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AND 1 Streetball 

Preview for Xbox


- William Usher, " Cyguration ", Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 08, 2006 


Title:
AND 1 Streetball

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System:
Xbox
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Genre:
Sport
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Publisher:
Ubisoft
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Developer:
Black Ops Entertainment
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Release:
March 22, 2006
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Online:
Yes
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ESRB:

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AND 1 Streetball Screenshot Gallery

AND 1 Streetball Screenshot Gallery

AND 1 Streetball Screenshot Gallery

AND 1 Streetball is not your average street-sporting game. For a change, and unlike many other sporting franchises that have taken the game to the streets, AND 1 actually keeps it real. This might seem a bit shocking amidst the popular basketball and football titles that take place on the street with arcade action galore. Entertainingly enough, And 1 features some remarkably smooth animations and graphics that give gamers a taste of fancy footwork and mean dunks without all the ridiculous gimmicks. From the looks of things, it all ties together nicely on the court.

Past and present legends

For those who are familiar with names like The Professor, Spyda and the Pharmacist, you might be enthralled to know that past and present street legends, NBA legends, and some NBA players will make an appearance in AND 1 Streetball. The game also features some of the players’ signature moves to go along with their individual looks. Yet whether or not you’re a hip hop, or basketball enthusiast, it doesn’t mean you’re left out of the loop. For players who simply want to take the ball into their own hands, AND 1 features a Create-A-Player mode. After you get done modifying and customizing the appearance and stats of your custom creation, you can then create a signature move for them.

Signature styles

The signature move creation system is very comprehensive. For those who are familiar with some of the custom creation tools in Smackdown vs. Raw, you just might feel right at home with the four-step creation process in AND 1. This neat little feature allows players to assign a taunt or showboating skill before leading up to the actual move. Such as some glamorous (yet realistic) dribbling, cart-wheeling, spins, ducks, pass-overs and pass-unders that link to a dunk, etc. The signature move is finished with a stylized celebration taunt that you can also assign to them. Like in SD vs. Raw you can then view the entire signature move sequence through a visible time-line. The time-line shows players exactly how the move will look in all its glory. Once you’re done with the visual look of the move, you can then name your move, assign some ambient effects and even finish it off by selecting some music. Hopefully this feature should give other developers a kick in the pants for future custom creation tools.

Trash talking across the globe

The main season mode consists of traveling to various international courts and completing certain tasks to earn respect and a reputation. To tie-in the story elements together, throughout the season, non-interactive cinematic sequences have been added for a sense of immersion.

During the journey through various locations–from New York, to Venice beach, to the courts in Europe–each venue will be represented with their own unique flair. Among the mostly hip-hop soundtrack by DJ Green Lantern, each venue will have their own atmosphere and music. Accordingly, the west coast venues will feature hip-hop sounds from the west, while the eastern venues will feature sounds from the east coast, etc.

Dribbling for respect

The most unique feature in this game is the manual dribbling. Like FIFA Street 2, AND 1 Streetball allow players to control how they dribble, and which way they direct the ball. Using the right and left analog sticks, players can pull off various maneuvers, dunk sequences and dribbling techniques. This is the real meat and potatoes of this game. The dribbling is extremely cool...without being over-done or completely over-the-top. You can do cross-overs, over-head passes, spins and all sorts of other realistic, but wicked-cool moves. This feature isn’t just a gimmick, but an element to the game’s overall appeal. The “I-Ball” feature allows players to really get into the game and please the crowd and show-goers with some amazing skill.

What makes the feature so cool is how you not only use the evasive moves and I-ball techniques to score points, but more-so to humiliate the opposition. The cooler your dribbling, and the more you fake out your opponent, the more your respect meter fills, so you can pull off an “Ankle Breaker” move. “Ankle Breaker” techniques are the deciding factor for winning or losing some matches, and require serious skill to defend against or counter.

That’s not to mention that the specials in this game look amazing. NBA Street featured some over-the-top dunks and special moves. However, in AND 1, players will be treated with some cool slow-motion effects and visual blurs. The camera work and player animations are spot-on with fluid motions and amazing looking transitions from one move to the next. Nevertheless, the offensive moves aren’t all about being a solo showstopper. The passes can easily be connected with the amazing dribbling effects and other specials. So your teammates can help pull off some of the coolest looking dunk passes featured in a basketball game. The street-court reputation and ball-handling effect transitions from real life and into this game nicely.

Since the offensive maneuvers are complex and versatile, the counter and defensive moves are equally as complex and versatile. Unlike other sports games where the defensive moves are done with one button, AND 1 gives players more depth and control over their defensive techniques. The defensive scheme is setup where you can move left, right, up, or down in the direction of the ball. If the ball happens to be in the position where the defender is reaching, the defender can retrieve the ball from their opponent.

Taking the streets on-line

In addition to the game modes that allow you to do one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, four-on-four, and five-on-five matches, AND 1 features an on-line mode. The on-line features will be both for the PS2 and Xbox Live. So you can take your custom creation on-line and duke it out street-style on any of the venues and with up to four other teammates. If you interested in AND 1 Streetball, you can look for it to hit shelves for the PS2 and Xbox on March 22, 2006.





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