Boxing games fun again? EA announces FaceBreaker (Update)

If your anything like me, you have fond childhood memories of spending time in front of your NES pounding away at “Iron” Mike Tyson, before he went nuts and painted hieroglyphics across his face. Games like Punch-Out!! were magical, and could turn a topic as sinister sounding as pugilism into a fun-filled game you could literally waste away the day with. Boxing games have come and gone since then, but none have tapped into the vein of Nintendo’s hit (honorable mention to Ready 2 Rumble) in quite the same way. Realism is for Pay-Per-View events.

If EA has anything to do with it, that just might change. With the introduction of FaceBreaker, they hope to forge new territory into the cartoony world of arcade boxing. As Peter “remember me from my Xbox days” Moore commented, EA is looking to fill that void:

“Arcade boxing takes me back to my roots in this industry, and this game signals our shift to adding more approachable fun to our product lineup.”

At this point, we know that like Punch-Out!!, the game will feature fictional characters such as “Latin Lover” Romeo, and Molotov, a Russian baddie who likes to blow things up. In addition, the game is looking to include Game Face technology, so you can add your ugly mug to a character in the game. Best of all, the game is set to release on all three current-gen platforms, so nobody is left out in the cold.

Sounds pretty good thus far, EA. I just hope that the final game does the inspiration justice. You’ve got big shoes to fill.

[Via 1up

[Update: 1up had the exclusive on this one, but EA has just sent out the official press release along with the screenshot. For those interested, I’ve added the screen to the gallery, and the press release after the jump. – Nick

REDISCOVER THE JOY OF PUMMELING WITH FACEBREAKER

An All-New Intellectual Property from EA SPORTS Brings Back Arcade Boxing

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 31, 2008 – Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that FaceBreaker™ – an all-new intellectual property – is under development at EA Canada and will be released for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft and the Wii™ in 2008.

“We’re very excited to announce FaceBreaker, an all-new franchise from EA SPORTS that is fun, fresh and innovative,” said Peter Moore, president, EA SPORTS. “FaceBreaker reinvigorates one of the great genres in sports videogames.  Arcade boxing takes me back to my roots in this industry, and this game signals our shift to adding more approachable fun to our product lineup.  In no time at all, you’ll be picking up the controllers and knocking your opponent around the ring, smashing faces, and having a riot.”

The renaissance of the arcade boxing genre is upon us. Created by the same team that developed the award-winning Fight Night Round 3, FaceBreaker offers irreverent fun, immersive gameplay and eye-popping stylized graphics. In this in-your-face, arcade world full of ego-wielding characters, each boxer comes to life with unique attributes and distinct personal style, including Romeo, a Latin lover known for his pelvic thrusts, and Molotov, an oversized Russian demolitions expert with a penchant for fighting dirty. Add a little personal motivation to your fight by uploading a photo of your face to create a realistic likeness using Photo Game Face, and go toe-to-toe with a real-life friend or foe.

Laugh out loud as you pummel your opponent with a barrage of blows to the face and watch in satisfaction as your progress is illustrated by real-time facial deformation. With haymakers, face shots and body blows, wait for the right moment to drop a super punch to make your presence known. Taunt your adversaries and flaunt your talent, by tying one hand behind your back to add ultimate humiliation to your bout. In FaceBreaker, it just feels good to rearrange your opponent’s face.

EA SPORTS™ is the leading interactive sports software brand in the world, with top-selling titles and franchises including Madden NFL Football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® and NASCAR® racing.

For more information, log onto www.easports.com/facebreaker on February 1.

SRVSLPS