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From B-Ball to V-Ball

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 11:01AM EST

A promotional tour by a clothing company may seem like a dubious premise for a videogame, yet AND 1: Streetball leaves its origins in the dust like a nasty ankle breaking pick and roll. Outgunning your opponents with extreme style is the goal in this urban hoops simulation, offering half court, full court, three on three, and other modes that allow you to control AND 1's actual streetball team, all of whom have had their signature moves motion-captured for authenticity. And speaking of, music on all 10 courts--from the Bronx to L.A.--is supplied by local talent.

Can we talk about College Hoops 2K7? 2K's latest revamp of its yearly NCAA simulator is once again one of the most immersive experiences in console gaming. Crisp graphics (peep those reflections in the parquet) and tight controls are to be expected for those who just want to pick up and play, but where College Hoops really shines is in the legacy mode, where coaches can recruit talent all season long.

Meanwhile, in NBA 2K7, a new alley-oop system along with enhanced controls that bring more sensation to dunks coupled with more physical defense (including the ability to bump and grind with players on offense--or just ones that you find offensive) gel together to create one of the most fluid ballin' experiences to be had on any platform.

Square Enix is hard at work on a b-ball game for Nintendo DS: Mario Basket 3on3. Everyone's favorite jumping plumber hits the court on the DS's two screens, allowing a 3D representation of the court on the top and an overhead view of your team on the bottom. Collectable coins and characters and Nintendo cuteness are de riguer.

More round mounds of rebound are being engineered by Team Ninja, who will bring Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2 to the Xbox 360 later this year. Expect even more realistic giggling and jiggling.

From one kind of net to another, we go to Natsume's Reel Fishing: Life & Nature. Pick up your PSP and catch that weird bracelet-making girl a delicious bass. Freshwater fish are the name of the game (there are over 25), so you'll be taking more than 100 pieces of tackle out to lakes and streams in varying weather conditions. It's like actual fishing, only without so much beer.

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