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Score: 9.2 / 10
After a great rookie season, and an
avoidance of the sophomore slump, EA Sports Big shoots and scores in
year three of NBA Street. NBA Street V3 is the latest in a franchise
that has defined the street basketball game. Without a doubt, this is
clearly the best street ball title around. And with improved graphics,
plenty of customization options, a new dunk mode, and online play for
the first time on the Xbox, NBA Street V3 is unequivocally the
number-one pick for street hoops gamers everywhere.
Although it follows the same basic formula that has made the previous
two games so popular, NBA Street V3 soars up and slams down a few new
features for basketball gamers. The game sports some newer graphics that
bring a truer sense
of realism to the NBA players that are
featured in the game. While there’s still a shiny gloss that gives each
player a plastic appearance right out of a Pixar movie, NBA Street V3
does come a lot closer to realistic character models than in the
previous two games. The courts are done extremely well visually also,
with a lot of little urban touches on the courts themselves and
surrounding buildings that give NBA Street V3 a high level of gritty
You’ll need to dedicate a lot of playing to become a good NBA Street V3
player, because success winning game after game hinges on learning
plenty of fighting game style combo moves to pull off the dribbling and
dunking moves. These moves build up the Gamebreakers that become
difference-makers in games, where a many-move Gamebreaker can give you
points while subtracting some from your opponent, turning close games
into romps quickly. Gamers will be able to use the new Trick Stick to
hit high-scoring combo moves. Using the right thumb stick on the Xbox
controller, you can create these combos, and memorizing the higher
scoring combos will come in handy during games.
Unlike the previous two games, there is also the ability to control the
Gamebreakers in NBA Street V3, so you actually decide the Gamebreaker
instead of watching a cut-scene of a standard Gamebreaker as before. So
get to know your Trick Stick moves to fly high over the competition.
Returning to NBA Street V3 is the high level of customization options
available to gamers. You can create a custom baller and custom home
court, and even can create your own pair of virtual Air Jordans with the
shoe creator. There’s customized wardrobe, hairstyle, trick and team
options right at your fingertips too. And an arena full of unlockables
including famous NBA legends to use during games.
Modes are as varied as the customization options. You can play a
straight-up pick-up game or practice. But that’s just a warm-up for the
Street Challenge and new dunk contest. The Street Challenge is the
“story” mode of NBA Street V3, where you must prove you and your team is
the best baller around. You’ll play a variety of different games (such
as “up to 21” or “dunks only”), as well as tournaments, special
challenges, and dunk contests. If your skills reach all-star status,
you’ll be able to join the NBA Street League, where you’ll play a
mini-season and playoff tournament against NBA teams and the best
players on each NBA squad to see if you have the skills of a champion.
Two big additions are the dunk contest and Xbox Live support.
Off-the-wall, oh-no-he-didn’t-just-do-that slams have always been a part
of street ball lore, and have always been a part of NBA Street, only
during actual games instead of a slam contest. But now there’s a bona
fide contest to prove your dunking skills. You’ll have to learn combos
once again, but the payoff is a great dunk that even Michael Jordan
(old-school, before his first retirement MJ) would be proud of to call
his own. You can even use items from the arena such as ball racks or
tables to jump and dunk over to increase your dunk score. Yes, finally,
the dunk contest is in NBA Street, and high-skying, Phi-Slamma-Jamma
fans will love it.
Online play is the other big newcomer to the NBA Street package this
time around, and it’s truly excellent to finally be able to play NBA
Street V3 on Xbox Live. But make sure your game’s tight, because you’ll
get rim rattled if you’re not up on your Trick Stick combos against some
fierce online competition.
The game’s music stays even keel with past NBA Street renditions. Plenty
of hip-hop flowing through the soundtrack, including the Beastie Boys,
who make an appearance as unlockable characters for some hipity-hoppin’
basketball action on the court.
One major annoyance is the sideline announcer during the game. He just
is grating throughout, trying to be hip and flip in his commentary, but
he comes off plain aggravating, especially if you’re trailing in the
game at the time. Too bad the announcer didn’t make an upgrade in the
newest NBA Street.
NBA Street accomplishes the three-peat with NBA Street V3, proving once
again it’s the king of the street ball gaming arena. And despite a
valiant attempt by Midway’s NBA Ballers, nobody today puts out a better
street ball title than EA. With online play stepping on the court this
year, you can really finally find out if you’re the best baler around.
If you’re a hoops fan, especially of the street variety, NBA Street V3
is the best around.