Fight Night Champion User Review
So, first things first, the brand new story mode, known as "Champion" mode (thus the title; Fight Night Champion) where you take control of a boxeer named Andre Bishop, a prospect middleweight fighter on the verge of making a break. The story is full of drama as you would expect from a Hollywood inspired story. The player gets to experience the true gritty world of boxing and therefore makes this a satisfying experience, unfortunately it does not last long as Champion mode is rather short.
The graphics in FNC are top-notch, the animations are smooth and the boxers movements are very fluid. The roster of 50 registered boxers that look and act like them make this a very satisfying experience. The brutality of the game really stands out this time round with more realistic blood splatter. You will notice that you can really see exactly where the boxer is cut, bruised, swollen and broken. I noticed that the white trunks on my boxer got stained somehow during the fight and so did my gloves. I realised soon that this was my opponents blood that splattered while I was giving him a beating. I did find a few graphical glitches however, such as during rest periods after each round ur trainers helpers would give you water but nothings comes out of the bottle. It looks comical but it is easily covered up as a lot of the time the camera only shows the back of your trainer talking to you during a break. And you really cant complain about water not coming out of a bottle. All in all the graphics are extremely solid.
The gameplay mechanics are solid. Building on the solid foundation set by its predeccesor, the physics engine that was used in FNR4 is used once again but somehow feels slightly more enhanced, with the fluidy of motion of the boxers. The AI is extremely well done. Different boxers have very different personalities and the AI adapts to the way you play implimenting the "sweet science" of boxing very accurately. The developers also got onto the boxers stamina issues, I noticed in previous entries that a standard heavyweight bout that would have gone the distance in real life would only last on average 3 rounds. The improved system sees boxers going the distance to a solid 9 rounds on average for me.
The sound in the game is also very good, I did not notice many problems at all in regars th the sound, it is very crisp and clear, the sounds of gloves hitting and crunching bones in the face are very satisfying. The heavy breathing in late rounds you hear, the crowd roars whe you throw big counter punches, your trainer shouting out instructions to you from the corner and the cinematic music that plays when someone is knocked into a "hazy" state. Overall very well done and really compliments the experience.
The control in this game is signafically improved,however not entirely perfect...but very close. The frustrating and difficult "Total Punch Control" system has been re-modelled and is a major improvement on the previous title. During the fight you can choose to either play with the push-button controls OR the right analogue stick and its improved, easier punch control system. There are no more intricate movements to do a simple punch,
but rather quick movements of the stick in different directions create different punches. You can choose which ever you prefer without even pausing the game and going into the settings menu. There is only one thing I have a problem with in the control system though, sometimes it takes a while for your punch to come through, and you sometimes would end up pushing a button a few too many times and punches hit after you expect them too, therefore depleting your stamina faster. And also the game does not support Move, I found this a little suprising as one could obviously see the fun you could have with the Move. Apparently the developers were far in the development process therefore couldnt support Move functionality. (Lets hope they can get support through an update patch)
The replay value is really good, because of the many things to do in the game, and the online features make it lasting and worth while. The roster of 50 fighters and the ability to download other fighters that other people create (or that you create) make it worth the experience.
All in all Fight Night Champion is by far the best boxing sim in the business from the true to life blood spleatters to the great sounds and visuals, despite a few small technical difficulties this game is a must have for an boxing fan. Plain and simple the "Sweet Science" is truly tasteful.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.