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Ball Breakers
"This is the very first game in the Playstations new Ultra-Cheap range that we have been truly impressed with. Not only does it provide amazing value for money, but it plays better than many full price games out there."
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Developer  Lost Toys Game Type  Sports
Distributor  Take 2 Review Date  Date
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Trapped on a prison planet, your only chance of freedom is to compete in a brutal tournament where the winner receives a pardon.

The term Ball Breakers is derived from the simple fact that to take part, competitors have to endure a brutal surgical procedure that replaces their legs with a large ball that forces them to roll everywhere. Dislodging (or Breaking) this ball will eliminate a competitor from the event.

The game itself takes the form of seven types of futuristic sporting event, many of which bear a resemblance to the TV show Gladiators:

Event 1: RUN THE GAUNTLET. This is a timed platform game where you need to rush around obstacles and get past robotic guards.

Event 2: PURSUIT. Similar to the Gauntlet game, but with the added complexity that the arena gradually dissolves.

Event 3: LAST MAN ROLLING. This fighting event is quite simple; disable all of the other competitors before they get you.

Event 4: KING OF THE HILL. Rush to the top of a raised platform and then try to stop it being occupied by any other competitor.

Event 5: RACE. Quite simply a race where rolling over power-ups can give you a burst of speed and the banked walls of the track can be used to your advange when overtaking.

Event 6: POWERBALL. Collect a set number spheres that have been scattered around the level within a timed period.

Event 7: TAG. Similar to powerball, but with far more items to collect, many of which are in difficult to reach areas.

Events often require a degree of fighting, although due to the fact that only one button on the joypad is reserved for performing an attack - its rather a simplistic affair. You can inflict more damage by combining a punch with a charge (running into the opponent), or a leap into the air. Weapons are also hidden in crates scattered around many of the levels, locating these quickly will give you a distinct advantage.

In the single player game you will be up against 3 types of robotic competitor. The first (Blue) pose little threat, while the second (Red). are far tougher to destroy. You will need to watch out for the third (Silver) types as they are actually linked to the arena and will effect it in some way when killed.

Graphically Ball Breakers is well above average, especially when considering its budget price. The 3D prisons are solidly constructed from polygons, with some of the levels resembling a 'Tony Hawks' style skateboard park - complete with huge half pipes and ramps that need to be approached at speed. Textures all look very metallic and the dark, grainy colors used, give the game an almost 'Blade Runner' feel.

10 Prison zones with 80 levels in total.

2 player split screen mode allows you and a friend to go head to head.

play as one of five original characters, with their own different physical properties, areas of expertise and attack combos.

Completing an arena under a certain time limit will earn you a Gold Medal. Gold Medals are used to reveal the Leisure Mountain bonus prison and the arenas within.

The landscape is completely deformable in an organic, semi-liquid fashion. Various events cause huge waves to ripple through the terrain, which, if you're good enough, you can surf to avoid obstacles and build up speed.

Flexible and intuitive method of control based on an extremely powerful kinematics engine, which allows the characters to roll, jump and carve their way around levels realistically.

• Number of Disks: 1
• Number of blocks used on Memory card per save: 1
• Maximum number of Players (without a multi-tap): 2
• Multi-tap compatible (max players): No
• Link-cable compatible (max players): No
• Split screen multi-player option (max players): Yes (2)
• Other accessories: None
• Dual Shock Pad Digital Button compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Analog Stick compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Vibration compatible: Yes
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Related Items   How we score our reviews | Send us YOUR review of this game
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Steve   "This is the very first game in the Playstations new Ultra-Cheap range that we have been truly impressed with. Not only does it provide amazing value for money, but it plays better than many full price games out there.

Lets hope that this is the first of many quality budget titles to be released, as it could be games like these that keep this console going for many years after its big brothers launch this winter."
Graphics  17/20
Playability  44/50
Sound  7/10
Lastability  15/20
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