Fight Night?

Has anyone played this yet? Being a Robot Alchemic Drive fan I thought the controls looked intriguing, but I haven’t heard any word-of-mouth about it. The reviews have been pretty good, though.

reminds me of the old 4d boxing (which is a very good thing). pretty damn fun, even for a non sports gamer like me.

I am not a boxing game expert, but I think Fight Night is the best boxing sim made so far. It takes a while to get used to the controls because they are absolute, so whether you are on the left or the right, pushing up and left on the right analog will always deliver a straight left jab; likewise right then up will always perform a right hook. We’re so used to character-relative controlls that it takes a few fights to rewire your brain, but once you do it is amazingly intuitive.

It also does a great job with movement and dodging. Hold down L1 to plant your feet and bob and sway with the left analog. The physics system takes into account your torso movement, so a right hook will have more force if you crouch, bend down to the right and then return to center. It’s actually possible to do an overhand punch in this game, which is tremendously satisfying. They also model fatigue well, button-mashing is a non-starter, and it is possible to beat a stronger fighter by simply surviving to the later rounds if you have a good defense and choose your punches wisely.

There’s no clinching in the game, which I love, but others find a necessary part of the realism. I disagree and think clinching is about as fun in a boxing game as walking to your ball is in a golf game. The online mode is disappointing for technical reasons I won’t get into, but suffice it to say that it takes way too long to establish a peer-to-peer connection. But those are the two big downsides. They use a way-over-the-top rag doll system for knockouts, which is an affront to our snobbish modelers, but I love it because when you knock someone out, it looks like you’ve liquified their spine and is great fun and cause for plenty of bragging if you are playing with friends. So, yep, I highly recommend Fight Night. We were so impressed at EA, that we bought the developers.

Full disclosure: I am 2 of 9 of the EA Sports Borg, although I did not work on FN directly.

I agree 100% with Jim except for the clinching thing. Say you’ve gotten the worst of an exchange and you want to slow down the action - your only option in Fight Night is to back away constantly. Problem: it works all too well since the opponent can’t run in to close the distance unless they have a much higher speed rating than you, and even then they’ll be lucky as hell to actually land a punch if you keep retreating. Clinching isn’t terribly exciting but I can’t see how it’s any worse than constant retreating.

Still, that does almost nothing to negate the overall coolness of the Total Punch Control system.

The rag-doll physics can look awkward when the victim’s legs land in awkward positions and suddenly the entire body starts vibrating/“earthquaking”. Funny stuff, but weird. When it works right, it truly is satisfying, as the poor sucker just CRUMPLES. It really looks like his brain suddenly just shut down completely.

Thanks for the input, gentlemen. I just got a $15 coupon at the EA store today, so I ordered it from there this evening.

After playing a few hours, I think this game is the best boxing game yet. I’ve just been playing against the computer, but I can’t wait to get some friends together for a few matches. It begs for someone there to smack talk. It seemed pretty noob friendly, too. The Total Punch Control is easy to pick up, and lets you put together nice combos naturally instead of memorizing button sequences.

This is how I feel. I end up doing a constant retreat back & to one side when I’m hurt, throwing the occasional jab or uppercut to keep my opponent back. Clinching would be a nice alternative.

This is true, too. As practice I was using Ali against a slower featherweight (a serious overmatch) and I delivered the final blow with Ali’s signature punch. It looked perfect as Ali bobbed back & forth to dodge a punch, then flattened the poor sucker with a left hook to the temple. The guy’s head snapped to the side, his legs quit working, and he fell back to the canvas like the proverbial sack of potatoes. The sound effects of the punches are perfect, and solid blows sound like they hurt.

Great game, I recommend picking it up if you have any interest at all in boxing games.

Keep in mind that you have a “dash” by double-tapping towards your opponent. It’s not terribly effective, but you can close ground with it. And as your opponent backs away/side steps, throw a hook to the side he is moving too as this will keep him honest. If he blocks it, he’ll have to cover up and stop moving, if he doesn’t you probably nail him at least once, hopefully on the chin which should end his running.

I talked to the producer about clinching he said it was loathed in playtesting. It gave weaker players the ability to get in close, flail like a madman, and then clinch when all their energy was used up. We’ve had some great fights at the office because you’ll corner a guy and he’ll have no choice but to fight his way out. Great stuff.

