I’m a sucker for MMORPGs. I play almost every one that comes out, at least for a couple months. So when EB Games announced that if you preorder DnD Online, you get entry into the beta I jumped at the chance, figuring I’d be buying the game anyhow. There was a flaw in my plan though – the game sucked. That is a tale for another day, but I will just say that I didn’t think it was fun.
Unfortunately, I could not cancel my preorder, but when the game arrived I took it with the receipt to the local EB to return it. Due to whatever technicalities in their policies, I could only exchange it for something, not return it. I went with what was the only new 360 game at the time, Fight Night Round 3.
It’s great! I’m not a (real life) boxing fan but it’s very addictive. This may be the most realistic-looking game I’ve ever played. Great job, EA Sports!
In the career mode, you decide what you want your boxer to look like and you have a certain number of points to allocate to stats like power, speed, stamina, etc etc.
You are then presented with a certain number of contracts to choose from, and you can scout the opponents (check out their record and stats). Once you pick one, you can select from different ways to train before the fight – heavy bag, training dummy, weight lifting. Each one effects your stats differently, for example the heavy bag increases your power but decreases your speed and so on. (The decreases are much less than the increases.) There is a minigame to play for each type of training. Then you see the results (both in the appearance of your boxer and in his stats) and you fight.
The controls for this game are outstanding. All the punches are on the right stick. Push diagonally up to the side and it’s a jab on that side. Loop it around and it’s a hook. Loop it from the bottom and it’s an uppercut. Left trigger controls your lean, to get away from a punch or lean in to work the other guy’s body. Right trigger covers up. Left stick moves you around. You also have a “signature” punch on the A button.
In between rounds, you heal your boxer – try to close up cuts and get swelling to go down. After that you get advice from your trainer – and it’s not the same over and over, it’s contextual depending on who you’re fighting and how the fight is going. You also get to hear the advice the other trainer gives your opponent so it shows you what you need to work on and defend against.
After a fight, you get some cash to spend on equipment to improve your stats, new moves, better trainers, etc. If you win, your popularity goes up and at certain levels you have title fights and so on.
There is also an “ESPN Classic” mode where you can do Ali/Frasier and other classic matchups I assume I would know about if I knew anything about boxing in real life.
This game keeps you coming back for more and really shows you the strategy behind boxing. The longer fights can be tiring but it does not get boring. Two gloves up.