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Fight Night Champion PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 8.6
Graphics 9.0
Sound 8.5
Value 8.6
Distributor: EA
Review Date:
October 2010
Michael Marsh


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!


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