Breakers (Neo Geo AES) Playthrough – NintendoComplete

A playthrough of SNK and Visco’s 1997 versus-fighting game for the Neo Geo AES, Breakers.

The AES version of Breakers was only released in Japan, but it plays fully in English on any system that is internally set to English.

This playthrough shows two different runs through the game. The first is with Sho, and the second (beginning at 15:15) is with Pielle. Both are played on the normal difficulty setting.

I’ve always loved this game. I originally played it on an old, beat up MVS machine at a local skating rink when I was a teenager and I liked it quite a bit. Years later, I grabbed a Neo Geo CD system and a copy of this game, and played it nonstop – I’m guessing that this disc was one of the big contributors to wearing out the machine’s CD drive.

Breakers is easy to get into if you are familiar with all of the quarter/half circle motions from the Street Fighter games, but the action feels somewhat different. Though the game isn’t particularly fast, the fighting is pretty non-stop. Many of the moves have good reach and setup opportunities to combo cancel into your flashy special moves – of which nearly all set people on fire in some way. The characters are all reasonably well balanced in this regard, and since nowhere on the screen is generally safe at any given time, there isn’t any “downtime” in the matches. It makes for some tense matches, and I always found the balance between reflexes and strategy to be pretty exciting. As easy as it is to call it a Street Fighter clone, it really isn’t any more so than any other 2D fighter from the mid/late 90s were. It does some interesting things with the formula to great result – enough so that I still pop it in every few months despite it being 22 years old.

I always liked how it was very accessible to people that aren’t “into” the genre. Like I said earlier, if you know Street Fighter to some degree, you can play Breakers. You aren’t going to be an expert at the beginning, of course, but you aren’t going to go into it having to learn everything anew. It feels familiar but it is loaded with its own nuances.

The presentation does warrant a note here, too. It’s great. It might not be quite as impressive as some of Capcom’s CPS2 stuff that was coming out in 1996, but it nails it in terms of style. The sprites are all huge and full of detail, and they all animate really smoothly. Moves connect with loud thwacks and thuds, and the goofy voice-overs run nonstop but generally manage to remain entertaining. (Well, maybe except for Pielle – I used him in this video so you tell me. That voice, though… ugh). The music is classic in that “old-school arcade” loud, catchy, and generally insubstantial kind of way, as are the super flashy moves that cause all sorts of fire and meteor effects to blast across the screen. Throw in a healthy helping of Engrish, and you’ve got quite the feast for the senses here.

I really wish that Breakers or the sequel (Breakers Revenge) had had console ports released in the west at some point – or even now! I’d love to see this released as part of the ACA Neo Geo series on the Switch or the PS4.

I’ll take this over KOF96 or RBFF, thank you very much.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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  1. Sho es "Guy" tia es "cammy" "chunli" Rila es "blanka condor es "t.hawk" alsion 3" es Dhalsim

  2. I have to say the animation in this is so smooth. I really want this to be a Neo Geo arcade game for the Switch. I would play the heck out of this, it looks like a really fun fighting game. Heck 3 Count Bout is in the eShop so there is a possibility.

  3. Dude I remember this game, so underrated!

    p.s. Tia is still hot lol

  4. Love how well you described the game in your description. Looking forward to this game and it's sequel coming to the ps4 next year

  5. Dude, I just finished this game and it took me 67 credits just for the Chinese M. Bison. My fingers hurt so bad. I'm using a keyboard btw.

  6. …Would Pielle's VA please step away from the microphone a little bit?

  7. I love how pielle is out here dabbing on mfers before it was cool XD

  8. is that a guy or a girl in the thumbnail

  9. This game actually looks well made and fun!

  10. I always hated those "Insane Combo style" of Fighting game even back then like Killer Instinct or Mortal Kombat. I guess I would have liked this game if it wasn't due to Neo Geo was fucking expensive and still is to this day

  11. I forgot to point out a detail: in mirror matches the opponent is given a different name, like they were effective twins rather than unexplained doubles. Which other fighting games have done that?

  12. 5:48
    Dats what chu get fer showing off and letting yer guard down!! X3

  13. Sho and Jin=Ken and Ryu (SF)
    Rila=Felicia (Darkstalkers)
    Alsion=Dhalsim (SF)
    Pielle=Vega(claw from SF)? Was Soul Edge out yet?
    Tia=Chun Li and Guile (SF)
    Bai-hu=Bison (dictator from SF) and Dimitri (Darkstalkers)

  14. I remember this and the sequel (which I hope we'll see here, played with different characters). The fighting game market was quite crowded at the time, the system even more crowded with the genre, only 8 characters in this first episode, and to be honest many are also quite generic and stereotyped despite the great overall presentation; last but not least, in the past I've seen Visco considered a low-tier developer, a stigma present even in some Neo Geo enthusiasts despite Visco's contribution to the system (ok, Andro Dunos was nothing special, but what about Neo Drift Out?). Of course, it must have been at least popular enough to spawn its sequel/update, but those are more than enough reasons for why they failed to leave and impact. The fact Visco hasn't been active in videogames for a long time probably makes it worse.

  15. Always love to see Neo-Geo stuff on here. So many good memories of that system.

  16. I like how in Condors stage you have Bob Ross cheering in the background.

  17. +NintendoComplete I love every thumbnails that you upload your videos, man! They looked awesome and badass!

  18. I like it Plus That's what I'm talking about i 💘 it

  19. It's not the most novel 2D fighter ever created, but Breakers is so well put-together that it doesn't even matter. It's completely goofy and endearing, and a fair amount more complex than it first looks.

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