Basketball is known as one of the coolest sports in today’s pop culture and for very good reason too. You can do more tricks with a basketball than any other ball sport there is. With that technicality, it’s no surprise that EA Sports Big had something going when they released their NBA Street franchise. The game combined the coolness of street ball with the best ballers from the NBA to create an arcade-style masterpiece. The second entry to the series was more of the same stuff, but the third entry—V3—takes arcade basketball gaming to a whole new level. The rules of the street are pretty straightforward—the coolest and most skilled players will be known to own every court in every city you play in. Every city has their all-star dunkers, and it’s up to you to be the better baller everywhere you go. When you go through the main single player mode, there’ll be loads of gameplay modes to choose from. For those unfamiliar with any of the NBA Street games, each competitive matchup will be a 3-on-3, full-court affair. Since you can only make use of a few players, only a few players will be in each NBA roster. It doesn’t matter, though, as the point is to be as slick as you can with the ball and to do that, you need as much open court as possible. Not only do you gain points for your style of play, but you earn points to fill up your GameBreaker meter if you continue to shoot baskets and continue to make the opponent look silly with your tricks. Once you fill up your GameBreaker meter, you can execute a GameBreaker shot or dunk which obviously defies every law of gravity possible to make sure your baller looks extremely sweet dunking the ball. Not only does a GameBreaker make you look sweet, but you have a slight advantage, and when it comes time to make your shot—not only will you gain points, but your opponent will lose points. On the main single player mode, the game will require you to make up your own team of ballers. One guy will be the big dunker, one smaller guy wll be the shooter, and the fast guy will be there to juke all over the place. The more games you win, the most customization points you'll earn to build up the attributes of your squad. The game follows a very basic control scheme. On either side of the ball, you can move your man with the left analog stick. On offense, you can shoot with the right trigger button, or pass with the bottom trigger button. On defense, you can do a jumping block with the top trigger button, or you can steal with the left trigger button. Though it sounded like nothing happened with the control scheme, there have been quite a few changes. When you pass the ball, you can use any of the turbo triggers to vary the power of your pass. When close to a hoop, you can hold any turbo button while passing to bounce the ball from the backboard to another one of your players just to catch the defense off guard in order for you to pull a fast basket on them. These passes count as tricks, and they can be used to fill up your GameBreaker meter. The most notable new addition would probably be the trick stick. Anytime when you have the ball, you can use the right analog stick on your PS2, Xbox, or GCN controller to do a shortcut trick. You can combine movements of the stick with other buttons to hurl a few different combos to help maximize your GameBreaker meter. With this new control scheme, the four trigger buttons on the PS2 version can act as different turbo buttons, so you can drive through your opponent through many of the different moves the game features. (The Xbox and GCN versions only use three of the trigger buttons for turbo.) While the game definitely feels enhanced with these new controls, anybody who doesn’t like that scheme can always revert the controls back to the scheme everybody got used to in the first two games. The GameBreaker has been tinkered with as well. Anybody who has played any of the past NBA Street games have probably complained about the fact that you can’t do much with your GameBreaker once you have it. With V3, you can pull off more thrills with it. If you want, you can move around the opposite sides of the court to get your teammates a chance to get close to the rim. Once you’re at a necessary position you can choose to do two or three-man combos to take your shot in, and that can ultimately lead to more points—both in-game and GameBreaker--on the board. The amount of points earned and the amount of points taken away from your opponent will vary depending on how you chose to take your GameBreaking shot. This is a great addition as it adds a lot more strategy to having the “perfect” game or just by scoring the exact amount needed. Part of what made the NBA Street games so popular is the freedom the games give the player of customizing anything you want. In the Create a Player option, not only are you limited to attributes and attire. This time around, you can choose to customize their height and weight. Depending on how many street points you earn in the single player modes, you can pretty much customize anything. You can't just use your points on just anything though. Some attributes will cost more than others depending on the exterior look of your baller. A tall player would make it easier to add dunking attribute points, but it’d be much harder to add freethrow points. A short player would make it easier to include more juking attribute points, but it’ll be harder to make him a dunker. The freedom you have with the customization points adds a different kind of realism to the game, and it’s definitely welcome to the game. NBA Street V3 also includes a Create a Court mode, which itself is pretty much self-explanatory. You can decide which city and state to put your court in, and you can also choose to make it the home court of the baller you made. It’s all pretty much there for you to do. Those of you who decided to save money this basketball season and elected to go with ESPN NBA 2K5 are in luck as well. Anybody who had NBA Live 2005 knows that the coolest part in that game was the Slam-Dunk Contest. Well, that same contest makes a return in NBA Street V3. Unlike NBA Live, it’s actually possible to do well in this slam-dunk contest. In Street V3’s contest, you have a table set up at half court, and you can choose pretty much any shooter to leap onto the table and use all sorts of button combinations (including the trick stick) to perform the zaniest slam dunk possible. The cooler and more impossible your dunk is, the more points you get. Of course, if you intend to win on this mode, don’t use anybody with a low slam-dunk attribute like LeBron James—you can do it, but it’ll be increasingly difficult. The last of the creamery of new modes in NBA Street V3 are the online modes on the PS2 and Xbox. With both consoles online, you’ll be connected to EA’s service where you can interact with anybody in the EA Sports Nation. You can standard stuff like chatting, ladders, news, and stuff in that nature, but the best part of all is definitely the competition you’ll find online. Sadly, you can only against a single player online, so there are no handicap or team affairs. EA is showing the GameCube some love too. With the lack of online play, EA had to do something—it can be inappropriate to some, but anybody who liked Space Jam should enjoy the fact that the Nintendo All-Stars (Mario, Luigi, and Peach) have made their way onto the game with their own court. They don’t make the game look realistic at all because of their crazy Mario-style shots, but they’re presence doesn’t hurt the game too much, and it’s a really funny sight if you want the GameCube version. It’s no online, but it’s better than a busted title. EA Sports Big has obviously done something to the game’s visuals during the two-year hiatus. While the player’s muscles definitely aren’t that realistic, every player’s mug looks the way it should be. Kobe looks like Kobe. Ben Wallace looks like Ben Wallace, and so on. The courts look realistic and have the urban look with newspapers, and litter all over the place. EA pretty much got the whole street look down. The sound is the player’s call though. A new addition, excluding the soundtrack, is the fact that there’s a live announcer during every game. He’s not as annoying as Madden, but his slang terms can get the best of anybody playing. The soundtrack has the same sub-par rap performed by the same sub-par artists, so if you get the Xbox version—it’s probably for your own good that you make use of the custom soundtrack option. If you’re into the artists though, there’s no reason to really hate the music in V3. NBA Street took arcade basketball to a whole new level. To everyone’s surprise, NBA Street V3 does that and a lot more. This game not only has an incredible control scheme, but it has so many extras that you probably won’t even have to update until V5. However way you look at it, NBA Street V3 is the new pinnacle of the NBA games and is much more fun than any of the other basketball games in existence--including NBA Jam. If you want to defy gravity, it’s to your best interest that you pick up NBA Street V3.
NBA Street has always been a great series. It took street basketball, added pros into the mix, and made a really fun expierience. Now for V3, all this and more returns for the best NBA Street game to date. It may hav... Read Full Review
NBA Streets came into the scene pretty sudden back near 2000-2001 and has slowly progressed to become one of the most fun games on the market today. With its high flying activity and well designed playing field, and a so... Read Full Review