Not exactly a swish with Flick NBA

Posted: April 28, 2009 in Sports

Flick NBA Basketball has something going for it, and that’s the NBA brand. Beyond that, I think you need to be open to the potential of this title as opposed to what’s there now. The graphics and animation are eye opening as is the details in each of the basketball players in the game. Where the Flick NBA suffers right now is in the execution and depth departments.

The game consists of five individual events: 3 pt. Shootout, H.O.R.S.E, Hotshot, Long Shot, and Ball Spin. The game offers either single player or two-player hot seat modes, and you have the option of turning on/off the music and sound effects as well as turning on/off the reflection or visible arc of the basketball. There is a catalog of players to choose from that you swipe through. As I said, the details on the each players’ facial expressions and uniforms and nicely done. The control literally is your finger and the ability to tap to place your player at various locations depending on which event you’re playing.

Before you start each event, a Tutorial provides the objectives of the event. You can also access the Tutorial during the game by hitting the Pause button located in the upper right-hand corner. Also during gameplay, you’ll hear commentary from the announcers either congratulating you when you’re successful “He’s on fire tonight” or berating you “I’m glad his mother wasn’t here to watch this.”

In 3 pt. shootout, the objective is to make as many shots as possible within 60 seconds. There is a counter at the top that tracks shots made by your player and the opponent whom you must beat. As you flick the basketball, it’s interesting to watch the flight of the ball, but there is a slight lag after you shoot, then pick up the next ball, and shoot. So you can’t simply keep flicking without out allowing the shooter to reset which may be problem. I didn’t find it as responsive as I would’ve liked. As you empty the rack of basketballs, you automatically move to the next perimeter. At the end of the event, a statistics page appears for single player mode that compares you to other players. One small quirk I found was in 3 pt. Shootout because it automatically starts up in two-player hot seat mode which means selecting two players. If you want to play as a single player, you have to hit the back button located at the bottom left-hand corner which then switches to single player.

Two of the games involve a meter: H.O.R.S.E. and Long Shot. A meter is included that along with your flick motion controls the path of your shot. A bar moves quickly back and forth and part of the task is to flick to stop the bar as close as possible to the middle, and then flick again to shoot. Believe me, this takes practice and can be frustrating because there is an occasional lag.

In H.O.R.S.E., the objective is match your opponent shot for shot depending on where the shot takes place. You tap to place your player. The disappointing part of this is that the shots are based on perimeter distance shooting, and there are no slam dunk or layups. You received an achievement if you shut out the other player.

Long shot involves making a series of shots from the paint, the foul line and 3 pt. range in 30 seconds. As move outside of the paint, the meter moves faster, and thus it becomes more difficult.

Two events that underachieve are Hotshot and Ball Spin for the simple fact that they do not involve NBA players at all and feel as if these were added in as filler. Hotshot is more of a carnival-style hoop shoot in a contained area. You have four basketballs in a cage with a hoop, and you flick them one at time to see how high you can score in 90 seconds. If you score 200 in that time, you’re awarded an achievement trophy.

Finally, in Ball Spin, a ball spins on an on-screen finger, and you use your finger to spin the ball as well as tilt to keep the ball spinning as long as possible. The score quickly ticks up for the duration that you keep the ball spinning, and resets as soon as the ball falls the finger. Reach 25,000 points and you receive bonus points.

I think Flick NBA has potential, but as a 1.0 release, it lacks depth beyond the roster of players you can choose. It’s somewhat disappointing because the attention to detail is obvious, but for some, the game offers limited replayability.

Check out my impressions at TouchArcade http://toucharcade.com/2009/04/28/flick-nba-basketball-shaq-in-your-pocket/

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