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 Post subject: PS3 - Fight Night Champion
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:34 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Ely, Cambs. UK
XBL Gamertag: Nubnos
PSN ID: Nubnos
Steam ID: patch_cbl_staff
Title: Fight Night Champion
Genre: Sports
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Ratings: PEGI - 16, ESRB - M, BBFC - 18
Formats: PS3, Xbox360

As this is a sports game, there's not really much in the way of a synopsis here. You're a boxer, you punch people in the face. Repeatedly. Until either the bell rings, or someone falls over.

Oh wait, there is a single player mode...

Andre Bishop is currently serving time, for some kind of trumped up charge, fighting in an unlicensed boxing match, organised by the jailhouse gang leaders. After well and truly beating down his opponent, he is later cornered in the showers, and brutally raped... "loved tenderly"... has the shit beaten out of him (Didn't see that one coming did you? Neither did I... All I saw was the cutscene, one black guy, and 4 skinheads in the showers...).
4 years earlier, Bishop is fighting his way up the middleweight rankings, under the tutelage of Gus, his trainer and mentor. After telling a rival manager by the name of DL McQueen to leave, he then gets framed, and sent inside. More jailhouse fights, and eventually you get out.

Once outside, Bishop goes back to working at the gym, and thoroughly whips 2 professional heavyweight boxers in sparring. McQueen's daughter then sees Bishop's ability, and signs him up as a heavyweight, where you fight your way up through the ranks to being the World Champion...

So, story out of the way, let's get some focus on the meat of the game.

Legacy Mode allows you to create your own boxer, starting from the bottom of the ranking for your chosen class (I personally picked welterweight, more on that later), and developing your fighter both physically, and in the rankings.
Sounds simple, but what blew my mind was the amount of things that you can customise. Everything from apparel designs, to combo moves, recovery, corner team, styles, etc.

Another thing that stands out for how much there is, is the sheer amount of licensed images. Everything from Everlast equipment, through to nearly 60 licensed fighters. While you're in Legacy Mode, your chosen weight division decides on which of these licensed images you can potentially go against.
While Legacy Mode isn't a massive challenge at the lower ranks, you start getting into trouble when you hit the licensed fighters. I personally got destroyed several times by a certain fighting congressman, until I gave up after about 12 losses... Less of a curve, more of a brick wall...

Graphically, and I do mean graphically, KO punches are typically in slow motion, showing the ripple effect of fist meeting face, and a crunch as the two meet. Fighters get progressively shinier throughout, and increasingly bruised as the rounds tick up. Aside from the fighters themselves, the remainder of the graphics are disappointingly bland, with the corner team looking rather aliased, and the glaring omission of water flowing from the drinks bottle.

As comes as standard from an EA Sports game, the soundtrack is equally as powerful as the fighters themselves, with a gritty, urban sounding overture complimenting the game itself. No complaints on the sound front, as the EA Trax team pull out all the stops as usual.

Gameplay is rather simplistic, after the previous iterations of Fight Night over-complicating things. Right stick controls the angle of the punches, left stick controls the fighter themselves. Single button toggles powerful punches, blocks, height and head movement. While this sounds simple, the game commonly devolves into a slapfest, with the pugilistic equivalents of camping in the corner, throwing fireballs until the other guy dies. There is apparently an art form around the details of the fights, but I found it way more effective to just wail on the other guy until he gives up.

Other immersion breakers in the game come around from the "recovery" system in between fights. In theory, fighters regain stamina and health depending on how much stamina they lost, through missed or blocked punches, and lost health from taking punches. Being bad at either landing, or avoiding punches apparently makes you worse throughout the fight. I do say "apparently", as after every round, both fighters ended up back on 100% stamina and health respectively.
Touching back on the graphics, while they are overall well done, there's clearly more work that's been done on the fighters, to the detriment of everything else. Little things like the previously mentioned missing water jet from the squirt bottle, and hideous clipping issues with the slow motion punches really add up...

Saying all of those, it's a definite improvement over previous Fight Night titles I've played, even if I seriously do not like them. Boxing fans will enjoy creating a fighter in their own image, and taking on legendary fighters, and current champions. And probably getting the piss knocked out of them in the meantime. Legacy Mode is well thought out, and is clearly what EA wanted the game to be.


Graphics: Overly concentrating the details on the fighters seriously hurts the rest of the game, but the level of details on the fighters themselves are amazing. Better overall graphics would be a huge improvement in this area, instead of being dragged down by the disparity - B

Gameplay: Easy to pick up controls allow the casual player to get into the game, but devolving into bitchslapping being more effective than actually fighting properly once again drags the gameplay down. Immense Legacy Mode pulls the game back up, but gets hampered by both the last fight in Story, and the massive difficulty jump when taking on a licensed fighter in Legacy - B+

Sound: EA Trax included in the game really compliment boxing itself, absolutely no complaints on either the soundtrack, or the incidental sounds. Sound has traditionally been a hugely solid part of an EA Sports offering, and this is no exception. A few mistimed sounds, and choppy audio during some cutscenes, but that's more likely my disc - A+

Replay Factor: Story Mode is short. And I mean REALLY SHORT. Over in about 2 hours or so, so don't come thinking that the story is going to be epic. Legacy Mode, however, keeps you going for so long, not just in the fights, but in the planning as well. The only glaring issue is that Legacy Mode took me about 20 minutes between fights, just to go through the pre-fight is probably part of that replay factor - B

Overall: Well thought out Legacy Mode in a reasonably polished boxing game. Fans of the genre will be well pleased with Fight Night Champion, but for people looking for a single story are going to be sorely disappointed. Legacy Mode is complicated to the point where fans will love it, but most casuals will be thrown off by it. Difficulty curve issues in both Story and Legacy Mode add to further frustrations - B-

*New category!*

Is it worth it? (Disclaimer: Personal mileage may vary): As usual with sports games, gamers who are heavily into their boxing will love it, from the licensed fighters, all though to the minutiae of pre-fight planning. People coming from outside the sport will possibly find Legacy Mode needlessly overcomplicated, and Story being shockingly short. Overall? I'd say no, unless you're a boxing fan, or coming from a previous title in the series.

//e - Usual fuckups with bbcode. One day I'll learn me this proper...


Supreme Commander 2 <-- A sequel with a lot to live up to. Does it command everything, or take orders?
Fight Night Champion (PS3) <-- Nubnos comes back from the canvas, and goes in swinging.
James Bond 007 - Blood Stone (PS3) <-- Do try to return this in one piece, 007...

Upcoming Reviews: <-- Add to the list!
Dragon Age 2 (PS3) <- OMG YU SO ADDICTIVE?! *In Progress!*
Ratchet and Clank 4 (PS3)

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 Post subject: Re: PS3 - Fight Night Champion
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:48 pm 
Level: 51 Squire
HP: 1321 / 10164
1321 / 10164
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:33 am
Posts: 5025
Location: South Gate, CA
XBL Gamertag: HoFKSugaFree
PSN ID: HoFKSugaFree
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3DS code: 4167-4952-3231
Nintendo ID: SugaFree3000

I might pick it up. I enjoyed Fight Night Round 3


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Godspeed, brave adventurer, and keep your pimp hand strong.

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