Review by kain920411

"Are you the GOAT!?"

Fight night round 4 (FNR4) is the next installment to a great series by EA sports. This review is mainly for the PS3 version. The Xbox 360 is almost the same, but has some slight differences. FNR4 is rated T for Teen, there is mild blood, lyrics, some suggestive themes (The ring girls and some songs) and of course Violence. The online is not rated, just remember some people are just flat out rude and tend to swear a lot.

Game play/Controls 8/10
If you played FNR3 using the Total Punch Control then FNR4's controls wont bother you. If you used the face buttons your going to hate it. The face buttons are gone, its just the analog now. That's a good thing though, it allows for more accurate punches and better fights. Once you get used to it the TPC is easy and fun. Sometimes there is a delay or you could put in the wrong command and throw the wrong punch, causing you to get countered, other wise its smooth. You can still clinch, but now you can also push your opponent away giving you room. There is a set button for haymakers, and leaning and even a special punch. The special punch is more of a signature move and not something to rely on for cheap easy wins. The super power one hit KO punches are gone as well, but now a good hit to the temple or lucky shot to the jaw can KO your opponent... or you. The reason I give this an 8 is due to the delay problem and the fact that some people prefer the face buttons, so the lack of customization. Its not a game breaker but can sometimes be annoying.

Graphics 10/10
I have two words: SIMPLY AMAZING! The programmers put time and effort into FNR4, the blood, sweat, muscle flexing and facial expressions prove it. When you throw a punch or take one, you can see the muscles flex, the sweat spray and the strain its having on your boxer. The face damage has been improved as well. Instead of a line of blood and discolored skin, you get full bruises, cuts and blood splatter and spray. With normal settings it takes a lot to do this but you can tweak the settings for more power. When your bleeding and hit the mat the blood stays, for a little while, you can bounce off the ropes and your boxer even has Legs! In FNR3 their legs stopped at the shorts making it look cheap, in 4 they used full character sprites and detail, all the way up to the curly chest hairs. The physics engine replicates hits like a real life hit. With the game face feature you can literally put your self in the game. Just follow the instructions, with a good face picture of your self and the game will apply your face to your custom boxer. You can adjust as needed, by doing this I made a life like version of my self only younger. The referee is has a lot of detail as well, but still stay behind camera unless he's counting down or calling you on a foul shot. The crowds are even detailed, they are not the paper cut outs of previous games and even have some variety. The judges and corner crew have detail and expressions as well and you can view it all with the free roam replay camera. The lighting and the ring walks make for an awesome show and will bring back fond memories of boxing's greatest days.

Sound/Music 9/10
First off I will mention the one thing that bothers me. When your boxer gets into the ring you can not hear the announcer introducing you very well, if at all. You can hear him fine in the ring walk and you can hear the commentators and the trainers. Just not the introduction, in this corner we have who? What? Speak up! Other wise with the rest of the sound effects and music, you cant complain about the programmers being lazy. There is a huge selection of songs and you can pick what ones will play, even choose the song for your ring walks. I hear the 360 can upload custom tracks, but the PS3 does not have this feature. They might add it later, even with out this option though its still a great selection. The ring side bell is still in the game but only in certain gyms. The lower class gyms use a loud annoying tone. You get used to it though, you can also turn down the volume of it in the settings. Now as for the boxers, when you connect with a punch you can tell hard it was by the sound. When you miss its obvious and when you get stunned... get used to the ringing. When playing I can tell the programmers put 100's of hours into creating the perfect sound and music selection. A little tweaking would be nice but other wise its great.

Story/Online 10/10
I'm putting these together since they all revolve around boxing. The single player A.K.A story line is called "Legacy mode", there is a training mode, fight now mode, create boxer and Online. You have a special section called "My corner" for game settings, replay videos, music and a few other things. Lets start with the training since its simple. Back in the day of FNR3 there was three training games that tended to grind the analog sticks. In FNR4 there are six training games that are easier on the controllers and a lot more fun. First there is open sparing, this lets you learn the basics. Stay on your feet teaches you how to block, dodge and get away from aggressive opponents. The heavy bag combos and heavy bag push get you used to the TPC and the basic combos. The last two training games are called Double end bag and Maize bag, they teach you how to weave, dodge and move around the ring.

FNR4 has four difficulty settings; Amateur, Pro, Champion and GOAT. Amateur is basically a boxing dummy who will toss a few random punches. Pro is your basic normal setting and champion is for those who want a good fight. Now G.O.A.T, that stand for great of all time, is like fighting the boxers truly in their prime. They fight with their known style and will bring the pain, its a true test of your skills. Ali will stick and move stay on the out side and pepper you with Jabs, Tyson will bum rush you and pound away at you until you hit the floor, you get the idea. The Ai learns from your fighting style with the simulations so as you play it gets better and you have to change your styles to win. If you want a good fight try a 12 round fight with the three knock down rule, 3 minutes, saved by the bell off on G.O.A.T difficulty. If you can beat Ali or Tyson this way you deserve the gold trophies they award you with.

Online has a few options; Quick match, custom match, create a session and the online World championship. Quick match just tosses you into a fight, custom and create a session allow you to choose the rules. Online world championship lets you go for the belt in one of three divisions. If your good enough you can get the Belt and one of the three trophies (more on this further in the review). The people online have varied styles and can sometimes be rude. The majority of them though are decent people and great to play against. If you find one you don't like put him on your ignore list, if you find some one you like add him to your buddies list. Either way have fun and try to fight clean and fair.

Playtime/Replay/Trophies 10/10
If your a fan of boxing or just like a good beat down, even if you play just for trophies, you will get easily 100+ hours out of FNR4. The legacy mode, depending on the difficulty, could take 20-40 hours for just one boxer. If your going for the online belts it could possibly take you months depending on your skill level. If your lucky you could possibly get a belt in a week of hardcore playing. Either way you will get your moneys worth. Now for trophies, since the beginning of 2009 all ps3 games that come out have trophies, 360 has achievements (Always have). FNR4 is not different, there are 21 total trophies; 4 bronze, 9 silver, 7 gold and of course the platinum. Now trophies should not determine if you get a game or not, but if it does FNR4's are pretty straight forward. Three of them are pretty hard to get but the rest can be gained by practice or if your cheap, changing the settings. You will find them pretty easily gained since they don't have insane challenges, its a decent list. I wont go into detail on it but you can get one or more each sitting if you try hard enough. Well all but the 3 online championship ones.

Overall 9/10
I would say FNR4 is definitely worth the money. If your still unsure try the demo or just rent it. The programmers seemed to have listened to the gamers demands and met them like a Tyson punch to the head. Play for a while, get used to the controls and don't fret the small stuff. This will quickly become one of your favorites.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/29/09

Game Release: Fight Night Round 4 (US, 06/23/09)

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