Aright, it’s spring, time for you to get your game on. Lace up your jordans, put on some shorts, get out your bball and get out in the sun with that gameface on.
Or you can sit behind your computer screen with your gameface on, and trash talk without fear of getting your face smashed in, while playing sierras Free Style Street Basketball.
Go to http://freestyle.sierraonline.com/ to download a public preview copy of the game. Do it now. Trust me, you’ll have some fun with this one. The game is expected to be released on 5/15/07 for a bargain $19.99, and you can reserve it and recieve:
An Exclusive in-game clothing item
$5 in-game credit and 15,000 game points to customize your character’s look and increase abilities
You’re probably wanting some details about the actual game. To briefly summarize, it’s a street basketball game in the same vein as NBA street. Except it takes place online and you select one character and play that character, relying on your other players to win the game. It also has an RPG element where you can gain levels, as well as as a customization element allowing you to purchase different clothing etc. The game has been out worldwide for a while now, with over 32 million people already registered. Watch the trailer to get a feel for the game.
My favorite thing about the game is that the controls are very simple. It uses the same standard keys you’ve gotten used to using in first person shooters, WASD. The gameplay is focused too. It’s all about getting the ball in the hole. You have a 24 second shot clock, no fouls, and you must clear the ball. That’s it. The game becomes about timing and positioning instead of rules.
Leveling also plays a big role. You’ll soon be addicted to leveling up. You gain experience by beating the other team, and the game also considers your own individual performance when awarding experience. The levels really do make a big difference. Even though it’s possible to beat people at a much higher level than you, it usually doesn’t happen for two reasons.
1. They have played the game longer so they have better timing etc.
2. They have more moves like alley oops etc, as well as better speed, blocking, and all that good shit.
The matchmaking works like a charm, so you can get into plenty of matches and find one with the right challange. Create a team, select to be on a team, invite players and teams. Or just press start game and be automatically assigned to a team.
Once your playing, you get the hang of the controls effortlessly, because they really are very simple. It takes quite a bit longer to actually become good at the game however, and it requires real teamwork to win. Admittedly, the graphics aren’t exceptional, although they are stylish and effective. The animation and smoothness of the game leave something to be desired also, sometimes it all feels less fluid than it could be compared to some of the console basketball games.
What Freestyle Street Basketball accomplishes perfectly though, is an addictive easy to get into online basketball experience. This has not yet been achieved previously to my knowledge, and for $19.99 it’s going to be a hell of a steal (basketballs puns are so fucking easy). Now go out and get the preview, and if I find you online i’ll bring you to school and show you what real game is all about.