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FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball is a 3D basketball MMO with RPG elements. It is a sequel to the original FreeStyle: Street Basketball game.

Publisher: GameKiss
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Basketball MMO
Release Date: June 20, 2014 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Good variety of customization. +Plenty of skills. +Permanent clothes. +Good music.
Cons: -Few game modes. -Pay-to-win elements. -Need to play 10 placements before you can play with friends.

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Overview

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Overview

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball is a basketball MMO developed by Joycity. The global English server is hosted by GameKiss. Freestyle 2 caters to both casual and hardcore audiences. The game's simple learning curve allows anyone to just jump in and start having fun. Those familiar with the first FreeStyle game should have an even easier time getting used to FreeStyle 2, as FreeStyle 2 is simply a much more polished version of the original game. Other features of the game include player customization, a guild system, various skills, permanent clothes, and good music.

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Key Features:

  • Choose from 5 Positions – players pick from 5 positions, or "classes" (Center, Power Forward, Small Forward, Point Guard, and Shooting Guard).
  • Get the Skills – individual skills must be purchased in the game's store.
  • 2 Competitive Modes Team Match is standard 3v3, while Individual Mode is 1v1. Co-op vs AI mode is also available.
  • Great Variety of Customization – players can purchase clothes and outfits. Some pay-to-win elements with cash shop equipment.
  • Easy to Get Started – simple to pick up and learn, but difficult to master gameplay.

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Screenshots

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Featured Video

Full Review

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Review

By Omer Altay

Freestyle 2: Street Basketball is a 3D basketball MMO developed by Joycity and published by Steam and GameKiss. While its original release date in South Korea was in 2011, FreeStyle launched into open beta in the U.S. on June 20, 2014. FreeStyle 2 is the successor to the first FreeStyle: Street Basketball game and features many of the same gameplay elements as the first game. Given that the first game shut down, fans of the first game should find a lot to like to like in FreeStyle 2, as the game is basically just a revamped version of the first game. Differences include more responsive gameplay, more customization options, and a better interface. There's also more skill involved, as individual shots can can be timed to increase the odds of scoring.

Pick a Position

Upon launching FreeStyle 2 for the first time, players are prompted to create a character. The game features 5 playable “positions” which act as classes. While the first game only had 3 positions, FreeStyle 2 has 5 – Center (C), Power forward (PF), Small Forward (SF), Point Guard (PG), and Shooting Guard (SG). In the first FreeStyle game, players had “job advancements” where a forward became a Power Forward upon reaching a certain level. This isn't the case with FreeStyle 2. Each position has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Centers excel at rebounding and controlling the ball near the net, while suffering from limited maneuverability. Every position has its role to play on the court, with some classes being more flexible than others. Those looking for a “jack of all trades” sort of position should probably play one of the Forwards.

After selecting a position, players are given the option of picking a character and customizing their stats. Each position in FreeStyle 2 has ~5 characters available, giving players an avenue for choosing their starting appearance. Players can also customize their stats by choosing from one of 3 specialties – Balanced, Power Type, and Shrewd. Each specialty alters a character's starting stats, allowing players to specialize further into certain activities. For example, Power Type decreases the 3-point shot stat while increasing short dunk. FreeStyle 2 features 14 different stats, giving players plenty of options to improve the stats that are important to them with items and training.

Learning the Basics

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball is one of those games that are easy to pick up and learn the basics, but difficult to master. Those who haven't played the first FreeStyle game should definitely play through the game's short tutorial, which explains the basics of shooting, rebounding, stealing, and more. Players are also rewarded a random Top and Bottom item for finishing the tutorial, so there's no reason to skip it. Upon completing the tutorial, players can jump right into an actual match. FreeStyle 2 features only 3 game modes – Team Match (3v3), Individual (1v1), and Co-op vs AI. The 3v3 Team Match is easily the most popular. Players can practice while waiting for a game to start, as lobbies allow players to move around, take shots, and catch rebounds. When a room fills up and the host clicks start, the game automatically matches a team of players against another team.

