After successfully putting the shiznit bizak in the hizoose with NBA Street, EA are trying the exact same trick with the sport of American Football, by including all the moves, the hip happening music and even the Gamebreakers. Sadly though, this Grid Iron funk up lacks basketball's fo shizzle.
Part of the problem is the nature of the sport. Basketball is a simple game involving large men putting a ball into hoop. Easy. American Football, on the other hand, still takes seven men executing carefully choreographed plays. Also it's continually stop-start, so it's never going to have that stripped-down simplicity and flow you'd expect from an arcade sports game.
The NBA version succeeded in that it added a layer of complexity to what could have been a flimsy game. With NFL the game is already complex enough in terms of getting your head round calling plays before you even start to worry about Gamebreakers and turbo juking. And as things happen so quickly from the snap, the play is over before you have chance to look stylish.
Of course some of these issues can be solved by proper commitment or NFL know-how and if you bring either of those to the game then there's enough of the expected EA quality to keep you entertained. The presentation is feisty, the graphics punchy and the animations gratuitous, plus the game is held together by a sense of fun that you won't get from many American Football sims. Also it has the right sort of aggressiveness that makes it an excellent multiplayer game once you get over the urge to blitz every time on defence.
NFL Street is by no means a complete success, but we doubt this will put EA off, and as we all know NBA Street didn't really get into its stride until the sequel, there might be a lot more to come from this particular take on helmeted footie.
NFL Street is out now