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NBA Street Showdown PSP

Published by EA Sports
Developed by Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £34.99

NBA Street Showdown, an introduction.

The EA Sports Street games have become very popular over the last few years and the game that started it all off was the 3-on-3 arcade basketball game, NBA Street. Earlier this year we reviewed the third game in the series, NBA Street V3, and we were impressed with the game. NBA Street Showdown sees the series go portable but can it equal the impressive NBA Street V3?

What's the game about?

NBA Street Showdown offers Quick Play, King of the Courts, Party Play and Head to Head modes. Quick Play offers you a choice of a pick up game as well as arcade shootout and shot blocker mini-games. Party mode offers a choice of the arcade shootout and shot blocker mini-games for 2-4 people (using just the one PSP). Head to Head offers a choice of pick up game, arcade shootout and shot blocker for two players using the wireless capabilities of the PSP. The main mode though is King of the Courts. Here you'll create your own player (male or female), create your own team and then take on the other teams as you bid to make it to the top. As you progress you'll be able to upgrade your player with development points and recruit better players in an attempt to become the best team.

What's good about the game?

If you have enjoyed the NBA Street series you'll appreciate having a handheld version of the game. As we've mentioned below, it's not without its faults and indeed there is plenty of room for improvement but for the most part the game gets the job done. The games can still be exciting though and the King of the Courts mode in particular will keep most fans of the series happy. I like the way you can save mid-game which if you're called away during a game you don't have to turn the console off and lose your progress which is always a plus on a handheld system. Once again it's great to have the Party Play feature that allows 2 to 4 players to be able to play against each other using just the one PSP.

What's not so good about the game?

If the truth be told the game play has suffered from the move to the PSP. The main problem here is the reduced number of buttons that you have on the console. There's no L2 or R2 for instance (which were essential controls for performing tricks). You'll have to hold down the L & R buttons in combination with other buttons to perform a lot of moves and, to be quite honest, it takes some getting used to. Needless to say some of the tricks have been removed from the game because of the lack of buttons on the PSP. Movement with the analogue stick just doesn't feel accurate enough and having been accustomed to how well the game played on the PlayStation 2 (which we gave a deserved 9/10) it doesn't feel right on the PSP. Occasionally there's lag between pressing the button for a move and the move actually taking place. It's nothing major but it's something that should have been sorted out.

How does it look?

NBA Street Showdown certain looks very good and the presentation of the game on the whole is great. What I will say though is the players do seem to blur quite a bit during play. The response time of the PSP LCD screen is probably at fault here as it's something we've noticed in Ridge Racer and Metal Gear Acid. Still blurring aside the character models and the courts all look very good. Player animations are also quite good too although if you've played NBA Street V3 you'll know pretty much what to expect here.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

There are no real problems for deaf gamers with NBA Street Showdown. Like NBA Street V3 there is commentary during games and this is not subtitled but to be honest this isn't much of loss. Apart from the commentary there's nothing else that will cause any problems for deaf gamers as all other information is given in text.

Final thoughts.

NBA Street Showdown in some ways is a bit of a disappointment. The game never quite equals the standard of NBA Street V3 although what's here is certainly adequate and I have no doubts that fans of the NBA Street series will appreciate the game. However, if you've played NBA Street V3 then this game will feel like an edited version that's missing some of the best bits. The control scheme just isn't as good and the controls do occasionally suffer from lag. Despite the faults though the overall experience is still a good one and the game should please all those who weren't expecting an exact replica of NBA Street V3.

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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All things considered NBA Street Showdown is a good game. It's not as good as NBA Street V3, for various reasons, but it's still worth a purchase if you have to have some NBA Street action on the move.