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NFL Street 2 PlayStation 2

Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports BIG
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £39.99

Crazy or 'extreme' sports titles have been popular for quite a few years now and the range of sports being covered is quite surprising. Early last year EA Sports BIG bought us NFL Street which took the basics of the game and threw in some crazy game modes. The game proved to be popular. A year later and we have the sequel to the game in the shape of NFL Street 2.

NFL Street 2 offers you a choice of Quick Game, Own the City, Street Events, NFL Challenge, NFL Gauntlet and Pickup Game. Own the City is where most will spend their time with the game and it challenges you to play all of the events in Bay City and improve your player's skills along the way. You'll get the chance to recruit ballers to your crew and play other local teams. To begin with you'll pick a team logo, give the team a name and set your team colours. Finally you'll get to create your player by picking a position and distributing 250 development points between 10 skills before picking their appearance. Completing tasks will open up other challenges as well as earn you development points to improve your player. Street Events contains a collection of game variations for you to play in a one-off game. NFL Challenge essentially gives you 150 days to build a team to challenge the NFL stars whilst NFL Gauntlet allows you to take on the NFL teams and unlock various rewards. Pickup Game basically allows you to pick a team from a random pool of players for an exhibition game.

In many ways NFL Street 2 comes across as a simplified and rather wacky NFL game. You have the simplified playbooks, the reduced number of players and a focus on style moves. In fact games can either be decided by touchdowns or style points (that you get for stylish moves and such like). The thing to remember though is that the game doesn't take itself seriously like games such as NBA Street and SEGA Soccer Slam. When games are played in car parks and players can run up the wall you know you're in for a different kind of NFL experience. Whilst all of this is wacky it certainly hangs together pretty well as a game. The real problem though is who is the games target audience? To me it seems like it would appeal more to those who don't play Madden NFL 2005 or ESPN NFL 2K5 because of its simplistic cut-down nature. Those who have experienced the excellent Madden and NFL 2K5 might see the game as too simplistic and offering little challenge. Yes its fun for a while but all the wackiness can become very repetitive. NFL Street 2 actually looks like it could have been a lot of fun online. The US version of NFL Street 2 does have online play but again we have a game that arrives in Europe with online support taken away.

NFL Street 2 certainly offers the chance to play in some rather unusual places and for the most part the game looks fairly good. The graphics aren't up to the standard of those in the Madden NFL 2005 though but they certainly look OK. What you'll see in NFL Street 2 is a rather varied collection of player models and they certainly come in all kinds of exaggerated shapes and sizes. The locations where you play in the game (such as the building site, the aqueduct etc.,) could have looked better though because the detail has been kept fairly simple. Even details such as the textures for the grass look bland which is a little disappointing.

Sports games are almost always the same for deaf gamers in that they don't have the commentary and other presentational frills, etc. subtitled. NFL Street 2 is also the same in this respect but unfortunately the tutorials are not subtitled either which makes learning the game difficult. We haven't got to look at the game manual so it's impossible to say just how damaging not having subtitles for the tutorials is. However it's the first sports game in a while where the tutorials have been delivered via speech only and it's something we hope we don't see too often. The cutscenes in the game are not subtitled either which again is unfortunate as they give you your objectives. Thankfully you can access the objectives from the pause menu. Comments from players during a game are not subtitled either which is to be expected. On the whole it's not a great game for deaf gamers and is rather worse in its provision for deaf gamers than other sports games.

All things considered NFL Street 2 is quite enjoyable but there are real question marks over the games longevity and it suitability for deaf gamers. The first couple of days you play the game you'll more than likely find it a fun experience, albeit a rather shallow one for fans of the NFL simulations such as Madden NFL 2005. Played for any great length of time though it becomes repetitive and despite the modes on offer it's not long before you've seen it all. Yes there are items to unlock but these aren't really enough to keep you playing. If you're in the US you'll have the advantage of being able to take the game online and I can see how this would add extra value to the game and make it more worthwhile. However in the UK and the rest of Europe playing online is not an option and makes the game a less appealing prospect.

Overall Game Rating: 6.0/10

Too simplistic for fans of Madden and NFL 2K5 and a lack of replay value for everyone else. It's a shame that the online mode was cut from this version as it would have added value to the game.

Deaf Gamers Classification:

(Click the letter or here for details)

Most sports games usually earn a C grade but there's so much missing for deaf gamers in NFL street 2 that a C grade wasn't justified.