We've just recently
reviewed Fight Night Champion on PS3 and our reviewer sung its
praises from its almost perfect game mechanics to lush graphics. But
where does the App Store version fit into this mix? As
opposed to a port, EA Games have created a rather good boxing title
for the iPhone that mirrors the decent game mechanics and impressive
graphics of its console brethren. This is also the first thing you
notice about Fight Night Champion on iPhone/iPod Touch, the realistic graphics
which easily make this one of the best looking sport games on the
iPhone and iPod Touch. If you have an iPhone 4 of the newest iPod
Touch with the Retina Display, it's
even better and I seriously mean this.
Gameplay modes in
Fight Night Champion include Fight Now (one off match),
multiplayer or my favourite, Legacy Mode which allows you to either
create a new character or "rebuild" a legend. If you rebuild a
legend, you basically start the career of a boxing legend from the
get go which is also fun to make them fight against modern fighters.
Whether you choose a pre-existing boxer or create a new one, you can
tweak their fighting settings by choosing the weight class, stance
and even style.
It should be noted
that Fight Night Champion is not a cut down version of a boxing game
and allows the player to engage in all facets of fighting, including
a variety of punches, dodges, blocking and some power-ups. The
control system has been well mapped onto the touch screen of the
iPhone. The game supports the tilting capabilities of this smart
device, so tilting
it to the left or the right will move your fighter in that direction
and if things become too sensitive, there is a calibration meter for
the tilt sensor.
To punch (jabs and straights), you simple tap the
upper part of the screen for a jab or right for a straight. Right
hooks or left hooks are done by flicking either the top left or top
right of screen which performs a hook. My favourite is the uppercuts
which is similar to
hooks but you flick up and body hits, hooks and uppercuts are versed
from the lower side of the screen.
You also have access
to Haymakers that require you to touch the screen until a ripple
forms around you and a signature move which requires you to slide
your finger diagonally down-right and then up to the right. The
signature move does take a little time getting use to but it works
like a charm. Illegal blows are basically the signature move
reversed and is fun to use when your getting stuffing knocked out
Add these moves with blocking, leaning, clinching and
pushing and you have a very advanced yet intuitive control system
for the iPhone. Just be warned that it does take a little time in
mastering them but once you do, you'll fly like a butterfly and
sting like a bee. Finally you have a very cool mini-game between
rounds that allows you to recoup your health and is a nice little
break from the button smashing.
Overall, the in-game mechanics are quite sturdy and the AI of the
fighters range from easy to difficult and as you progress in legacy
mode, things become steadily more challenging. If you select fight
now, you can tweak which boxer you'll play and either choose a
fighter depending on their skill level. Unfortunately Multiplayer
requires Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to play so we were unable to test this
feature. All in all, this is the best fighter I have ever played on
the iPhone and EA have really set the bar for games on this
As mentioned, the
graphics are very impressive in Fight Night Champion and all the
boxers look like their real-world counterparts such as Muhammad Ali,
George Foreman or the variety of classics and some modern fighters that adorn this title.
With great character models, realistic movements, everything looks
and feels like a boxing game should.
It's also great to see your
blows actually do something but this of course, comes back on you as
well when you get pummelled. Good lighting, realistic textures, Fight
Night Champion is how all sport games should look. The only drawback
in the game is the sometimes repetitive commentary but apart from
that, the sound effects of the fights go hand in hand with the
gameplay and graphics.
Final Thoughts? Fight Night Champion is indeed a game for champions
and EA should be applauded in creating the most realistic and best
boxing game on the iPhone and iPod Touch. It's a game that can be
played constantly due to the intuitive controls that have not been
dumbed down for the portable world of gaming. With excellent graphics
that is matched with great in-game mechanics, Fight night Champion
is definitely worth the purchase if you enjoy fighting games,
especially boxing because this is as close as we'll get to actual
fighting, just without the physical injuries.