|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|
by Cole Smith
For all the B-boys and B-girls out there in North America, B-Boy is bringing it home, literally. After circulating around the world for the last couple of years, B-Boy is now available in North America, the land that created breakdancing. B-Boy is breakdancing without the mess; no blood, bruises, or broken bones. It's all about getting the right moves down at the right time with your controller, not your physical body. Part Guitar Hero, part Tony Hawk with a little bit of Street Fighter thrown in and you've got the essential ingredients to B-Boy.
B-Boy is put together as a cohesive package. Despite all of its influences, it is fresh and original. It doesn't feel like a Frankenstein, it's a sophisticated game with complex, but not complicated, gameplay mechanics. Some technical issues hamper the overall presentation and enjoyment, as they can actually interfere with your progress. There's no getting around some of these flaws, so you'll just have to live with them. Eventually you will compensate for them, but it does take a lot of practice to work your way around them. I must admit that during the first few hours of play it seemed unmanageable. I was incredibly frustrated and was just about to deem the game unplayable and give it a terrible score. But when I took a break for a day and realized that all I was trying to do was get through the game as fast as possible to write this review before the weekend, I decided to change my perspective, and consequently my attitude. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.
Like anything in life, you've got to practice if you want to learn a new skill. Breakdancers aren't born with these moves, they acquire them through years of practice. Physically these dancers can differ drastically as well. Some may be incredibly strong but lack flexibility, while some may be lithe but unable to support their own weight with their neck muscles. So, I learned to make do, as you will too. So, don't throw in the towel if you find yourself frustrated at the technical flaws that I will discuss later. Just give it some time and patience.
A series of moves, activated at the right time with strings of combos is the basic premise of B-Boy. You are dancing-off against opponents in the quest for medals, awarded for your timing ability and your skills at linking combos together. You will begin with a character that you can customize with body type, facial features, hair, and outfit. Starting at the bottom, you will earn street cred, money, and eventually acquire a posse. You will also earn and learn new moves that you can add to your repertoire. Competitions will begin in the 'hood and take you around the world to places in Asia and Europe.
Main moves are executed with the face button. The triangle is for the top rock, the X is for the six step, the circle activates the windmill, and the square is the freeze. Used in conjunction with the face buttons, the D-pad and dual triggers act as modifiers as well as letting you access a new set of moves. For instance, when you use the freeze move, a micro mini-game appears in which you have to keep a gauge balanced in the center by making adjustments to the right and left trigger. If you press either trigger for too long, you will lose the balance in the gauge and the freeze move will be over.