When Fight Night Round 3 released in December of ‘06 for the PS3, the graphics were almost lifelike. I actually had friends walk in when I was playing and they thought it was an actual fight (for a few seconds anyway). The game play was a little stiff, and the wall between the fighters seemed a bit corny, but it was still the greatest boxing game I had ever played, and I continued to play it until EA released it’s Fight Night Round 4 demo.
Now that Fight Night Round 4 has released, and I’ve taken over the Legacy mode by retiring as the Greatest of All Time, I wanted to share my thoughts on the game with our valued readers.
Fight Now will allow you to go toe-to-toe with some of the Greatest of all Time, and if you really feel cocky, make sure to set the difficulty to that level as well. Beating Ali on the G.O.A.T. setting felt great and gives you one of the best looking trophies I’ve seen in any game.
In order to fully enjoy the Legacy mode, I had to take the time to upload my own mug and ‘Get in the Game’ myself :
It is definitely not a spot on reproduction of me, but if you are looking for a specific fighter that isn’t on the official roster, you can head over to the ‘Share-a-Boxer’ page at EASportsWorld.com to find your guy.
The training modes are a definite step up from Round 3 and really help to improve your overall understanding of how the actual boxing matches should work. Leaning, foot work, counters, precision punching, and moving your head each have their own training game and make sure you don’t pay too much attention to any one area. A well balanced boxer is much better than a guy that can hit like Tyson, but move like a snail.
The training games can be very difficult, and there were times that I would have earned more points using auto train and not playing the games myself. By far, my best game was open sparring.
Scheduling your next fight might take a little more thought than you might actually think. At first I was just taking on the lowest possible ranked fighter I could, but after my first 10 fights, the lowest ranked available fighter turned out to be a monster that wanted to take my head off (and nearly did). You never know when you’ll face a fighter that has the numbers to make them a beast, so be sure to check their stats before signing your death warrant next contract.
Custom entrances do not allow for custom music on the PS3, and I was disappointed by that, but it only takes 20 seconds or so to get to the ring, so no big loss there. You can still choose for your fighter to be cocky, composed, or neutral, and the lasers and fog are a cool addition as well.
All of that leads up to what was anticipated to be the fight of the year, and the game play doesn’t disappoint. The wall between the boxers from Round 3 has not only be taken down, but completely destroyed.
My boxer was a tall heavyweight (6′8″ 260 lbs), so inside boxing wasn’t my specialty. If I allowed a shorter boxer to get on the inside though, my chin would take a beating, and my punches would sail behind the guy. Just so you know, punching a guy with the inside of your arm does little damage. In Round 3, almost every punch connected solidly. In Round 4, glancing blows are landed more often than solid hits. If your guy has a long reach, inside fighting can be a lost cause. Going toe to toe with Tyson when you are 6′8″ and he’s only 5′11″ is not a smart choice. Staying back and using your jab to keep the mini monster at bay is the wiser choice.
In the course of your career, be careful of the guys that want to test your reputation and challenge you. They seem to be some of the toughest fighters in the game, and can be almost impossible to keep down. They seem to all have high ‘Heart’ ratings and that means they can get back up many times after being knocked down.
Moving up the ‘Legacy Ladder’, the rankings, and the ‘Pound for Pound’ rankings really adds to an incredible experience that is currently unmatched.
The online area actually has 2 different modes. You can just go at it in a ‘Fight Now’ type of mode where you can be any one rostered fighter in either a ranked or unranked match, or you can go for your online belts in the ‘Online Championship’ mode (OC).
The OC has a ranking system of it’s own in 3 seperate weight classes. You can fight as a lightweight, middleweight, or heavy weight and you can use your own created boxer from Legacy mode. My first online fight as a lightweight didn’t seem too fair to me since the system matched me up with the #3 guy and I was ranked somewhere around 10K. That was a painful 30 seconds. I’m still trying to climb my way up the online ladder, so the replayability of this game should keep me as busy as Round 3 did, and that was 2+ years worth of play time.
Round 4 takes the boxing genre to a whole new level. Where Round 3 ruled the ring, Round 4 continued that greatness. Where Round 3 was lacking, Round 4 exceeded my expectations. The game has clearly reset the bar from Round 3.