Review by Spurius

"Fight Night Round 2 has changed boxing games forever"

Boxing games have always been a favorite of mine. But unfortunately before Fight Night Round 2, there haven't been any that are spectacular. But Fight Night has absolutely blown me away. It completely redefined boxing games. I never imagined that a boxing game could be like this. There are no other games like this one. It has utterly destroyed every other one before it. Boxing games will never be the same.

There are two ways to start the career mode in this game. You can "Rebuild a Legend" or you can create your own character. In the Rebuild a Legend mode, you choose an already made character, someone throughout boxing history. You can choose from many boxers from any of the weight classes, and fight as them. Creating your own character is very fun as well. There are so many ways to customise your boxer to truly make him unique.

You start your career as an amateur. You fight for very low amounts of money. Before every fight you have a sparring session, where you learn and must perform certain boxing moves. Such as a simple jab, hook, block, or lean. As you continue you learn tricky, yet necessary moves. If at any point during your amateur career you feel you are good enough to turn pro, you may do so early on. But if you continue with your amateur career, you can eventually move on to win the amateur title.

As everyone knows, training is a huge part of a boxer's life, so that part certainly couldn't be left out. Over the course of your pro career, you will be doing as much training as you will be boxing. Before every fight, you can choose between three training courses: Weight lifting, which will mainly put more power behind your punch, the combo dummy, which will mainly make you much quicker, or the punching bag, which will help with all your fighter's stats. The training has been set up astonishingly well. For weight lifting, you lift with the left and right analog stick. The combo dummy is the same as the game "Simon." A pattern of red lights flash on different parts of the dummy, and you have to punch the dummy in the order of those lights. And the punching bag is simple, if the lights on the top of the bag light up, you punch the top. If the lights on the bottom light up, punch the bottom. These are a huge addition to the game, and are extremely important. If you do not do well in training, you won't do well in a fight.

One thing that a boxer needs just as much as training, is good equipment. Luckily, there is a boxing store you can go to where you can get everything you need. You can purchase a mouthpiece, some gloves, shorts, or foul protectors. You can even get your boxer a tattoo so he can truly intimidate any of his opponents. There is also the option of purchasing illegal shots, such as an elbow to the head, or a knee to the abs. Most everything you purchase in the fight store will somehow help you in the ring.

Of course there is also an alternative to the career. If you want to just do a quick fight you can choose to do that as well. But this time you can choose to have a regular fight, with three minute rounds, or play a "Hard Hits" version. In the Hard Hits, the round doesn't end until someone has been knocked down. If they get back up, the round ends. This version is not timed, and there are 15 rounds. This is a very fun alternative to the regular boxing style.

The one thing that genuinely sets this game apart from every other boxing game are the analog controls. I have never seen controls out of any other fighting game like these. You control your punches with the right analog stick. To jab, you tap the analog stick forward. For a hook, move the stick to the side, then move up. This gives you so much control over your punches, you feel like you are the one throwing them. The controls are truly revolutionary. They will not only change the way boxing games are made, but also the way every fighting game is made. They are astonishing smooth and easy to use. You can quickly lean out of the way of a punch, then go in for one of your own, without having any problems. If it weren't for the controls, this game wouldn't be the same.

I can get so lost in this game because of it's wonderful graphics. Every punch damages your opponent's face a little more. Until they have a black eye, bloody nose, and a cut on the side of their face. I feel like I can read my opponent by their movement, and can tell how close they are to the knock out. The graphics are just one more thing that I love about this game.

Sound is very essential in a boxing game. The sound of the crowd must be very realistic in order to give an authentic feel to the game. The crowd here makes me forget I am playing a game. The sound of the boxers must sound like they are really in pain, and are truly giving it their all to win. You must be able to realistically reproduce the atmosphere of a real fight, through the sound. If not it can bring the whole game down. Everything about the sound here is terrific.

You are going to be so addicted to this game, you won't want to put it down for months. After you beat it with one boxer, you'll want to do everything all over again with another. Anyone who likes boxing games will love this one. Even if you don't, you still won't be able to stop playing. This is a revolutionary game and fun for anyone. I recommend Fight Night Round 2 to anyone. Whatever age, you will love this game as much as I do.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/26/05

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