If you have played the previous fight nights you will already know the standards the previous fight night games set. For those of you who haven’t played the previous titles, my advice would be don’t waste your time, this game is almost flawless. It brings so much to the table this time around, with the movie inspired story mode, exceptional gameplay and new simplified punch control, phenomenal graphics, realism and damage.
There has been lots of hype in regards to this full blown story mode, I know the first thing you want to know when you came to the page is does it live up to the hype? Yes, and then some. While being a very short story, I don’t feel this is in any way a bad thing as it really does play out like a movie that your in control of. Yes every cliche in the book is thrown at you, do you care? No. Champion mode is presented fantastic, from stints in prison with no rules, no referee and no gloves; this brings a whole new perspective as your skills in the ring have to be almost put to 1 side as the key in prison is to survive for your life, so your first thought isn’t always punch it becomes a game of illegal blows, I found myself lining up as many headbutts as I did punches. I don’t want to spoil the storyline but I will say you can probably guess all the twists but at the same time you get excited as the story unravels as you are in control and with each turn is a new competitor. With each fight you have a new goal focus through out the rounds, whether that be survive the first 2 rounds, play with a broken hand or simply just win the fight by any means necessary, this brings a whole new thought process to simply just going out throwing punches, some opponents you run in and your instantly dropped by a left hook, you must think throughout each match, I found the whole movie feel a brilliant touch and can see this been heavily featured and replace the legacy mode fully for the next game.
This is the best gameplay you will find in a boxing game to date. The new full spectrum punching heavily simplified the slightly complicated controls of round 4 and ridiculous rolls of the analog stick to throw a haymaker in round 3. Not only can you just flick the analog to do your left and right variations of punches, you now get a heavy punch button, yes that does mean you can now throw a stiff jab or a hard straight without having to wind up your punches. In addition to the punching system the new blocking system at first I found very odd, but on reflection when your in a fight without the blocking system now in place fighters such as Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali would be impossible to defend against due to the realism and speed of punches thrown in combinations. Now all you need to block the onslaught of punches is hold down your right trigger button and you activate the reflective blocking; that doesn’t mean you can just stand and block, make no mistake punches will eventually get through and you will be on the canvas. The lean system is the same as it always was, the only real issue i have with the gameplay is the body shots, how you must plant your feet to throw the body shots you cant just move in and out throwing body shots, but this again is due to it’s realism, if you watch a boxing match the fighters do plant their feet in order to get the power behind the shots. Introducing the champion mode also forced them to implement the natural feel of a boxing match, the speed of the punches can just baffle you as you only drop your guard for a second, but that’s boxing. For people who played the demo; flash KO’s aren’t as prominent as they were on the demo, I have played it heavily, went through the story mode and still haven’t managed to gain a flash KO, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do this of course.
This again is the best you will see in any boxing game, or any other sport game for that matter! The graphics on Fight Night have always been incredible. The attention to detail is breath taking. The replays really show off their graphics engine, the way the face just turns to jelly when the huge hooks smash into your opponents chin. The other really nice graphical detail are the cuts and damage, these look very realistic.
First thing I will mention is the huge issues when playing online, the weight classes are really stupid. Mike Tyson is not the same as Joe Calzaghe and the same way Marvin Hagler isn’t De La Hoya. This makes for very uneven fights something you don’t think about until you step in the ring 1 guy is built like Tyson and the other has the muscles of a 12 year old boy. The other major issue is the EA servers, like Fifa the servers kick you off at random which only freezes up your xbox and you must restart, this is appauling; that been said there is nothing better then stepping into the ring with the unknown and really putting your skills to test, or not as the case may be if your alot better then your opponent, you have your usual things such as the lobby, head-to-head fights both ranked and un-ranked. In addition to this you now have the opportunity to create your own gym, fight for the world championship with your created boxer or you can fight to win prizes curtorsy of Virgingaming.com. The new features I personally don’t care about playing but are a nice addition to the game, if it wasn’t for the annoying issues with servers and weight classes this would be something i would play for hours at a time however if you keep been kicked you will soon give up.
Legacy mode is pretty much the same, the training games don’t seem to of changed either, no effort was made for this; but this is forgiveable as this time around the champion mode is what we always wanted legacy mode to be! The training games etc don’t bring anything particularly enjoyable.
The other thing that has to be talked about is the roster of fighters, sure it has really horrible choices such as Butterbean and we are missing in my opinion some vital fighters, if you have “Pac-Man” you need “Money Mayweather” or else playing with Manny isn’t as enjoyable as it could be. This been said the inclusion of fighters such as David Haye are very welcomed, I feel the fighters all bring something different to each fight and due to the realism you can be any fighter and go up against Ali and win. If you win or not this time around is about technique and having a boxing mindset rather then having that 1 tactic or 1 punch you threw constantly, Styles make fights.
The game itself doesn’t come with a book in the game box, at first I was a little worried my book hadn’t been sent out but I noticed on the game there is a full game manual, you can see this at any time as it’s available on demand.
This is the best boxing game ever, may even be the best sports game across the board, it has a few small things wrong with the game, but these are forgiveable as the good really does outshine the bad by a long, long way. The realism in this game alone makes it the greatest boxing game, the technique of each fighter how perfect they fight as if you are in control of the real person, the feints, the footwork, the way they swing the punches or just the angles in every shot by Manny Pacquiao, the game engine is incredible. You can go play the demo right now if you want to see the gameplay and huge strides in how a boxing game should be, if you have any doubts about this game been a cheap attempt at a rocky style game with the cliché story, you are very mistaken. I highly recommend buying this game and if you would like to fight me on xbox live my gamertag is King Mowa – come bring the pain! And enjoy the magnificent game you are in control of.