Review: Fight Night Champion
Day & A Dream’s squad of writers improved recently with the addition of JaySkrew to be our quote-unquote games guru. Considering the fact that I’m on the biggest NBA 2K fix out, it was only right Skrew picked up the slack in reviewing the hottest games he thinks are worth coping. Here’s his take on EA’s latest boxing offering, Fight Night Champion. While we couldn’t pay him in the best green known to man, he was still happy to oblige.
“The King of the Ring” returns with Fight Night Champion which is EA’s latest installment in the Fight Night series. The First EA Sports Title with a Mature Rating! The Game has improved a lot since last year, but still has some hidden flaws. Yes there is still the good, the bad, and the UGLY. First things first….
Graphics wise EA has improved a lot since Round 4. With over 50 licensed boxers (YES ZAB JUDAH AND BUTTERBEAN ARE BACK) each one looks at least 95% dead on to their real life counterpart and gone are the cartoonish looks we saw in Round 4. Example: When Tyson had the signature part in his fade…yeah it’s in the game. Shane Mosley’s tribal art tattoos are crafted onto the player model just as he has them in real life. Now the muscle flex engine that they had in Round 4 has also been improved also you can literally see the muscles flex on screen as Tyson brings that super knockout right over hand of his! So expect that when you pick your favorite boxer he will fight and move about the ring just as he would in real life. Also be prepared for BLOOD. Since this is the first Mature Rated EA Sports title when your boxer gets beaten to a pulp expect more than just a bruised eye. Blood will appear on your boxers face, chest, and trunks.
The controls of the series have once again been revamped. Gone are the days of moving the right stick in a certain gesture to do a punch (no more thumb pain). Now all you have to do is flick the right stick in a certain direction to throw overhands, straights, hooks, crosses, and every other punch you can do in real life. Yes the buttons do return for all those that complain they can’t use the right stick to punch. The blocking system is also changed. No more holding a button and moving the stick to block high or low. Now your boxer will automatically try to block incoming punches, but beware the longer you take blocked incoming punches the more your guard wears down leaving you vulnerable to slipped punches. The knockouts in the game are just beautiful. When someone like Tyson sees that you drop your guard and lands a mean right hook to your face it will literally send you flying to the left side of the ring.
The Soundtrack to the game is fairly decent with a lot of hip-hop underground and a few features from N.E.R.D. and others. One thing that really shines in Champion is the Hollywood movie style “Champion Mode” (Not to be confused with Legacy mode which is still there). Champion mode takes you through the game cover’s Andre Bishop’s career in and outside the ring. Everything from crooked Don King like promoters to ending up in jail doing 5 long hard years keeping your boxing skills up fighting white supremacist who want to take your head off. Champion mode fights have objectives in them. One exciting fight is when you break your right hand on an opponent’s face and are forced to use your left the entire fight.
While Champion mode is filled with Hollywood like story and cut scenes, Legacy mode falls short. If you played Fight Night Round 4 don’t expect anything new except the new XP system which is also incorporated into online play. This is where Fight Night Champion starts to go a little sour.
Sure offline you can level up your create a boxer easily by training him in the mini games and fighting to become the champ in your weight class, but the minute you step online is a totally different ball game. In Round 4 you were taken online and your stats were leveled, everyone had the same stats and if you were good you were good, and if not well you know the rest (Canvas Eater).
In Fight Night Champion sure you are started at a leveled rating of 78, but this is where the horrible new XP system comes in and it gets ugly. Money grubbing EA Sports has given you the ability to purchase XP points with your real life cash. So that means any guy can go from a overall 78 rating to high 80-90 in a matter of seconds , and there is no limit to the amount of XP you can buy. This has plagued online do to the fact that you won’t stand a chance against the higher ratings unless you buy XP or work your way up the old fashioned way and take and estimated 2 months to get a high rating (which honestly nobody has done). Also bully players will mask their rating by only maxing out there left and right hooks and straights leaving them with a low rating ,but soon as you get in the ring they can TKO you with one punch if they catch you with your hands down.
My advice: Stay away from the online world championship mode if you don’t want to spend more money on the game, and just stick to the head to head mode where you can use any boxer you want and have preset stats. Happy Canvas Eating >:D
FINAL SCORE: 9.5