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Video Game / Phantom Breaker

How far would you go to grant one wish?
— 7sixty's Preview Trailer

Phantom Breaker is 2D fighting game produced by 5pb. and co-developed by Delta Factory and Release Universal Network, released for Xbox 360 and subsequently PlayStation 3. The game is a spiritual successor to the Asuka 120% series by originally developed by Fill-in-Café.

Its story takes place in modern-day Japan, where a mysterious man named Phantom has arranged a fighting tournament in Tokyo, and granting a wish to whoever comes up on top. While the premise may seem like an Excuse Plot to add to another anime-styled fighting game, it has an extensive visual novel-like Story Mode for players to tackle. The character art was also done by Hiro Suzuhira, the mangaka of Yosuga no Sora and SHUFFLE! visual novels among others.

The game itself is not a total button masher as with other fighting games of the genre, and its gameplay is centered on parrying and countering attacks. Each character in Phantom Breaker has two different fighting styles (three in updated version): a Quick style that focuses on quick attacks for combos, and a Hard style focusing on defense and countering attacks. Performing special moves are also much more simplified compared to fighting games in the veins of Street Fighter without having to input complex directional commands to execute them.

Originally released in Japan on June 2, 2011 for Xbox 360, the game was picked up for an English localization by 7sixty, a subsidiary of Southpeak Interactive, for an early 2012 release, but was quietly canceled and never saw a release anywhere else. The game was later brought to arcades in Japan as Phantom Breaker: Another Code in December 2012 and introducing another character into the story. An Updated Re-release titled Phantom Breaker: Extra has later released on September 2013 in Japan for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and unlike the previous release, is also region-free.

A cutesy retro-styled beat 'em up spin-off developed by Division2 titled Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds was released on February 27, 2013 on Xbox Live Arcade starring Mikoto, Waka, Itsuki, and Yuzuha as the main characters while other characters such Cocoa and Infinity are reserved for the Arcade, Co-op, and Battlegrounds versus modes. There's also a DLC that adds Kurisu Makise as a playable character (except for Story Mode), a bump in the characters' level cap from Level 50 to 99, and extra Achievements for $5. An updated version of the game was ported to the PlayStation Vita and later PlayStation 4, with customizable controls and adds Nagi, Waka's kidnapped younger sister, to the playable roster. It was later ported to PC via Steam on January 23, 2015; it is also available on the Humble Store.


