Review by Al Colasuonno
"A pretty accurate simulation of the movie and boxing"
Rocky for the Sega Master System is based on the series of Rocky movies from the 1980's. Your player is the Italian Stallion, Rocky from the movies. The game surprising unlike most adaptations is pretty faithful to both the sport of boxing and to the movie itself. I don't profess to be an expert on boxing, I don't even find it an interesting sport, but from what I know Rocky is accurate in its portrayal of professional boxing. The game has three minute rounds and it can last presumably up to 12 rounds....the longest round I've ever reached is the 4th round, you should knock out your opponent or get knocked out by then. There are scores by round by the game's panel of judges to indicate who, if anyone, is dominating the round. When you start the game, you face Apollo Creed, then afterwards you face Mr.T (also known as Lang). Overall it's quite an average game, although it is on the difficult side. I purchased it without instructions so maybe that's the problem but I find it hard to get past Lang and I don't know which opponents come after him. Regardless, it's an enjoyable game, but nothing amazing.
Graphics: 7, pretty good depictions of each character. The large size of each boxer is a plus. When you or your opponent is knocked down to the mat and your helpers are slamming the mat to get you up the graphics are extremely well done. The opening screen though is bland with it's red background and yellow letters spelling out Rocky.
Sound: 6, this doesn't need much explanation. It's just standard video game fare. The punches sound a little unrealistic but okay.
Play Control: 8, moving Rocky isn't a problem. You also have a selection of a punch to the face by pushing up and the button, a regular punch by just pushing the button, a powerful punch by pushing left and the button, and a downward punch by pushing down and the button. You can back away from your opponent to get away from his punches for a bit, but that's not a wise strategy because if you keep backing away you'll be cornered. You should hold your ground and try to corner your opponent and then nail them with a barrage of punches. You can also duck by pressing the other button. Forgive me for not specifying since I use a Genesis controller since my Master System one broke.
Challenge: Advanced. The game is simply too difficult. You only have one continue, luckily it is to fight the same man you lost to, not the one before the one you lost to, like in the Punch Out games. The game should have added adjustable difficulties to it, especially since to my knowledge many young children and people who are only casual gamers, much of what should have been the target audience for this game, aren't going to be very good at this game and they might return it or not buy it at all after trying it.
Fun: 5, the game is fun enough. I'm not a fan of boxing or Rocky, so add 2 points to the fun factor if you are. It's a good simulation of boxing, but to a video game fan not a Rocky/boxing fan the smooth play of the Punch Out games is more appealing.
Replay Value: 4, you'll try and try....for awhile, to get past Lang but you probably won't be able to. You'll want to play it again but once you realize you are stuck, the game will gather dust shortly thereafter.
Par: You should be able to beat Apollo Creed, and then last 2 rounds with Lang.
Special Features: 5, I don't know why they have the large punching bag and the small punching bag features between and before the matches. I guess it is to help your accuracy and speed. It's interesting but can be annoying after awhile since it doesn't build your stats up and make it easier to win the fight. That's pretty much the only novel feature this game has.
Overall: 5, the game defines mediocrity. If it was a little easier and faster moving this game could've been a hit. For the fan of Rocky, boxing, or a collector of Master System games only.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 03/13/02, Updated 03/13/02
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