Backbreaker Vengeance is developed by NaturalMotion Games and published by 505 Games and is only available on XBLA. The game is a condensed version of the AAA title Backbreakers and consists of only minigames from the full title meaning there isn’t any American Football in it.
The minigames consist o f20 challenges, within which contain 5 waves per challenge. In order to unlock the next challenge you need to accumulate enough points in the last challenge to win a bronze helmet. Within the wave you have 5 lives and if at any point within a wave you lose all of your lives then you lose the challenge and have to start from the beginning.
The first minigame is Tackle Alley where you are the player running with the ball trying to score a touchdown while CPU players attempt to tackle you to prevent the touchdown. The first few challenges are designed to teach you moves within the game and as you play these challenges you are expected to use these moves against CPU players. However the game doesn’t tell you when you start that the different coloured players represent different moves.
The second minigame is called Vengeance and is where the tables are turned and you must take down a CPU player who is carrying the ball, while other CPU players will try and stop you. The learning curve for this game is not as steep as Tackle Alleys and as the challenges get harder more CPUs are brought in to try and tackle you.
The final minigame is called Supremacy where your player is up against 3 other CPU players in a race style format, where the aim is to get to the touchdown as fast as you can to earn the most points. From wave 2 onwards the person who scored the least amount of points in the previous wave becomes the tackler. The tacklers aim is to prevent the other players from finishing the race. If you get caught by the tackler then you lose a large amount of points and the only way to win the challenge is to have the highest point score at the end of all 5 waves.
The graphics are realistic because of the games Euphoria engine which combines AI, physics and the animationtogether; which means that none of the animations that you see are pre-rendered and are all dynamic animations. On the other hand the graphics aren’t directly related to the gameplay ie the crowd looks rushed and messy and spoils the overall appearance of the game.
The music on the menus and when the game starts is very catchy and memorable. However the music in the game is minimal but is instead filled with atmospheric sound effects. The sound effects range from crowd noises, the heavy footsteps on the playing field and the sound of impacts between players. The noises the crowd make include boos and cheers depending on your current situation.
Presentation and Audio
The presentation of the game is really good, with the game engine creating amazing graphics, dynamic animation and physics. The sounds are ok but it can be a little distracting at times but the music from the menus is well thought out and really catchy.
The gameplay is very limited and repetitive; with a lot of the waves and challenges feeling very similar to the previous ones. It can get really frustrating at times as well due to the game being more reactive than twitch based.
The game can last awhile as you can play to get the different medals and the high scores on the leaderboards. There is also an option to play on Xbox Live with friends.
Overall it was an OK game, it looked good, but it lacked substance and anything really special gameplay wise. And as a football based game, I would expect to play some matches, rather than just do the training.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.