Core Gameplay

The gameplay in FreeStyle 2 is fast-paced, fluid, and fun. Matches take place on a half-court in either 3v3 or 1v1. Players can move with the arrow keys and can use W, S, A, and D to pass, jump, shoot, block, steal, and dash. Each game lasts 5 minutes and whichever team scores the most points wins. Each game starts with a jump off and whichever team was scored upon starts with the ball. Players need to cooperate with their team to win, because knowing when to pass the ball is just as important as trying to do a sick juke. Simply standing in front of an opponent will decrease their odds of getting a successful basket and jumping right when an opposing player shoots will block it. With that said, there's a lot of RNG in FreeStyle. Even a well “covered” opponent can score a basket if they get lucky and even a perfect shot can miss. Players can recover missed shots by jumping up at the right time and catching the rebound. Players with higher “rebound” stats like the Center have better odds of getting the rebound.

I've personally never been a fan of sports games outside of perhaps the Mario sports like Mario Tennis, but I find FreeStyle 2 to be quite fun. But there's something about FreeStyle 2 that keeps me interested. The game is incredibly easy to pick up and learn, but takes a lot of practice to master. Games are short and players are rewarded with points and experience. Points can be used as currency in the game's skill or item shops while experience allows players to level up and unlock stat points. Players gain a single stat point per level and can spend them to increase any of the game's 14 stats. At the end of each round, players are also given a random item. Players can get cards, upgrade materials, and bonus points this way.

Item and Skill Stores

The item store in FreeStyle 2 is extremely varied. There are dozens of different cosmetic items like shirts, hoodies, pants, glasses, hairstyles, and more. The best part about the item store in FreeStyle 2 is that cosmetics purchased last forever. There's enough variety in the item store that players can get a unique experience to set them apart from others. Items purchased by themselves don't enhance stats, but players can buy temporary upgrades for their gear that boosts stats. These temporary upgrades can be purchased for either 30 or 90 days at a time and cost points. Some cosmetics can only be bought with GCash, which is the game's premium currency. Unfortunately, some of the cosmetics available with GCash grant more stat bonuses than the gear available with Points, which creates a bit of a pay-to-win environment. The stat differences aren't that big and can be overcome with skill, but it's still not exactly fair.

Points can also be used to train skills in the skill shop. Players can only equip 3 skills at once to start, but can unlock additional skill slots at Levels 12, 16, 24, 28, 40, and 50. Players can purchase 3 additional slots at anytime using GCash. Some skills just passively increase stats, while others give players access to entirely new abilities. For example, upon reaching Level 4, players can purchase the Hook Shot III skill, which can be used by hitting the back directional key and D. The “Dunk at Will” ability is unlocked upon reaching Level 28. Skills aren't limited to taking shots, as the game has several “passing” skills too, to increase the odds of successfully passing the basketball in difficult situations.

Other Features

Like any other MMO, FreeStyle 2 has a guild system, called “crews." The game also keeps track of a player's wins, points scored, blocks, win ratios, and more in the “character” screen. Players can also acquire “cards” using points, which passively increase various stats. There are three card slots – offense, defense, and talent, all of which can be upgraded using upgrade materials that can be found simply by playing the game.

One really annoying aspect of FreeStyle 2 is that new players can't play with friends until they've completed 5 placement games on their own. This makes introducing new friends to the game difficult as you won't be able to play with them right away. Luckily it's not that big of a deal as each game only takes 5 minutes.

Final Verdict – Great

FreeStyle 2 is an incredibly polished basketball-themed game and is a huge improvement over the first FreeStyle game. Anyone even remotely interested in sports games should find a lot to like with FreeStyle 2. The only real drawbacks are the few game modes and lack of full-court play, along with some minor pay-to-win elements.

Screenshots

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Screenshots

Videos

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Videos

System Requirements

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
Video Card: GeForce 7600 GT / ATI Equivalent
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB*

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.4 GHz
Video Card: GeForce 9800 GT / ATI Equivalent
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB*

Music

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball Additional Information

Developer: Joycity
Publisher: GameKiss (Global English release)

Closed Beta: May 14, 2014
Open Beta:
June 20, 2014
Steam Release Date: April 1, 2015

Foreign Release:

South Korea: November 1, 2011 (Ntreev)
Vietnam: January, 2013 (VTC Online)
China: January, 2013 (Tiancity)

The GameKiss version of FreeStyle2: Street Basketball is the most globally accessible version.

Development History / Background:

FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball was developed by South Korean game studio Joycity, previously known as JCE. FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball is the successor to the original FreeStyle game, and it launched in South Korea in November 2011. The original game was the most successful sports game in South Korea and given the game's success in Korea, Nexon acquired 22.34% of Joycity. Despite the game's 2011 launch in South Korea, FreeStyle 2 launched in English through GameKiss on June 20, 2014 and launched on Steam on April 1, 2015.