Real Talk By: KJ
Wow. Fight Night is back. From a visual standpoint, ill go on record saying that this is the best looking fighting game. Period. Player Mo-Cap is spot on. Seeing the way the players move in the ring, mirrors their real life counterparts. The Demo lets you play as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Miguel Cotto and The Pac-Man too. Your allowed three rounds against the computer, but you can keepdoing instant an rematch as long as you want. Trading punches in this game with people feels great because of the new controls. They have the face buttons available right out of the gate, but the analog controls have been tweaked too.
The stick controls actually work even better than the last games. Instead of twisting the stick in a circular motion, making it hard to throw the exact punch you wanted (and F’n up your analog sticks), now its a lot more simple. No turning, or twisting here. Simply just flick the stick in any direction. flick it up, jab. Flick it right, hook, etc. This makes for more precise controls and it also brings you more into this simulation. This time we do mean simulation. If your throw too many punches, your stamina will deplete extremely quick. You know, like real life. It gets rid of button spammers, and forces everyone to use a little bit of strategy. Boxing is very much A thinking mans sport, and Champion helps show that aspect off well.
Check out the Champion trailer on the main menu of the demo. In the trailer you’ll see some of the trials and tribulations of a fictional fighter named Andre Bishop. It has a Def Jam Fight For NY feel to it, with a little bit of Light Outs as well. For two weeks, the demo lets you play online against your friends. It actually runs very smooth. It is just 1 versus 1, but it’s still great to fight your friends in a non-lag situation. Several of my friends have been playing the demo as if it is the full game. This is a great sign that Fight Night will have strong replay value.
Champion doesn’t get away clean though. The following issues we came across can be easily tweaked before launch, but they absolutely need it. The mini game where you get knocked down, and your fighting to get up, desperately needs to be altered. Getting knocked down the second or third time, should not be this difficult to get up. It feels as if you’ve been knocked down for the sixth time, when its only the second. Also when browsing for your friends through the demo, the game wont instantly detect who is actually playing the demo. Everyone that is boxing needs to be at the top of the list. Whenever I want to Box with Vex, I have to scroll and scroll all the way down my list. Again, a simple thing, but it can easily be tweaked. One more. When you get caught throwing an illegal blow, a cut scene is shown, wherein the ref simply states he’s deducting a point. The problem is after the cut scene, the first player is now on the right side of the screen, instead of being on the left. These things need to be addressed before March 1.
Just from the preview Fight Night Champion feels like a product of hard work and labor. This is boxing. The gritty feel of the sport has finally been captured. I can’t wait until March 1. Whether you are a fan of the sport or not, I encourage you to check it out. Yes, It really is that damn good.