STAFF REVIEW of FaceBreaker (Xbox 360)


Saturday, September 27, 2008.
by Stacy Code

FaceBreaker Box art Facebreaker, for all of its supposedly good intentions, reminds me of my solemn duty as a game reviewer on this site I play games like Facebreaker so hopefully fine folks like yourselves wont ever have to. Its always a sad surprise to me when a studio with a lot of money and talent such as EA Vancouver turns out a game that is so sadly unplayable, and after digging around in it for several days looking for the fun, I have to report with honesty that there is very little fun in there to be had, regardless of what the player came looking for in the game.

In all outward appearances a fun, cartoonish boxing game, Facebreaker pits a variety of very ludicrous, bizarre fighters against each other in three round boxing matches the cast of fighters features a lot of the expected clichés in a fighter-brawler game. You have the enormous, steroid-pumped silverback-gorilla ape, the cute Japanese pixie-girl, the mysterious, leather-clad anime-style fighter, the ex-surfer turned kickboxer, the Spanish-womanizer etc. etc. ad infinitum. Unfortunately, their fighting characteristics do not vary greatly, and there is no backstory to any of these characters at the beginning of each career. You fight to attain a number of belts, in different arenas, to achieve mastery of Facebreaker.



Gameplay-wise, the game is anything but a boxer. Playing more like a frenetic Killer Instinct style fighter, the game plays with simple rules and simple controls (and simple should be easy, or at least fun, right?), where you have a low strike, a high strike, a heavy strike, and a block. Strikes are dodged by charging the same attack on your own side (a high strike is dodged by holding down and charging your high strike, giving you a free hit or two) and can also be parried, a more difficult variation where you hold block and hit the same strike thats incoming. All of this is academic, however, since youre just going to get the living crap beaten out of you anyway.

Matches go for three rounds plus a sudden death round, or whenever an opponent is knocked out three consecutive times or had their face broken in. Where the game logic starts to get a little fuzzy is that you can be building some headway on an opponent say, knocked them out two times with a clean record on your own side, and youll be working on that third knockout and the timer will go to Sudden Death. This means that whichever fighter gets the first knockout wins. So your AI opponent will suddenly blast out of the corner of the ring with a second win of energy, knock you flat, and you will suddenly find yourself the very frustrated loser. There is little to no strategy in the game; it comes down to an exercise in trying to time and counter your opponents hits with appropriate counters, and with the speed and the (dare I say?) unbalanced cheapness of the AI opponent fighters, it rarely ends with a satisfying win. After four consecutive nights of playing the game, I had yet to win even a single belt in the game, and began to despair that the single player game was, well, unplayable. Thinking that perhaps the game would shine and show its virtues in multiplayer, I went on Live several times looking for matches, to no avail. It seems as though there arent a lot of people online playing this game. There are a few tutorials available in the menu on user-made fighter creation and mapping your photo onto an in-game character (using the same software from Tiger Woods, in which you can use your Live Vision Camera to map your own mug onto a rough-and-ready in-game fighter), but a complete absence of a 'practice mode' or any kind of tutorial on actually playing the game, which is fairly inexcusable given the difficulty level of the game.

One of the touted features of the game is realistic facial deformation of the game (thats where the title comes from) wherein when you whale on the face of an opponent you break bones, impose cuts and bruises, and generally break the face of the character youre beating on. While this is mildly entertaining with the AI characters which are super-deformed and exaggerated to begin with, on user-made fighters it takes on a truly disturbing edge, where the characters after a subsequent pummelling will look like before-and-after photographs of advanced facial reconstruction surgery or repair of facial gunshot wounds. It stops being fun and is just, well, creepy. Maybe with a few quips and taunts to elevate the comedy this feature could be a little more fun, but as it stands its a headliner that rings like a joke that leaves the room quiet. All in all, its not a very fun game to play.



Graphically the game has some style the fighter characters are exaggerated in style and stature, and playing as the cartoons they are it takes some of the edge off of the bad joke of both the play mechanics and the facial deformation feature. Unfortunately, there isnt anything really going on here that couldnt have been pulled off on a last-gen console the game looks like the sort of fare that one might expect on our old trusty Xbox or even PS2 there arent any visual effects or levels of detail that would demand the horsepower of the platforms were currently playing on. The fact that the game is rendered in a simplified, cartoon style doesnt excuse the lack of any kind of pow in the visuals department even the menu screens are bland and there arent even any cutscenes or cinematics to speak of.


