- Posted September 2nd, 2008 at 23:54 EDT by
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FaceBreaker proves that not only is it not a Ready 2 Rumble knock off, it exceeds its supposed predecessor in just about every conceivable manner.
- Excellent multiplayer experience
- Solid Create-a-Boxer feature
- Easy gameplay mechanics
- Too difficult even on the lowest setting
- Some characters may come off as cheap
Electronic Arts’ inaugural title in the publisher’s Freestyle brand name is none other than FaceBreaker. Developed by the team that brought you Backyard Boxing, FaceBreaker's crowning highlight is an innovative technology called "real-time facial deformation," allowing gamers to deform their opponent’s faces as the match progresses. The question remains, however, does FaceBreaker punch above its weight, or is it ultimately a knock out from start to finish?
FaceBreaker is compiled of several game modes that allow you to test your boxing skills either against your friends, online opponents or the difficult AI. The most common game mode is entitled Fight! This is your standard exhibition mode where two fighters square off to see who is king of the virtual ring. When you first start the game out, you’ll have several boxers available to choose from; however, a selection of the game’s boss characters will remain inaccessible for the time being. As such, in order to unlock the entire cast of ridiculous characters, you’re going to have to box your way through a Brawl for All.
Brawl for All is basically FaceBreaker’s career mode. You’re given the option to choose a boxer and battle your way through a multitude of the game’s combatants, culminating in a boss battle once you reach the end of each belt stage. There are four belts in total, my personal favourite being that of the Arcade Belt. This particular item enables you to unlock Steve, who in my opinion, reminds me of Chris Farley from Beverly Hills Ninja. Steve is equipped with the abilities of a ninja, thus he can drop smoke bombs, which enable him to appear directly in front of you or even behind you.
FaceBreaker excels throughout its multiplayer component, and EA has delivered an excellent mode of play for this aspect entitled Couch Royale. This mode works like King of the Hill, where you and up to five of your friends square off in matches to determine who is king of the couch. In order to become the champion of your buddies, you’re going to have to beat each and every one of them at least once. This will allow you to capture their character’s heads as trophies. If your friends happened to have to created their own boxers, however, you’re going to be able to capture their heads instead.
The create-a-boxer feature in the game is extremely well executed, and players will have a multitude of options when creating the fighter of their choice. You can even utilize the PlayStation Eye accessory in order to put your own face in the game. While this sounds like a fantastic idea, the end result of putting yourself in the title is only mildly successful. After 2-3 attempts, I had the boxer looking around 75% like me. Some may find this percentage adequate and I can’t really disagree; however, I would prefer it to be a tad more accurate. Outside of the eye, you’re given around 20 different sliders to utilize in order to shape your character’s face. Overall the creator tool is very handy which definitely helps improve the game’s replay value.
As for the gameplay itself, it’s simplistic enough for the pick up and play crowd, whilst still being strategically sound for those hardcore gamers that are looking for a challenge. Those of you who perceived that FaceBreaker would amount to nothing more than a ripoff Ready 2 Rumble button masher couldn’t be more mistaken. Though you will find gamers mashing away at their controllers, those who have mastered the strategic values of the title will be victorious nine out of ten times. Each style of attack has its own strengths and weaknesses that go as follows: Strong Attacks > Defense > Light Attacks > Strong Attacks.
When it comes to winning though, the strategic values rapidly become less apparant. String together an 8 punch combo and you can end the fight quickly with a FaceBreaker. While this manoeuvre works as an automatic knockout, you’re also able to utilize three other breakers. The three breakers vary in strengths and range from the Groundbreaker to the Skybreaker. Each one is achieved by building up a combo meter at the bottom left (right available in multiplayer). The fourth level, which is the highest, results in ... (continued on next page)
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- 6:58pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
the demo was garbage. this review is ridiculously high. at best a 5.
- 7:16pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
The demo was horrible, and it does seem like a too high of a score.
- 7:19pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
It was a decent demo, im just guessing you guys sucked at the game and were beaten easily. But i agree, the game is difficult and the Create-A-Boxer is AWESOME!
- 7:20pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
This is a love it or hate it game, guys. Dave loves (or at least strongly likes) it. You might not. Taste differs.
- 7:49pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
Eric2929 is right, you either like it or you dont. I personally havent played it yet but kinda want to just to see what its like. Might try the demo.
- 8:55pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
It was worth the demo play, but i wont be getting it.
- 8:56pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
Dave Wales, you're reviews never cease to amaze me. This game is complete crap, 8/10 is way off. I agree with the above 5/10. Nothing more. Please get a new reviewer for PSU.
- 9:16pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
So lemme get this straight,you guys are all complaining about the review score being to high,when you can't since it's DAVE's review!!One MAN,it's not a survey,it is just the opinion of one man on one game,nothing more nothing less,jeez,if you guys thought it was such a crappy game why did you even read the review in the first place?
- 10:10pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
Yet another awesome review from psu. Can't trust you guys anymore. This game sucks. 2/10.
- 10:13pm EDT - September 2nd, 2008
If you read Justin Pinter's PSU preview of Facebreaker, he leaned toward not liking the game....
"If Facebreaker were a cheap PlayStation Network title, then we’d be gung-ho, but as of right now, the game lacks depth and caters only to the frantic button smashing newbies of fighting titles."
- 12:08am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
Too much to review the game, demo was rubbish i would give it around 6 at least.
- 2:13am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
This game is great for when you have your mates round for some OTT fights
- 2:18am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
remember they gotta sell this garabge on the xcrap360 also. so i'm sure some pockets were stuffed for a higher rating.
- 2:31am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
Opinions are like A**holes....everybody has one!!
- 4:55am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
#3 NO. The game wasn't hard. It just wasn't fun to play. I'm guessing you liked it because the game required no thought whatsoever. Something based on your other posts you have great difficulty with.
- 6:34am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
@16 lol I don't get why everybody hates you.
the game was actually good. A funny boxing game with a new innovative gameplay. Of course it was extremely hard, I couldn't even win in on match in the demo on easy! Based on the demo (remember, demo, not the full game!) I think I would give it 7,5 or so.
- 7:06am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
I cant even believe this is considered a next gen game. Or even current gen. And for the record, yes I played the demo. to win the match all i had to do was keep tapping buttons, no thought or no strategy. This game is a joke.
- 7:07am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
lol @ Dave Did EA just pay you 2 million dollars for giving Facebreaker a 8. While the demo was good Don't know how it was garbage must be too hard for them ?
- 9:30am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
@15 - How do you know I like games that dont require much thought from my posts? Actually, I do like games that challenge me lik SotC and I always wished KHII was harder. but I still think it was a decent demo. Don't bash me because I actually thought the game was decent (when playing on easy lol) but if I offended you in anyway I do apoligize. But just remeber, two wrongs don't make a right. The score was Dave's opinon, it doesn't mean everyone should agree with it.
- 10:34am EDT - September 3rd, 2008
@21 I have no problem with Dave. I never said anything about Dave. You are the one who made it personal. Maybe you shouldn't start attacking people in the first place. Dave has an opinion that it is an 8. I have an opinion that it is a 5. Just because someone doesn't like a game doesn't mean that they can't play it, so don't try to turn this around like I started something with you.
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