Freestyle Superstars (often abbreviated to FSS) is a further expansion of Freestyle Control that allows certain players to perform more powerful and advanced moves on command. It was introduced in NBA Live 06 and further developed in NBA Live 07 with multiple tiers of movesets and player abilities.
The feature was removed beginning in NBA Live 08, with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions introducing Go To Moves as a means of distinguishing star players from the rest of the league and providing them with unique moves. The PC version of NBA Live 08 retained some of the Freestyle Superstar moves from NBA Live 07 for star players but these were executed automatically depending on a player's location on the court.
!!Using Freestyle Superstars In NBA Live 06, FSS moves were executed by holding down a button designated as the Freestyle Superstar Trigger and then pressing one of the four action buttons (Shoot, Pass, Dunk/Layup and Pro Hop/Drop Step), each corresponding to a unique FSS move. Although some players had multiple FSS movesets at their disposal, they could only utilise one offensive moveset and one defensive moveset during a game.
NBA Live 07 made greater use of the right analog stick with Freestyle Superstars. Moves were now executed by holding the FSS trigger and moving the right analog stick in different directions. As with Freestyle Control's dribbling moves, more complex stick movements resulted in the player attempting more advanced moves. Players could now also cycle through all available FSS movesets if they had more than one at their disposal by holding the FSS trigger and pressing the right analog stick button (the same control used to activate Off-Ball Control).
Superstar and Star Level Moves
The PC and PS2 versions of NBA Live 07 expanded Freestyle Superstars into two groups, Superstar level players and Star level players. Superstar players were able to perform all of the basic FSS moves as well as the most complex moves. Because of their higher ratings their moves were also more effective. In contrast, Star level players had a more limited moveset and could not dominate in the same fashion as Superstar level players.
The Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 07 utilised a similar concept with three tiers of players; Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. Level 1 players are the lowest tier of FSS players with the smallest moveset, Level 2 players featured an intermediate amount of moves and Level 3 players boasted the widest variety of moves, ranging from the simple Level 1 moves to more complex moves. The Next Gen version also featured In the Zone which allowed Level 3 superstars to attempt additional advanced moves if their performance was good enough to place them "in the zone".
Freestyle Superstar Types
Freestyle Superstar abilities are divided into the following categories:
This moveset allows the NBA's most dazzling dunkers to perform spectacular slams on cue. As with most offensive FSS moves the High Flyer dunks are extremely difficult to stop as they allow players to soar over the defense to throw down a dunk. In addition to introducing two tiers of High Flyers, NBA Live 07 also featured two seperate Dunk Packages to represent two different styles of aerial artists.
The Playmaker moveset allows players to throw fancy passes as well as increase the chances the recepient will make the shot, completing the assist, particularly when passing the ball to a player with an offensive FSS moveset of their own.
The Inside Scorer moveset gives the NBA's best low post players additional moves that make them a force to be reckoned with in the paint, consisting mainly of an array of hooks, fakes and turnaround jumpshots.
Outside Scorer caters to the NBA's most dangerous perimeter scorers, providing them with tough but effective leaning, turnaround and fadeaway jumpshots as well as a teardrop and a couple of layups to allow them to effective slash to the basket.
These moves are suited to the league's top marksmen, consisting of various ball fakes, a set shot, bank shot and a shot with the "perfect" release.
The Power Player moveset is utilised by players like Shaquille O'Neal who frequently attack the basket and overpower their opponents with a combination of super strength and deft inside touch. Two dunk packages allow power players like Shaq to be distinguished from power players like Amare Stoudemire, who finish with force but display more athleticism similar to the High Flyers.
Inside Stoppers are intimidating shot blockers capable of swatting away shots with authority. They also tend to be strong rebounders.
Outside Stoppers tend to be the NBA's best on-ball defenders as well as players adept at picking pockets and playing the passing lanes.
Although Freestyle Superstars is seen as further evolution of total player control, it is often criticised for being too overpowerful and at times arcade-like, with games often coming down to a shootout between players with offensive FSS abilities. Some fans feel that the series would be better abandoning the concept of Freestyle Superstars while others feel that while it has caused some problems it is a concept that can be further refined so that it is more realistic.
Freestyle Superstars has essentially been phased out in the current console versions but remains in a limited form in the PC version of NBA Live 08 and the PS2 versions of NBA Live 08 and NBA Live 09. Rather than manually being triggered, Superstar and Star level players will automatically perform FSS and Go To Moves when they are in the appropriate area of the floor. This is indicated by a gold (Superstar) or silver (Star) star appearing beneath the player when they are in the correct area.