This review originally appeared on PSPMinis.com back on April 30, 2012. Read my Postmortem about that website, soon.
This Mini is a digital version of the hoop machine in arcades. Even if you don’t like basketball, I am pretty sure you’ve played it at least once in your lifetime for various reasons. One of those many reasons was, for sure, that you were on a date.
I have to admit, I played this Mini for just a short amount of time. I took more time changing accounts in my Vita than actually playing this game. Partly, I just hated this awful game, but mostly, Free Shot Frenzy does not even offer a speck of entertainment. This game is not worth anybody’s money, time, or attention. It is just an incomplete, unpolished, and ugly digital product that should have been canceled. I don’t know if this game was previously released in the mobile ecosystem and offers more content there, but if it does, I find it offensive that the customers who pay more actually get less.
Free Shot Frenzy has three modes. The Arcade mode is the electronic version of the basic hoop machine, where the ring stays stationary and you just hoist the balls as fast and as accurately as you can within the time limit. In the Impulsive mode, you are given much more time, but the ring moves around the cabinet. In the Go Frenzy mode, the time is shorter, same as the Arcade mode, but the ring moves frantically all over the place.
This core gameplay would be entertaining, if only the Mini were well developed. Unfortunately, it looks like this game had a budget of $10, given its sparse look, forgettable soundtrack and awful gameplay.
You pick up a ball by pressing X and aim with either the D-pad or the analog nub. You shoot by pressing X again, keeping an eye on the force meter located on the left side of the screen. The bar is persistent and jumps from “weak” to “strong.” You must coordinate your shot with it so that you throw the ball in accordance with your preferred power.
The problem lies here. As long as you throw the ball above the ring, you get the shot. Moreover, the game gratuitously displays “Nothing but net!” even if the ball hit the board first before splashing into the net. And that’s it. You can’t miss if it’s above the ring. Certainly, in the Go Frenzy and Impulsive modes, things get mildly interesting. But still, about 30 seconds after you start, you’ll realize Free Shot Frenzy is just a shallow game. It would be nice if Gameshastra put World Ping Pong Championship and Free Shot Frenzy together in a package, and then it could be a “good” deal.
The graphics are not hideous, but they are totally uninspired. Same with the music. Yes, you can put your name in the high score table in each mode. But the question is: would you touch the game again after playing it through once?
No. You wouldn’t.