Hall of Fame Potential? A Quick Look at FBPB3
February 23rd, 2013
I’ve finally had some time to sit down and play the Fast Break Pro Basketball 3 (FBPB3) demo. This is a game I’ve been looking forward to ever since Grey Dog Software announced it, which already feels like ages ago.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen first: a Led Zeppelin reunion tour or the actual release of FBPB3. I’m not sure if the senior citizen version of Zeppelin would be worth the wait. Judging by the demo, FBPB3 probably is.
3 Cool Things:
• Everything you would want in a basketball sim appears to be in this game. That sounds overly simplistic, but it sums the demo up perfectly. The groundwork for an awesome game is built. Let’s see if the full version fulfills the potential displayed by the demo.
• The game is easy to navigate. The menus and design aren’t as pretty as Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 3, but they feel more practical. I don’t have to pause and think about where I need to click in order to get to where I need to go.
• It doesn’t take long to get immersed in your basketball world. The easy-to-navigate screens make it simple to access and read about everything happening in the league. I can only imagine how much more immersive the game will be once some photo sets, logo packs and other user mods are created.
Play-by-Play and In-Game View
3 Things I Wish Were Different
• I wish there was a career basketball sim with a coaching mode where you could actually call plays during games. You can call individual plays in Action PC Basketball, but that’s a single-season replay sim.
• I’m not a fan of the colored squares on the player rating’s screen. I forget what each color stands for and it drives me nuts.
• Editing the depth chart should be easier. You have to highlight a player, then click a “move up” or “move down” button get him where you want him. There should be a drag-and-drop or dropdown menu option.
3 Final Thoughts
• The first rule of career sims: Don’t judge them on the demo. I purposely didn’t discuss the realism of the game’s stats, trade logic or other AI factors. I know the developer is still tweaking a few things in these areas and we should reserve judgment until the full game is released (For the record, nothing stood out as egregiously off).
• The historical aspect of FBPB3 will make it an all-time great, or just another fun game. The demo allows you to play the 2012-13 season, and that’s it. The full version is set to have complete rosters and ratings for every player and team going back to 1946 (at no additional cost). If that portion of the game runs smoothly and is as cool as it sounds, this game could end up in the career sim hall of fame.
• A few misc items to finish up: 1) Importing draft classes from FBCB2 was easy; 2) The game developer has been great about answering questions and providing support on forums here and here; 3) No release date has been announced, but it sounds like we’re getting close. Check back here for a full review once the game is available