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Blacktop Hoops | Review 61

Blacktop Hoops | Review

Nothing But Net

Blacktop Hoops | Review 65
Release Date
May 16, 2024
Developer
Vinci Games
Style
Simulation, Social, Sports
Locomotion
Standing, Sitting
Length
Sports / YMMV
Price
$29.99
Our Score
8
Get it on the Meta Store

Get ready to step onto the virtual blacktop and live out your basketball fantasies with Blacktop Hoops, the latest VR sensation from Vinci Games. After two years of development and early access iterations, this arcade-style street ball game has finally secured a full release on the Quest store, and it’s time to see if it lives up to the hype. As an avid VR enthusiast and former basketball player, I couldn’t wait to dive in and spend some quality time with this title. After 6-8 hours of play, I’m excited to share my thoughts on what makes this game a must-play for any VR hoops fan.

Ballin’ Like a Pro

At its core, Blacktop Hoops is an arcade basketball game that draws inspiration from the classic NBA Jam series, but with the added immersion of a first-person VR experience. Players can choose between half-court and full-court games, each offering a unique set of challenges and strategies. The game’s mechanics are intuitive and fun, with a learning curve that rewards dedication and practice. A series of tutorials guides players through the essentials of ball handling, shooting, dunking, stealing, and defensive techniques, ensuring that even newcomers can quickly pick up the basics.

One of the standout features of Blacktop is the “on fire” mechanic, a nod to the iconic NBA Jam power-up. By executing a series of flashy moves and building up your trick meter, you’ll earn the ability to perform an unstoppable Super Dunk or drain a shot from anywhere on the court. This adds an extra layer of excitement and strategy to the game, encouraging players to showcase their skills and take risks.

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The single-player campaign mode is where this game truly shines, offering a series of challenging matchups against AI opponents across a variety of American and international courts. As you progress through the ranks, you’ll face off against increasingly skilled rivals, each with their own unique playstyles and abilities. The campaign mode is a thrilling power fantasy that allows players to live out their dreams of being an NBA superstar, complete with jaw-dropping dunks, ankle-breaking crossovers, and clutch buzzer-beaters.

Taking on the World

For those looking to test their skills against real-world competition, Blacktop Hoops boasts a robust multiplayer suite with options for 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 games. The online community is thriving, with thousands of players ready to hit the virtual hardwood. However, newcomers should be prepared for a steep learning curve, as many veteran players have honed their skills over the game’s two-year early access period.

blacktop hoops meta quest review

While the multiplayer experience can be exhilarating, it’s not without its flaws. The smooth, stylized animations of the campaign mode are replaced by the occasionally janky movements of real players, which can be jarring at times. Additionally, some users have reported minor connectivity issues and glitches that can impact the flow of the game. Despite these hiccups, the multiplayer mode remains a fun and engaging way to showcase your abilities and compete against players from around the world.

Stylin’ on the Streets

One of the most impressive aspects of the game is its vibrant, stylized graphics. The game’s art direction perfectly captures the essence of street ball culture, with colorful courts, larger-than-life characters, and a bold, cartoony aesthetic. The character models feature exaggerated proportions and unique designs, adding to the game’s arcade feel and visual appeal.

While the animations are generally smooth and fluid, there are occasional glitches and inconsistencies that can be noticeable during gameplay. These issues are relatively minor and don’t significantly detract from the overall experience, but they do leave room for improvement in future updates.

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On the audio front, the game delivers an immersive soundscape that complements its street ball theme. The satisfying sound effects of the bouncing ball, the swish of the net, and the squeak of sneakers on the court all contribute to the game’s authentic atmosphere. The soundtrack is a fitting collection of hip-hop and urban-inspired tracks that perfectly capture the energy and attitude of the blacktop.

The voice acting in Blacktop Hoops is generally solid, with a variety of colorful characters and memorable performances. However, there is one notable exception: a real-life trick dunk champion who makes an appearance in the game. While his dunking skills are unquestionable, his voice acting leaves much to be desired, serving as a reminder that not all athletes are cut out for the recording booth.

Room for Improvement

While Blacktop Hoops is an impressive VR basketball experience, it’s not without its shortcomings. The ball handling mechanics, for example, can take some getting used to. The hand and wrist positioning of your virtual avatar doesn’t always align with what feels natural, which can lead to moments of confusion and frustration. It’s crucial to remain conscious of which hand is holding the ball when driving to the hoop, as it’s all too easy to lose possession mid-dunk due to an awkward hand position.

blacktop hoops meta quest review

Another minor issue is the occasional animation glitch, particularly in the campaign mode. While these glitches are infrequent and don’t significantly impact the overall experience, they can momentarily break immersion and disrupt the flow of the game.

A Slam Dunk for VR Hoops Fans

Despite its minor flaws, Blacktop Hoops is an outstanding VR basketball game that offers an immersive, engaging, and highly replayable experience. With its intuitive mechanics, vibrant graphics, and wealth of single-player and multiplayer content, this title is a must-play for any VR enthusiast with a love for the game of basketball.

The single-player campaign mode is a particular highlight, offering a satisfying power fantasy that allows players to live out their dreams of being an NBA superstar. The multiplayer suite, while occasionally marred by technical hiccups and a steep learning curve, provides a thrilling way to test your skills against real-world competitors.

While there is certainly room for improvement in terms of ball handling mechanics and animation consistency, these issues don’t detract too much from the overall package. Blacktop Hoops is a slam dunk for VR hoops fans, and with its recent full release on the Quest store, there’s never been a better time to lace up your virtual sneakers and hit the blacktop. As a lifelong basketball fan and VR enthusiast, I wholeheartedly recommend this title to anyone looking for an exhilarating, immersive sports experience.

Blacktop Hoops | Review 66
Blacktop Hoops
TLDR : Summary
Blacktop Hoops is an immersive, arcade-style VR basketball game that offers intuitive mechanics, vibrant graphics, and engaging single-player and multiplayer content. Despite minor issues with ball handling and animations, it's a must-play for VR hoops fans!
Concept
8.5
Gameplay
8
Graphics
7.5
Audio
7.5
Longevity
7.5
User Rating0 Votes
0
Pros
Intuitive mechanics and fun gameplay that rewards practice and skill
Vibrant, stylized graphics that capture the essence of street ball culture
Engaging single-player campaign and thriving multiplayer community
Cons
Ball handling mechanics can feel unnatural and take time to master
Occasional animation glitches and inconsistencies in the campaign mode
Multiplayer experience can be marred by technical hiccups and a steep learning curve
8
Dunkalicious
Get it on the Meta Store
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