Every time I play this game, one word springs to mind… and that word is Capcom. In fact this game reeks of Capcom! The best way to describe Breakers is kind of a version of Street Fighter Alpha/Zero for the Neo Geo. Considering that Street Fighter Alpha is very cool, that can only be a good thing... well, unless you hate all things Capcom of course!
First off, when you pick almost any of the characters, if you are familiar with the said Capcom games, then you will recognise many things that are similar. For instance, Sho is kind of like Ryu/Ken and almost all of his moves are performed in the same way. Hadokens, Hurricane Kicks and other similar moves are all performed with the same joystick movement. But while his fireballs are the same, if you do a hurricane movement, he performs a fire kick that is a lot like Fei Long's from Super SF. The weird thing is, he looks a little like Guy from Final Fight/Alpha! In the same way there is also the fighter Tia, who plays a lot like Street Fighter's Chun Li and also has a similar victory stance (the one where she laughs and says “yatta”). It's as if Visco just looked through all the SF games (and even a few others!) and ripped different things from them and added them to Breakers.
I know this happens all the time with fighting games, but almost every move in here has been seen somewhere else before. Also, the super moves that can be done when your Special bar at the bottom of the screen fills up are about the same as SF Alpha/Zero. Again when playing with Sho, if you do two fireball movements and press punch, you send a stream of fireballs across the screen. Not really the same as SF, but still performed in exactly the same way as say, Ryu's. Just go through any of the other moves as well, and you will see what I mean. I know it sounds like I dislike this game, but I'm not trying to put it down. It just shows a lack of originality! :)
Graphics & Sound:
Graphically, Visco's game is not too bad at all. It does look a bit bland in places, and lacks the graphical flair of some other fighters, but there are some nice special effects when you pull off certain super moves. Apart from that they are very fast and smooth, and are better then many other games I could mention for this system. The sound is of a very good quality too. The effects for punches/kicks themselves are very satisfying and all of the usual fighting game speech is cool too. The music is one of the best parts and is very good. Again a lot if it sounds sort of “Capcom-ish” in places. Very good overall!
Ignoring the unoriginality of it all, does this game play well? You Bet! It's nice and fast, the controls feel great and it's easy to chain lots of different moves together in different ways. If you like Capcom games, you should feel very much at home with this. There are eight fighters to pick from and all of them are well designed. Breakers can actually be quite tough now and then, especially when you reach fighters on the later stages and when you fight the final boss. But persevere and you will be able to beat him.
Unfortunately, when you do complete it you will be treated to some of the most confusing endings I have ever seen. At the time of writing I have completed this game with three people and none of the endings made *any* sense whatsoever! That's just a small complaint, but I guess that Visco hired a REALLY bad translator for this one. Some of the lines actually made me laugh out loud. I know a lot of English text in Neo Geo games can be quite bad (and coined the term “SNK-Glish”), but these endings take the biscuit!
Aside from any small criticisms I might have (and everything I mentioned above *is* a small criticism), you can't take away from the fact that this is a quality fighting game. If you are looking for a decent fighter and especially if you like Capcom fighting games then definitely check this one out. You won't be disappointed!
Game play: 8/10
Replay Value: 8/10
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