Release date: 29 September 2006
Developer: FreeStyle Games
Publisher: SCEE


Break with the best B-Boys on the block

  • Battle the best B-Boys in the world for the chance to take the crown from B-Boy and Hip-Hop legend Crazy Legs
  • Create your own character, form a crew and gain yourself a reputation in 21 globe-spanning locations
  • Take on 12 licensed B-Boy legends, backed by a huge licensed Hip-Hop and classic funk soundtrack


Making moves

FreeStyle Games brings out the breakdancer in us all with its funked up B-Boy. Hit the floor and get ready to break with the best of 'em.

Breakdancing is something that everybody knows about, but only a select talented few can actually do well, with all its body-popping, fresh trainer shuffling, and gravity-defying dexterity. But now FreeStyle Games has given us the chance to get on the floor and work the rhythmic magic required to dazzle and daze, with B-Boy. Get ready to move those feet to a funky beat.

Get down get down

B-Boy is a strange game to describe due to its eclectic mix of genres. It manages to throw together the addictive beats of a music title, the co-ordination of a rhythm action game, dashes in some button combinations that wouldn't look out of place in a beat 'em up, and even challenges you to some balance oriented moves that would have the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series saying "daaaaamn". In other words, it's a jack of all trades - but it masters them all.

You start out fresh faced in B-Boy, learning the sport in an ocean of break dancers that all want to test your skills and see what you bring to the table. In the single player mode, you create and customise your own B-Boy (or girl) with their facial features and clothing style - even down to the all-important type of underpants you're sporting, for that ultimate flash of panache.

Once you're stylish enough for the streets, you can practice your moves, take challenges across 21 different locations, and compete against other dancers in the area, building your reputation and increasing your move-set in the quest to become the best.

Breaking the basics

True to its promise, B-Boy is a rather unique beast that starts off simply but (appropriately enough) requires you to find your feet quickly. Through the essential Tutorial mode you discover the basic set of techniques to get the party started; Footwork, Windmill, Top Rock, Six Step and Baby Freeze abilities (don't worry, you'll recognise them when you see them in action) each come from a different button on the controller. This is just the beginning, as you then discover the secrets of keeping your character's rhythm and moves in time to the music.

This is something achieved by watching the meters around the character's feet that provide clues as to when is the best time to perform certain manoeuvres that increase your points and bragging rights. Transitions between each move are also vital to keeping momentum - and making everything look as stylish as possible.

Once you start to get the hang of the timing it becomes second nature, and if you can do all this to the background music's beat, you start to discover more tricks and accumulate combos that render you an invincible whirling dervish on the floor. Smart.

Beat this

None of this would matter if B-Boy didn't look or sound the part, but FreeStyle Games is evidently highly familiar with the culture and has made sure these elements are just as smooth as the gameplay itself. The motion capture is superb, with lots of lovely incidental animations that perfectly capture the atmosphere and stylish panache of the sport. With so many real-life B-Boys associated with the game's 40 characters, it's no surprise to learn that the popular breaker Crazy Legs, helped to provide some of the moves while also acting as the game's MC and an end of level boss.

Musically, there's a great selection of 40 licensed hip hop and funk tracks that match up with the game perfectly, providing the aural blend of contemporary and old school that's impossible to resist when coupled with the 800 moves on display. And should you want to indulge fully in the competitive spirit of break-dancing throwdowns, there are various two-player modes.

There's a lot of style here, but just as much substance to go with it. B-Boy is refreshingly different, and if you find it electric sliding into your PlayStation 2, it's bound to stay in steady rotation - like a true breakdancer spinning on his head for nothing but kicks and applause. This is one you'll want to bounce again and again.

B-Boy is also available for PSP (PlayStation Portable)