There has to be a way around that because, well, that’s how bad boxers really box. They flail, they lose their energy, and then they clinch. A good fighter can easily defend against that though. Maybe next year the developer could try harder with the clinching. Either make the player open to a devastating shot if they initiate a clinch (in real life you’re open to an uppercut). Or make them vulnerable just after. It’s a design challenge and it looks to me like this team is up for that challenge.

Really, this is a suberb boxing game. It’s fantastic. I haven’t been this excited about a fight/simulation since Die by the Sword. Really, Fight Night is the sweet science in game form and my dad was blown away. (My grandfather boxed, he used to spar against Rocky Graciano in New York - my dad boxed a bit in College.) Oh, I’d like a first person perspective option too. ;-)

But clinching really needs to be in there. It’s a real and important tactic to the sport. It’s like having Hockey without Icing, Baseball without the Walk, or the NFL without clock management.

Well, then, that’s par for EA Sports games. :) I love 'em to death, but walks are nonexsistent in MVP Baseball 2004, and 15 years in to the Madden series, the AI still makes all sorts of clock management mistakes.

Been playing the PS2 version a ton for the past few days, really enjoying it.

The appeal is all in the controls. Using the sticks to control punches and blocks is a huge improvement. It makes the fights look and feel more realistic, since transitions are not “instant” like they would be if blows were mapped to the buttons. Transferring from, say, a right hook to a left uppercut involves a pretty big weight shift, and moving the stick in a similar motion makes the motion of the boxer feel more fluid. Coupled with the bob & weave controls and the calculations involving the direction and speed of both fighters, each punch is different. While there are technically just jabs, hooks, and uppercuts, with modifiers for left/right and body/chin, the way the punches connect and the damage they do varies a lot.

That seems really simple, but it’s crucial. Most boxing games in the past have tried to compensate for weak fighting mechanics with a lot of dress-up. Fight Night is the first boxing game I’ve ever played where the actual pugilism is what keeps me interested. In most sports games, the management and front office screens are as fun as the field of play itself. With Fight Night, when I get to “My Corner” I can’t push the buttons fast enough. Get me back in the ring!

There isn’t much to do in “My Corner” though. In this game the player is a solitary boxer, not a manager or coach over a whole team. Maybe next year we can have a splendiferous Don King mode.

The career mode is about what you’d expect–fight your way up from 50th to the belt–but it’s a little strange. The boxers ranked 1-10 are the big names, past and present, and they seem to dwell only in that span of rankings. 11-50 minus you are all computer generated. I assume this is because EA can’t license 50 boxers from each class. Anyway, the computer generates a lot of unsettlingly chubby, blue-eyed black guys who have a glazed over, choleraic look about them.

Presentation is very urban. WPGC FM 95.5 DJ/BET’s Rap City: Tha Bassment VJ/raconteur Big Tigger does the play-by-play, represents, ills, and otherwise makes it known that he occupies the house. As this kind of bitchy boxing purist review points out, boxing does have real commentators of its own, but apparently they’re not in the game enough to be in the game. All the tracks are hiphop. Personally I’d like some fucking variety, but whatever, kids these days, get off my lawn, and so forth.

The manual is a farce. Even some of the controls are missed. But thankfully, if you don’t click through all the tutorials, you’ll pick most of them up.

Some tips:

-Blocking is probably the most important element of the game. If you don’t KEEP YO HANDS UP you’re totally boned. The manual doesn’t explain it at all. You can block chin or body by holding R1 and up or down on the right stick. In addition, you can parry by holding R1 and left or right on the stick. Parrying can be done high or low. Catch your opponents glove, and he’s thrown wide open for a shot to the kisser.

-The most challenging opponents are the guys with speedy feet. I’ve worn my boxer out a few times trying to score the big uppercut, and it rarely works. Stick to the body with them, it slows them down. Once they’re tired, then you’ll have more open chin shots.

