- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 8, 2004

Remember the fun of sandlot football, where play selection involved cutting at the garbage can, constantly going long or simply handing it off to the biggest guy on the team? Well, the leader in sports simulations has created an extreme challenge combining the nostalgia of the unrestricted game with a character-fied use of some of the NFL’s most well known superstars.

In this flash over fundamentals show (wait a minute. Isn’t that what the NFL is already about?), each 7-on-7 battle consists of an offense utilizing a quarterback, running back, two wide receivers and three lineman while the defense fields a safety, linebacker, three linemen and two corners.

Stars must work both sides of the ball (i.e. Brett Favre plays quarterback then moves over to middle linebacker). Trick plays or especially dramatic moves like underhanded passes, between-the-legs pitches and jumping jukes are required and rewarded with Style points that, when accumulated, will give the team an unstoppable series during the over-the-top action.

Legends like Lawrence Taylor, Larry Csonka, Ken Stabler and Walter Payton mix in with 300 current athletes, sans traditional padded uniforms and helmets, flashily pummeling one another during each untimed, no-rules tackling contest taking place in the likes of a hazard-ridden warehouse or beach setting.

Players take care of business in a very Madden Football fashion in which plays are selected and executed with multiple fingers and thumbs fumbling on the controller to pull off amazing moments and win by exceeding a set number of style points or total score.

Modes include Quick Game, Pickup Game (where coaches pick from a pool of players) and the daunting NFL Challenge, which consists of building a franchise and strengthening its skills by completing 200 scenarios that range from scoring a running touchdown against a particular team to performing the correct combination of hot dog maneuvers that eventually leads to the participation in regular contests against the NFL’s toughest opponents.

Action is not commented upon by a traditional announcer but rather annoyingly punctuated by an unending stream of trash talk underscored by the headache-inducing sounds of cutting edge bands hip hopping the ear drums.

Overall, NFL Street extinguishes Midway’s Blitz lock on bombastic football simulations by delivering the right mix of exaggeration and variations to satisfy both the video music generation’s hardcore and slightly interested gridiron fans.

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