The Game Plan: NBA Street Vol. 2
NBA Street Vol. 2 is a fun NBA arcade game that features many popular players and teams. NBA Street Vol. 2 was created by EA Sports BIG, and is the second volume of the game to come out after NBA Street. It is playable on PS2, XBOX, and GameCube. It was released in Spring of 2003, and is loved by many sports gamers around the world. NBA Street Vol. 2 follows a 3 on 3 format of games to 21. It can be played in either single or multiplayer.
NBA Street Vol. 2 has 29 teams that players can choose from (if everything is unlocked). Certain teams and players must be unlocked by beating specific game features. There are many historic players in this game, the most notable of which being the three different versions of Michael Jordan: “1985 Michael Jordan”, “1996 Michael Jordan,” and Michael Jordan from the Wizards. Other players include Allen Iverson, Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Dr. J, and many more legends. The game also allows you to use a couple different rap artists as playable characters. The ability to use these types of players and historic teams really makes this game loads of fun, and sets it apart from others like it. At the time of its release, all NBA teams were included, as well as legends from all the divisions in the NBA. However, all of those teams have to unlocked.
The next and biggest game mode is Be a Legend. This is the story mode of the game in which you create your own character and use them on a team to try to conquer different courts. Your initial team will have very low stats, but players can increase these by beating different teams. When you beat different teams, you can steal their players and add them to your own. However, stealing a player unfortunately means you have to choose a player to kick off your team. The more games and tournaments you win, the more you can start unlocking different courts and adding skill points to your team. The Become a Legend mode is the best mode of NBA Street Vol. 2 and is a blast to play through. Last but not least is Street School. This mode allows players to learn all the different controls and tricks you can use in game against your opponents. Overall, these modes really make NBA Street Vol. 2 one of the best basketball games in the market.
This map is broken down into several areas and encounters which are divided by both terrain and structures. From the cutscene beforehand, the player knows that the green ally team at the top of the map is defending the ruins and the red enemy team is approaching from the right. If you're playing on Easy, the goal is to defeat all enemies, whereas if you're playing on Normal/Hard, the goal is to defend for 6 turns. In either case, the enemy placement on the map allows the player to more easily break down how they can go about it: either reaching the allies to help them or dispatching all foes. The layout of structures and terrain help the player visualize this as well, rather than having to rely on checking every single enemy's movement range. Not only does this give the level an intended structure and flow, but the player will likely feel some sense of satisfaction in figuring out what that flow is and executing it.
Games in all modes feature what are called gamebreakers. Throughout the game, players get points for dunks, blocks, steals, and passes, which build up in your gamebreaker bar. When full, the gamebreaker bar allows a player to use a flurry of different moves to score, giving your team two points and taking a point from the opposing team (for each point scored). In NBA Street Vol. 2, you can fill this up twice to have an even bigger impact on the game. This ability is a new feature to NBA Street Vol. 2 that definitely makes it better than the first NBA Street.
The soundtrack in this game has also been regarded as one of the best sports soundtracks ever. It features mostly rap songs. Some of the famous artists on the soundtrack are Nelly, Nate Dogg, and Dilated People. Nelly is also one of the artists that players can use as a character in games. Overall, the soundtrack really compliments the game well.
NBA Street Vol. 2 definitely raised the bar when it comes to basketball video games. I plan to highlight more basketball games later in the semester, but NBA Street Vol. 2 was huge in developing where basketball video games are today. The courts, teams, tricks, and gameplay features are what truly make this one of the best sports video games ever.