Ever wondered what a JRPG would be like if a bunch of basketball fans made it? Look no further than Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa (shortened to Barkley from here on out). This game has everything you love from JRPGs, including our brooding hero, Charles Barkley; the camp villain, Micheal Jordan; an evil company, Square Enix Goya; and even a cameo appearance, Master Chief. With strong inspiration from Super Mario RPG and Earthbound, this is one free game no RPG lovers (and haters!) should miss!
Barkley is a hilarious self-referencing game. It’s surprisingly long for a free game, too. You can download it at Tales Of Games’ website.
The year is 2053; location, Neo New York. The famed basketball player, Charles Barkley, is struggling to support his son, Hoopz, in a post-apocalypse world. While secretly teaching his son the outlawed basketball dribbles, Charles is falsely accused by the head of B-Ball Removal Department, Michael Jordan, for killing 15 million people with a Chaos Dunk. Clearly innocent, Charles escapes from Michael’s grasps, and hunts for the real culprit that used his signature (and destructive) slam dunk.
Barkley takes many elements from multiple RPG game sources. Like Earthbound, enemies appear readily on the map. Approaching behind them gives you one extra turn during the battle phases, while getting hit by enemies behind your back causes you to lose one turn. The turn-based battle, like Super Mario RPG series, uses a quick-time-like mechanic to enhance your attacks. The puzzles may remind some people of the Golden Sun series as well.