Developer: Naturalmotions Games Ltd.
Publisher: 505 Games
Rating: “E” for Everyone
Review by Alejandro Gustafar
Platform Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Now I’m not a big sports guy. I’ll barely ever touch a sports game unless it’s a must or just co-op, but Backbreaker Vengeance is different. Unreal teams, three game types (tackle alley, vengeance, and supremacy), not to mention online. All the game modes are co-op enabled also. Tackle Alley and Vengeance supports 2-player co-op, but they are not necessary co-op because first one to complete the objective wins. Only thing is that some of those challenges will require for you to be a decoy and the other player complete the task. Now Supremacy has local 2-player but online up to 4-players. Also, this whole game is score based, everything you do gives you points, the more moves you do the better. I’ll be going over every mode in this review so read on to find out more!
First off I will go over Tackle Alley and the “mechanics” and such of the game. In this mode you will be ball carrier, your objective: Avoid everyone and make it to the End Zone. There are also three color types of enemies: Yellow, red, and blue. Yellow enemies will dive at you, so to avoid these players you can either juke around them (simple use the right stick and move to the direction where you want to go) or hit “Y” to slide right under them. Now Red enemies basically go for your legs and you can either juke or hit “A” to jump over them. Another time you will use “A” is to jump over obstacles along the course’s. The third enemy type is Blue, they simply just come at you head on. To get around these guys juking won’t be your best if there are more than one. To stop blue players you simple hit “X” and you just pummel on through them. Now that we got the enemy types and how to work with them lets move on a little deeper with Tackle Alley. There are a total of 20 challenges and each challenge consist of 5 waves. Like I said before, you just need to score a touchdown. You are the only player on your team so it’s all up to you. Every challenge clearly gets a little tougher and each wave gets more interesting in the layout of the field. Watch out for red zones because that’s an automatic loss and you will only have 5 lives per wave, if you loose all 5 you start back at wave 1. This also goes for Vengeance.
Another cool thing you can do in all the other modes too is “Showboat” which simply slows your character down and you get cocky. The longer you go, the more points, but watch out the enemy players will always be chasing you down! This mode I personally found fun because it’s like being a mouse in a maze and you need to pick your route correctly and just think ahead in terms of “Do I juke yellow then pummel through blue” and so on. Not my favorite of the three, but definitely the hardest of the three modes in my opinion.
Now moving on to Vengeance. In this mode the only difference is you’re going after the ball carrier before he can score. Just don’t forget, you are alone in this and he is guarded by same color enemies like before! Your best friend in this mode, and of course all other modes too, is holding right trigger for sprint (unlimited sprint to be precise). Again 20 challenges and so on, they definitely give you a lot to play with here in Backbreaker. Now don’t forget besides solo, you can play with a friend and the challenges are different than solo so it makes everything a little more interesting. What makes this mode on of my favorites though is I get to just go out and take out everyone, to tackle is “B” or if you are close enough to the ball carrier it will automatically tackle him. This would be a little better though if they made it a little harder to do because even if you don’t tackle the ball carrier, he can still mess up and drop the ball and you win by chance.
Finally, my personal favorite of the three, Supremacy. Here you will be asked to run through a “race” of sorts. There are a total of 4 players including yourself. Either you can compete against three AI’s or you and a friend can take them on, not to mention being able to go online. Objective: By the end of wave 5 your total points are above everyone else. Now if it’s just single player you will HAVE to end up being the to player to progress to the next challenge. Being number one online is just being a show off and being damn good at what you do. Now the first wave will always start off with all four-players racing to the finish, if a player falls or goes out of bounds you loose points and loose that race. Now whoever is in 4th place will become the “Defense” of the next wave. So now the race is 3-players with the other player going after you. Best part is, YOU CAN RUN WHEREVER YOU WANT! The first time I knew I could run in the red zones I got so excited because now you can force people into red zones and tackle a player. Bad part is, you get one tackle. If you miss, you can try again. As soon as you tackle one person though, they become defense next and you’re awarded a good amount of points and are able to race again. Now if you don’t complete that task you’ll continue to be defense. This mode only has 10 challenges sadly and I felt it was the easiest, but also the most fun of them all. I just enjoyed that it was a race and I personally loved being defense because it’s funny to see the other players forced to run this path as where you can go where you please and take them out. Here’s a little something to know if you play, even though you can tackle one person, if done correctly, you can tackle one person and take out all three players. ENJOY!
Now moving onto the online portion. It’s basically the same as playing local co-op, just online. I was hoping for more challenges for online or maybe just something to unlock, but no. Granted, it is still tons of fun There should be a little more for the online portion, maybe a 2-versus-2 or maybe even 4-versus-4. The good news though is if you’re playing everything by yourself and then go online and play against someone it’s a different map and experience. I also want to add that even if you complete a challenge, the only way to unlock the next challenge is getting the score they ask you to get to move forward. SO PAY ATTENTION!
Overall, this game is a must play with friends! You will get the full experience if you and a couple of friends are playing together. It still is worth it for it’s solo mode, but the game sells at playing with people. Also, there will be things you hear from AI players or things you will see that will make you laugh so hard, so keep an eye and ear out too. You can pick up Backbreaker Vengeance at the marketplace if on XBox for 1200 Microsoft Points or over at the Playstation Netwrok for the cash equivalent. This might be something you wait for the price to decrease to pick up but even at 1200 MS Points I found it worth it.
Overall Score: 8
Music: 8/10 (Some of the sounds are just too funny and the music works with the game because it’s rap. Sports + Rap = Fun!)
Graphics: 6/10 (Nothing too impressive)
Storyline: There is none.
Gameplay: 8/10 (Super addicting, even better with friends)
Overall Fun Factor: 8/10 (I hate sports, but this is beyond that)
It’s not a sports game in execution. It brings me back to BLITZ days and makes me really want them to release some DLC with more challenges in modes. I would like to also see them take on Hockey next because that would just be even more fun! For now though, this is perfect and there are plenty of challenges to keep you busy for a long time.