NFL Street 2: Unleashed PSP
Published by EA Sports
Developed by Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
NFL Street 2: Unleashed, an introduction.
Most probably because of the phenomenal success of the NBA Street series, the NFL Street series was created and whilst the games haven't been of the same quality as the superb NBA series, they have been enjoyable. NFL Street and its sequel offered gamers an arcade style American football game that was easy to pickup and had plenty of replay value. It's not surprising then to see it's one of the first EA Sports games to arrive on the recently launched PSP.
What's the game about?
NFL Street 2: Unleashed is more or less NFL Street 2 with a few extras added. It's the same six-on-six game play with the same fields, teams and modes, not to mention those wacky gamebreaker moves. The game modes are Quick Game, Own the City, Street Events, NFL Challenge, NFL Gauntlet and Pickup Game. Of course there's also a tutorial section where you can learn how to play the game. The main mode in the game is Own the City. Here you have to create your own player, play local pickup games and pickup better players (as well as improve your own skills) as you strive to be good enough to take on the NFL stars. In addition to these other modes (read our review of NFL Street 2 to find out about the other modes) there's also a Head to Head mode (2 player only) and Party Play for 2-4 players.
What's good about the game?
For me the best thing about NFL Street 2: Unleashed is that you don't need to be a fan of American football to understand or enjoy the game. The game is easy to learn and accessible to those who have zero knowledge of the sport. It's also good to see that you can save mid-game which means if you only have a short time to play you can get on with a game safe in the knowledge you're not going to lose your progress. EA have again included their Party Play feature that enables 2-4 gamers to play against each other, taking turns, on the same PSP. Of course it would be difficult to play a game of American football in this way so instead a collection of 7 mini-games have been included. The mini-games, that offer all kinds of wacky challenges, are OK to play against a friend but to be honest they don't hold up well as single-player games when played in the Street Event mode.
What's not so good about the game?
The biggest complaint with NFL Street 2: Unleashed is the load times. To be frank they are horrible. Granted the developers created some nice looking load screens for us to look at whilst we have to wait for 40+ seconds in most cases but out of all the games I've looked at on the PSP so far, the load times in this game are by far the worst. The game can get repetitive too. Those looking for a more in depth NFL experience would do better to wait for the latest Madden game. Having said that though the games are quick and uncomplicated and it's a game that in many ways is more suited to the PSP than the PlayStation 2. The default difficulty setting is far too easy but you can just increase the difficulty level to get around this so it's not really a problem.
How does it look?
I have absolutely no complaints with how NFL Street 2: Unleashed looks. Like the previous EA launch titles we've looked at, the game looks very similar to its PlayStation 2 counterpart which is very pleasing to see. Like we mentioned in our NBA Street Showdown review, blurring again seems to be a problem with the PSP screen in certain games and when running and making tackles it's quite noticeable. The presentation, always a strong point with EA Sports titles, is once again superb.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
NFL Street 2 was very poor for deaf gamers. The main reason was that the tutorials were not subtitled so deaf gamers missed out on them completely. NFL Street 2: Unleashed is a different story though. Here the tutorials are in text only which is much better and it makes the game much more accessible. You also have a small picture of the PSP in the bottom right of the screen which highlights what buttons need to be pressed. There's no commentary during the games so there's no problem there. In fact all information in the game is displayed in text. I would advise turning the music off though as it not only saves battery power but also takes off those annoying song details that pop-up in the lower left of the screen.
If you enjoyed the NFL Street games you will enjoy NFL Street 2: Unleashed. Essentially what we have here is NFL Street 2, with a few extra features, for the PSP. Pleasingly the game is more deaf gamer friendly than its PlayStation 2 counterpart which is great news. On the whole it's a good game if you can suffer the chronic loading times. If you've played NFL Street 2 to death though then it's probably not worth picking up as the games are practically identical and there's only the Party Play mini-games that are different. If you're looking for an arcade style American football game to fill the gap until Madden arrives on the PSP then NFL Street 2: Unleashed is certainly worth a look.
Overall Game Rating: 7.5/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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NFL Street 2: Unleashed is essentially NFL Street 2 with a collection of mini-games thrown in for good measure. Pleasingly there are no problems for deaf gamers with this version so if you've yet to experience the series this is the place to start. The load times are very long though.