B-Boy lets players experience one of the four pillars of hip-hop: breakdancing. By focusing on the competitive nature of b-boy battles, players are encouraged to use style and rhythm to succeed. The game features more than 800 motion-captured moves taken from professional b-boys, actual tournament venues, with a licensed soundtrack heavy on 70s funk and soul. It was developed by UK-based FreeStyleGames (DJ Hero) with help from legendary b-boy Crazy Legs and DJ Hooch. B-Boy was originally exclusive to Europe and Australia in 2006 before finally arriving in North America two years later.
Players start out with a 2,000 sq. ft. loft, also know as, "The Lab"; this is the hub from which players can practice and organize their moves, accept challenges, enter tournaments, and get dressed up. The Lab includes the following essentials to help the player on their quest to become a famous b-boy or b-girl:
- Laptop - This is the player's interface to the outside world. From here, players will receive messages from b-boys and b-girls that are looking to compete. The calendar can be checked for upcoming tournaments, and the "Wall Of Fame" can also be viewed.
- Jukebox - Players start off with only a few records, but as progress is made in the game, more records are unlocked. Each song has a different rhythm to break to.
- Movebook - Players can view their entire move list (including information on how well the player can perform each move), disses, taunts, and special entry/finishing moves.
- Wardrobe - Players can customize their clothes, hair, and footwear in the walk-in closet. More gear is available as sponsorships are gained from companies such as Adidas, Tribal, Armory, and Dope Ammo.
The player character, named "Custom", starts off in the Street scene with only the base moves: Toprock, Six Step, Windmill, and Baby Freeze. Eventually, a homie will join Custom's cipher to help out in crew battles at the Club scene. When players have a full arsenal of advanced moves at their disposal, they will eventually make it to the elite Pro scene. Becoming the top b-boy or b-girl in the world will grant players a showdown with Crazy Legs himself.
The foundations of b-boying contain these four move groups (initiated with the face buttons):
- Toprock - footwork performed in the standing position (triangle button)
- Footwork - footwork performed with hands & feet on the floor (x button)
- Freeze - freezing one's body movement in an awkward position to demonstrate mastery of balance (square button, then balance by tapping L1 & R1)
- Power - physically intensive moves that require power & momentum (circle button)
Moves can be modified when combined with the D-Pad:
- Base moves - face button
- Move variations - D-Pad 1x, 2x, or 3x (not all moves have variations)
- Easy moves - D-Pad 1x then face button
- Medium moves - D-Pad 2x then face button
- Hard moves - D-Pad 3x then face button
Once a move is initiated (aside from base moves), a move initiation gauge will quickly fill up to determine how well the player starts that move. Press a face button when the gauge is as close to optimal power as possible to activate the move. If players do not activate the move in time, the move will fail and the combo will end. The move initiations are graded based on the timing (in descending order):
- Sick! - perfectly executed move
- Dope! - very good
- Fresh! - not bad
- Wack! - poorly executed move
As players progress they will learn more moves and transitions between moves to create routines. Each move levels up the more the player uses them (up to 5 levels). This increases the control of the move and the amount of transitions that can be used to and from the move. Winning 1-on-1 challenges will unlock dozens of new moves, but moves are limited to a set of 24 (customizable in the Movebook).
Each battle consists of one or more 45 second rounds, aka "throwdowns", for each contestant. A throwdown is a chance for players to impress the judges. Five judges will assess the performance and each specializes on one of the following criteria:
- Rhythm - Hit as many beats as possible to demonstrate rhythmic ability (tap L1 or R1 in time with the indicated beats).
- Flow - Chain as many moves as possible to demonstrate flow.
- Foundation - Perform as many of the base, easy, and medium difficulty moves to demonstrate mastery of the foundations of b-boying.
- Creativity - Keep moves & transitions fresh and avoid repeating moves to demonstrate creativity.
- Blow Up - Players attempt to show off their most spectacular moves to 'blow up' the crowd. Special entries, hard difficulty moves, and finishing moves will excite the crowd.
The Hype Bar measures the player character's adrenaline and confidence during a throwdown. Dissing the opponent (tap the left analog stick) when they perform 'wack' moves (shown in red) will build up the Hype Bar. When the Hype Bar is more than 50% full, players will be able to perform special entries to start a throwdown. When the Hype Bar is 100% full, players will be able to perform a finishing move to end the throwdown. Hype is also gained, albeit slightly, when performing toprock moves with the D-Pad during the opponent's throwdown. Hype can be lost if players are rightfully dissed by an opponent, or if players wrongfully diss the opponent.
B-boys whose moves are featured
Crazy Legs, Kazuhiro, Hong-10, Physicx, Darkness, Ruen, Lilou, Sonic, Benny, Crumbs, Ivan, K-Mel, Mouse, Freeze, ATA, Chico, Michi, Reveal, Flex, Frankie Flav, Rodolphe, The Flipping Monk
Featured Pro Tournaments
Freestyle Sessions, Battle Of The Year, Red Bull: King Of The Ring, IBE, Urban Games, UK B-Boy Championships
- "Champ" - Breakestra
- "Brother Green (The Disco King)" - Roy Ayers Ubiquity
- "The Mexican" - Babe Ruth
- "Holy Ghost" - The Bar-Kays
- "Watch Out Now" - The Beatnuts
- "Love The Life You Live" - Black Heat
- "Express" - B.T. Express
- "Energy Level" - B.T. Express
- "Brothers On The Slide" - Cymande
- "The Phuncky Feel One" - Cypress Hill
- "Organ Donor" - DJ Shadow
- "Don't Sweat The Technique" - Eric B And Rakim
- "Juice (Know The Ledge)" - Eric B And Rakim
- "Way Cool" - Freestyle Fellowship
- "The Life Of A Party" - Jackson 5
- "I Believe In Miracles" - Jackson Sisters
- "Rated X" - Kool And The Gang
- "Open Sesame" - Kool And The Gang
- "Love To The World" - LTD featuring Jeffrey Osbourne
- "Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter" - Nina Simone
- "Soul Clap" - Show Biz And AG
- "Make Room" - The Alkaholiks
- "Rock Creek Park" - The Blackbyrds
- "Apache" - Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band
- "Same Old Thing" - The Meters
- "Yellow Sunshine" - Yellow Sunshine
- "Bringing It Back" - The Black Eyed Peas
- "Cold Sweat" - James Brown
- "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose (Remix)" - James Brown
- "Get On The Good Foot" - James Brown
- "Say It Loud I'm Black And I'm Proud" - James Brown
- "Call Me Super Bad" - James Brown
- "Hot Pants (I'm Coming)" - Bobby Byrd
- "Think (About It)" - Lyn Collins
- "Something For The Radio" - Biz Markie
- "Blow Your Head" - Fred Wesley And The JBs