Mario to hoop it up in NBA Street V3

The GameCube version of EA's blacktop b-baller will feature an exclusive team of Nintendo all-stars as well as a Nintendo court.

Nintendo superstars Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach are no strangers to high-flying aerials and acrobatics across the fabled Mushroom Kingdom. But have you ever seen one of them throwing the roundball behind the back and off the backboard, then rocking the cradle and throwing the rock down for two? GameCube owners will get the chance to see these moves in action when NBA Street V3 is released on February 8.

Nintendo and Electronic Arts announced today that the GameCube version of EA's latest extreme blacktop baller will feature the trio as playable characters.

"Nintendo's characters have always proved they can compete on the world stage," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Now they'll show that they can compete on the streets as well."

As outlined in GameSpot's new preview of the game, the Nintendo characters will be able to take on the NBA's best, from the past and present, on streetball courts such as legendary Rucker Park and Venice Beach, in addition to an exclusive Nintendo-themed court. The plumbers and princess can also participate in the new slam dunk contest.

It's rare to see Nintendo characters frolicking outside of a Nintendo-produced game, but it has happened before. GameCube owners may recall that Namco was lent the likeness of Legend of Zelda lead protagonist Link for its fighter Soul Calibur II on Nintendo's console.

The NBA Street franchise mixes NBA stars with EA-created streetball characters in gravity-defying basketball action reminiscent of Midway's classic NBA Jam series. This third installment will also feature a new trick stick, deeper create-a-player options, and a new court creator.

For more information on the game, check out the NBA Street V3 gamespace, which includes a trailer that features Peach throwing one down in LeBron James' grill.

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