Break In (PCE)
Break In is a billiards simulator developed and published by Hudson Soft and Naxat Soft. It was released in Japan in 1989, and later released in North America on the Wii Virtual Console.
In this game, you take the role of an unidentified male character which you name. The protagonist becomes a stowaway on the Great Challenger ship. However, he is caught. The captain offers him the chance to stay on the boat by beating the other passengers at pool, and then the game starts.
Break In contains several features, pretty impressive for a game from 1989. There are several different modes of play and sub-modes throughout. These include 9 Ball, 8 Ball, Rotation, Cutgame, Yotsudama, and Bowlard. The Challenge mode in either of these starts the main story mode, in which the player is put up against several of the passengers on the ship. Each character must be beaten three times to move on to the next, and the game is beaten when Elic is bested.
Though the game was only released in Japan, the game is completely in English, so Japanese knowledge is not required to play this title.
Break In received lukewarm reviews from critics. While they praised the games graphics, music, and overall presentation, they also panned the game for the storyline, dull gameplay, and some even believed the ball physics were a bit off. IGN even panned the premise of the game taking place on a ship, as the constant rocking of the boat would cause the balls to move around the pool table. The Wii Virtual Console version was also criticized by IGN for costing too much for an old billiards simulator.
Break In consists of a 12-song soundtrack by Takeaki Kunimoto. You probably know his works on the NES such as Mickey Mousecapades and Robo Warrior. This was Kunimoto's last game that he wrote for Hudson Soft, as well as his long hiatus from the video game industry before returning in 2021.
The game contains many jazzy-sounding tunes, though a couple rock tunes with jazzy chords (a la Steely Dan) are also present. The in-game tunes vary in length. Because Ingame 3 is over three minutes long before looping, it is only played once before its fadeout. The first and third in-game tunes feature a sax solo. In fact, a lot of this game's soundtrack sounds like something out of the 80s with the electric pianos and sax solos.
Song titles and ordering are taken from the album Kinoko Kunimoto Takeaki History Vol.5: Katoken, which contains the recordings of the original demo tapes. However, Ingame 2 is missing from the soundtrack. According to Takeaki, he wrote the music on his Yamaha CX-7 MSX2 computer, recorded his compositions on demo tapes, and sent them to Hudson Soft to implement into the game.
However, there is a small error with the song naming; Ending and Credits have their locations swapped; Ending actually plays during the game's staff roll, and Credits plays during the ending cutscene where all the opponents congratulate you on your success. It could be Kunimoto named these songs with his original intentions and the Hudson Soft staff decided to change their locations. In addition, Ingame 4 doesn't appear to be used anywhere in the game.
The Japanese website atwiki says of the game's soundtrack:
|01||Title||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||0:10||Download|
|02||Mode Select||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||1:03||Download|
|03||Challenge||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||0:28||Download|
|04||Break Shot!!||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||0:05||Download|
|05||Ingame 1||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||2:01||Download|
|06||Ingame 2||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||3:22||Download|
|07||Ingame 3||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||3:16||Download|
|08||Ingame 4||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||1:03||Download|
|09||Game Set||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||0:05||Download|
|10||Results||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||0:56||Download|
|11||Ending||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||1:16||Download|
|12||Credits||Takeaki Kunimoto||Toshiaki Takimoto||2:44||Download|
- Recorder: Doommaster1994
- Game Credits:
The game's credits can be viewed after beating the Challenge mode. Takeaki Kunimoto is credit under his usual pseudonym, Kinoko (Mushroom).
Though he is not credited, Keita Hoshi has given us verification that the game's sound driver was programmed by Takayuki Iwabuchi. He also verified that Toshiaki Takimoto arranged Kunimoto's music into the sound driver, which means the Sound Program credit just means he simply programmed Kunimoto's compositions into the sound driver, rather than program the sound driver itself.
Ripping TurboGrafx-16 music is an arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site. The music was recorded using in_vgm for Winamp.