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 the 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 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: 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 brawler spin-off developed by Division2 titled Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds -Cocoa's Nightmare Attack- was released on February 27, 2013 on Xbox Live Arcade starring Mikoto, Waka, Itsuki, and Yuzuha as the main characters while villainous characters like 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 an extra $5. An updated version of the game was ported to the PlayStation Vita (and slated for PlayStation 4), with customizable controls and a new playable character Frau. It was later ported to PC via Steam on January 23, 2015.


This game features examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Ikebukuro in Battle Grounds 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.
  • Alternate Universe: Most of Battle Grounds 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 swap sides with facing another direction in Battle Grounds.
  • Antagonist Title: Phantom, the main villain of the game, has his name on the title.
  • A Taste of Power: For Battle Grounds first stage in 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.
  • 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.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Battle Grounds, after collapsing ruins block their only exit, 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.
  • Blade on a Stick: Waka's naginata, Kahoutou.
  • Bland-Name Product: In Battle Grounds, 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.
  • "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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Kagebito enemies in Battlegrounds have been brain washed by Phantom.
    • At the end of stage 6, Nagi becomes controlled to serve as the main boss.
  • Bullet Time: The Quick style's Overdrive, as well as the manual Overdrives in Battle Grounds.
  • Cancellation: The main game is presumed to be quietly cancelled from being localized by 7Sixy.
  • 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 super, she drops 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.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Battle Grounds allows up to four players to team up in the Co-Op. Mode.
  • 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.
  • Damsel in Distress: Nagi, Waka's younger sister, gets taken captive by Phantom in Battle Grounds.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: One of the mooks variants in Battle Grounds.
  • Death from Above: M's super move in Battle Grounds, her Descartes Wanderer rains down bombs on her enemies.
    • Kurisu's super move as mentioned above.
  • Difficulty Levels: Battle Grounds has an Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulty, which are then followed up by Nightmare and Nightmare+.
  • The Dragon: Infinity, Phantom's bodyguard.
  • Drop the Hammer: Itsuki's Weapon of Choice, a battle hammer named Maggie.
  • Dual Boss: Cocoa and Onyx, a raid boss from T-DA, at the end of Ikebukuro in Battle Grounds. 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.
  • Dual Wielding: Yuzuha with Shoukaku and Zuikaku, a ninja blade and a kunai respectively.
    • Also Ria with her twin blades named Aldina.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Mikoto and Cocoa.
  • 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: In Battle Grounds, enemies drops coins and gems when defeated.
  • Evil Albino: Infinity. White hair, pale skin, and serves as Phantom's bodyguard.
  • Eyepatch of Power: M has one on.
  • Flunky Boss: The first Cocoa fight in Battle Grounds 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 of Battle Grounds, 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.
  • Gainaxing: Waka's bust bounces with her idle animation, although seems tame compared to other fighters.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In true beat 'em up fashion, Battle Grounds lets you throw enemies into each other.
  • Guest Fighter: Rimi Sakihata and Kurisu Makise make an appearance in Phantom Breaker as playable characters. There's also a DLC that adds Kurisu in Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds (for Arcade, Co-op, and Battlegrounds modes).
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In the seventh and final stage of Battle Grounds, Infinity appears as the final boss with no explanation whatsoever other than to stop you from leaving through the exit.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Mei and Fin, although Fin's twin-tails are in incredibly long compared to Mei.
  • Heel-Face Turn: In Battle Grounds, Cocoa sides with the Player Character after M attempts to blow the three of you up.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Yuzuha.
  • Hot-Blooded: Ren Tatewaki.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: In Battle Grounds, picking up food replenishes HP just like in other brawlers before it.
  • Identity Amnesia: M has no memories about herself, but doesn't seem to care about it.
  • Immune to Flinching: Hard style's Overdrive, as well as the Gem-induced Overdrives in Battle Grounds.
  • Improbably Female Cast: With Ren, Tokiya, Infinity, and Phantom being the stand-outs.
    • Out of Battle Grounds's ninenote  playable characters, the only male is Infinity.
  • Improvised Weapon User: Kurisu. She turned a vacuum cleaner into a flamethrower in Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds.
  • In the Hood: Phantom, who wears a hooded cloak.
  • Limit Break: Phantom Breaks.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: In Japan, there is a Limited Edition release of Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, 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.
  • Life Meter: As with traditional fighting games.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Possessed Nagi from Battle Grounds. Why the ceiling starts collapsing after you beat her isn't really explained.
  • Magic Skirt: At the finale of Ikebukuro in Battle Grounds, 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.
  • 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.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Battle Grounds will have you beating a lot cyborgs. There's also some actual robots thrown in the mix.
  • Metal Slime: There is a certain enemy in Battle Grounds 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.
  • 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. Battle Grounds also gives us L, a heroic Palette Swap of M from an Alternate Universe.
  • Palette Swap: Par for the course, especially in Battle Grounds. In the story, this serves to differentiate the Alternate Universe versions of characters from the ones you're playing.
    • Head Swap: In Battle Grounds, you'll find similar-looking goons with different heads.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Infinity's hair obscures one of his eyes.
  • Power Fist: Ren's weapon, Koutarou.
  • Playing with Fire: M uses some fire-based attacks in Battle Grounds.
  • Product Placement: In the Akihabara stage of Battle Grounds, you can see some adverts two of 5pb. games, one of them being a shoot 'em up titled Bullet Soul.
  • Ray Gun: Fin comes from the future and she's packing with her all-purpose laser guns, JJ Apple.
    • Kurisu can use one as one of her specials.
  • Retraux: The art of Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds 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.
  • Riches to Rags: Itsuki and her family.
  • RPG Elements: In Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, you can level-up your characters from the experience points gained by beating up goons and upgrade their abilities.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Yuzuha wears one in battle.
  • Shout-Out: In Battle Grounds, one of the mooks is a short chubby enemy who's carrying a bag like a certain little thief.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Ren.
  • 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. Battle Grounds invokes this as it a 3D playing field but the retro-styled visuals can make this hard to notice at first glance.
  • Stripperiffic: Mei, who's clad in a magical girl-esque costume that shows off some midriff and thighs.
  • Super-Deformed: Everywhere in Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: In both games. Battle Grounds has a small cut-in for EX Attacks, and a full-screen cut-in for Phantom Breaks.
  • Sword Plant: Its one of Mikoto's Victory Poses.
  • Technicolor Fire: In Battle Grounds, some of Nagi's attacks are accompanied with black flames.
  • Teen Idol: Mei Orisaka became one with her Magical Girl acting career.
  • Tights Under Shorts: Kurisu Makise.
  • Title Drop: The resident Limit Break in Battle Grounds is called a Phantom Break.
  • 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. Battle Grounds was also re-released on the PlayStation Vita with updated visuals, customizable controls, and adds another playable character to the roster.
  • 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.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: White Mikoto in Stage 1 will show you how powerless you are without your fancy Level Infinity.
  • Warm-Up Boss: M in Stage 0, Akihabara of Battle Grounds. 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.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Mikoto's Schaurig super in Battle Grounds, she fires off a blast of aura power from her sword.
  • Weapon of Choice: Everyone (besides Infinity) has a unique of their own.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: In Battle Grounds, 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!
  • 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.
  • Zerg Rush: The primary strategy of the average mook in Battle Grounds 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.
  • 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.