Fight Night Round 4: New Demo

September 7, 2009 by Dan Skitt  
Filed under News, Xbox

Blog

For those who tried the demo of EA Sports’ Fight Night Round 4 and didn’t like the tricky stick-punching, but loved the game, well, if you are one of the very select few decided not to get it because of it, then I have some news that you’ll be fluttering your eyelashes.

The new FNR4 Demo includes two new (well, legendary) boxers for you to stick you teeth into (no Mike Tyson joke intended), you can play as either Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali, and try out the new button-punch.

The can download the demo off the XBL Marketplace or from your Xbox 360 Dashboard.
Keep it clean, keep it fair, Keep it above the waist.

Fight Night, Round 4

August 20, 2009 by Colin Ward  
Filed under Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

Overview

Title: Figh Night, Round 4
Release Date: June 23, 2008 (US) June 26, 2009 (EU) July 2, 2009 (AU)
Developer/Publisher: EA Canada/Electronic Arts
Genre: Sports
Platform[s]: Playstation 3, Xbox360

Storyline

The follow up to the ‘smash’ hit, Fight Night Round 3, Round 4 follows the impressive prequels basic game plan, which sees your low ranking fighter climb the ladder of success and become a World champion. Building not only on the success of the previous game, the latest installment, improves on just about every feature, and also there’s some fundamental changes ahead for the die hard FN3 fans.

Fans of boxing should relish in playing and fighting some of histories greatest fighters, from the cover stars Ali and Tyson to some not so well known contenders there’s almost certainly someone in the game you may have heard of, failing that download a friends or make your own – with the new and improved creation features.

FNR4-Screen-2

Gameplay

The basic gameplay of FN3 remains  – two men slug it out to see who will drop to the mat first, or win on points – winning on points can be the only option in some later fights, so blocking is nothing to be ashamed of.

In the all new Legacy mode – which is FN4’s main single player campaign – see’s you starting out as a young hopeful preset boxer or a boxing legend (who is yet to rise to stardom)  or a custom created one with special mention to the addition of the Live Vision camera – so now at last you can map your own face onto your boxer – some results can be slightly scary same as in other face mapping titles, but considering boxers are not really supposed to look ‘too good looking’ we can live with that. You can also use your own music for your entrance to the ring, so get thinking about what your boxer would use – please no Britney.

The basic goal of the game is to try and get your lowly boxer who dreams of greatness, to the heights of glory, Your ranking is from  ‘Bum’ to the ‘Greatest of all time’ which can seem slightly odd playing as Mike Tyson, who looks just like he does at his current age and having to fight his way to greatness, but it is still a long process and enjoyable process.

To help you achieve this, your AI trainer will help you plot out your ‘Fight Calendar’ and build your speed and strength with one of the rather enjoyable mini games and sparring fights until your ready to fight the bigger names. The training and sparring matches do add a lot to the game, helping you feel as if your really shaping your fighter – and after training / fights your boxer now has to have ‘recovery time’ so once again another realistic addition, but you can always simulate them if you would rather skip through to the action.

Speaking of action the controls this time are purely with the analogue sticks -the ‘Total Punch Control’ system has dropped any button bashing for this fighter. The removal of the button controls, may be a problem for a few FN3 players, but the sticks are responsive and the boxer reacts with realistic weight behind each of the different types of attack – both sticks are used to control the movement and attacks of your boxer, along with the triggers and bumpers to mix up attacks and defensive moves. This can be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will be ducking and swaying out of the way of incoming punches with ease, ready to land a powerful counter- attack.

Countering moves, is an important skill to learn – since a counter punch can stun a opponent and leave them totally open to a knock out punch. In fact with a few powerful counter punches – a fight can be over very quickly – but doing so relies on very good timing.. so it’s an important skill to master.

When your fighter take’s a bashing – after the round and you return to your corner, your able to patch him up a little – or allow the AI to do it for you – it’s important to remember even a battered fighter can win a match if he is able to get a knock out or two – so it’s important not to underestimate your foe.

The whole game play has a more ‘instant’ feel thanks to the new and improved controls – and even the addition of onscreen displays of stamina and health – so you can see how much damage your punches land – adds to the feeling of playing as a one man fighting machine.

The Legacy Mode is a great step forward – from FN3’s somewhat disappointing single player campaign, and should add a lot more to the offline game, and make it more of a worthwhile buy.

Along with the normal player matches – which are easy to set up and play, which is the norm for most games,  there’s a whole host of updated features, not only is there an online world championship – where players compete to be the best in the world but your also able to download other peoples boxers and fight replays. Downloading boxers alone can be hours of fun – seeing some of the freaky designs people use.

Online is smooth and lag free for the most part – and can extend the life of the game somewhat – the online championship alone should keep avid boxing fans busy for months.

FNR4-Screen

Graphics

The first game set a bench mark for boxing games, one that has been hard pushed to be beaten – the sequel however appears to have done so.

The boxers are animated in a very realistic manor, using it would appear,  a psychics based system to animate the swing of the punches, so they connect or deflect in a totally believable way. Beads of sweat run down their faces and explode into the air when a hit connects – and skin textures, as always, look totally convincing even in close up.

Special mention must go once again to the replays when you finally get a knock out – these are very well done.. seeing your glove hit someone’s face and the ripples wave out across it, all in slow motion, is a joy to see.. and almost cinematic in quality – plus you can watch the knock down again and again with different angles.

Crowd scenes and the bigger venues are well rendered, with decent animations, but the fighters should as always be your main focal point, and apart from the odd looking head / face on one or two – they all look like their real life counter parts and all look as if they could flatten a cow.

Sound

Any one familiar with EA games knows that EA love to mix games and music together - FN4 is no different. The EA Trax on this game is an interesting mix of hip hop / RnB / rap and most of the tracks are enjoyable, if that style of music appeals to you – they do not tend to repeat  too much, which is a bonus. The commentaries and advice from your trainer is done well, if a little repetitive at times, while they do not detract from the experience, they can grate after a while.

The sound of the crowd, the entrance music and the whole sound scape of the game just works, from the sound of a killer punch landing, which varies depending on the type and amount it hits – to the stunned and dazed effects, there is really nothing to complain about – unless you really dislike the taste of music used – in which case, as always, you can just use a custom sound track – I expect Eye of the Tiger on repeat will be many peoples first choice.

Overall Score & Replayability

For many Xbox 360 boxing fans, FN3 was the bench mark by which other boxing games are judged, so I am happy to say FN4 builds on the gameplay of the original and expands on it in a few ways. From the longer more involved single player campaign, which was FN3‘s minor flaw, to the custom boxer sharing and design, there should be something to keep die hard boxing fans happy for months. That along with the almost never ending fights on Xbox live, the game is a great game for fans.

The only downside I can see is that the Controls may turn into a stumbling point for fans of FN3 – but give it time and with practice you should be right at home with the ‘tweaked’ version of ‘Total Punch Control’.

If your a fan of boxing and want a game to play for many months to come, you can do a lot worse than picking this up. For others, boxing games can seem a little basic, but once you peer deeper you soon realise that it’s not about button bashing to win..  The gameplay  has just the right amount of trickiness to begin with, but give it time and learn the basics and you may soon be the greatest fighter of all time, if only on the Xbox 360.

Competition: win Fight Night Round 4 (X360)

August 17, 2009 by Dave Burns  
Filed under Xbox

Fight Night Round 4

Want to win Fight Night Round 4?  We’re holding a competition in our forums so head on over and enter now! Its a Xbox 360 copy and its for the UK/EU only – Sorry to everyone in the US.