Looks like this game will never see the light of day in the states. No real loss, there are plenty of other better fighters available for the current home systems. I think that is the real reason for the indefinite delay.
Phantom Breaker fights a losing battle to provide you with a reason to play it instead of one of its many qualified peers.
- Fluid character animations
- Simple controls.
- Tedious combat
- Generic to a fault
- Rough translation.
If a fight broke out at an anime convention and only those who had dressed up as nurses, priestesses, ninja warriors, pop idols, businessmen, and French maids participated, the outcome would resemble Phantom Breaker, an Xbox 360 fighting game that dives into waters so shallow that there was never a good chance of anything memorable emerging.
Phantom Breaker's many parts combine to form the regrettable result. You have the standard Arcade, Story, Practice, and Versus modes. You can take things online to seek out competition from other players, but games that make button mashing as viable a strategy as skilled play aren't often improved by the addition of a stranger. A network connection doesn't suddenly breathe new life into stale design, either.
The biggest problem with Phantom Breaker is its unsatisfying combat engine, which benefits from accessibility but doesn't provide players with sufficient incentive to improve. The quarter-circle moves that Street Fighter II perfected are missing in action, replaced here by an approach you might expect from Nintendo's popular Smash Bros. franchise. Moves are executed by pressing one or more of the four face buttons either with or without an accompanying tilt of the analog stick or tap of the d-pad.
Special moves that can only be performed once meters fill do add some complexity, but the ease with which even the most powerful moves and combos are blocked, broken, and countered prevents the game from developing an enjoyable sense of rhythm. You're seldom rewarded for playing cautiously and unleashing a combo when your opponent leaves an opening, because that opening could vanish in an instant and then you'll be drawn into a time-consuming slap fight that has no long-term impact on either combatant's life meter. Unless a fighter frequently screws up big, you may be surprised by just how often the winner of a match is the person who still has the most health remaining when the timer dwindles to nothing, rather than the last person standing.
More practiced players will start breaking combos and performing counter attacks--perhaps with pleasing success--as the result of a few hours of practice, but a newcomer with no prior experience can mash buttons and break out amazing combos at a similar rate. Repeatedly slapping the face buttons a few times often produces a string of pure pain that's capable of ruining even skilled opponents. Rather than punishing players who just hammer the buttons and hope for the best, Phantom Breaker facilitates such strategies by including life meters that gradually refill over time, and by ensuring that even relatively weak combos take much longer to play out than they really should.