NFL Street 3
One of the most difficult things to tolerate in any new game is an old game. Over the life of any console, thousands of titles get released. When you consider how many genres there are and the general quality of games, among other things, innovation stands out as one of the more valuable traits that any game can offer. Combine this with the fact that we're already looking at a genre that has been mined dry, and NFL Street 3 doesn't seem to have a very bright disposition.
First, in terms of its strengths, NFL Street 3 is easy to play. The different character control options are easy to use as they'll handle button mashing, and handling your playbook is as simple as it gets. That said, the reason that the game is so easy to play is because it's been done twice before, and this time around doesn't offer much new. Beyond that, you're playing a football game, with all of the good and bad that brings. Being able to overcome the other team's defense by easily jumping over opposition or even pulling off aerial moves is fun, but they feel a little gimmicky after a while.
In terms of presentation design, this game offers nothing new. The only thing I enjoyed was the varying urban settings that seemed to be about as far removed from a stadium as you can get. My ears weren't treated to anything particularly nice to listen to, so I just ended up loading up winamp for background music instead.
Good, bad, this is just another football game. Now that the tap has run dry on this franchise, I'm sure we'll see at least three more sequels. One of them might even wind up on a next-gen system.
Download NFL Street 3
It's logical that mainstream sports titles don't change drastically from edition to edition, after all the real life games which they're based upon barely change over the course of years. Extreme takes on popular sports however, such as EA's Street series need much more then a few tweaks to stay fresh. Along those lines NFL Street 3 makes some noticeable changes but ultimately doesn't do enough to differentiate itself from its predecessor.
The premise of the NFL Street series is pretty simple. Take a regular football game, reduce the players on the field to 7, simplify the playcalling and add a whole lot of style with some contempt for realism. The single player career mode, dubbed 'respect the street'? forms the brunt of NFL Street 3's gameplay and there is quite a lot of stuff to do in it. You'll be taking on teams headed up by NFL players in various locales around the US in a variety of different match types. Beating them earns you respect, better players, new places to compete and some cash to outfit your team. It's compelling for a while, but the lack of some framework like an actual story keeps respect the street from being as engaging as it could have been. This is also exacerbated by the fact that ad hoc is your only multiplayer option.
By and large the core gameplay of NFL Street is essentially the same as last year with the notable exception of the gamebreakers which have been significantly reworked. Instead of simply guaranteeing a touchdown, this edition's gamebreakers boost the power on your moves resulting in passes that are thrown so hard they actually carry the receiver forward or defenders who can perform homing interceptions. NFL Street 3 also expands on the wall moves added in last year's game and this time around you can defy gravity as you start running along walls and leap off them for extra style and yardage. Overall the gameplay is pretty fun, but the rubber band mechanics can be mind numbingly frustrating as you completely destroy a team for half a game only to have them pick up back to back turnovers in the second half.
NFL Street 3 looks pretty good. The character models carry a lot of personality and they animate well which makes some of the truly ridiculous stunts you'll pull off easier to swallow. Things move at a pretty quick and stable pace, though load times can reach upwards of 30 seconds. The audio does a great job conveying impact, and though predictable the soundtrack complements the action well.
Overall NFL Street 3 isn't all that much different then NFL Street 2. Respect the street along with the changes to gamebreakers and wall moves are nice but if you already own last year's game there isn't a whole lot of reason to pick this game up. If you've never played NFL Street however, this is a fine place to start.