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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Canada

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

February 2005

 

 

- Looks great

- Team Mario playable from the start!

- Loads of visual and animation style

- Great multiplayer

- Tricks are super easy to perform

 

 

- Announcer grows pretty stale

- …uh…If you don’t like sports the content won’t interest you

 

 

Review: NBA Street V3 (XB)

Review: NBA Jam (XB)

Review: Street Hoops (GC)

Review: NBA Live 2005 (GC)

 

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NBA Street V3

Score: 8.7 / 10

 

The last “alternative” basketball game I played was Street Hoops from Activision.  Man, the genre sure has matured!  Of course, the announcer still can’t be tolerated for more than an hour or so, so there’s still that common thread.

 

nba street v3 review           nba street v3 review

 

What really shines with NBA Street V3 are the customization options to be found or unlocked along the way.  Creating a player can take a good chunk of time and actually turns out to be fun.

 

Of course, more fun is to be had with the actually basketball – dunking, tricking out and slapping down the opposition.  It’s not Arch Rivals but goaltending is allowed, if not encouraged, as is swiping the ball from the opposition, no matter how sloppily performed.  The action moves end-to-end at a good clip and there’s so much style to the whole package it’s practically dripping.

 

Much of this style is owed to the ease of performing trick moves.  With a flick of the C-stick your player can practically dance on the court or it can add that extra zip to a colossal dunk.  The basic controls are also easy to grasp and with only two teammates you’ll quickly learn about alley-oops and when to hit the turbo and blaze by a defender.  The huge roster of players and teams pretty much all play the same so even if you don’t know anything about the Memphis Grizzlies you can still put up a decent fight against the AI.  But one of the coolest team – and available right out of the gate – is Team Mario, with Luigi, Peach and Mario.  Obviously a GameCube exclusive, they’re a cool bunch to play with – even better is when you get to shoot hoops on a Mushroom Kingdom court, complete with old-school sound effects.

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Besides the 3-on-3 modes, NBA Street V3 features a very arty dunk competition, which requires real finesse to compete, even against the AI.  The setup feels familiar but because you get so much air to play with and the C-stick to easily perform all kinds of moves and stringing combos that it’s very easy to have your timing off as you try to squeeze in one more move.  With a human opponent you could easily spend hours with the dunk competition.

 

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In part, it’s just a style for the sake of style but during a game you work up your Gamebreaker meter by putting on the glitz, making some quick passes then scoring either from the field or dunking.  The Gamebreaker really can swing the game in your favor at critical moments.

 

nba street v3 review          nba street v3 review

 

NBA Street V3’s graphics are top notch, with plenty of “realistic” animation – realistic as it pertains to Team Mario who’s vertical jumps I can actually believe – and small touches that really do add to the overall experience.  And although I do have some problems with the announcer, it’s not actually that bad.  Every since EA started the lean toward “extreme” and “cool” music I’ve been less than impressed with soundtrack selection; and Burnout 3: Takedown sealed the deal: I always turn the soundtrack down or off on EA games.  The music in the case of NBA Street V3 is actually unobtrusive and though I’m not familiar with all the tunes I actually left the audio volumes at their default settings.

 

At the final buzzer, as that last ditch, Hail Mary shot clangs off the noggin of some beer-swilling basketball fan, NBA Street V3 is a great sports game and a betterment of its previous installments.  If you’re a fan, this is a no-brainer purchase and if you’re a casual gamer and want to find out what all the fuss is about give it a whirl.

 

- Omni

(April 5, 2005)

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