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Facebreaker is an arcade boxing title from EA Games
The games main mode where you will spend the majority of your time is called the Brawl for It All mode, here you can pick one of the ridiculous looking fighters and Brawl for it All, in case you're wondering that means to become ranked first. There isn't any character story or motivation to do this other than you can which is a bit of a disappointment.
EA has made a number of realistic boxing games in the Fight Night series but for Facebreaker they have gone right the other way. You can perform a number of different moves, high and low punches, blocks, dodges, throws and of course the games trademark Facebreaker move.
The move list is quite extensive but the only real strategy is button mash like crazy until you have charged your Facebreaker move then unleash it to hopefully win the match!
There is also a character create mode where you can bring yourself in a cartoon style into the game using the Xbox Live vision camera, as well as download a wide variety of celebrity faces from Xbox Live which is always a laugh.
The game uses a distinct style, the graphics and animation are very good and you wont be mistaking this for anything else. The Facebreaker moves could use a little toning up though as they are nowhere near as epic as the brutal finishers in the Fight Night games.
The story is lacking but the gameplay is good old button bashing fun and the art style and graphics really help make the game more enjoyable, a good boxing game.
Facebreaker eh? It has a lot to live up to against the excellent Fight Night Round 3. Electronic Arts have an excellent pedigree with the sports genre, generally churning out polished, quality games. You could accuse them of simply rehashing the same games year after year to create big franchises such as the Fifa series but they are nothing if not consistent.
Well the look of the simulation style presentation has been dropped in favour of comedic cartoon style characters set in a range of fun environments. The combat is restricted to a series of punches blocks and parries. Big guns are available in the form of big hitting 'facebreakers' which take their toll on the fighters.
Oh dear. It is right to say that a great deal of the 'boxing' really relies on punishing sessions of button bashing with just a chaser of technique. You soon learn the limitations of your chosen fighter but can manage some very basic strategies. Unfairly in light of the restrictive controls the games AI is extremely punishing and can destroy you very quickly. The limitations of the controls are not limited to battles against the cpu either. Get on a roll of frenzied joypad pounding and it's very hard to recover sufficiently leading to lottery style fights.
Visuals are good but you'll notice some artifacts and strange effects from time to time. The whole thing has a more functional air to it. It looks good but just not quite good enough. The audio is merely ok but this matters little. There are a wealth of set-up options and modes to tinker with if you really want to get deep into the core of the game but the mechanics may well put some people off.
KO or OK?:
Persevere and you may get some short term fun out of this. Take it at face value and have a few rounds now and again. Ultimately the crippling AI and simplistic control method will put off many serious gamers.
Out for the count then...
Well, not exactly. Cast your mind back to the days when you used to play pacman on some dreadful home system. What you had was a basic cpu, a tiny amount of ram and the forerunner of low-def for a display. You played the game and you enjoyed it too because it was NEW and also SIMPLE.
Back to 2009 then. Forget all about anisotropic filtering and HDR lighting affects and their hit on frame rates. Remember 'SIMPLE'. Get it second hand for less than £10, have a few occasional rounds and then move on.
It's not very good but it can be if you let it. The poor AI is a blow but not a killer one. Just don't go out and pay £30 for it, you'll be annoyed with yourself.
I don't really like boxing but when a casual boxing game came out, I just couldn't miss it! The game looked great but after playing it, I thought it was rubbish and one of the worst games I have ever played.
The graphics aren't too bad but not the best I have seen even on a HDTV. If they were improved, the game would be alot better. The soundtrack is ok but the game has framerate issues.
The game is very hard and after playing for a little while you will want to throw your controller across the room. In fact, even for buying this game you will want to do the same. The controls are very simple and easy to remember. Anyone will be able to learn them and play. However, they are a bit unresponsive which can damage you and will make the fight alot harder.
The gameplay is very simple but boring as when fighting, all you need to do is block the opponent and then button bask to destroy them. This gets very boring after awhile and very repetitive.
The characters are also unbalanced with many miles better than the others making the fights unfair.
However, the game has a great create a character mode where you can even put in your own face. This makes it fun and a great mode to play.
Challenge in a videogame is a weird thing. It a game is too easy, then people complain, but if it's too hard people complain too. I personally don't mind a challenge-Stuntman was very hard and I enjoyed it. I don't mind a challenging game, and I don't mind an easy game either, but when a game decides to be cheap, jump in difficulty or be simply unfair, that's when the game goes downhill in my opinion. The recent Iron Man jumped up in difficulty at mid-point, and I could go on forever about games that I hated because of the overly unfair difficulty. But why bother when I can't just shove EA Freestyle's FaceBreaker into your face and say 'this is what I mean'...
