A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game takes the sport of boxing to cartoonish extremes, allowing players to land incredibly powerful blows that lift opponents several feet into the air, but that it stops short of any gore or blood (all we see are bruises). Its stylized presentation, goofy dialogue, and light soundtrack composed of inoffensive rock and hip hop tracks suggest that it's targeted at young teenagers. Fittingly, there isn't any overt sexuality, profanity, drugs, or alcohol in the game. But it is a game all about fighting.
What's it about?
Though it shares the Facebreaker moniker with a boxing game available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, FACEBREAKER: K.O. PARTY for the Wii feels like its own game. This is due largely to the extensive use of the Nintendo's motion-sensitive controls which has players punching at the air to attack their silicon-based opponents. Holding back for a second before following through powers up the blow. You can also mix things up by pressing the A-button during a punch, which enables a powerful haymaker, or holding down the B-button to throw some low jabs. Players will put these skills to use as they battle through the single-player campaign in the pursuit of championship belts, the Brawl for it All mode, which lets them earn new fighters and venues, and several multiplayer modes that pit up to four friends against one another in fast-paced, tournament-style play.
Is it any good?
Despite having whet our appetites with the excellent boxing mini-game in Wii Sports, which demonstrated how much fun it could be to pick up the Wii remote and nunchuk and pretend they were a pair of boxing gloves, surprisingly few good boxing games have been made for the Wii. Facebreaker K.O. Party is one of the better ones, but it, too, lacks the sort of single-player depth necessary to draw in most fighting fans (not to mention the fact that the game's cartoonish, almost juvenile aesthetic will likely turn off serious boxing buffs).
Still, it should prove good fun for teenage audiences looking to kill some time with their friends. Indeed, the multi-player modes are where the game shines brightest. T.K.O. mode lets up to four friends select three fighters each and battle it out in an elimination-style competition. Punch-o-Matic, on the other hand, is an instant gratification party mode that selects random fighters, arenas, power-ups, and special punches for quick one-off bouts. It's good times for small get-togethers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of fighting as a sport. Pugilism has long and storied roots dating back hundreds of years and remains a popular sport today, despite the fact that its core activity—people beating up one another—is illegal outside the ring. What does it say about our culture that so many of us want to watch two people engaged in fisticuffs? What do you think makes some people want to be prize fighters? Have you ever considered taking boxing lessons? Why or why not?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.