3on3 FreeStyle Reviews

1,531,932 (922,035)
TA Score for this game: 6,544
Posted on 19 September 18 at 14:44, Edited on 26 September 18 at 23:42
This review has 13 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
JOYCITY's 3on3 FreeStyle is a free-to-play, all-online, all-multiplayer arcade basketball game that looks to replicate the spirit, if not exactly the accuracy, of 3-on-3 playground court basketball. Is it realistic? No. Is it fun? Absolutely.

As someone who's already devoted at least 40 hours into this, I have a pretty decent feel for the nuances of the game. The game supplies you with a base player at each of the five positions, center, point guard, shooting guard, small forward, and power forward. Each has his or her strengths and weaknesses, and how you match them against your opponent will go a long way toward how well you fare on the court.

As of the time of this review, there are two modes (with more promised by the developer): 3v3, and 1v1. In 3v3, you are matched up with 2 other players, and must decide which positions to play without knowing what your opponents are using. 3v3 matches are two 2:30 halves, with a halftime where you can switch players. You can also call one timeout during the game to switch as well.

1v1 is the same idea, except you choose the players, and match up against a single opponent in one 3-minute game. This mode is better suited for learning how to use your particular players, as the AI doesn't always follow directions. (Sometimes, that isn't a bad thing.)

In addition to the 5 base players, there are a number of others in the store that you can purchase with in-game currency. While the currency isn't liberally given through the game, you get a fair amount just by playing (win or lose), completing certain "quests" (like making 10 assists over any number of games), and leveling up. You can also level up your players by purchasing XP upgrades with in-game coins.

As to the freemium model, you can spend money on the game, but the vast majority of the premium purchases are for cosmetic effects, like uniforms and celebrations. You can pay to level your characters up, but I'm happy to say that skill absolutely trumps stats in this game. This is not a pay-to-win title. (And even if you spend $$ to play, you still have to develop the skills to win the games.)

It's no different than any MOBA; you have to know your character's skill set and how it stacks up against your opponent. Kim is a dang good sniper. If she's open, a level 1 Kim can drain 3s every time. Cindy is crazy versatile, can steal like a cat burglar and move like one, too. I can run in and do layups with her at will against just about any other player who doesn't know how to block or doesn't time them right. (And if they can, pump fake works well enough.)

The key is all about knowing your players and how they match up. The characters are incredibly well balanced, and you can be VERY successful with just the 5 base roles. That's what the 1v1 mode is for: learning HOW to play those characters, what their specialties are, and so forth. Big Dog and Christa (centers) aren't going to be hitting the long shots (usually), and anyone trying is going to get frustrated. They're blocking and rebounding monsters, though.

The positions are what you'd expect. Get your SG open, and she'll drain 3s. Let Cindy (PG) loose, and she's an all-around threat. Keep Big Dog (C) close to the basket to protect it. Dish it to Lulu (PF) and she can muscle through for dunks. There is a degree of skill involved. Best part is that you'll only have at most 3 roles on the court. 2 of them can't be used because this is 3v3.

New players shouldn't feel intimidated by others out there. A level 1 SG with a user who knows how to play can completely decimate an opponent from long range. Being able to get open is up to the player. Shooting using the power bar is up to the player. Timing your blocks... yep, up to the player. In other words, if you work at it, you can play any character well at level 1. You really can.

(Still, once you get those coins, it's obviously smart to level up. I'm emphasizing that free can actually mean free if you want it to be.)

Matchmaking works well enough; it's no different than any other game. You WILL get randoms, but that's the nature of online gaming. You can choose to re-up with the same players, though, and you can invite friends to bypass matchmaking. However, I've found that you can get good players to stay with you, and I rarely get matched up against the same players over and over again. Sometimes you do have to be lucky with your teammates, but after a 5 minute game, you can throw your teammates back and hope for a better draw next time.

The achievements are definitely grindy, so you have to spend enough time to get there. Kinda like... practically every other online game out there where you have to grind it out and become good at the game to get MVPs and level up your user. In other words, get better, and your stats will add up. I've played plenty of games that are grindier. (As an example, I've spent about 40 hours on the game, I'm level 14, and most of the way to all of the achievements except for the 200 MVPs.)

In sum, this is easily the most fun I've had with a basketball game in a long time. The short games mean that if you're having a bad time, wait 5 minutes. You'll get another shot. 3on3 is free, but not pay-to-win, the way that so many other F2P games are. It's addictive, and if you care enough to learn each player's role, you can have a lot of fun with just your base players, or save your coins for others. Spending $$ is up to you; it isn't necessary.

See you on the court!

Ethics statement: a review code for this game was provided to me by the Microsoft store after securing $0.00 plus tax.
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