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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Sports

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q1 2005

 

 

- Best version yet for franchise that keeps getting better and better
- Very good visual presentation, including more life-like NBA players
- Online play

 

 

- Need to learn a lot of fighting-game style combos, especially for success in the slam dunk competition
- Game announcer gets gratingly annoying

 

 

Review: NBA Street Vol. 2 (PS2)

Review: NBA Ballers (XB)

Review: Street Hoops (XB)

Review: NBA Jam (XB)

 

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NBA Street V3

Score: 9.2 / 10

 

nba street v3 review          nba street v3 review

 

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

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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

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surrounding buildings that give NBA Street V3 a high level of gritty “street cred.”

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.

 

nba street v3 review           nba street v3 review


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.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(March 22, 2005)

 

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