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'Fight Night' back in the ring

July 8, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Fight NightLace up your gloves and bite down on that mouth guard, the 'Fight Night' franchise is back for another round.

Developed by Electronic Arts Canada, 'Fight Night: Round 4' is a noticeable improvement over the other installments.
Of all the upgrades, it is the new physics based gameplay engine that ranks 'Round 4' as the undisputed champion. When you are in the ring, everything about the experience feels natural and unrefined. Erroneously throwing an indiscriminate barrage of missed punches at your opponent does nothing but sap your strength, weaken your blows and your ability to defend yourself. 'Fight Night' requires you to pick your spots so that you can make each punch really count. There are moments where the haymakers fly fast and furious but for the most part, it is a game of precision and timing.

Fight NightWhat is really remarkable about the game engine is that the hooks, haymakers, crosses, body blows and combinations, don't all land the same, all the time. As in real life, sometimes your punches will glance off your foe, sometimes there will be partial impact and other times, the blows will land solidly. There is more. Since 'Round Four' is all about rhythm, if you break your foe's  by perfectly blocking an attack, you will have the opportunity to land a brutal counter-punch that can shift the momentum of any given confrontation.

The strategy doesn't end when the bell rings either. In the new 'Corner Game', you earn points each round and you can spend those points to recover your Health, Stamina or Damage as you rest in your corner between rounds.

Fight NightIn 'Legacy' mode, you start as an undisciplined amateur battling your way up the ladder to divisional championships. Regrettably, your story is told by a series of repetitive emails instead of some engaging cut scenes. While 'Legacy' is a long and fulfilling road, the training mini-games are really tough and chew up way too much time. You can simulate the training but doing so butchers the points you earn.

Fight Night's roster is a virtual enclosed of professional boxing. Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Tommy Morrison, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jake LaMotta, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis and a host of others are in the game as playable characters permitting you to simulate many fun historical clashes.

Fight NightCompeting for the 'Online World Championship' on Xbox Live can be a good or bad thing, depending on the quality of your opposition. Whenever custom creations enter the picture there are always those who will 'rig' things in their favour or those who will play "fair". You place your bets. You take your chances. I cannot complain too much though. I was able to create a boxer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the nWo theme song as his in-ring music.

As Kevin Nash would say...Sweeet.

For me, knocking someone's teeth out in slow motion and hammering them as they hit the mat, never got old in 'Fight Night: Round Four'. It is the definitive fisticuff simulator for those who appreciate a good fight and good strategy.

 

Fight NightFight Night: Round Four
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Electronic Arts Canada
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site:
http://fightnight.easports.com/

Rating: 8.5 / 10


 

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.