Because the game is shallow, the controls aren't exactly extravagant. The left analog stick moves your boxer, while a jolt of the stick will make your character dash. X lets you do high punches, A is mapped to low punches, Y lets you do haymakers while B throws the enemy. As for defense, you can use the right trigger to block, holding the high and low attack dodges those respective attacks, and you can hold the right trigger while pressing the attacks to parry their respective moves. You can also taunt with the left trigger, which doesn't do anything. The controls are very simple, but the controls can sometimes be a bit unresponsive which sadly can finish a fight early.
FaceBreaker is an arcade style boxing game in the vein of old school boxers like Ready 2 Rumble. The game is three rounds, though the game will end when you either perform a FaceBreaker or knock out the enemy three times and vice versa with the other boxer. You have a high and low attack, as well as a haymaker and a throw. You can even taunt the enemy, which adds nothing to gameplay. Blocking is done with blocks, dodges or parries, which are easy to get the timing of. It's very simple stuff, where it's all about destroying the enemy in fast-paced matches. Unfortunately, the matches give way to button mashing, with an easy tactic to use. Either hold down the block button and most of the time you'll parry the enemy while button mashing, or mash on one button and dodge when necessary. It's so simple and mindless it becomes dull after a while.
Matches can be ended in seconds thanks to FaceBreakers, the main attraction to the game. As you land attacks on an enemy, a row of bars starts to fill up. There are four stages of breaking faces, which gradually get better until the biggest move FaceBreakers. The first stage is Bonebreakers, a quickly and weak move which sometimes stuns the other boxer when used. The next two stages are Ground/Skybreakers, which are powerful moves which can deal some damage to the other boxer and weaken them severely. The final move, FaceBreakers, is powerful finishers which end the match completely and, in turn, deform the opponents face. It's a cheap tactic, which I found ended in brief times like less than ten seconds. This is an issue because button mashing can overpower the A.I. and put them into a position of FaceBreaking. In conjunction with dodging and parrying, the FaceBreakers ultimately unbalance the game.
But FaceBreakers are the least of FaceBreaker's problems. No, FaceBreaker is ultimately broken because of its terrible difficulty curve. Not only is inconsistent, but once it becomes more consistent, it is ultimately incredibly cheap. In the game's main mode, Brawl for it All, where you fight in a set of loosely related matches, the game is incredibly easy at first. You can pummel the buttons and take the enemies out with FaceBreakers, ending matches in seconds. However, a good few matches later, the game suddenly jumps into frenzy as enemies block, parry and dodge your moves at an alarming rate. Then, randomly, matches after that are easy again until the final fight, which I still can't beat. Sorry, but it is one of the cheapest parts of a game ever. You can't perform a FaceBreaker on him because before you can get your meter that high, he does an unblockable parry. And the opponent is so annoying because it's cheap, the A.I. just shoves you into a corner, stunning you, and then hits on the skybreakers. It's lame, and really unfair at that. It made it impossible for me to complete the Brawl for it All mode, which is frustrating.
Characters are also wildly unbalanced. The problem is that certain characters have special, cheap moves whereas others have little in the way of attacks. There are several characters which are over powering. There is a fat dude pretending to be a black-belt in this game and he is wildly unfair because he has a throw which can't be blocked, which stuns the enemies, which then lets him pummel the enemies to get a FaceBreaker and then use it, which is lame. There's a Goth girl who, when dodges someone else's dodge and hits an attack, stuns them which again sets them up for a FaceBreaker. Yet, some characters are weak. There's a British Rapper who is weak and has no special techniques, much like the weird Latin dude and the *spoiler* monkey. Yes, there is a monkey in this game. *Sigh* yet another game with a monkey...
There aren't many other modes aside from Brawl for it All. There is a quick fight option so you can get some of the achievements easily without playing Brawl for it All, as well as a practise option which is pretty much what we've seen in other games. There are also multiplayer modes too. You can jump in with another player in the quickplay option, or you can go into Couch Royale, which is where multiple people can play by passing the controls back and for as you want to, though it's also useful for two people who can't be bothered to keep setting up matches. There are also online modes via ranked or unranked matches, which sadly don't include any kind of tag team modes, which is a shame really. The multiplayer modes are okay, though usually the matches are ended when the other person mashes buttons...
