AND 1 Streetball sets itself apart from other basketball games by placing equal importance on outscoring your opponent and looking damn cool doing it. Just like the real-life, trick-play AND 1 traveling team, the game overflows with impressive athletic moves, grandiose showboating and tongue-in-cheek entertainment value. As a foul-less, unruly streetballer, AND 1 emphasizes action and delivers with an incredibly deep “I Ball” control scheme that allows you to juke, jive and embarrass your opponents in hundreds of different ways. With a few quick flicks of the right and left analog sticks, your player becomes a blur of hyper-athletic supermoves, trick passes and monster dunks. Pulling off these cool, showy moves is a simple matter of organized button mashing, but mastering the complex control scheme to produce the specific killer-combo you want can take a lot of practice (and patience).
Executing chains of awesome moves results in humiliating ankle breaking cutscenes and opens up the court for easy scoring. Not surprisingly, this is lots of fun when you’re on offense but a royal pain in the ass when you’re trying to defend against a supercharged juke machine. The uneven defense-offense play mechanics aren’t as noticeable in multiplayer and 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 matches (which are the game’s biggest draw), but the unstoppable specials can make 1-on-1 games a defenseless shootout snooze-fest. And while the slick trick moves are the main selling point, it's awkward to interrupt the flow of the game with some random showboating. Sometimes it feels like there's a freestyle exhibition shoehorned into a basketball game.
Both the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions of the game showcase a slick urban presentation and solid graphics - the player animations totally flow. Unfortunately, the audio doesn’t fare as well, with stale interjections from annoying announcer Duke Tango and redundant hip-hop looping. Those shouldn't keep you away though. AND 1's cool Create-a-Baller and Create-a-Move modes make the game worth playing, if you yearn for the exaggerated, arcade gameplay in the spirit of NBA Jam, albeit with a lot more street style.