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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Canada

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

February 2005

 

 

-Trick stick adds some interesting moves

- Loads of customization

 

 

- All of the audio

- Dunk contest is fun but ultimately shallow

- Sluggish menus

 

 

Review: NBA Street V3 (XB)

Review: NBA Street V3 (GC)

Review: NBA Street Vol. 2 (PS2)

 

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NBA Street V3

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

To be honest, I'm not exactly the world's biggest sports game fan. But if there is any development team that could get me to like a basketball game, it's EA Big, creators of the amazing SSX3. As it turns out, they've created an amusing production, a slick combination of fast gameplay and incredible acrobatics, that pretty much anyone can feel like they're a badass athlete.

 

nba street v3 review          nba street v3 review

 

This isn't pro basketball, this is street ball three on three matches, no referees, make your own rules. This allows for a bit more tomfoolery than your usual athletic endeavors, as you can bounce the basketball off your opponent's head or knock them over without fear of getting a foul. New to this iteration of NBA Street is the cleverly named Trick Stick. By moving the right analog stick in conjunction with the shoulder buttons, your character can pull off plenty of fancy dribbling maneuvers to work around the defense. Those with some slick math skills (eight directions X five possible of turbo buttons) have deduced that this equals a lot of fancy footwork. By tossing the ball back and forth between teammates, in conjunction with these stick tricks, you build up combos, which increase your Gamebreaker meter. You actually participate in gamebreakers this time around, which can make for some crazy displays of mid-air action.

 

Also new to V3 is the Dunk Contest, where you can compete against other players to score the fanciest dunks around town. Once again, you use the Trick Stick to execute as many crazy moves in mid-air before you slam the ball in the basket. While the animation is a little jerky, you can pull some cool looking moves here, especially when you set up props to leap over or toss the ball off the backboard. Other than watching your animations and honing your technique, there's really not much to do in single player. Multiplayer challenges are obviously more fun, but the mode lacks the depth to make it interesting for too long. It's a little bit weird that you can't use the trick stick for dunks (outside of Gamebreakers) in the regular game, but I suppose that's something for V4.  The third major addition is internet play, the only problem being that you can't take the characters in single player mode and put them online.

 

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Like many EA games of late, there's a lot more to do in the game than just play basketball. You can customize a baller from the get-go, creating their face, build, uniform, and even jewelry. In the Street mode, you play the new kid on the block, trying to earn respect through the street circuit. There are a variety of different game types, ranging from the usual "play til 21" matches to "dunk only" contest. Pretty much anything you play will give you points, which can then be put towards upgrading your skill sets. There are 

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plenty of premade characters, including a scad of NBA stars. Look around online and you'll find FAQs to create celebrity look-alikes. You can even create your own home court. The load times are pretty slow, making this a little difficult to experiment with if you're impatient, but you have the respect the amount of freedom you have.

 

The character models are nothing impressive, but the game keeps up a steady 60 FPS pace, and the courts look genuinely decent, especially with the impressive lighting effects. The sound, however, is a completely different issue. Apparently EA figured that all basketball fans must love rap, because the soundtrack is overflowing with the likes of Beastie Boys, Nitty and House of Pain. There's not even that big a selection, so even if you do like the music, you'll be listening to the same thirteen or so tracks over and over. Even worse is the announcer - there must be a private struggle amongst development teams to have the most irritating play-by-play in existence. He makes retarded comments, he rambles on senselessly, and he can thankfully be muted.

 

nba street v3 review          nba street v3 review

 

Sports fans will eat up NBA Street V3 - it's everything good to be expected from a basketball game, plus loads of customization. Everyone else - that is, people whose last basketball game was some iteration of NBA Jam - will find a fun arcade-paced basketball game that's easy to pick up, but has enough depth to make it worth sinking some time into.

 

- Kurt Kalata

(April 11, 2005)

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