US Gold Ltd
1988
Sport: Action
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

85
Kati Hamza, Phil King, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

Forget official tournaments, professional teams and airconditioned arenas - real basketball is played in the streets. All you need is a ball, a makeshift court and a couple of teams...

You can choose from a selection of four courts, including a playground, alley, suburban street and parking lot. A human or computer opponent (with three skill levels: easy, intermediate and tough) is selected. Team names are chosen and a coin is spun to determine who gets to select a team first. Three players, recruited from a gang of ten streetwise kids (each with their own abilities) make up each side.

The scene then switches to the horizontally scrolling court itself. Still portraits of each team member are depicted at the side of the screen, and one player is controlled at a time. Should the ball move out of his reach, control of another team member is assumed by pressing fire.

Various offensive moves can be performed: dribble, hook shot, slam dunk and Jump shot. Running head-on into an opposition player dribbling the ball transfers possession. Pressing fire while facing one of your team-members initiates a pass. To shoot, a player needs to be in the correct position, facing the basket. At a press of the fire button he (or she) attempts the most appropriate type of shot, and the current score is displayed at the base of the screen.

CRITICISM

'Epyx has a reputation for excellent presentation and Street Sports Basketball matches up to expectation. The elaborate selection process, the spinning coin and the streetwise players create an atmospheric urban environment. Unfortunately the basketball lets it down. Control is extremely awkward: instead of automatically playing the team member that's nearest the ball, you have to toggle between the characters highlighted on the screen display, which is clumsy and time-consuming. The teams and characters are hard to distinguish on court; identifying your players is a matter of trial and error. This isn't so bad when there are two players but in terms of fluidity the game still leaves something to be desired. If you're after a really good sports simulation look elsewhere.' KATI … 56%

'Streets Sports Basketball looked promising with its array of options, but the game itself has turned out to be pretty tedious. One of the main problems is the awful control method, where instead of control automatically passing to the nearest player to the ball, Match Day-style, you choose control of each player individually. This can lead to annoying mix-ups. Even when the control method is mastered, gameplay is very dull: scoring is simply a matter of running up to the basket and shooting when underneath it. Both teams are black and white making it difficult to tell whose side a player is on, the animation is very jerky, and sound virtually non-existent. Overall it's a pretty poor version of the sport.' PHIL ... 48%

Hot on the heels of Basket Master a couple of issues back, comes another dose of Harlem Globetrotteritus in the shape of this mediocre basketball game from the Epyx stable. I found the presentation of the option screen to be good, but was not askeen on the actual gameplay. The main character sprites look and move like cardboard cut-outs; if this is indicative of the state of health of the kids who play Street Sports Basketball, I'm certainty glad that I'm an armchair sportsman. Not that I'll find myself coming back to it very much in the future, since the gameplay is far too easy. I'm afraid to say that Street Sports Basketball is a game to be missed.' MARK ... 46%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: well drawn, transparent characters and colourful backgrounds
Sound: lacking in all respects
Options: one or two players, definable keys
General Rating: Initially exciting, but the game lacks all of the presentation's sparkle - real fans will be disappointed.

72%
57%
49%
45%
49%

Screenshot Text

Come on girl, I thought this was basketball not football.

They don't call him Cameron 'stretch' Pound for nothing.