1 Streetball dribbles all over itself. by
27, 2006 - The
AND 1 Mix-Tape Tour has captured the imaginations
of millions of basketball fans for years by providing
high-flying dunks, impressive no-look passing, and
the prettiest dribbling moves ever dedicated to film.
In trying to capture this flashy presentation and
transform it into a game, developer Black Ops stumbles
from step one, developing a game that doesnt
impress anyone, but instead looks as lost and confused
as the defenders searching for the ball that just
hit them in the face.
it provides online gameplay for multiplayer, most
of the emphasis is in its Mix-Tape mode. Like the
name implies, players will take their customized balers
on the court across the country to compete for a position
on the AND 1 team and a big-money contract. Building
your player is simple enough, altering all the various
features you would expect like height, weight, skin
color, and starting clothes. There are typical statistics
as well, such as shooting range, dunking ability,
speed, stamina, handles, and others. After building
your player, you jump right into a pickup game against
your friend in which you have to beat him while accomplishing
a specific goal.
is during this first game that you will notice that
your player sucks. Terribly. You are given 500 dollars
to spend on your initial attributes, but it simply
isnt enough. Trying to make a shot beyond ten
feet without a shot range stat above 60 percent is
a headache. So, unless you spend every single dollar
on shot range, you will not hit a straight up jumper.
Looking at your player at the beginning, he would
have absolutely zero chance at even keeping up at
the local gym, let alone be on a team to compete against
the AND 1 squad.
lapse in logic doesnt end here, however. From
the first game on tour, where you are part of the
local team, goals are put before you that are overly
difficult to achieve. In the open runs, you arent
forced to win in order to move on, but in the games
against AND 1, which is essentially a team of three
no-names and two prospects against the established
AND 1 squad, you are forced to win. If I remember
correctly, and I might be mistaken since I havent
seen the tour since The Professor won, but the local
team hardly ever won. I was almost sure that these
games were set up this way, so that the AND 1 guys
can show off and still win. And in any event, the
two prospects were hardly punished for losing as they
continued on with little more than a You better
bring it every night from the guys on the bus.
In this game, if you lose with your pathetically underpowered
player against a stacked team of professionals, you
are dismissed and forced to retry the game. This does
nothing but lead to unnecessary frustration, especially
when you played a decent game and were pummeled in
the final three minutes.
without the computers tendency to whoop you
in the last minutes, the controls and gameplay in
AND 1 are beyond broken. The idea that you can break
a players ankles on a whim is laughable,
but alas its here and is an integral aspect of the
game. To break an ankle, you must perform a series
of dribbling tricks in succession, from a simple flick
of the right analog stick, to a combination of the
two analogs together in different directions for a
level two move, and finally, when the Anklebreaker
bar is full, holding L1 and moving both sticks to
perform a maneuver so devastating that your opponent
falls down in a random direction and is lost for the
immediate couple seconds. While this mechanic works
reasonably well in-game by itself, it means that there
is no defense in these games, ever. Stealing the ball
is sheer luck while blocks are even more difficult
to achieve. Some may argue that this is simply recreating
the AND 1 experience, but it certainly leaves you
for a loss when your opponent scores three in a row
and your team of misfits cant buy a bucket.
laundry list of poor mechanics doesnt end there
unfortunately. Since the title didnt get much
of anything right elsewhere, one could hope that the
game looks good. At first glance, the dribbling animations
and dunk replays look fine, offering some sweet street
ball moments amongst the dread. But when looking at
the entire package closely, ugly character modeling
and poor collision detection mar the overall product.
For instance, when you do a Breakdown,
AND 1s version of the NBA Street Gamebreaker,
the game zooms into a set animation that ends in a
slam or a sweet jumper. The problem is that these
animations show just how poor the game animates the
defenders in relation to the offense and other discrepancies
in the graphics. The overall package, especially the
cut scenes between games, just looks dreadful.
everything that is wrong with this title, its
simply rubbing salt in the wound by plastering in-game
advertising everywhere. In fact, I cant remember
a more blatant example of in-game advertising ever;
the tutorial is sponsored by Dodge and the replays
are sponsored by Tylenol. I understand that in-game
ads generate revenue to cover the rising production
costs of many of these games, but when the gameplay
in a title is this questionable its hard to
get behind plastering ads anywhere you can.
the obnoxious ads shouldnt be taken into account
when critiquing a title, its poor execution of nearly
every aspect of gameplay warrants plenty of scolding.
Placing players in a position early for failure, then
failing to reward them with engaging gameplay or satisfactory
basketball action is simply unacceptable.
Real Streetball- Step into the shoes of the AND
1 players to execute mesmerizing moves like Hot
Sauces killer crossover, Helicopters
rim-bending dunks, and The Professors no-look
Basketball Game Revolution- Build your own character
and create your own signature moves using AND 1s
revolutionary Create-a-Move editor, loaded with
custom showboating, scoring, and celebration moves.
You Handle It?- School the competition with I-Ball
controls, an intuitive control system that gives
you fluid and precise command over every offensive
and defensive move. Not only will you do it, you
will also feel it.
the Next AND 1 Phenom- Story mode allows you to
experience the trials and exhilarations of getting
signed to the AND 1 Mix Tape Team, as seen on ESPN.
Dominate the open run, survive the hazing, and bring
it home in the final game, as seen on ESPN.
It How You Want It- Play the game you want to play.
Scale your teams anywhere between one-on-one to
five-on-five. Run a full-court game, or do a half-court
battle the choice is yours.
Rotation Station Identification- Just like
the AND 1 Mix Tapes, the music soundtrack features
a loaded library of unreleased songs. The eclectic
mix of exclusive hip-hop tracks represents various
styles including West Coast, East Coast, and the
Dirty South Crunk! Each court has its own sound
Multiplayer- Put your skills to the test against
other top players as you showcase your own creative
moves and strive to gain a reputation as the best.