NBA Street V3 PlayStation 2 & Xbox
by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports BIG
Release Date: Out Now
NBA Street v3, an introduction.
NBA Street was released back in 2001 and was an instant success. The game offered crazy arcade style 3-on-3 basketball that was not only very enjoyable but also very accessible to those who wouldn't be interested in the sport. The over the top moves and the special gamebreaker moves certainly proved to be very popular and it was no surprise when two years later a sequel was released that was loved by gamers just as much. Since then of course we've seen other games take on a 'street' variety such as NFL Street and FIFA Street which is a testament to how successful the first two NBA Street games were. Now we have the third game in the series, can it be another success?
What's the game about?
NBA Street V3 essentially builds on the success of the previous two games and takes the whole experience a step further. Game modes include Pick Up Game (exhibition), Street Challenge, Dunk Contest and Practice. The heart of the game is the Street Challenge where you create a player, get to customise one of the included courts to call your own and then pick your own team. You'll play in pick-up games, tournaments and dunk contests before taking on the NBA Street League in a bid to become a streetball legend. Along the way you'll earn rep points and trick points as well as being able to recruit other ballers (you'll begin with casual players and end up being able to select NBA players) to increase the strength of your team. Like all the other 'Street' games from EA you have a Gamebreaker gauge that will fill and once filled, it will allow you to pull off crazy moves that look stunning.
What's good about the game?
NBA Street V3 sees the introduction of the trick stick. Moving the right analogue stick in any direction allows your players to perform stylish tricks. When used in conjunction with the turbo button the tricks become more advanced and will earn you a higher score. What I really like about the trick stick feature is that it makes it very easy to pull off the fancy moves and this significantly reduces the learning curve for the game. Two or three player combo dunks are also possible and it's quite impressive to witness. The Street Challenge mode (which has 3 difficulty levels) is impressive and the variety of tasks you'll have to complete mean you'll be enjoying the mode for quite a while before you're done. The dunk contests can be amusing as you can use items to jump over to make the whole thing look more elaborate. There's also plenty of unlockable items here to add extra incentive to keep playing the game, although the quality of the game will see to that. Should you own a GameCube you'll be pleased to learn that a special Nintendo team consisting of Luigi, Mario and Peach has been included.
What's not so good about the game?
Actually there's very little to complain about. I suppose us Europeans can moan about the omission of online play for both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions that our American and Canadian counterparts have been able to enjoy and there's no denying it would have been fun to take the game online.
How does it look?
NBA Street V3 looks great on both the Xbox and PlayStation 2. In fact the two versions are practically identical with the loading times being slightly quicker on the Xbox version. As with most EA Sports games the presentation is once again excellent. The character models are slightly exaggerated in the same way as other 'Street' games and they suit the mood of the game perfectly. The animations are also exaggerated and the moves are, as you would expect completely over the top but it's all totally appropriate to the style of the game. The courts look good too and they range from professional arenas to the broken up concrete courts that are really fit to play on. There's also some pretty snazzy lighting effects here too, particularly in the dunk contests.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Whilst there is some speech in NBA Street V3 that isn't subtitled (verbal introductions to the games and game commentary) the game is still fine for deaf gamers. Tutorials have been included for basic and advanced moves and you'll also find a collection of tutorials for the dunk contests. These tutorials are just a small movie clip with the controls that are used shown on the screen. They contain no speech and therefore no subtitles are necessary. All of your objectives for the Street Challenge mode are shown in text so you'll always know what to do and what score you need to achieve (it varies from game to game) in order to win.
NBA Street V3 is great if you want an arcade style basketball game with modes to keep you playing for the months ahead. It's how a game should be in that it's easy to pick up and play yet challenging and tricky to completely master. The included tutorials will ensure you'll have no problems in learning every aspect of the game and as a result you'll get the full enjoyment from the game with the minimum of fuss. NBA Street V3 is one of those games that has the potential to appeal to gamers who wouldn't normally be interested in basketball games because of it's accessibility and even if you are a basketball enthusiast you'll love the pick up and play nature of the game. As we said earlier it's a shame the online mode has been cut for the European Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions, but it's still a cracker of a game and easily the best in the series to date.
Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
Top drawer 3 vs. 3 action that's both entertaining and enjoyable. Tricks are much easier to perform with the trick stick and the game as a whole is delightfully accessible to newcomers to the series. There are some speech items that are not subtitled but on the whole there's no real problems.