Put together the strongest high school basketball team in all of Japan, by recruiting players the likes of Hanamichi Sakuragi and Kaede Rukawa, in Slam Dunk ~Mezase! Saikyo Team~ (SLAM DUNK〜目指せ！最強チーム!!〜), a social game based on Takehiko Inoue’s popular manga and anime series.
Launched today on DeNA’s Mobage games platform, the new Slam Dunk social game was co-developed between DeNA’s in-house team and KLab Inc., in conjunction with Toei Animation, and is playable on Android and iOS smartphones as well as good ol’ feature phones (which many consumers in Japan still use today).
So how does one put together a solid basketball team in Slam Dunk ~Mezase! Saikyo Team~? Like with the majority of mobile social games in Japan, this task involves collecting tons and tons of illustrated cards, and picking out those that work well together in order to assemble an unbeatable deck.
Cards in this social game come in four varieties. First, at the forefront of any deck here are Player cards featuring characters like Sakuragi and Rukawa.
Complementing Player cards are Skill, Support (this is where characters like Sakuragi’s love interest Haruko Akagi come in), and Tactics (Coach Anzai) cards.
In an attempt to further infuse some of the real sport’s flavour here, in this game it matters not only which cards you choose to put into your deck, but also the positions in which you placed them in. Depending on those card positions, a variety of Skill Links (スキル連携) – mirroring plays as seen in the Slam Dunk anime series – may activate.
And you’ll want to activate as many Skill Links as you can, as they are the key to winning matches against other players.
With each victory you covet, you’ll earn yourself a videotape, an in-game item that’s actually quite useless all on its own. I suppose in the context of the game world these videotapes contain recorded match footage that you then sit down to review in order to formulate your game plan for the next match.
But collect enough of these tapes, and you’ll eventually unlock something called Memorial Film, which are brief clips or scenes taken directly from the Slam Dunk anime series. You don’t really see that in a lot of social games, but this is possible here thanks to Toei Animation’s involvement.
There is also apparently a story of some sort in this game, said to be taking place in parallel with the main storyline from the anime series. It’s not mentioned anywhere if Slam Dunk author Takehiko Inoue has had a hand in the writing here, however. So it’s best not to expect anything but the most rudimentary of plotlines here.
Slam Dunk ~Mezase! Saikyo Team~ is free to play, with optional paid content, and accessible now on the Mobage games platform via your smartphone (iOS and Android) or feature phone Web browser.
URL for use on smartphones: http://sp.pf.mbga.jp/12012891
URL for use on feature phones: http://pf.mbga.jp/12012891
To play the game, however, you will first need to be registered with Mobage. The registration is free and not region-blocked, but you will need to go through a ton of instructions written entirely in Japanese, and send an empty e-mail from your phone.