With Midway recently removing its arcade style of NFL BLITZ title from the market, it has left a hole in the arcade style football game genre. Fortunately for us, EA Big has decided that it would fill the hole with its own rendition of an arcade style football game with its newest title, NFL STREET.
Developed by longtime MADDEN NFL FOOTBALL house Tiburon, NFL STREET borrows heavily from the other STREET franchise, NBA STREET, and attempts to implement that style into the sport of football. Like NBA STREET, EA Big has taken some liberties with the rules of football.
Like Midway's NFL BLITZ titles, NFL STREET sports a sleek seven on seven gameplay style. At the beginning of each game, you select seven players from your team that will play offense and defense. Select carefully: each player has their own stats, and you don't want a quarterback lining up at defensive end. But unlike NFL BLITZ, STREET takes place in various urban locations instead of inside a stadium. Downs are also measured a bit differently: if you have first and 10 and break a 13 yard run, you don't start with another first and 10; this time you start with first and seven. Extra points are also handled differently since there are no field goals within the game. Instead, you start a few yards out and must punch the ball in. By running the ball in for a score, you get one point. If you throw a pass for the conversion, you get two points. There is also no time clock in NFL STREET, and in its place you have a set amount of points the winning team must reach for the victory. If the point total is 36, for example, the first team to 36 points wins.
NFL STREET's gameplay is
NFL STREET is mainly separated from its NFL BLITZ counterpart by two things: style and gamebreakers. You collect style points throughout the game for good plays, good jukes or whatever. You can also gain more by taunting the other team, whether it is spinning the ball on your finger or above mentioned between the legs pass. Unfortunately, these lead to even more turnovers in the already turnover prone game. Once your style points meter is full, you can activate your gamebreakers. Gamebreakers are almost invincible, making your team nearly unstoppable for the next possession. If you are on offense, the other team will have a hard time stopping anyone, while if you are on defense, turnovers are more prone and the hits are harder.
Luckily, like most football games, there are a fair amount of options within the game. The NFL Challenge mode pits your team full of no-names against the NFL's best, traveling around the nation completing specific sets of challenges and ladder tournaments. The one downfall of this game is that it becomes easy over a short amount of time. Even against the toughest teams, the game becomes fairly simple once you have mastered how to scramble and pass efficiently.
Graphically, NFL STREET looks pretty good. While the players are obviously designed a bit over the top, the player models look very good and are animated even better. Tackles, catches, blocks, runs everything flows together fairly seamlessly. Also, there are eight different playing fields to play at, from a vacated warehouse to a rooftop in Atlanta.
While the game may have a problem here and there, and may be a little easy, NFL STREET is a welcome addition to the football genre. If you're looking for something a little less realistic than MADDEN, look no further than NFL STREET.