FaceBreaker should be the ultimate boxing tournament, one where you have to give your opponent a facelift. It seems to be a funny concept to play a boxing match in cartoon-style, with occasionally a little joke. But is that sufficient?
There are four gametypes: Fight!!, Brawl for it all, Couch royale (multiplayer) and online. Fight!! is the best way to get to know FaceBreaker. There are five difficulties: training, easy, medium, hard and ridiculous. If you play on training, you can choose how your opponent should play. You can train on your defence by ordering your opponent to attack quite some time. The difficulty ridiculous hasn’t stolen its name: your opponent won’t stop hitting you and you can barely avoid the punches.
The most important gametype of FaceBreaker is “Brawl for it all”. You can choose between three difficulties: fierce, truculent and impossible. It’s the purpose to win four belts in a sort of tournament where every belt has its own location. Here, you’ll discover the first big downpoint: the difficulty. Even on the easiest one, you’ll rarely win a game in your first attempt.
Every character has a special attack by which the opponent will be stunned for some seconds. Believe me, this is very annoying when you get multiple stuns in one round. Steve, a comic hero, can jump on you through teleportation. Due to this you get pushed backwards and Steve can cause you a lot of damage. The special attacks look nice and some of them are original, for example the bad-breathattack, but they make the game more unpleasant.
Online FaceBreaker is a lot better: contrary to the single player part, online the game doesn’t feel like the round gets ended by a beating you couldn’t defend yourself from, but due to the controls there isn’t a lot of variation either.
The controls are very uncomplicated: only four keys are regularly used in FaceBreaker. You can do high and low punches, block or avoid them and you can perform a strong attack. During a match, it will occur often that you’ll be pushing the same keys. The breakers, or strong attacks, are only available after you’ve done some easy ones. For every two easy attacks you get a line in the breakermeter. With the last breaker, the FaceBreaker, you end the match immediately. Some are spectacular, but there’s little variation.
The graphics of FaceBreaker aren’t the best graphics, but they aren’t bad. The characters have their own style and after a round with a lot of punches, their face looks less healthy. All the locations of the matches have a theme, but in the end it’s the ring that counts. The animations of the locations, for instance running crabs, keep repeating themselves. Before and after a match your opponent speaks to you for about 15 seconds and he/she tries to put some humour in the game. However, the voice and the facial expression rarely go well together. After you’ve seen some of these scenes, you’ll know already what your opponent will say, and you’ll probably skip it.
A better part of FaceBraker is the opportunity to create your own boxer. There are a lot of appearances you can adjust and you can even use a picture of yourself. Unfortunately, your own character can’t fight against the poor gameplay and the matches won’t become more fun.
FaceBreaker is a game that won’t amuse you a long time, especially due to the lack of variation. If you’ve lost the match by a finishing blow against which you can’t do anything, the humour will often feel frustrating. The online part of FaceBreaker and the making of your own character can’t compensate for the irritating singleplayer-part.