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5 most underrated games of 2011

Hidden gems from the last year...

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Backbreaker: Vengeance

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We can't understand how anyone could dislike Backbreaker: Vengeance. It's an American football game for people who don't like American football. It's basically Total Wipeout crossed with the sport, add in the Euphoria animation system, seen in titles like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption, and every tackle and tumble becomes a bone-crunching hilarity. Along with a few different multiplayer modes it becomes hard to not find Backbreaker: Vengeance to be just sheer fun.

The two player modes are where Backbreaker really shines. In the 'Tackle Alley' mode players compete for the highest score whilst trying to dodge obstacles and linesmen, all the while trying to run to the other end of the pitch.

Sounds simple enough, but the difficulty quickly ramps up and you soon find yourself dodging and weaving frantically whilst trying to pick up the bonus points and throw in the odd cheeky taunt to rack up further points. It's soul destroying and absolutely hilarious in equal measure to have a big combo going but forget to jump at a hurdle, and consequently watch your player trip and soar through the air as the points reset to zero. Crushing.

'Vengeance' mode flips the tables and lets the player dish out devestating tackles. There are still obstacles to avoid and you still have to dodge other oncoming bodies, but instead of sprinting for the other side of the pitch you have to chase down another man and tackle him before he makes it to the touchdown zone, or be the first to tackle him if you're playing in multiplayer.

With every new level the opposing team's numbers increase, and the tricky courses make getting near the guy you have to tackle a tough challenge, but it's all the more satisfying when you do pull it off.

'Supremacy' is the third and final game mode, and it has up to four characters at once racing to the other side of the pitch whilst, again, avoiding obstacles. Points are awarded on a position basis so whoever gets there first will be rewarded with the most points. Pickups scattered around grant extra points and other players can be pushed into hurdles or into the out of bounds area. Whoever gets the least amount of points at the end of each round becomes the tackler and then has to try and take down the other players.

Supremacy is probably our least favourite mode. It's not bad by any means, but we prefer the huge number of enemies chasing us down and the tight courses that require precise jumps and turns. The lack of a four player mode when there are four characters in this game mode is also bizarre.

Nevertheless, Backbreaker: Vengeance is just good old fashioned arcade mayhem, and we love it. It is a bit pricey though due to its rarity.

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