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Nov. 19, 2006
B-Boy - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
13/10/2006SonyFreeStyle Games1-2PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Go homeboy, Go homeboy!
As many readers would know a couple of week ago Michael Hutchesson took a look at the PSP version of B-Boy (you can check out his review here). Overall he enjoyed the game, with some good aspects (the graphics), and some not so good (the loading). Having played the PSP game briefly myself I agreed with what he had to say, but now it was my turn to take the PS2 game for a spin. Was this version any better? Read on to find out... Oh, if you notice some of the paragraphs are similar to the PSP review, well I've ripped some of Michael's review (with permission of course!) where the games are the same.

In the game you play an up and coming break dancer. You have a mentor Kool Rock who will teach you the tricks of the trade before you set out to take on the top break dancers. As you win challenges, more open up, as do several tournaments, where you fight your way through knockout rounds to become the greatest break dancer.

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Battle on the stage.
Michael mentioned in his review of the PSP game that to him this game feels similar to Tekken and Soul Calibur, to me it feels more like some of those dancing games where you have to hit the buttons in time with the music. As well as the face buttons you need to tap either L1 or L2 in time with the beat to keep your moves pumping and to balance during freeze moves. There are up to 5 medals to be won in each challenge, and this is how you are to beat your opponent, by winning more medals than them. It's a pretty entertaining game with plenty of challenges to enter and things to unlock.

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Graphics are pretty nice.
While the controls definitely feel nice, there is a slightly annoying aspect to them that takes a little getting used to. With so much effort put into the motion-captured animations, moves are strung together at certain points in the animation, meaning sometimes you can press a button and have to wait up to about 1-2 seconds before the move initiates. While this may sound like a trivial matter, in a game where you are given points for timing, it can become quite frustrating. Besides this the controls really are quite wonderful.

Naturally with the game based around two dancers battling for supremacy it will come as little surprise to discover a 2-player mode in the game. It's definitely much more entertaining to play the game in this way, however the turn based gameplay doesn't leave a lot of instant glory to defeat your friend.

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One dances, one waits...
Certainly the biggest complaint with the PSP title was the horrendous load times. Fortunately this isn't really a problem on the PS2 at all. Yes, there is still some loading, but you're really only talking a handful of seconds between levels - much less the, as Michael mentioned, very lengthy 45+ second waits on the PSP. Having said that another of the problems is the need to wait for your opponent to battle which means that while you play for a period of time, say, 45 seconds, you will then have to wait that length of time for your opponent to complete their routine.

Graphically this game is pretty impressive. Much like the PSP title the animation is quite superb with a wide range of moves and some great locations. I can't say it's the best we've seen on the PS2, but it's certainly not the worst either. If there is one problem it's with the camera. You would think that it would be easy to focus on a single person dancing in an open space, but for some crazy reason the developer still place the cameras at odd angles, or too far away from the action making it impossible to see when you have to hit the buttons. Even worse the camera will occasionally be blocked by people watching your moves!

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Look, another screenshot.
Audio in the game really is a highlight with a large selection of tracks from artists such as James Brown, Kool and the Gang, Jackson 5, Cypress Hill, Nina Simone and Fred Wesley to name a few. The music does suit the game quite well, but there is quite a bit of repetition as you play through the game - despite the fairly large number of tracks. As we mentioned in the PSP game the sound effects are pretty limited and there's a desperate lack of voice work in the game. In fact the voice work is almost non-existent outside the tutorials.

I pretty much come to the same conclusion as Michael on this game - it's got a great look (except the cameras) and feel to it, but ultimately unless your a mad hip-hop music or break dancing fan then this probably isn't the title for you. Overall B-Boy is good, but no where near as good as so many of Sony's other genre-breaking titles.

Review By: Dave Warner (and Michael Hutchesson)

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSVery impressive animation and solid backgrounds, but poor cameras.
SOUNDA good selection of music keeps this game pumping at all times.
GAMEPLAYUnfortunately the gameplay becomes tiresom - only good in short hits.
VALUEAt $79.95 this is decent value, takes some time to complete.
OVERALLI actually enjoyed B-Boy more then I expected - but it's still a flawed title overall. This won't be the start of a new genre, but it will keep you entertained. The PS2 version is preferred over PSP - just.

Talk about B-Boy in this forum topic now.