|System: PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: FreeStyle Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SouthPeak Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 5, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Before each competition, you will select, program, and store a handful of new moves to be used in conjunction with the moves mapped to the face button. These moves are then accessed by pressing the D-pad and the appropriate face buttons. Your character will receive moves, instructions, suggestions, and other tidbits of information on a laptop from Kool Rock. A practice arena lets you try out and perfect the moves before you enter into competition. When you have them down, you can add them to your movebook. It's kind of like entering a battle in an RPG. Although you will acquire a large inventory of moves, you will only be able to bring a handful of them with you. This concept works because it keeps you from having to memorize a seemingly infinite amount of button combos. As it is, you add only the moves that you feel comfortable with.
Variety is the key to winning each competition. If you play it safe, you won't generate enough interest in your performance and your opponent could steal the medals away from you. The medals make their appearance during the competition and are the possession of the dancer deemed to be doing the best at that time. The medals will alternate as each competitor steps up his or her game. It's a great visual aid, almost like the pitch meter in a karaoke game, as it gives you real-time indication as to your progress, or lack thereof.
Under your dancer is a turning circle. It has slots on it that line up with a marker as it turns. Pressing the buttons when the slots line up will give you points for your rhythm. At the end of the cycle is a blue slot. Trigger your transition moves when the blue slot is lined up with the marker. This is the key to success, but it's also where the technical flaws are revealed. The camera angles, in an effort to emulate MTV videos with lots of fast edits, will change so drastically that it's difficult to keep a visual on the turning slots. The other problem is that commands don't register until the next bar of music, which doesn't give you instant feedback. The confusing camera angles and control delay require that you keep the beat in your head and not rely too heavily on the visuals.
B-Boy is an average looking game despite the hundreds of motion-captured moves. The characters are bland looking and the environments look blocky and dated. Thankfully, the soundtrack is not dominated by lame hip hop and rap tunes. The addition of Kool and the Gang and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, add some class and depth to the presentation. An online mode is definitely the next step for this game if it's going to continue as a series. The two-player versus mode is not a deal breaker. It would be nice to be able to test our skills against the other players around the world that have had this game for the last couple of years.
CCC Senior Writer