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    dkirschner's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden (PC)

    [July 18, 2013 10:58:01 PM]
    This game is a free download from developer Tales of Game's website, and well worth it. I guess it gained quite the following since its release, and the number of times I saw it mentioned on forums and sites finally resulted in my acquisition of it. The sequel was recently funded on Kickstarter. The developers used RPG Maker / Game Maker. I've got another RPG Maker game, To the Moon, which is commercial and also received excellent reviews. It's cool to see people leveraging these toolkits to make great games!

    Let me attempt to explain what this JRPG-style throwback is about...It helps to be familiar with 90s NBA basketball. Nearly all the stars of the era are in the game. Since I loved basketball growing up, the theme was a draw for me. You play as the titular Charles Barkley of NBA and Shut Up and Jam fame. He's just like he was portrayed in the media! He's got an attitude, is incredibly serious about basketball (or b-ball, as the game hilariously calls it throughout), and often insists he is not a role model (which he famously stated and defended). The other characters in the party include Charles's son, Hoopz Barkley, Lebron James's great-grandfather, a cybernetic Vince Carter, and the Cyberdwarf, who had emergency reconstructive surgery and now has black and orange basketball leather for skin. Ok, still with me?

    The game takes place in "post cyberpocalyptic Neo-New York" (I love it...), and you later discover "Proto Neo-New York," after the "Cyberpocalypse." The Cyberpocalypse happened after Charles Barkley performed a "Chaos Dunk" and nearly wiped out mankind. The Chaos Dunk exploded with the power of a lot of megaton bombs. After the Cyberpocalypse, basketball was banned and playing it was a crime. At the beginning of the game, Manhattan is wiped out by a second Chaos Dunk. The "B-Ball Removal Department," headed by Michael Jordan, thinks Barkley did it because he is supposedly the only person with the ability to perform the Chaos Dunk. Barkley & Co. set off running from Jordan to find out who did the Chaos Dunk, how they can counter the "Ultimate B-Ball" that the perpetrator possesses, and how to renew basketball's good standing.

    I swear the story is awesome. It is silly and it is weird, but it is tight. The writers know how to make art. It is complimented by great combat mechanics and level design and funny character portraits. There's a love story, a father/son story, racial tension, friendships and rivalries, mystery, social commentary, commentary on games and RPGs (much of which is heavy-handed) and lots and lots of wonderful moments where I burst out in laughter. My favorite thing in the game has to do with type-2 diabetes, and if you are familiar with a certain mustachioed diabetes awareness actor, you will enjoy that part too. I took a bunch of screen grabs of funny quotes and memorable moments. Space Jam and Ghost Dad also are pivotal elements of the story. Could this BE any more of my childhood?

    Despite how weird it all seems, the game will be immanently familiar to JRPG/old school RPG fans. It's an amazing genre parody, well worth a download.
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    dkirschner's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 17 July, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Friday 19 July, 2013

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Really well done, very funny. --------- OMG, hilarious game. Great genre parody. I love the diabetes part.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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