NBA Street Homecourt
sticks to the over-the-top arcade mechanics made popular by previous games. This is in no way a simulation, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re better off with NBA Live
. NBA Street
is 3-on-3 gameplay where just about anything is legal and gravity-defying dunks, wild passes and speed-of-light ball handling is the norm.
Homecourt’s biggest weakness is the lack of any significant play modes. There’s enough here to keep you occupied for a little while, though not for a long time. A bulk of the gameplay is found in Homecourt Challenge. You begin by creating a player using one of the oddest Create-a-Player modes I’ve ever encountered. Rather than sliding a bunch of sliders around to modify a player’s look – you know, how every other game does it – you, instead, begin with two NBA player’s faces and merge them together in a digital version of Conan O’Brien’s “If They Mated” segment. The end results look okay, though you can come up with some really unique characters. For instance, my character ended up looking like ex-Alabama football coach Mike Shula - if he were black.
After creating a player, you assign him a position and playing style as well as creating a three man team. From here, you go around to different real street courts and take on other teams. Game types vary with each team; sometimes you may play a first to 21 game, while at others you may need to get 3 points ahead or only be able to dunk. Street ballers give way to NBA and WNBA stars, who will eventually join your team.
As you play in matches, your created player gains points towards the attributes you used the most in the game. So, if you concentrated on jump shots, your character will become better at those. After reaching a certain level, you can even designate a particular skill to max out, making a player unstoppable in that area. You can also purchase new gear to further enhance your team’s attributes.
Other than Challenge, you can enter Gamebreaker mode, where points only count if the Gamebreaker meter is full, or play in a straight 3-on-3 game with no bells and whistles. Online play is also around and includes the same match types, only with a human player on the other end.