SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$9.99

DEVELOPER
Lost Toys

PUBLISHER
Take 2

RELEASE DATE
07/00

Ball Breakers Review

By: John Doe


With $10 games this decent, Take 2 may be on to something. It may not be everyones cup of tea, but the price tag certainly screams "I'm not what you'd usually play but take a chance on me!". I can handle that. However, even blowing a measely ten spot on a crappy game is still tossing money out the window. Luckily, Ball Breakers is surprisingly good in almost all departments.


Highs:
Lows:

For starters, while the $10 price tag on Ball Breakers is definitely a plus, I'm still going to subject the game to the rigorous standards we have here at CCC. If a feature is mediocre or bad, I'm not going to pass it off and say "Well its pretty good for a $10 game." I'm going to review this game just like it was a regular title.

Graphically, this game is a big surprise. One really neat thing is that the terrain in every level can be altered, so when an enemy is killed, their ball base is detonated, and can be ridden like a wave. The effect is truly remarkable, as the reality around the explosion is deformed and twisted a huge waves of energy appear on the landscape, rippling through it just like it was water. The extent that the landscape is twisted and changed depends on the velocity in which the player hits it. Unfortunately though, each of the games 10 levels look very similar because each level has the same blue-gray color scheme. But though its monotonous, they still look great. The interface of the game is done admirably, with the on-screen details such as health, energy, rage, and laps displayed in a very small, unobtrusive manner.

Unfortunately, the sound effects don't maintain the same quality standard set by the graphics. Most of them are very quiet and weak-sounding, with very little realism or crispness. Explosions and the sound of metal hitting metal just don't have the power or oomph that they should. Luckily though, the music improves things quite a bit. Though most of the music is really generic, the jungle, ambient, and industrial stylings on display for most of the game's levels makes the action seem more exciting, and generally "kicks things up a notch."

The closest way I can think of to describe Ball Breaker's gameplay is "Marble Madness meets Road Rage on crack." You pick one of 10 characters, and take on various characters with numerous weapons at your disposal in textured environments with different objectives, such as "Last Man Rolling", where you try to kill all the other characters in the midst of deadly obstacles. Other objectives are Race (self-explanatory), Tag (Collect various items scattered throughout the courses as you race), Run the Gauntlet, (Race with numerous booby-traps on the way, Persuit (Gauntlet except the landscape of the level you're in can subside into the water if you don't finish the race on time), King Of the Hill (Stay on a hill for the longest amount of time possible), and Powerball (you throw a ball at a sticky post to score a point).

The number of objectives and characters definitely keeps things interesting, and the action is fast and furious, ala Road Rash. The characters all have different attributes that make each one suited to better perform on some tracks and worse on others, but not enough to make it difficult for any of the characters to finish a race, despite their weaknesses.

Overall, this game is very entertaining, and I would highly recommend it, particularly for fans of Marble Madness or Road Rash. And with its $10 price tag, you can't go wrong! With games like this, "budget-priced" games may have a hope, and could even force developers to lower the prices of standard games.

OVERALL
8.0

GRAPHICS
8.0

CONTROL
8.0

MUSIC/FX
7.0

FRUSTRATION
3.0

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