Review – Breakers Collection

I like to see myself as someone with a modicum of knowledge when it comes to retro gaming from the 90s, but this one caught me completely off-guard. Have you ever heard of Breakers? Apparently, this was a fighting game released for the Neo Geo (how original) by a company other than SNK (ok, that is actually novel) in 1996, when the main trend in the genre was 3D and polygons. Tekken, Battle Arena Toshinden, and Soul Edge were already out, with very few people then paying attention at the Neo Geo. But I guess someone must have liked it, or else why would this brand new Breakers Collection exist?

Breakers Collection Sho

Sho is this game’s Ryu clone. Hadouken and all. Because every 2D fighter needs a Ryu clone.

Talking about Breakers is vastly less interesting than talking about Breakers Collection itself, so let’s get the uninteresting out of the way first. Mechanically, this is a very par-for-the-course 2D fighting game, feeling like a mixture between the latter Fatal Fury titles (the ones without two planes) and Street Fighter Alpha. Combos, special bars, big fancy moves, they are all here, making this game feel even more generic than how it already looked like at first glance. There are just a handful of fighters at your disposal, and they mostly feel like ripoffs from other franchises, namely Street Fighter and World Heroes. If you’ve played pretty much any Japanese fighting game from the early-to-mid 90s, you know what to expect. Not bad, just not interesting. Been there, done that a bagillion times.

As for the remastering/emulation, it’s simplistic but functional, with the original game not exactly pushing the boundaries of the SNES, let alone the much more powerful Neo Geo, although it suffers from a few glitches. More than once have I experienced my characters proceeding to move to any random direction as if my DualSense was drifting harder than a dusty Joy-Con from 2017. I even had to close down the game and open something else just to double-check it was an issue on Breakers Collection‘s coding, not my actual controller. Pausing and unpausing didn’t work, nor did putting my PS5 on sleep and then turning it on again. The glitch would only be fixed upon leaving the match and restarting the game.

Breakers Collection Interview

I can’t even be mad with this interview not being in video form. Though stopping for a minute and reading this wall of text ain’t exactly fun.

You may be wondering why I’m talking solely about the original Breakers in a title called Breakers Collection, but there’s a reason for that. This is where the interesting, albeit mind-boggling part of this review starts: this isn’t exactly a collection, per se. Well, there are two titles included in here, so this is far from being considered false advertising, but the second title in the collection, Breakers Revenge, is the same damn thing, with very minute differences over the original. A few new fighters and an overhaul on the UI, that’s pretty much it. The visuals, the underwhelming music, even the introductory cutscene is identical to the original Breakers. That would be like releasing a Street Fighter compilation comprised solely of the original Street Fighter II and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. Not even Super or Turbo, just the first update, the one with the playable bosses.

Besides the two games, this collection features a few extra trinkets. One of them is very welcoming, that one being rollback netcode when playing online. I’d like to point out that there is crossplay support, which is a given, considering how non-demanding this collection is even on Switch. The other few extras are pointless, though I can’t blame the developers for their intentions. There is a minuscule art gallery, featuring everything from concept art to half a dozen fan drawings. I guess this answers my question, there are a few Breakers fans out in the wild. Finally, there is an interview with the series’ creator… but in the format of a big fat written interview, not a video.

Breakers Collection Pielle and George

Apparently this Pielle guy is supposed to be Italian. Though he still yells “au revoir” when he wins a round. Go figure.

Let me remind you once more that calling Breakers Collection a collection is an exaggeration. It’s one Neo Geo fighter and an updated version of it, with barely any changes whatsoever. The game itself isn’t bad at all, just pretty generic not only for today’s standards, but even the standards of the Neo Geo system as a whole. There’s little in here that would make Breakers stand out even from the B-tier fighting franchises of the time, like World Heroes or Waku Waku 7. I can’t help but constantly ask myself, who the hell is this collection for? Are there that many Breakers fans out in the wild clamoring for the revival of this “franchise”? If so, then 2023 is off to a pristine start for you guys. As for everyone else, Breakers Collection is only recommend to ultra die-hard fighting game historians.


Graphics: 6.0

Both titles look identical, and are very par for the course for Neo Geo standards. Considering the second Breakers is from 1998, I expected more than just an average-at-best 16-bit visual scheme.

Gameplay: 5.5

While the controls themselves aren’t terrible, some weird glitch kept making my characters constantly move backwards as if the DualSense was drifting worse than a dusty Joy-Con. It happened frequently, and in both titles.

Sound: 5.5

The inclusion of a sound test mode is cute, but both the soundtracks and voice clips are pretty mediocre.

Fun Factor: 6.5

This “collection” (if you can even call it that) oozes “who the hell is this for”, but it’s not outright awful. It’s just very simplistic, being a compilation of two largely identical and uneventful Neo Geo fighters. Though I do appreciate the rollback netcode.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Breakers Collection is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Breakers Collection was provided by the publisher.