Fight Night Champion
Once again, the extraordinary developers of
this addictively entertaining boxing game come to the rescue of virtual
boxers in their latest boxing title entitled Fight Night Champion
which pushes this medium to another enjoyable gaming level. With slick
new graphics and a new streamlined control system, Fight Night Champion
fully caters for both new comers and existing boxing fans alike,
creating a rather enjoyable and truly fun sporting title.
Realism is a key factor
here as well and I've been playing boxing titles on some form or another
since the 80's and this definitely the best boxing game I have played.
Even though the gaming mechanics are spot on, my favourite aspect is the
champion mode which gives the player a really power story mode that
complimented with some stunning writing, amazing cutscenes and a game
with an MA15+ rating due to a certain graphic beating in prison.
Your goal in Fight Night
Champion is simple, go from zero to hero and fight against those who
wrongly imprisoned you. In this mode, you play Andre Bishop, former
Olympic boxer who inadvertently ends up in jail thanks to his dodgy
promoter. The start of the game serves as a tutorial and once out of
prison, you attempt to regain your boxing title again. This mode
features everything from drama, action and even romance. There is even a
rival just like Rocky as well and if the story feels a little like
Hollywood, that's because Will Rokos wrote the story who was also
responsible for Monster's Ball.
Legacy Mode on the other
hand allows for the player to customize their boxer as opposed to Mr.
Bishop as your main character that adds to the replay value of the title
because you train and try to better your boxer from the get go. If
you want a quick fight, there are options for one off fights and more
importantly online play that does increase the ante as some human
players are quite good. Online is great as you compete in a Championship
mode with other players from the around world or even better, compete
gyms against rival gyms.
However for me Champion
Mode was the highlight and it's really cool how the developers gave
given you tasks that must be performed sometimes in the matches to
spruce things up like KO only victory. It's these small things that make
the game so damn enjoyable and quite clever.
The control system has
received a revamp from previous instalments that seemed more refined and
fluid. The right analog stick is used for your attacks, whereas R1 is
for blocking. The other controls work just as well as you navigate the
ring and attempt to beat the absolute living daylights out of your
opponent using strategy to find your openings and ensuring your stamina
is not wasted. The good thing about that game is that most of the boxers
you have fight have different styles which does add an element of
difficulty to the game as it doesn't become another button smasher.
There's some great tactics here.
Graphically Fight Night
Champion is pure eye candy on the PS3, thanks to the amazing realistic
textures and detail of the fighters. These are some of the best
character designs for a sport game that is complimented with a realistic
damage system and realistic sweat physics. The fighters also move with a
real world grace as they lunge, punch and interact with their
environment. You could almost be forgiven in thinking that you are
watching a real boxing match on TV because of how it good it looks, not
to mention what easy on the eyes ring girls. Background environments are
decent, although it does lack a little variety but there's some great
use of lighting here.
Finally, there's an
upbeat soundtrack for Fight Night Champion and some solid voice acting
included, although there is a slight element of cheese factor. The
sounds in the ring sound very good as you hear all the devastating
punches and other sounds of fighting. The game does make good use of
your surround sound system, especially with all the background sounds
such as the crowd but the highlight is the commentary of Joe Tessitore
and Teddy Atlas which add to the realism factor.
In the end, Fight Night
Champion is quite an engaging boxing game with some amazing graphics and
a truly above average and sturdy gaming engine. The story of Bishop is
quite enjoyable to watch it play out but at it's heart, this is a very
component sports game from start to finish with lots of realism throw
into the mix. Boxing has a new contender on the PS3!