NBA Street has always been the coolest kid on the EA Sports block. Granted, that's hardly difficult: one imagines the EA Sports block as a bland paradise of picket fences, tidy lawns and clean concrete, where everyone wears pastel smart casual and buys the same car as the neighbours each year. Everything is orderly, efficient and prosperous, and all NBA Street has to do to be the coolest is show up: in a pair of Air Jordans, naturally, and ambling along in its own sweet time. (Two years between updates? Two?)
It has its coterie of hangers-on, of course - EA Sports BIG stablemates like NFL Street and FIFA Street - but they're just white-bread boys with their caps turned backwards; putting it on, aping the moves of the original and best, and not doing it very convincingly either. Basketball is much better suited than football from either side of the Atlantic to the Street style. Street means smaller sides (three on three in this case) and a fast-paced, physical game that flouts conventional rules, and introduces a wonderfully absurd, showboating trick system. In fact, not only is videogame basketball better suited, it's actually better full stop in this form: more dynamic, more sophisticated, and better to watch than regular NBA-licensed games.
NBA Street games are basically exercises in taunting. When in possession, you perform tricks with the ball, dancing around your opponents (literally dancing, many of the tricks are adapted breakdancing moves), bouncing the ball off their heads and through their legs, making them look as foolish as possible for a long as possible before attempting to score. Doing so charges your Gamebreaker meter - but only if you convert by scoring. Once it's full, you can unleash an even more outlandish arsenal of tricks in a short-term charge that will multiply the score from your next shot or dunk.