-The training is kind of daunting.
For heavy bag, set your controls to config 3. Then you don’t have to work the stick, and can just tap two face buttons to keep the bag swinging. It takes a few shots to get the rhythm right.
For combo dummy, stick with config 3. It’s just a little quicker than using the stick and trying to jab in rapid succession without firing one in the wrong place.
For sparring, blocks and counters are most valuable, and especially parries and counter combos, so go for those. Use config 1, since this is just what you do in the ring.
For mitts, I prefer config 1, since it’s more intuitive. Crank up the TV volume and listen to the trainer, who I’m pretty sure is Chubbs from Happy Gilmore. He tells you what to throw, and you have four seconds. The penalty for a wrong punch is like two seconds, so it’s best to throw the correct punch, rather than mess up in pursuit of a speed bonus.

Edit: I almost forgot the joy of the Stair Dismount ragdoll physics. Knockdowns are immensely satisying, especially in the corner or against the ropes, when the opponent sometimes bounces back enough for you to get in a flurry of extra punches as he collapses to the mat.

Me and my friends rented this last night. What a game! One of my friends detests most console games but we stayed up till 3 o’clock playing the the career mode, passing around the controller win or lose. I played a ton of boxing games on the genesis and I played a ton of fighting games on all consoles, and I feel comfortable saying that if you have some casual friends, this is the game for them. The controls are elegant and intuitive, people can figure out how to fight decently in just a few matches. The sway/block system is excellent. It forces someone to actively block/dodge but is not extremely timing based, unlike guard parries/repels from soul calibur. I don’t want to talk on and on about this game, but its just flat-out one of the most entertaining innovative fighting games i’ve played in a long time. Its no Soul Calibur I, but what is? :)


I haven’t played it, but here’s a good review of it:


Round 2 – Bling – Many hip hop songs in the game, the only one I recognize being Making Da Band 2’s Puff Daddy. As you build up your career-mode boxer you can add more and more members to your entourage for the grand ring entrance. Finally, BET’s “Big Tigger” is the ring announcer and provides many hiphopperisms. As GameSpot notes: “Some will undoubtedly find Big Tigger’s hip-hop-styled delivery to be a bit annoying” Some people, aka RACISTS.

So this person is basically saying that if you don’t like the hip hop style of delivery then you’re a racist? Interesting.

He’s joking…

I’m still amazed at how few compliments I’ve seen directed towards whomever created the asses of the female models! They’re even further proof that WHATEVER this game does, it does great.

I do think Big Tigger is mildly annoying, but it’s not so much his “hiphopperisms” as it is just really annoying things he’ll say on occasion. On Caltrops I muttered about this already but it bugs me enough to bring it up again - say the bell goes rings to herald the start of Round Four. Tig on occasion will helpfully scream out at top volume, and I quote, “DING DING DING! TIME FOR ROUND FOUR!” Hey, thanks man, I hadn’t noticed despite the bell ringing and the Round Four sign and so forth! Still, this is a ridiculously minor complaint.

Final note: poor Roy Jones, Jr., falling victim to the EA Sports Box Cover Curse. When is EA going to take pity on these guys and just put maybe a set of boxing gloves on the cover, or maybe a basketball net, or whatever, instead of a photo of an actual athlete?

Well, then, that’s par for EA Sports games. :) I love 'em to death, but walks are nonexsistent in MVP Baseball 2004, and 15 years in to the Madden series, the AI still makes all sorts of clock management mistakes.[/quote]

Maybe if editors stopped being so forgiving of these mistakes… ;-)
Just kidding Sal. But I feel very silly running backwards all the time in Fight Night.

EA’s presentation always makes up for their gameplay blunders. The people that see through the flash to find the problems are never heard from in reviews.


Unless the review is by William Abner, Brett Todd, me, and a few others. My joke was referring to the score. EA Sports games, generally, are such good GAMES, that compared to the competition, it’s harder to justify giving them a low score, without looking so anal you’ve lost all perspective. Fight Night needs clinching, yes… but the game is still a 4 of 5, at least!

Also, to Curst, What happened to Roy Jones Jr.?

Jones was favored to win a rematch against Antonio Tarver on May 15, but Tarver knocked him out at 1:41 in the second round. That makes Jones 49-2 lifetime. Looks like the EA curse to me!

Yeah, but nobody listens to you old fogies anyway! :twisted: