FIGHT NIGHT: ROUND 2
If you didn't read the title before, this IS NOT a review for FNRound3. Since I haven't found a way to write reviews for games GR hasn't covered, this was lousy attempt to share my opinion/ideas.
Like my SplinterCell review, this is a review I wrote a while back.3/01/2005
(Purchase Date )$48.703/22/05 (Review Date)
MY SCORE 91/100. After purchasing Fight Night 2004 and playing it for over 27 hours, I was really anxious to see what Round 2 had to offer. Although I was hesitant to purchase it at first (for the fear that EA will become a monopoly soon) but I did buy it on the second day it came out.
++++A few new changes have been made to better Fight Night, most of them are great but others aren't as good. First off they upgraded the total punch control, it's basically the same thing as 04, but they added the 'haymaker' ability. The haymaker allows you to literally pull back your punch to unleash it on your hopeless opponent. The feeling and impact of the punch is ear retching-It's like they launched Kim Possibles very own naked mole rat 'rufus' from a high powered air cannon into a concrete wall. The punch itself is controlled the same way but before you 'throw' the punch, you retract it pulling it back a little and then releasing it. If you imagine it like a analog clock it's easier, to throw a right haymaker, you would push to 3 o'clock then sweep down about 4:30 or 5 o'clock and then back up again all the way to 12 o'clock. It works the same way with uppercuts too. Although it took a lot of practice to throw well placed haymakers. Another improvement are the realistic boxers. These guys supposedly have twice as many textures and polygons then the original. Muscle definition is really clear here, not to mention the lighting and facial features are spot on. The blood has also been fixed and so has the sweat. After multiple hits to the face blood drips realistically. Cuts on the eyes look ruthless (sometimes even having two streams of blood dripping from one eye), and now the corner of the mouth bleeds, I don't see to many nose bleeds for some reason though. Sweat doesn't constantly drip from the face anymore, every now and then (especially in the corners) you might see a bead of sweat roll down the face and it looks great. They also fixed the blood; it no longer looks like a Mortal Kombat ripoff. The best way to describe it would be like a sneeze. A bloody sneeze that is, and when combined with the spray of sweat it looks awesome. The mouthpieces fly out again, something that was in KOKings but left out in FN04. REPLAYS are mediocre, I love it most of the time but sometimes it can get old. Punches sound like screaming jetfighter missiles, while the impact sounds a lot deeper and more explosive. While your opponent is getting creamed it sounds like a slowmo recording of a dinosaur getting clubbed with an 80 ft. redwood tree. Or it sounds like AceVentura when he does his slow mo football impression. But once again, there are NO SAVABLE REPLAYS and no sound during ‘player controlled replays’.
A brand new aspect of any boxing game debuted on Round 2. The idea of healing your own boxer by reducing the cuts and the swelling was an idea that popped into my mind during FN04. After a full round has been fought, boxers go to their corner and out come the tool kits. It's quite easy to use and it provides interaction during a scene that you would normally just watch. The setup is pretty nice, you have four 'edges' on your boxers face, these include; upper right eye, right cheekbone upper left eye, and so on. With each edge of your face you have a numerical number, which signifies the amount of swelling or cut damage. When you pick your tools you go to any edge and carve out the edges. Gently rocking your right analog stick to match with the shuffling of an orange pendulum-swinging block (the whole process feels like a windshield wiper sweeping away the rain).
The create-a-character has changed a little bit, allowing you to make your boxer hella ripped or depressingly fat. You can change the shape of the face pretty well, but when I made my character it didn't look too much like me. You can purchase new items for you're boxer a lot easier this time. After a couple of matches you unlock venues, trunks, gloves, shoes, and so on. The additions aren't just for eye candy anymore; they actually add stat points to your fighter. The career mode is beefier in that you start out as an amateur (complete with protective headgear) and you work your way up. In order to bulk up you have to go to training; these do help your stats and it also changes your boxers appearance. I loved how you could start out as a little guy and gradually see some muscle definition.
The gameplay feels about the same, Round2 still revolves around countering and protecting yourself, but now you can do it on the move. In FN04 you would have to be stationary to block and counter, well now you can move around and block at the same time. It's perfect for escaping those close knockdowns. Speaking of close knockdowns, you can now clinch your opponent and grab onto him. You regain a little bit of life, just enough to stay alive and sometimes that’s all you need. A huge improvement comes from the audio department. No longer do we hear Big Tigger's ear bleeding announcing. EA managed to pick up ESPNs' Joe Tessitore, and he is so much better. They added a new mode called Hard Hits, but it’s a continuous fight until someone goes down, and then the round ends. It wasn’t that special to me. The last new addition to the game are the one hit Knockdowns; I’ve been playing for a while but I still can’t figure out why they happen or how they happen. In other words, they’re totally random and sporadic.++++BOOOO's
----While there are a lot of major improvements, there are some things I still didn’t like. For one thing, it’s a little too easy. Masters of FN04 will find Round2 a fairly easy game. Even on the hard setting, you can go through the whole career without losing a lot. When you win belt titles, like heavyweight (etc.) and some other awards, they don’t do anything. Boxers’ don’t even wear them when they enter the arena. When you create-a-character you don’t get to fight pro’s, you fight guys like “Mr.Knockout, K.V.O” and other made up names. Problem is, sometimes you hear the same names for different people, they might even have the same name as your character. Also when you name you're character the length of the last name can’t be more then 8 letters long. When you fight through career mode, you eventually get older. After you reach around age 36 boxing takes a huge toll on your body, after your 40, even if you ace every single training game, your stats will decrease. Another weird flaw about the training games are the stat distribution. You have three training games, but only one of those training games increases your agility. You tend to have all your other stats ridiculously high, but your agility seems to be left out. They should make a training game for each stat. Even on the Xbox, the load times tend to be a bit long, it’s not that bad but still.
An average XBOX LIVE option has been enabled on the Xbox. It’s a nice addition but I have one huge problem, when you input your movements, it takes about a second to register. I can’t fight when I can’t throw punches (or worse haymakers), or get my guard up in time, it’s like playing DDR on hard but having the dance pad lag a second behind. The whole online setup is a bit awkward and it’s difficult to see how good your opponent is. Not to mention the online lobby feels like an old online chat room, cause you have to use a digital keyboard to type things even though a majority of the online players have a microphone. I’ve played like 12 games online but without the ease and smoothness of the single player, I don’t think I like it too much. Especially when opponents seem to just jab and straight you in face turning the whole match into a “who could punch more times”. Oddly enough they manage to do a tremendous amount of damage when you throw them constantly. Even though the graphics are realistic, the audience and other characters look weak. They also took out the EA CORNER, which tracks your total hours played.
====Overall I like Round2 for it’s new ideas and updated graphics. There are a couple of things I would change though. The blood effects are cool but I wish they would splatter on bodies and on the attackers face (too violent?). Maybe they could tweak the recover rate after you get knocked down too. When a round is pretty close and you get knocked down and get up in less then two seconds, your opponent magically has all his life back. I highly doubt in two seconds he can gain that much life. Plus if your going to make a character age, you might as well show it, I want to see ‘Fable’ style gray hair, and baggy eyes. I know it’s pushing it, but what about “Foxy Boxing?” where are all the ladies? Still, I like the game, but have a bad feeling I won’t play it as much as I did FN04. Also why is that when I hit a nearly KO’d guy in the stomach with a low uppercut haymaker his body straightens up and falls backwards. I wish he would hunch over and fall ‘football to the groin’ style. ====
Today I give it an 88/100.