I have been a Levelup fan ever since they started. Used to play Ragnarok in its earlier releases, as well as OzWorld, a cool online living game, where you get to meet and socialize other players, make a living, start an online romance among other hosts of features.

But the release of Freestyle Online finally got me hooked to online gaming, way before Perfect World was a fad (sad to say, Perfect World is dying – according to the other online players I used to play with). Freestyle is an online Street Basketball game. If you love basketball, then you will surely love Freestyle.

FreeStyle In-game experience

2006_12_31_13_46_0406Freestyle is a “cartoonish”, or 2D-style street basketball MMORPG, or short for Massively Multi-player Online Role-Playing Game. It simply means you are playing with (cooperative) or against thousands of other Players online. As with the real Street basketball games, you can taunt your opponent, show your skills and slam those points. However, you got the joy of extra spectacular moves you can only find in Cartoon shows and in the virtual world, and you can do anything. There’s no foul, no traveling, no out-of-bounds – simply there are no rules with Freestyle.

You can do a 360 dunk a la Kobe Bryant. You can also make board shattering slam dunks, reverse dunks, one-hand slam, two-hand slams and many more. Centers and Power Forwards rule the rebounds and dunks, Small Forwards get the mid-range shooting advantages, the Point Guards can do stellar alley hoops while the Shooting Guards can shoot 3-points with eyes closed.

Character Getups

You can choose your character’s build and skin color. You have an option to get a baldy player like Shaq or a player who looks like Bob Marley. Another cool feature is the ability to select many types of blingy, from head gears, eye wears, earrings, shirts, jackets, pants, shorts, socks down to shoes. You can use the points you earned from playing to buy these stuffs. And if you want added attributes, like, +5 on rebound, or +5 on shooting, you can invest some amount of money to buy Blingy with extra attributes. You can also buy Tattoos to boost your character’s leveling by adding extra more points during end games.

The game is entirely free to play, you just have to download the game and install, and make sure you have a good internet connection, or else, your game will lag.

Character Selection and Leveling

Once you get an account, you can create your player and customize its size, look and color. You can choose either a male or a female character. You also choose one of the 3 types of characters you want to play – Guard (great for shooting 3’s, dribbling and assists), Forward (excellent in dunks, and can take charge on rebounding) or Center (rules on rebounds and dunks as well).

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Upon reaching Level 15, Guards can be upgraded to either Shooting Guard (SG) or Point Guard (PG). Forwards can choose to become Power Forwards (PF), or a more flexible Small Forward (SF – however, you will suck at rebounding). Centers remain to be centers, but as with the other character types, new skills can be acquired, and the higher is your level, the better your attributes and skills become.

How the Game is played

Controls of the game is very basic, using the popular keyboard keys W, S, A, D (for screen, assist, pass, dunk, shoot) and arrow keys to move up, left, right and down. You can choose a 1-on-1 play against any player, or 2-on-2, and the more exciting 3-on-3. Even little kids can play the game, its pretty simple.

With the lingering problems on dsl connection in the Philippines, plus the irritating reality that Philippine DSL providers do not interconnect well with each other, game quality at times are affected. You cannot play with Globe DSL users if you are using PLDT or other providers. The 5-on-5 game mode (which is available in other countries, especially Korea where the game was developed) will still remain a dream for Pinoy gamers.

Overall, the game is addictive and fun. As with most online games, Freestyle has chat features, both public and private. You can also add friends. Trash talks add excitements during the game as well. So if you want to rule the boards and the streets (and the girls too), get your gear and play street basketball the Freestyle way.

Check out some cool game screen shots.

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