Free Shot Frenzy Review—Offensive, Foul
I am a huge basketball fan, be it the NBA, the NCAA (YAY, DUKE LOST!), the Euroleague, FIBA, the Olympics or the pickup games right on our street corner. I also loved the manga and anime Slam Dunk (I am not even a fan of manga or anime, by the way). I rage at anything that desecrates the sport, like how the matinee idols 5566 figuratively spit on Naismith’s name with the sacrilegious My MVP Valentine just to siphon money from the most gullible demographic: prepubescent girls. You must realize now that I blindly consume everything basketball. I never learned a thing and watched Hot Shot. What was wrong with me? Also, I cringed at Lebron James’ The Decision for making a circus out of his free agency. And, I was on the verge of crying when Jason Kidd finally won a championship in the NBA Finals last year. He is my favorite basketball player in the post-Jordan era. So it might be possible that my love for the sport clouded my judgment in this review.
No, I really doubt it.
Now, in JeremyR’s review of World Ping Pong Championship, he highlights how lacking in the content department the game is. The same case happened here in Free Shot Frenzy. This Mini is a digital version of the hoop machine in arcades. Even if you don’t like basketball, I am pretty sure you’ve played it at least once in your lifetime for various reasons. One of those many reasons was, for sure, that you were on a date.
I have to admit, I played this Mini for just a short amount of time. I took more time changing accounts in my Vita than actually playing this game. Partly, I just hated this awful game, but mostly, Free Shot Frenzy does not even offer a speck of entertainment. This game is not worth anybody’s money, time or attention. It is just an incomplete, unpolished and ugly digital product that should have been canceled. I don’t know if this game was previously released in the mobile ecosystem and offers more content there, but if it does, I find it offensive that the customers who pay more actually get less.
Free Shot Frenzy has three modes. The Arcade mode is the electronic version of the basic hoop machine, where the ring stays stationary and you just hoist the balls as fast and as accurately as you can within the time limit. In the Impulsive mode, you are given much more time, but the ring moves around the cabinet. In the Go Frenzy mode, the time is shorter, same as the Arcade mode, but the ring moves frantically all over the place.
This core gameplay would be entertaining, if only the Mini were well developed. Unfortunately, it looks like this game had a budget of $10, given its sparse look, forgettable soundtrack and awful gameplay.
You pick up a ball by pressing X and aim with either the D-pad or the analog nub. You shoot by pressing X again, keeping an eye on the force meter located on the left side of the screen. The bar is persistent and jumps from “weak” to “strong.” You must coordinate your shot with it so that you throw the ball in accordance with your preferred power.
The problem lies here. As long as you throw the ball above the ring, you get the shot. Moreover, the game gratuitously displays “Nothing but net!” even if the ball hit the board first before splashing into the net. And that’s it. You can’t miss if it’s above the ring. Certainly, in the Go Frenzy and Impulsive modes, things get mildly interesting. But still, about 30 seconds after you start, you’ll realize Free Shot Frenzy is just a shallow game. It would be nice if Gameshastra put World Ping Pong Championship and Free Shot Frenzy together in a package, and then it could be a “good” deal.
The graphics are not hideous, but they are totally uninspired. Same with the music. Yes, you can put your name in the high score table in each mode. But the question is: would you touch the game again after playing it through once?
No. You wouldn’t.