My name doesn't matter, what does however is the fact that I love bananas, bongos, bohemian apparel and other assorted things that begin with the letter B. I came to Destructoid to seek fortune writing literature that rivals classics such as the 1851 novel by Herman Melville, Moby Dick. I don't give a damn whether or not you think my work rattles along at classic standards or not, they are all works of art, as much an art as interactive video entertainment games.
Ya know, fuck our usual protagonists. Metro sexual pretty boys and emotional brooding introverts have gone the way of cliche. Would you really depend on these types of characters to save the world from impending destruction? I think not. If I had to pick someone to stand behind in such a dire time, I would want to support a real man, a man's man, a man like, like, like.... CHARLES BARKLEY! I could definitely see myself supporting a man like Sir Charles. A bullshit free, tough son of a bitch, with some heavy feet and a heavier tongue. Come to think of it, it's a very rare thing to witness a main RPG protagonist these days with that type of personality. I think it's safe to say that Square won't be licensing Charles's name anytime soon.
Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa fucked me tenderly. It told me that I was beautiful, it whispered in my ear as it tenderly held itself close to my body, and it was sincere, as it excited me like no other game has before. Shut up and Jam: Gaiden in a word was spectacular! My past however, enhanced the experience to a biased and personally pleasurable level. For I was once a basketball junkie. Back in the mid 90's, I would play basketball at school, at the church I grew up at, at the park, and anywhere really that I could play. I would dream about playing basketball, I would read about all of the players, I'd watch the games, and collect the cards. At a time, basketball was my life.
After a few years of my parents deterring me from trying to join my school's basketball team, and the realization that I was one white son of a bitch, my love for the game eventually subsided. I put it on a shelf I labeled childhood. It sat comfortably next to a box full of NES games and year books. 12 years later I reopened that box, after hearing about the amazing concept of an RPG starring Charles Barkley. My present life seized to exist. I had to play it.
My heart pounding like a b-ball rhythmically hitting the hardwood, I searched and searched. I found trailers, articles, screen shots, and the game itself. I downloaded the game and booted it up. The game was so beautiful, I almost cried. I finally came into the realization that the two things I have loved most in my life merged, basketball and RPGs. I thought I'd never see the day, but here I was witnessing such glorious beauty. I swear I heard a choir of angels sing.
Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa was just more then a dishy concoction of my favorite things, but it was damn genius. The game keeps a self aware state throughout, poking fun at both itself and the player. It seems to take some of the most insignificant and silly ideas ever conceived from the game of basketball and weave them into an exquisite grand and thoroughly epic storyline. A story woven with a glorious tapestry of odd humor, self aware genre cliches, basketball, and overall, personality! I have never played a game like this in my entire life.
You are Charles Barkley and basketball has been made illegal thanks to a tragic accident you were responsible for called the chaos dunk. Millions of people died that day, including your wife. The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041 was made official and basketball no longer was. In a world without basketball, you live your life everyday in regret, raising a motherless son. With stained hands and a now meaningless life, you have to struggle each day to find hope and piece together your past. Accused of yet another chaos dunk, you won't have that time. As Charles, you will have to face your past and find redemption.
The gameplay, although not as genius as the concept, is surprisingly good too. The world is easy to navigate, the equipment and items you use are simple to remember, exchange, and equip, and the main and side pursuits are refreshing to the game. It's a well paced game. Very rarely did I find myself bored playing it. Since it was such an eccentrically written story, I always wanted to see what was next. Battling was quite fun as well. It seemed to take a Super Mario RPG approach by throwing in small button games into the attacks. Get them down right, and you'll do more damage. The menu selection was quite fluid and easy to use, and most importantly, all of the battles seemed well balanced and fair.
Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden was a joy to play both as an RPG enthusiast and as a basketball fan. If I were only a fan of one, I'd still enjoy the game. As a fan of both though, I felt as if I had jumped the shark of my life. There's nowhere to go now or nothing else to play that will excite me as much as Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa has. Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa is a true masterpiece in my eyes. If you haven't played Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa, I highly suggest it.