The game features the typical stable of current top-20 rock-and-pop hits for an EA Sports game, so the soundtrack is very listenable one thing EA can be counted on for is that you wont have to reach for the iPod to plug in your own soundtrack to the game. Actual game audio is nothing notworthy typical punch, pow for the actual game audio and nothing much else to note. Some of the voice acting for the fighter characters is mildly funny but with characters generally only speaking at the intro to a fight, there just isnt enough to go on here.

Overall, the game is a brilliant idea that was executed terribly. A boxing game with a loose set of rules and a large cast of ridiculous cartoon fighters, and the ability to actually smash an opponents face in? Im confident it looked great on paper when it was approved, but what we got is an exercise in frustration where you will lose almost every match, you wont be able to find anyone else to play with, and youll rapidly forget why you ever showed up in the first place. Im sure Tyler Durdon would find some sort of vindication in playing a game where getting your face smashed in repeatedly is some sort of exercise in satisfaction, but for the average gamer, take a pass on this one.





Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 3.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.5 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10

Videos

Comments

Latest News


Bungie fires Halo composer Martin O'Donnell

Bungie fires Halo composer Martin O'DonnellSony and Microsoft and the rest of the game industry have seen some pretty big shakeups and departures lately, but this latest sudden departure is one of the most puzzling. Bungie has just fired Marty O’Donnell, famed composer of the Halo franchise.







See News Archives

Top Community Gamerscores

1. Symmetric - 140,033
2. Variation-XBA - 93,326
3. tacohead - 89,741
4. Midnight Eye-XBA - 49,135
5. Enamelized420-XBA - 45,239
6. Silent-XBA - 40,932
7. oryanphine - 36,701
8. Roujin-XBA - 35,228
9. Kamshaft-XBA - 34,854
10. thAshAdyOne - 33,796
11. sojourner - 30,849
12. Vampero - 15,660
13. Skyfinch - 8,270
14. LiLJoe608 - 4,175
15. pierrevincy - 2,930
16. Sam-XBA - 2,160
17. tsrdawg - 35
18. Ed Hunter -
19. Hawaiian c -
20. wasabisabi -

Community Forum Activity

Sony PS4 Gold Wireless Headset Hearts Xbox One Headset Adaptor!
Post by Roujin-XBA
0 Replies, 82 Views

Xbox dashboard problems
Post by TrollJock
1 Replies, 127 Views

Golden Cyromancer?
Post by Severus Snape
0 Replies, 82 Views

Inquiries concerning Rayman: Origins
Post by Severus Snape
3 Replies, 133 Views

The Walking Dead
Post by Kriptic Air
1 Replies, 187 Views

EA UFC Anybody else getting this?
Post by TheCrankwild
6 Replies, 220 Views

My controller is not working properly.
Post by SPARTAN A98
2 Replies, 229 Views

Max Payne Stream @ 430pm est.
Post by Midnight Eye-XBA
1 Replies, 258 Views

Hitman Absolution !!
Post by Midnight Eye-XBA
3 Replies, 279 Views

Controller Disconnected-While playing
Post by Enamelized420-XBA
6 Replies, 467 Views

So I have this Swedish Xbox 360 Console Launch thing...
Post by LZA
4 Replies, 709 Views

Discover your titan !
Post by Vampero
6 Replies, 537 Views

Project Spark Beta Code
Post by Silent-XBA
0 Replies, 365 Views

Gears of War LE Emergence Day E3 2006 - For Sale
Post by Farrmark
3 Replies, 585 Views

Watch Dogs Release Date
Post by Silent-XBA
1 Replies, 662 Views

Site Statistics

Registered Members: 58,178
Forum Posts: 738,836
Xbox One Titles: 54
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,055
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 575
Xbox Titles: 847
Staff Reviews: 1,275
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 12,188
Screenshots: 26,875
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706
© 2000-2014 XboxAddict.com - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. XboxAddict.com is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics