Editor's Note: This may be a bit old compared to the very big and very new games coming out, but Guru Larry (of Game Network and Xleague fame if you have Sky) is always a very funny guy to read. Enjoy!
Boxings been a bit of a hit or miss sport when it comes to video games hasn’t it? The amount of actual “good” boxing titles could be counted on the fingers of a boxer’s glove. So the amount of hype Facebreaker was getting I thought it was gonna be good!
Looking at this games unique style in the build up these past few months, I was like “hell yeah, this is gonna be like Ready 2 Rumble III” a sequel I’ve been holding my breath for years to hear news of, (Not literally of course, as I’d be dead by now) but I was genuinely looking forward to this. But boy was I in for a haymaker to where the sun don’t shine…
My main problem with Facebreaker is there’s no bloomin’ substance in it. The game has as much depth as a saucer of milk. I know not to expect Final Fantasy VII in terms of depth, but it’s just high punch, low punch, block and a pointless throw button which does no damage whatsoever. There’s no combos or special moves at all in the game, you just mash the high and low punch buttons like a mad loony, praying that half of them connect.
You’ll also be needing a heck of a lot of self-control in single player mode as the A.I. is a complete and utter cheating bar-stool, constantly blocking, or more infuriating reversing every other punch you throw at him/her/it and you just stand there hammering on the buttons, praying that something gets through whilst the computer beats the seven shades of poo out of you in the corner.
Worst of all out of sheer
stupidity defiance that I could eventually actually win a match, I discovered there’s a game killing glitch where you’ll automatically reverse any punch an opponent throws at you just by hammering block and punch at the same time constantly!!! They literally can do nothing about it!!! AND IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO BEAT HALF OF THE BLEEDIN’ OPPONENTS!!! When your only option is to resort to glitching to win a game, it’s a terribly programmed product.
Multiplayer is a lot better, for the sole reason it’s more fair against a human than some psychic A.I that knows what punch your gonna throw before even you do, and you can actually get your punch bar high enough to perform a “Facebreaker” (the games equivalent of Mortal Kombat’s Fatalities), but even then you’ll only play the game for a few matches before either turning it off due to boredom, or you’ve tired yourself out pummelling the buttons, usually a combination of the two…
There are some interesting bonuses to this game, like the fact you can create your own characters using the 360 Vision Camera or the PSEye, or even download photos off the web if you’re too scummy to buy one. You can upload your own creations to EA’s servers so complete strangers can beat up an avatar of your Mum online. You can even download other people’s creations for free too, but to be honest they’re a bit crap as 98% of the selection online seems to be variations of Adolf Hitler or Michael Jackson. (I’m not kidding!)
It’s an okay feature, but extremely limited due the fact you can’t really choose much in the way of clothing, bar the colour of your gloves and trunks, and the fact you can’t change the actual size of the characters head to the proportion of the largely grotesque frames you get to place them on, thus leaves everyone looking like a pinhead on every character bar the default boxer, Ice.
Overall, it’s an overly simplistic arcade style boxing game with cheating A.I..
If they’d have stuck some actual Mortal Kombat-Esque special moves (I.E. forward, forward, high punch Etc) or better yet, just bloomin’ ripped off Ready 2 Rumble like they should have done in the first place, (they needn’t have worried about accusations of plagiarism, gamers are stupid. I can’t even remember what happened in a game six minutes ago, let alone one released from six years back) than this would have been a pretty awesome fighter, especially online. In all due honesty, if you REALLY want an arcade boxing game that much, you’re better off taking the £40 you would have paid for this and spend it on a second-hand dreamcast and a copy of Ready 2 Rumble instead.
Review by: "Guru" Larry Bundy Jr