Right from the off you can tell Facebreaker keeps its tongue firmly in its rather swollen cheek. It’s a boxing game but, unlike the Fight Night games which attempt to accurately portray boxing as a sport, complete with both analogue controllers representing fists, Facebreaker does away with anything to do with boxing and is basically a fighting game set in a boxing world.
Fighting is instead very simple. You can punch high or low, parry high or low or dodge high and low and come back with a power-punch. String together some hits and a meter fills up at the bottom of the screen. Press the ‘breaker’ button and if you land a hit you do a special move which can result in a KO or perform a Facebreaker which ends the game in your favour there and then.
The characters are all bright and colourful and you an even upload your face and even those of famous people. Looking online the usual favourites of Borat, Hitler, Michael Jackson etc have been done as well as The Joker. You can download these or upload your own creations to share. This is a neat feature and lots of fun can be had with this mode alone.
There is a fundamental problem with the game though, and that is the combat is too simple and tires very quickly. The game’s blisteringly quick and also really tough and frustrating even on the easy ‘Fierce’ mode when playing against AI opponents. It’s tricky to form a strategy and instead you just hammer the buttons desperately trying to get a block or parry in so you can unleash some haymakers yourself. You’ll have much more fun playing this online against real people where a rhythm soon develops between punches and parries and you get great satisfaction out of knocking your friends into the middle of next week.
Facebreaker could have been a contender but it’s definitely no Ready 2 Rumble – if Afro Thunder faced up against it, he’d definitely be asking someone to call a doctor. Facebreaker gets a good 6 out of 10.
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