Posted on July 25, 2008, Chris XBLA Hors D’oeuvres: Go! Go! Break Steady
XBLA Hors D’oeurvres are a weekly feature where I play the latest Xbox Live Arcade game – in trial form – for no more than 10 minutes, and then summarize my impressions of the game based upon only that.
I stand by my earlier assessment that Go! Go! Break Steady‘s description is irrevocably stupid. But after playing the game for just a few minutes, I can see that there was no better way to describe the game and that — more importantly — it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play.
Part DDR and part Zuma, Break Steady consists of two completely different game mechanics which don’t make a lot of sense to pair together. They do, however (or is that somehow?), go along with each other quite nicely.
You complete sections of a song by pressing a corresponding face button on your controller and are then taken to a section where you shoot a ball into a curved line of balls to match three of the same color. Once you shoot all of your balls (which, from what I can tell, will be from one to three depending on your performance in the preceding DDR section) you’re sent back into the DDR action — which isn’t as monotonous as it could have been, thanks to the buttons coming in from different angles and moving in ways you’re not used to seeing. You repeat until time runs out, all the while listening to some rad music that is reminscent of Jet Grind Radio.
The similarities to Jet Grind don’t end there. The game isn’t cel-shaded, but it has a distinct visual quality that makes it look much more vibrant than your run-of-the-mill Zuma or DDR clone. (That isn’t to say that’s what Break Steady is, but it’s pretty easy to see some of the game’s inspirations.)
I struggled during my first song despite playing on easy, which is pretty pathetic given the number of hours I spend with my hands wrapped around a controller — you’d think tapping a designated button at the right time would be easy. My second song I found much easier as I grasped what I was really doing.
Before your first song, you can hop into the tutorial, which at first makes the game feel extremely intimidating. But it was actually extremely short and concise without leaving anything important out, which is an impressive feat.
I’m still surprised by how impressed with the game I am, but developer Little Boy Games did an excellent job in taking two completely different genres and melding them together a la Puzzle Quest. Definitely give this one a look and don’t pass it up like I nearly did because of a stupid description.