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    Tropes Present in Phantom Breaker 
  • Antagonist Title: Phantom, the main villain of the game, has his name on the title.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Ria Tojo, who's well-dress for someone trying to avenge her mother's death.
  • Badass Longcoat: Infinity has one on.
  • BFS: Mikoto's zweihänder, Maestro.
  • Big Bad: Phantom, the primary antagonist of the game.
  • Blade on a Stick: Waka's naginata, Kahoutou.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The US version of the series art book makes a blatant mistake in Mikoto's profile and claims she is the one rendered deaf by an accident rather than her friend.
  • Blood Knight: M pretty much fights solely for the lust of battle.
  • Bullet Time: The Quick style's Overdrive involves slowing time and making you move at hyperspeed, allowing you to lay the law down on your opponent.
  • Carry a Big Stick: M's aptly-named Humongous, a mace made from scarp metal.
  • Cleavage Window: Ria's showing some cleavage with the opening of her suit.
  • Colony Drop: Kurisu's Phantom Break, Choice of the Steins Gate, involves dropping a time machine from space on her enemies.
  • Combos: Basic attacks can be stringed up into combos which can be followed with specials and supers. Battle Grounds simplifies the concept by allowing any character to perform automatic combos by pushing lots of buttons, and finishing with any Special Attack.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: Both the main game and Battle Grounds feature a versus mode where player can fight each other.
  • Cool Sword: Tokiya fights with a longsword named Setsuna.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Cocoa is an obsessive fan of her favorite video game, T-DA, and her costume was made similar to that game.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Mikoto, Yuzuha, Itsuki, Waka, Ren, Fin, and Rimi.
  • Cute Bruiser: Many of the girls of Phantom Breaker can kick as much ass as they look.
  • Counter Attack: Counter Bursts, and their stronger, unblockable alternative, Critical Bursts.
  • The Dragon: Infinity, Phantom's bodyguard.
  • Drop the Hammer: Itsuki's Weapon of Choice, a battle hammer named Maggie.
  • Dual Wielding: Yuzuha with Shoukaku and Zuikaku, a ninja blade and a kunai respectively. Ria as well with her twin blades named Aldina.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Mikoto and Cocoa.
  • Evil Albino: Infinity. White hair, pale skin, and serves as Phantom's bodyguard.
  • Eyepatch of Power: M has one on.
  • Gainaxing: Waka's bust bounces with her idle animation but isn't exaggerated.
  • Guest Fighter: Rimi Sakihata and Kurisu Makise make an appearance in Phantom Breaker as playable characters.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Mei and Fin, although Fin's twin-tails are in incredibly long compared to Mei.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Yuzuha, a ninja schoolgirl that fights her foes out in the open.
  • Life Meter: As with traditional fighting games.
  • Magical Girl: Mei, and she also fights with a Magic Wand named Candy.
  • Megane: Tokiya. Also, Cocoa before she transforms into her T-DA version.
  • Miko: Waka comes from a family of exorcists who have dealt with Phantom before.
  • Mind over Matter: Infinity uses telekinesis as part of his fighting style.
  • Multi-Platform: The original Phantom Breaker was an Xbox 360-exclusive title, and a Japanese-only and region-locked one at that. The Updated Re-release, on the other hand, is available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as being import-friendly for the former.
  • Named Weapons: Anyone (save for Infinity) with a weapon has one.
  • Ninja Maid: Itsuki, a maid who fights with a battle hammer.
  • One-Letter Name: M.
  • Palette Swap: Like many fighting games, you can get alternate colors for all fighters.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Infinity's hair obscures one of his eyes.
  • Power Fist: Ren's weapon, Koutarou.
  • Ray Gun: Fin comes from the future and she's packing with her all-purpose laser guns, JJ Apple. Kurisu can also use one as one of her specials.
  • Riches to Rags: Itsuki and her family.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Yuzuha wears one in battle.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Ren, who's outfit lacking them.
  • Spiritual Successor: Phantom Breaker was developed by Masatoshi Imaizumi and Masaki Ukyo, former game designers and programmers of Fill-in-Café. They worked on the Asuka 120% series, Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force, and Panzer Bandit before the company filed for bankruptcy, while Masaki Ukyo also worked on Guardian Heroes, Silhouette Mirage, and later Code of Princess. Phantom Breaker also shares similar themes featuring an pretty girls (and some boys in this game's case) participating in an fighting tournament trying to accomplish their goals.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The main game has 2D hand-drawn sprites with 3D scenery.
  • Stripperiffic: Mei, who's clad in a magical girl-esque costume that shows off some midriff and thighs.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Executing your Phantom Break does this.
  • Sword Plant: Its one of Mikoto's Victory Poses.
  • Teen Idol: Mei Orisaka became one with her Magical Girl acting career.
  • Tights Under Shorts: Steins;Gate's Kurisu Makise wears tights under her shorts.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Fin's easily the youngest and the cutest.
  • Too Many Belts: Infinity has several on his coat and his clothes.
  • Updated Re-release: Phantom Breaker: Extra rebalances the game's mechanics, adds a new "Extra" fighting style, new characters, more moves, renewed background effects, and an online spectator mode. This version is also region-free for Xbox 360 and is also available for PlayStation 3.
  • Versus Character Splash: Before a match starts in the main game.
  • Victory Quote: Every character has one when they win a match.
  • Victory Pose: After finishing an opponent, the winner will perform a victory pose such a Makoto sticking her sword in the ground to Yuzuha looking back and taking off her scarf.
  • Weapon of Choice: Everyone (besides Infinity) has a unique of their own.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Guess...
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Itsuki and Tokiya plays this trope straight with blue hair. Ria and Cocoa have purple hair, and Fin has green.
  • You Killed My Mother: Ria's motive for joining the tournament is to get revenge on her mother's murderer.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Rimi Sakihata with grade-A thigh-highs. Most of the other girls wearing stockings like Mikoto and Waka rank in a grade-B.

