Each day I get so much awesome stuff in the mail. I get builds of games--games that you won't be playing for a few weeks or even months from now--delivered right to my desk. Yes, everyday is Christmas for the Sports Gamer.
At least, it usually is.
Things have been kind of slow around the Sports Gamer office lately. It's the summer doldrums. Happens every year. Yeah, I know the new Madden is just around the corner. In the meantime, until Madden ships, I've been spending time with some older, awesome sports games. Both games are worth revisiting.
NBA Street Homecourt (EA Sports; PS3, 360) has been really doing it for me lately. The game's single player mode, called Homecourt Challenge, is unbelievably addictive. Create your baller, then take down NBA stars on their own hometown courts. Example: Carmelo Anthony plays on Cloverdale in Baltimore. What makes the game awesome are the eye-popping tricks you can pull off. Forget putting up twos and threes (goaltending is allowed, so they'll never go in anyway). Take the ball to the hole and throw it down with authority. Wait until you pull off your first triple dunk. Just thinking about it makes the Sports Gamer's hair stand up on his arms. Yes, the Sports Gamer's arms are hairy. What of it?
The Bigs 2 (2K Sports; PS3, 360, PS2, Wii) is the best baseball game you've never played. With homeruns that literally blow out the stadium lights and pitches that leave trails of fire in their wake, this is over-the-top video game sports at its finest. Having your hits taken away from you by the Legendary Catches of all-star defenders does get old fast (you'll never get anything by Jeter), but pulling off a Big Slam--send three players to the plate back-to-back-to-back, then the fourth brings them all home--is an absolutely unforgettable moment.
Best of all, both Homecourt and The Bigs 2 can easily be found in your game store's bargain bin for a fraction of what their original prices.
Go find them. It will make your wait for Madden go by a lot faster, trust me.