previews\ Jan 30, 2007 at 7:00 pm

NBA Street: Homecourt - PS3 - Preview

Video games are played as a means of escapism, offering a vast spectrum of worlds where improbability often circumnavigates probability to form its own sense of reality.

Crazy talk, you say? Well, EA Sports is sure talking crazy with the latest edition of NBA Street Homecourt for the PS3. We are talking wickedly surreal moves and dunks, and a basketball title that is briskly paced, will illicit an assortment of “oohs” and “aahs,” as well as trigger a few laughing fits at the variety of antics these ballers can pull off.

A quick tap of the directional pad and a teammate runs to the top of the key, kneeling to the ground. Nope, not looking for a missing contact lens, but rather providing a launch pad for the ball handler to run in, spring off the back, fly through the air well above the rim to deliver an astounding, backboard-rattling jam.

It’s all part of the fun.

You want options? The game comes loaded.

NBA Street: Homecourt PlayStation 3 screenshots

The title is the successor to NBA Street Vol. 3, and GameZone got hands on the preview code for the title. What was here was polished, with solid animations, a soundtrack that was spot-on for the next-gen sports title.

For the uninitiated, Homecourt, and the previous Street titles, allows players to take on the guise of a pro basketball player (or create their own) and then take to the streets for some action that not only defies gravity but parlays the more outrageous street moves into the game. But whereas Street was starting to get a little ponderous with the control scheme, Homecourt simplifies the entire process to render out a game that is very user friendly.

While the majority of the play selection is relegated to the D-pad, you can modify choices with the shoulder buttons (R1, L1 and so on).

NBA Street: Homecourt PlayStation 3 screenshots

Pull off a variety of tricks, boost the gamebreaker scale and then put the ball through the hoop to score big points. The game also pays attention to some street moves when it comes to defense. Remember, there really isn’t a ref, so you can get away with a  little pushing and shoving here and there.

When it comes to the physics, the dev team paid attention to real life. Ok, so the actual shots don’t approximate the real world, but there are some constants. Smaller players, like Allen Iverson, will handle the rock much better, while the physical presence of the larger players is tough to counter in the lane.

The game has a variety of play options, including practice and quick play, along with some challenges that may have you trying to “out-trick” your opponent. All in all, this game has a variety of play styles that should keep most street ballers happy for a while.

Graphically the game soars (pun intended). With slick animations, this game is very easy on the eyes. The sound is first rate as well.

This is the type of title that will definitely please hoop fans looking to step outside the boundaries and restrictions of the NBA or NCAA games. The game has been refined, and in this case that means taking a step backwards to the good old control-scheme days while moving ahead with the graphic might of the next-gen consoles.

This is a title worth checking out when it releases in early March.

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