    Tropes Present in Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds 
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Ikebukuro has one. You don't stick around there too long, but just enough to get a taste of the Goddamned Bats featured in that area.
  • Adaptational Badass: Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate is the only normal human but she can fight an even match against superpowered adversaries using lab gadgets. She's among the only 2 characters who have 2 supers.
  • All There in the Manual: Also mixes with a minor case of Guide Dang It. One of the achievements, "Don't Be Picky", requires you to restore a character's HP by consuming a food they don't like. Thing is, how are you supposed to know who doesn't like what food? Chances are that you'll still get this achievement over the course of normal play either way, but it's not immediately obvious from the get-go.
  • Alternate Universe: Most of the game takes place in one, complete with alternative palette swapped versions of some of the cast who hail from the original universe.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: The characters' are mirrored, as seen when M's eyepatch swaps sides with facing another direction.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After collapsing ruins block their only exit in the final stage, the Player Character and Nagi are saved in an instant by L, a benevolent pink Palette Swap of M, who opens a portal back to their home world.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • You'll find an ad for a 4DS in the Akihabara stage. There's also various things around Ikebukuro such as Jenny's and King of Burger.
    • Averted at one point early in the Akihabara stage where there's a Club Sega building in the background.
  • Bonus Level: If you defeat Cocoa in Stage 3 before the train in the background leaves, you will enter a bonus stage where you have 1:30 spread out over three sections of 30 seconds each to beat up a bunch of eggs that contain loads of loot.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Kagebito enemies have been brainwashed by Phantom.
    • At the end of Stage 6, Nagi becomes controlled to serve as the main boss.
  • Bullet Time: Manual Overdrives give you this alongside temporary hyperspeed, allowing you to rack up huge combos and decimate swaths of enemies.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Up to four players can team up in the game's Co-Op Mode.
  • Damsel in Distress: Nagi, Waka's younger sister, gets taken captive by Phantom to kickstart the plot.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: One of the mooks variants is this.
  • Death from Above: M's Phantom Break, Descartes Wanderer, rains down bombs on her enemies. Kurisu's Phantom Break, Choice of the Steins Gate, also drops an object from space onto her opponent.
  • Difficulty Levels: You can play on Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulty, which are then followed up by Nightmare and Nightmare+.
  • Dual Boss:
    • Cocoa and Onyx, a raid boss from T-DA, at the end of Ikebukuro. Onyx is the one you really want to worry about, since, befitting of a raid boss, it comes with an arsenal of attacks that it can abuse For Massive Damage.
    • The game then decides to crank it up a notch with 2 1/2 bosses at the end of the following stage, Shinjuku, in a fight against M, Cocoa, and a Phantom illusion's gigantic fists. Simultaneously.
  • Early Game Hell: Bosses are a pain in the ass without Forced Level Grinding; not only can they all soak a lot of damage, they're also ridiculously cheap and are fans of abusing the same tactics repeatedly to make your death quick. For example, White Mikoto, the first true boss, will only ever do three things: Gestrichen into a spike followed by another Gestrichen, Schneidend spam, or, if given the chance, corner poking the hell out of you.
  • Elite Mook: Battle Grounds loves this type of enemy, and more variants are added every single stage. They first start out with perfectly normal, oversized brutes whose kick attack hurts significantly. Then you get to the bomb-tossing brutes, pie-throwing brutes, muscular guys in Speedos spouting Gratuitous English and trying to leap on top of you, then various kinds of aliens equipped with claws, large limbs, and laser eye cannons.
  • Essence Drop: Enemies drops coins and gems when defeated.
  • Flunky Boss: The first Cocoa fight looks like it's going to be a straightforward fight as was White Mikoto. Then a commuter train arrives in the background. Now it's a fight against Cocoa and at least twenty other Mooks.
  • Foreshadowing: When you arrive at the Gym in Stage 1, a Red Mikoto is confronting a White Mikoto, who then takes off after you arrive. This is the Mikoto of the Demonsphere, who is supposedly allied with Phantom.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In the seventh and final stage, Infinity appears as the final boss with no explanation whatsoever other than to stop you from leaving through the exit.
  • Guest Fighter: A DLC package allows you to play as Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In true beat 'em up fashion, you can throw enemies into each other.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare difficulty is designed with Level 50 characters in mind. Nightmare+ is even worse and only exists for score attacking.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cocoa sides with the Player Character after M attempts to blow the three of you up.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Picking up food replenishes HP just like in other brawlers before it.