Perhaps one of the better features of FaceBreaker is it's create a character mode. At least, most of it is anyways. The part where you simply remodel default characters isn't good, because no matter how much you change them, they still look like the characters you remodelled. The real fun comes with importing photos to put a created celebrity into the game. You can use the vision camera to put your face into the game, or you can save pictures on the computer, go to www.easportsworld.com and then upload the pictures, go back to your console and then download the pictures to put onto the face of one of the created characters. It can be quite fun to add some celebrity into the game, and what's cool is that you can download other characters people online have created and use them offline and online. There's plenty of choice-you could download Kratos, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rocky, Mr. T, George Bush, Darth Maul and many more. Sadly, the game you use these characters on sucks, meaning this feature can't save FaceBreaker.
The game isn't really a boxing game, rather a really bad fighting game. Despite the frustration you'll find with some fights, you could win the matches by cheating as you simply use a stunning move, mash the buttons until you can use a FaceBreaker, use the FaceBreaker and then win the match instantly. It's shallow, because you could mash two buttons and win, but then the game slaps you around the face with a horrible difficulty especially on the final fight in Brawl for it All. The main issue is that the actual art of 'Face Breaking' isn't good. Sure, their faces look swollen after matches, but it never gets worse than that. I was expecting eyes to be sticking out, faces to be shoved into their skull and more, but it's weak. The game just sucks.
FaceBreaker is rated 12+ for violence, sex and language. These elements are present, but FaceBreaker is charming so they're not really noticeable. Anyone can play FaceBreaker and not be offended by its cartoon charm. They will just be offended by how bad the game is.
The graphics are probably FaceBreaker's best feature. The cartoon style of FaceBreaker is charming, with bright colours, chunky bold character models and plenty of cartoony animation. The FaceBreakers, in particular, look sweet. While the environments are vibrant, they don't really stand out with very little attractions. They're just places to fight in. The created characters stand out like sore thumbs compared to the cartoony characters because they look less vibrant and cartoony, which is a shame. Textures are flat, though they aren't blurry thankfully. The annoyances with games like these, including clipping of the ropes, is apparent here but the game never chops up from its smooth 60 frames per second. It's not exactly bustling with detail, but it's a attractive game none the less thanks to its cartoon style.
Unlike the graphics, the sound is like the rest of the game, bad. There is barely any music during gameplay, and the music in the menus from artists like Dropkick Murphys and Wolfmother isn't the best to be featured in a game, especially when you come across one of the many lame remixes. Also, punches pack very little, well, punch and you don't feel the impact of moves. And it can get extremely repetitive, especially when there isn't music in fights. But the biggest crime against the game is its horrible attempts at being funny. Instead of trying its own brand of humour, the game decides to lay on the stereotypes, including the deep voiced black man, the Spanish 'ladies man', the big dumb military man and, of course, a voodoo man. It's rarely funny, thanks to awful acting and dialogue and the fact that it's just not unique in the slightest.
-(The Replay Value)-
While I wouldn't recommend FaceBreaker because of the gameplay alone, it's also worth noting that you'll be spending £30 on three or four hours of gameplay. That's terrible. Okay, so you get the main single player mode, a quick fight option and multiplayer/online modes. That's it. The character creator doesn't make up for this either. There are also 27 achievements, which isn't much. They're typical, like complete the main mode, winning a fight without blocking or taking damage and winning a fight with a FaceBreaker finisher. While they don't sound hard, the terrible gameplay ensures that it's much harder unlocking these achievements than it sounds. But to be frank, why should you buy this game anyways? The amount of modes can't make up for how much FaceBreaker sucks overall. Even with this though the value is terrible.
FaceBreaker was meant to be a fun, arcade styled boxing game to revive this genre. It's an arcade style boxing game for sure, but fun and reviving the genre don't come into the same equation. Let's just say that the colourful graphics and great character creation don't make up for shallow gameplay that is so frustrating too that it's just not fun. There are very few modes to try out the horrible gameplay too. The humour is also flat as rather than creating its own unique brand of humour, the game relies on stereotypes and it is lame. A crazy psycho playing with socks isn't funny. The worst crime of all, though, is that there is very little 'face breaking'. There are little effects on the face, aside from a few red marks and sore spots. In the end, I can't really recommend FaceBreaker, period. Sorry EA Freestyle, your first game is a bomb.
-(The Extra Info)-
This was published/developed by EA Sports Freestyle.
This was released on September 5th, 2008 and is also on PS3. Wii version coming soon.
This is available from Game.co.uk for £29.99
In this in-your-face, arcade world full of ego-wielding characters, each boxer comes to life with unique attributes and distinct personal style. Pit Romeo, a Latin lover known for his pelvic thrusts, against Molotov, an oversized Russian demolitions expert with a penchant for fighting dirty, to see how Romeo's back-handed slaps fare against Molotov's illegal use of explosives. Add a little personal motivation to your fight by uploading a photo of your face to create a realistic likeness using Photo Game Face, and go toe-to-toe with a real-life friend or foe.