Indie Watch- Charles Barkley + RPG = love


The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041, a day so painful to some that it is referred to only as the “B-Ballnacht”. Thousands upon thousands of the world’s greatest ballers were massacred in a swath of violence and sports bigotry as the game was outlawed worldwide. The reason: the Chaos Dunk, a jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order. Among the few ballers and fans that survived the basketball genocide was Charles Barkley, the man capable of performing the “Verboten Jam”…

Flash forward 12 years to the post-cyberpocalyptic ruins of Neo New York, 2053. A Chaos Dunk rocks the island of Manhattan, killing 15 million. When the finger is put on the aging Charles Barkley, he must evade the capture of the B-Ball Removal Department, led by former friend and baller Michael Jordan, and disappear into the dangerous underground of the post-cyberpocalypse to clear his name and find out the mysterious truth behind the Chaos Dunk. Joined by allies along the way, including his son Hoopz, Barkley must face the dangers of a life he thought he gave up a long time ago and discover the secrets behind the terrorist organization B.L.O.O.D.M.O.S.E.S.

A tale of zaubers, b-balls, and atonement; brave dangers unheard of, face spectacular challenges that even the greatest ballers could not overcome, and maybe… just maybe… redeem basketball once and for all.

From that description, you’d expect a game continuing the internet’s tradition of absurdist humor… and you’d be half right. But what sets aside Barkley’s Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is its entirely deadpan, nearly cliched Japanese RPG delivery. While you’ll be doing things as absurd as searching for “manufacted jamicite,” fighting a surgeon who fufills the wishes of the furry community by turning people into animals, and running away from the anti-B-Ball authorities, you’ll never hear genre-savvy characters remark on the inaneness of the situation. Rather, they take the world entirely seriously, as Barkley comes to terms with the loss of his wife, and Cyberdwarf deals with the intolerance of a society that can’t handle a person with skin made of basketballs. This juxtaposition is quite satisfying, and makes for a far more hilarious experience than most run of the mill internet humor. Add in decent writing, a turn-based battle system that’s better than a lot of commercial releases, tight dungeon design, and excellent music, and you’ve got a game good enough to distract me from Crackdown and Call of Duty 4. Oh, and it’s free.

Download the game here.

Author: vonderhaar

What's there to say about me? I'm just your average gamer, suckered by a childhood spent with my nose buried in the latest EGM into dreaming that I could turn my favorite hobby into a livelihood. If the dream doesn't end up becoming reality, I've got an interest in philosophy, political science, economics, and sociology that will hopefully land me a job somewhere in academia.

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