  • Immune to Flinching: Gem-induced Overdrives act like the original game's Hard Style Overdrive, granting Super Armor and increasing movement and attack speed.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Out of Battle Grounds's ninenote  playable characters, the only male is Infinity.
  • Improvised Weapon User: Kurisu. She can use a vacuum cleaner converted into a flamethrower as her Down SP Attack.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: A UFO Catcher appears in the Ikebukuro stage, without the Sega branding.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: In Japan, there is a Limited Edition release bundle with a downloadable voucher for the game, an art/guide book, and a CD soundtrack. The U.S. release of the main game's Special Edition was supposed to have fold out posters, a mini guide with character strategies and artwork, but that never came to pass.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Possessed Nagi. Why the ceiling starts collapsing after you beat her isn't really explained.
  • Magic Skirt: At the finale of Ikebukuro, the roof you're standing on crumbles when M attempts to blow up the player, Cocoa, and herself with a payload of bombs. In the ensuing falling sequence, no one's skirt seems to flip up even though it would logically make sense that it would do so.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Battle Grounds will have you beating a lot cyborgs. There's also some actual robots thrown in the mix.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Both Mikoto W (White Mikoto) and L are unlockable fighters. While their moves are identical to their counterparts, their standard attacks do not auto-chain into each othernote , instead being wholly isolated combos that need to be manually chained by mixing up L, M, and H inputs.
  • Metal Slime: There is a certain enemy that appears to be a stout man carrying a sack. The only thing he ever does is run away from you. He has an unusually large amount of health, but if you manage to kill him, he will drop a large amount of rewards and possibly special, rainbow-colored gems that instantly invoke a special type of Overdrive that makes you Immune to Flinching.
  • Mythology Gag: Some of Kurisu's Palette Swaps reference her home game or other games. For example, one color makes her look identical to her cover artwork, with a lighter hair color and lab coat, and another turns her entirely green, a reference to a phenomenon in her home game where living creatures sent to the past turned into a gelatinous green mush. Another color makes her look like Vert from Neptunia, another game that 5pb. collaborates in.
  • One-Letter Name: Once again, M. There's also L, a heroic Palette Swap of M from an Alternate Universe.
  • Palette Swap: Just like in the original game, you can choose from several colors for each character. In the story, this serves to differentiate the Alternate Universe versions of characters from the ones you're playing.
    • Head Swap: You'll find similar-looking goons with different heads.
  • Playing with Fire: M uses some fire-based attacks in Battle Grounds.
  • Product Placement: In the Akihabara stage, you can see some adverts two of 5pb. games, one of them being a shoot 'em up titled Bullet Soul.
  • Retraux: The art of the game was done in 8-bit style of the old days of gaming ŕ la Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, complemented with 8-bit styled music and arrangements of Phantom Breaker's soundtrack.
  • RPG Elements: You can level-up your characters from the experience points gained by beating up goons and upgrade their abilities.
  • Shout-Out: One of the mooks is a short chubby enemy who's carrying a bag like a certain little thief.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Battle Grounds invokes this as it a 3D playing field but the retro-styled visuals can make this hard to notice at first glance.
  • Super-Deformed: Everywhere in Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Launching an EX Attack has a half-screen cut-in, while launching your Phantom Break does a full-screen cut-in.
  • A Taste of Power: In Stage 0 of Story Mode, each character has full access to their skills and powers. M takes the character's power away after being defeated. She then throws the victor into the Nightmare World, fully expecting them to die without it.
  • Technicolor Fire: In Battle Grounds, some of Nagi's attacks are accompanied with black flames.
  • Title Drop: The resident Limit Break in Battle Grounds is called a Phantom Break.
  • Updated Re-release: Battle Grounds was also re-released on the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 with updated visuals, customizable controls, and promotes Waka's sister Nagi to playable status.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: White Mikoto in Stage 1 will show you how powerless you are without your fancy Level Infinity.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Mikoto's Schaurig Phantom Break fires off a blast of aura power from her sword.
  • Warm-Up Boss: M in Akihabara. You're Level Infinity, have totally maxed out stats, and access to every single ability. Beating her is a piece of cake. Then she sends you to the Nightmare World, and you lose your Level Infinity along with everything else you had in Stage 0.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Nagi prominently uses this; she can teleport behind an opponent as a sidestep, teleport the front of her katana at an opponent, or even teleport the upper half of her body as an attack!
  • Zerg Rush: The primary strategy of the average mook is "swarm the player with about twenty or more enemies and pummel her to death". They sometimes throw in some Elite Mooks for good measure, and if you're not careful, this CAN kill you.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/PhantomBreaker