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March 17, 2005
NBA Street V3 - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
12/2/2005EA SportsEA Canada1- 6GMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Graphics are improved yet again!
The very first NBA Street released way back in June 2001 was an impressive title which sold in massive numbers and still holds up very well today. While that game was good the sequel, NBA Street Vol. 2 (release in April 2003), was even better with Chris awarding it a mighty 93% in his review for Future Gamez. Now we have a third game, NBA Street V3. Is this just more of the same, or does it advance the series? Can you actually advance from near perfection anyway? The answer: Hell yes.

This 3-on-3 basketball game takes the sport to the extreme. NBA Street V3 includes 12 courts to play on, not a lot by some games standards but certainly each has enough to differentiate between each location. These locations include New York City Rucker Park, Venice Beach, Mosswood, Brighton Beach and more. Each of these courts are played at different times of day from the midday sun to darkness of night. Still not enough, well the development team at EA Canada have also thrown in a court created so you can now build an customise your own court with hundreds of different options such as location, court surface, net, and backboard styles. It will also be possible to express yourself by building your own hoops persona with more than 1,000 customizable assets including hairstyles, shoes, and accessories.

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Playing on the streets.
What really makes NBA Street V3 such a great title is simply that it's tremendous fun to play. The game is played a blistering speed and the moves are as extreme as you can imagine. The inclusion of the Trick Stick allows you to perform crazy tricks and combos building up to the Gamebreaker moments which often result in spectacular 3-man scoring opportunities. In the previous game the Gamebreaker moves were controlled by the computer, in this game you have total control. It makes it a little harder, but the rewards are vastly improved as a result.

In terms of game modes the Street Challenge is one of the games highlights. This single player mode makes this a much better single player experience then the two previous titles combined. This mode takes place over 10 weeks and includes 70 challenges to complete. Now we're not talking challenge as in score a 3-pointer, no these are more often then not entire games to win, or reaching half a million trick points and so on. You can skip them, but by doing so your street reputation will take a dive, and so will your chance of ruling the streets and competing against top players. Get a good enough reputation and you may even be invited to join one of the 30 NBA teams in the NBA Street league for a 14-match season.

Another new mode is the dunk contest where you have to use the Trick Stick to create the most insane combos and dunks. This mode is tremendous fun in short bursts, you certainly won't be here for hours, but it is great to show off to some mates.

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Expect plenty of dunks.
On terms of gameplay this is almost as good as you can expect, but I have one major gripe about NBA Street V3. Where is the online gameplay? The American version included online gameplay and yes, while many PS2 games lack large numbers of online gamers, its still nice to have that feature to compete against some friends from the comfort of your own lounge room. In my books that certainly knocks some value off the title, even if the game is being released at the lower RRP of only $79.95 here in Australia. On a side note to this the game does support 6-players on a single console which is tremendous fun.

It still amazes me how much power developers continue to squeeze out of the Playstation 2's graphics chipset. This game pushes the system even further with some superbly detailed character models (although they lack some of the finer facial detail) and courts which are extremely detailed and quite varied in their appearance. The lighting also deserves mention as the game looks superb be it at night or during the day. It's the animations, however, that makes this game so special. Be it dribbling the ball up the court or landing a 3-man ally-oop this game has it all. Finally the overall presentation of the game from the menus to the replays is second to none.

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Playing on an indoor court.
In terms of sound there is one feature which I have been sorely missing in recent years - DTS sound. This allows a quality rarely heard on Playstation 2. Those of you without this format will be pleased to hear that the Dolby Pro Logic II and Stereo sounds are just as impressive. Now this would be wonderful if it weren't for one thing - the song selection is pretty average and the announcer in the game, while fun in bursts isn't the most exciting ever heard. It's not bad, but just not up to EA's best.

NBA Street V3 is another sensational game in the series. Everything gels together perfectly to create the ultimate street and/or arcade based basketball game. The only disappointment, and it really is an issue, is the lack of online gameplay. Oh how I would give an arm to play this online (hey, I never said it would be my arm!). Even if you own previous games in the series, or have never had the pleasure of playing an NBA Street title then I highly recommend you check out this game. Fantastic.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSSuper player models are given life through some superb animations.
SOUNDGood, but certainly not near EA's best. The announcer becomes tiring.
GAMEPLAYThis is arcade styled basketball at its best. New additions rock.
VALUEC'mon EA. Why don't we get online gameplay too? It's sorely missed.
OVERALLNBA Street V3 is another sensational game in the series. The only real disappointment is the lack of online gameplay - that would have really cemented this as a cracking title. Still it's an essential purchase even if you own the previous games.

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