Street Jam Basketball Review

Every aspect of the game suffers because there's so little to see and do.

Even though it's ironic that there isn't any pushing or shoving in a game called Street Jam Basketball, the real tragedy is that there isn't much basketball in it either. This is supposed to be a three-on-three basketball game that features urban teams, but you wouldn't know it from the way the game plays. The controls don't let you do much, and the shots that you are able to get off aren't exciting in the least.

One of the two different dunks in the game.
One of the two different dunks in the game.

From the main menu, you can choose between exhibition, arcade, story, and versus play modes. The game supports link play across two GBA systems, and there's a battery backup that keeps track of story mode progress for up to five separate players. There are eight different teams to pick from, and there are five different courts. Unfortunately, the main menu is the only part of the game that has any depth or variety to it.

The controls are arranged in a manner that should be familiar to anyone who's played a basketball video game before. The B button controls passing and stealing, the A button controls blocking and shooting, and the two shoulder buttons allow you to switch teammates or activate a turbo boost. Most basketball video games expand on this sort of control scheme by allowing you to perform different shots or passes based on where your player is standing in relation to the basket. Street Jam Basketball isn't set up this way. Charge the hoop and you'll see the same dunk every time. Go for a pass and you'll always perform a straight pass--never a behind-the-back, bounce, or alley-oop pass. The only interesting move you can make is a guaranteed special shot that you earn every time your team sinks four or five baskets.

You'd think that with a name like Street Jam Basketball you would be able to shove and elbow your opponents to take the ball away from them. Ironically, you can't. The basic steal and block moves are your only forms of defense.

Three-point shot.
Three-point shot.

Every aspect of the game suffers because there's so little to see and do. When you're playing the game, you feel like you're just running lines, because you're performing the same pass-and-shoot pattern on every possession. The courts look great and show a few nice details, such as falling rain and tin cans that move when you kick them, but the players are boring to watch because you're seeing them take the same shots over and over again. The crowd noise and explosions that accompany special shots are wonderful, but when you're just roaming the court taking twos and threes, the only reward for scoring points is hearing the announcer say "two-point shot" or "three-point shot" in a deadpan voice that's as soulless as Ben Stein's in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Unless you want to spend $20 to be bored to tears, you should stay away from Street Jam Basketball.

  • View Comments (0)
    The Good
    The Bad
    About GameSpot's Reviews

    About the Author

    Street Jam Basketball More Info

  • First Released
    • Game Boy Advance
    Every aspect of the game suffers because there's so little to see and do.
    Average Rating19 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Street Jam Basketball
    Developed by:
    Published by:
    Destination Software, Zoo Digital Publishing
    Team-Based, Arcade, Basketball, Sports
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    No Descriptors