chance to see videos from the And 1 Mixtape Tour. These videos, which feature streetball talents from around the world, showcase moves not seen in the NBA including flashy dunks and head-spinning ball handling moves. And 1 Streetball brings these moves to consoles, though it's sloppy execution really hurts the final product.

And 1 Streetball looks decent enough, but isn’t going to illicit the same sense of awe you would get from watching the real thing. Player models look okay, but feel really flat and rigid. This is due in large part to animation, which never seem to flow well enough between each other, creating a very choppy feel.

Sound isn’t that much either. The game’s soundtrack consists mostly of hip-hop which blends well with the game, but the selection isn’t all that great. Commentary is repetitive to the point that it is outright annoying.


Gameplay:

As with any sport, the And 1 Mixtape Tours has its own set of known stars. These include older stars like Half Amazing, Skip to My Lou and Main Event, as well as newcomers like Pharmacist. Each of these personalities have their own strengths, like the Professor’s ball-handling skills, as well as their own set of signature moves.

Gameplay is split into a number of different play modes like full-court, three-on-three and one-on-one games. These modes can either be played separately, or in Story mode, which brings all of them together. Story mode puts you in the role of an up and coming streetballer looking to get in on the And 1 Tour. After making it on the bus tour, you’ll travel around the world where you’ll play games and try to keep your place on the bus. Each stop on the tour begins with an Open Run, which pits all of the amateurs against each other for a chance to move on to the Main Run. After the Open Run, you’re tasked with a number of side-goals and training exercises. Next it’s on to the Main Run where you play for your right to move on to the next city. Other tour members will also challenge you to games from time to time, unlocking new moves.

Multiplayer options are available, but when a game has this many gameplay issues, there isn’t that compelling a reason to play it. In fact, I had a pretty hard time finding people to play.


Difficulty:

And 1 Streetball isn’t difficult; it is just frustrating and repetitive. Even though there are a number of modes to play, all break down to the same thing. Another problem is that winning a game isn’t enough to keep you on the bus sometimes. Most games will also tack on a special requirement that you need to meet in addition to winning. For example, in one game you might be required to win and have X number of steals.

Game Mechanics:

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.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Sony PlayStation 2 Armored Core: Last Raven Windows The Longest Journey

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated