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17 Jan 2023

REVIEW: Breakers Collection on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Back in the 1990s we were very lucky that we had an almost endless stream, of beat-em-up arcade games, from the Fatal Fury series, to Streetfighter and of course Breakers. And today we get a re-release of not only Breakers but also the sequel in Breakers Revenge on the mighty Nintendo Switch. Called the Breakers Collection, it is your classic 2D beat-em-up style game with a few important improvements.

Here is the plot of the game.
"Somewhere in Hong Kong, two martial artists face each other in a vast courtyard. The challenger is a stout man in brown skin. The ground has been tainted with blood. However, his crescent blade has not touched his opponent yet. It was a one-sided battle. He was already exhausted and it will not be long before he would fall. "Fool, you will become one of my family" resounded the opponent's voice, as the challenger crumbled to the floor and was turned into sand.

The Fighting Instinct Tournament, or FIST, is a tournament as fierce as its name suggests. There was no shortage of martial artists who entered the tournament seeking fame, and yet there were many who left the tournament as corpses. The last challenger who remains in this lawless tournament gets to challenge the organizer of the tournament, the Head of the Huang Financial Clique, for the chance to win the massive prize money. The martial artist who can manage to defeat him will obtain the honour of truly calling him or herself the strongest. However, none of the martial artists who were chosen to challenge the champion in a private final match have ever come back alive. The sponsor is actually an evil spirit who possessed the body of a modern man from Hong Kong who has established a selection system to amplify his dark powers. The FIST tournament has gathered numerous participants from around the globe and another sacrifice will be chosen this year."

So, it your classic tournament system, to win money, yes, I know it is not really very original, but does anyone really care about the plot line in beat-em-ups?

You have your usual collection of characters with different skill sets and from different countries. Sho Kamui being the lead character, a Japanese Karate expert. And yes, he will remind you of a certain other character from a famous beat-em-up and yes, he even has some of the same moves.

There are a few different gameplay modes, including online modes if you have a Nintendo Subscription. Otherwise, the single player mode is your typical tournament mode, with various storyline screens interjected between fights.

Visually there are also a few options. You can play with original graphics, a smoothed-out mode, where the graphics are a bit smoother, and everyone's favourite the CRT mode, designed to replicate the look of playing on an old-fashioned TV. You can even choose to have all of the moves listed on the screen as you play, to help you pull off that special move to finish off your opponent.

Both games play well, Breakers Revenge is clearly the superior game, it has more characters, and the in-game balance is better. The moves are all pretty familiar to players of the genre, and how to pull them off is all pretty standard.

This is an easy to pick up and play game, some of the sound effects are pretty dated, and the Italian character Pielle Montario is pretty hilarious, the noises he makes just sound wrong on so many levels.

"In this collection, the player will have the opportunity to play the classic Versus Mode local or with online lobbies, Arcade Mode, Ranked battles with Rollback Netcode (GGPO), Team Battle, Art gallery, Training mode and more!"

The Good
If you are a fan of retro 2D beat-em-ups, then you can't go wrong with the Breakers Collection, everything you want is there, colourful characters, animated backgrounds, lots of moves, great fights. It is pure 2D beat-em-up heaven.

The Bad
If you have a Nintendo Switch, then you will most likely already have the Capcom Arcade, and if so, you can get Streetfighter 2 on there very cheap, and it was even free for a while, so it might be hard to justify paying out a fair amount of money for Breakers Collection.

Games like this tend to appeal to the older game who want reminding of the glory days of their youth, putting 10p coins in the local arcade machines for hours on end.

Both the Breakers games included here could be consider some of the better games of the time, of this genre. Are they better than Streetfighter 2? No. Are they better than most other 2D beat-em-ups? Yes

I score Breakers Collection a fair 7.5/10

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