These days, fighting games have to try very hard to hold any type of relevancy. They try to do it via a number of ways, such as combining universes together in a manner similar to Mortal Kombat vs. DC or Street Fighter X Tekken. When all seems to fall flat however, some developers go to the characters, gameplay options and the story and try their hand at making the game appealing by optimizing the qualities of such elements. This looks to pretty much sum up the developmental situation surrounding Phantom Breaker, the 2D fighter coming straight from Japan, courtesy of developer 7Sixty.
Phantom Breaker’s story feels like a cross between Tekken and Twisted Metal, chronicling the collision of several fighters summoned by a secretive entity named Phantom to a contest where the winner will be granted any desire they have. In a trailer released just a few months ago, the question was posed as to how far one would go to grant a wish. Here the focus for the fighters in the tournament is to try and develop their own unique approach for fighting and contrast it successfully with the other combatants.
This approach becomes the focus of the gameplay found in Phantom Breaker thanks to the two approaches that have been made available from 7Sixty to the players. The first is known as quick style, where players will have to prioritize their speed and quickness to pull off quality fast combos. The second one is known as hard style, and here the idea is to work up a strong defense while simultaneously looking for gaps that will allow successful hard strikes to opponents. Making things interesting, having two fighters using a different style could very well make Phantom Breaker a paradise for purists. 7Sixty’s intentions seem good, and if done well, could give Phantom Breaker a fresh feeling that is sorely needed overall for fighting games.
What also makes Phantom Breaker interesting is the makeup of the fighters in terms of gender. While fighting games have predominately featured males over females, eleven of the fourteen fighters available to choose from will be female, giving Phantom Breaker a sort of 2D Dead or Alive feel. That said, the characters are all very interesting, regardless of gender. My favorite has to be Mikoto, a girl who wields a huge blade that reminded me of the iconic Gunblade from Final Fantasy VII, which has me interested to see how Mikoto will fight given the two styles mentioned earlier.
With a release date of April 24th exclusively on the Xbox 360, expect anticipation to get more potent and widespread in the coming weeks for Phantom Breaker.