Blacktop Hoops: the best VR basketball game?

After an early access phase, Blacktop Hoops is finally here as a full-fledged release. But does it live up to the hype? Let’s figure it out.

Blacktop Hoops throws it back to the classic arcade basketball experience, with a heavy dose of VR immersion. Think NBA Jam with a first-person twist. You can choose between half-court or full-court games, each with its own strategic approach. Learning the ropes is easy thanks to helpful tutorials that guide you through dribbling, shooting, dunking, and defensive moves.

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This game truly shines in its single-player campaign. You’ll battle AI opponents across various courts, both in the US and internationally. As you progress, the competition gets tougher, each with unique playstyles that will challenge your skills. It’s a power fantasy for any basketball fan, letting you pull off highlight-reel dunks, flashy crossovers, and clutch buzzer-beaters.

If you’re ready to test yourself against real players, Blacktop Hoops offers online options for 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and even 4v4 matchups. The online community is thriving, but be prepared for a learning curve. Many veterans have honed their skills during the early access period.

The online experience has some drawbacks, however. The smooth, stylized animations from the campaign mode are swapped for the sometimes janky movements of real players. There can also be minor connectivity issues that disrupt the flow of the game. Despite these hiccups, online play remains a fun way to compete globally.

Blacktop Hoops boasts vibrant, stylized graphics that capture the essence of streetball culture. The courts are bursting with color, the characters are larger than life, and the overall aesthetic is bold and cartoony. While animations are mostly smooth, occasional glitches can be noticeable.

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The audio experience is immersive, with satisfying sounds of bouncing balls, swishing nets, and squeaking sneakers. The soundtrack is a perfect fit, featuring hip-hop and urban tracks that set the mood for blacktop battles. The voice acting is generally decent, with some memorable characters. However, there’s one awkward exception – a real-life trick dunk champion whose voice acting leaves a lot to be desired.

What about the flaws?. The ball handling mechanics take some getting used to. The hand and wrist positioning of your virtual avatar can feel unnatural at times, leading to control frustration. Additionally, occasional animation glitches can break immersion during gameplay.

Despite these minor issues, Blacktop Hoops is an outstanding VR basketball experience. The controls are intuitive, the graphics are eye-catching, and there’s a wealth of content for both solo and multiplayer fans. The single-player campaign is a must-play, offering a fun and empowering journey. While online play has a learning curve and some technical hiccups, it’s still a thrilling way to test your skills against others.

Blacktop Hoops: Overall, Blacktop Hoops is a slam dunk for VR basketball fans. If you're looking for an immersive and engaging sports experience, this title is definitely worth checking out. Tom Henry

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About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.