In a fight to be the most irritating game of the year, FaceBreaker would undoubtedly box its way hyperactively onto the podium. Far from being part of EA's great new era of 'no more crappy games', it's a prime example of how to miss the point with game mechanics so ill-conceived you'll wonder how they ever made it past the design stage, never mind EA's apparently harsh new quality control process.
The first questionable decision is to reduce boxing to a basic fighting game with stripped-down controls. Opting to reject the refined, logical brilliance of the Fight Night control set, EA has instead mapped most of the controls to a pair of face buttons and the right trigger. There's a high punch, a low punch and a block, and blocking allows you to pull off high and low parries with the punch buttons.
They can also be held down to charge up punches, but obviously at the risk of taking one on the chin. On top of that, you've got the option of throwing your opponent with another button and landing a powerful Breaker punch with the fourth. Left stick, meanwhile, handles movement, with the added option to dash by flicking left or right at the appropriate moment.