Backbreaker: Vengeance (XBLA)

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The realm of football video games has narrowed in recent years, as the NFL’s license became exclusive to one franchise. But some options still remain available, one of which was Backbreaker, which had impressive visuals and brutal hits. While this is not a sequel to that game, it does take some of the mini-game elements and expand upon them. You have three modes to select from here, Tackle Alley, Supremacy, and Vengeance. If Tackle Alley sounds familiar, the developer released that mini-game for various portable devices. In that mode, you try to navigate an obstacle course, while Vengeance tasks you to prevent a runner from scoring and finally Supremacy, in which you try to rack up as many points as possible. Each mode has numerous challenges, with the difficulty rising as you pass each one. So while you might cruise through the first few challenges, you’ll soon have to sharpen your skills if you want to complete each section.

This is not your standard football game, so don’t expect to simulate seasons or what not. This is all about fast paced, brisk action and trying to climb the scoreboards. Even if you don’t usually go for sports related titles, Backbreaker: Vengeance is still worth a look, as it hews a new path. With only three games modes available, you might wonder if there is enough content to be had, but there is actually a lot to do here. All three modes feature progress ladders of impressive length, so each one offers a good amount of game time. And you won’t just run through the ranks once and then leave, as the game is great at making you want to do just a little better than last time. The progression of challenge is solid, as it starts slow to let you learn the basics, then slowly ramps up to a more rough and tumble point. Some of the later challenges are hard, no doubt, but the game is not cheap or poorly designed. It will take some practice, but while tough, the challenges are doable. You can even play with a friend, with both on-line and couch co-op offered. Backbreaker: Vengeance is a fun pick up and play sports title that has appeal well beyond Madden fans.

Video: How does it look?

This game looks terrific, thanks to some wicked animation from the Euphoria system. Instead of bland canned animations, which make you watch the same chain of movement over and over, Euphoria offers dynamic, real time tackles, jukes, and other gridiron moves. This really adds a lot to the visuals, as the game feels more natural and there is also more impact. The visuals look bright and bold, with overall graphics that are remarkable for a Live Arcade release.

Audio: How does it sound?

To be honest, the audio didn’t really stand out, but it was solid. The music is fine and in game, the main element is the impact from tackles and other collisions. So you might not be dazzled, but the basics are covered. A more than acceptable audio design all around.

Supplements: What are the extras?


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