Sunday, April 20, 2008

Barkley Shut up and Jam, Gaiden

"Um... The hell, you say..."

That's pretty much the reaction I have each time the "Chaos Dunk" or "b-ball catacombs" are mentioned in this completely atypical RPG. Made in the style of Chrono Trigger, this homage to a Sega Genesis sports game is, to put it bluntly, bizarre.

It's also a fairly fascinating RPG. Set in a techno-fantasy universe where, in the year 2030 or so, Charles Barkley is in hiding and basketball is outlawed. You tromp around Neo New York as the now 60 year old Barkley, trying to escape from a past that haunts him.

Meet Larry Byrd as a priest. Evade Michael Jordan and the rest of the anti-b-ball police. Find out why a secret organization wants your only son dead. Save your game by listening to xenophobic gas pumps rant about the glories of Japan and how crappy the rest of the world is. It's good stuff.

While watching the oddly elaborate story unfold is my main draw in this game, the battle system keeps me playing too. It's very interactive; you won't be just selecting "Super B-ball CRUSHER" from a list of commands and calling it a day. Every character has unique active battle commands that you can enter when it's their turn. The battle system is far more active than any other 2d, turn-based RPG that I've played.

If you're up for a bizarre ride through a strange, post-apocalyptic vision of our planet's future, give this one a download.

Just a side note: The official site for Tales of Games, the company that developed BSU&JG, is kind of not built yet. The temporary site that they have up will get you to the proper download link. I assume when they're done making their site, downloading this game will be made easier.

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