Fight Night Champions is the latest entry into the famous boxing franchise and with it’s release, it is bringing new technology, a perfected full-punch control scheme, and a campaign worthy of playing.
First off, it is worth venting this little fact. If you own an Xbox 360 Slim with the 4GB flash memory, you will not be able to enjoy any replays or knock out footage. This is the sad fact that seems to be recurring in many games, including Halo: Reach. If you are one of the players, like me, who cherish the ability to watch some of your best knock outs, then you will go out and purchase a proper hard drive. Sadly enough, I bought the game without knowing this little fact, so I got my hopes up for nothing.
With that note aside, Fight Night Champions starts you off by thrusting you into the campaign experience. You are in a prison boxing match and you have just been knocked out. Here is where you get your first taste of dirty fighting. If you are bold enough, you may even start fighting dirty right back, which is pretty effective mind you.
That little introduction to the story aside, this is your first real taste of the boxing mechanics, the graphics, and the animation. The blood stained clothing you may experience, the fluid motion, and the crisp graphics is nothing compared to what you will experience later on in the game.
Fight Night Champions has an amazing graphics system. Your muscles contract and flex as you punch and block incoming attacks. You will find you body flexed as you weave past an opponents incoming straight, and then your arms will flex as you close in on the counter punch. Their face will show legit fear and anxiety as they are about to be struck and they can do nothing about it. These game-play elements and graphical nuances are what makes Fight Night Champions the best boxing game ever. It simply cannot be topped.
The fighting system is very simple. You can either use button combinations to attack and chain together attacks or you can make use of the right analog stick. I personally go with the right analog stick. This full punch spectrum is very fluid and allows you to chain together attacks quickly, fluidly and almost effortlessly. After getting used to that punching scheme, you will find yourself throwing one-two punch combinations almost intuitively.
The dodging system is where this game shines. The key factor that separates a
novice from a champion is their ability to land counter punches. Upon examining that factor, you find that you will need both speed and reflexes. The reflexes to dodge the incoming attack properly (swaying to dodge straights and jabs, sliding back or leaning back to dodge hooks and uppercuts), and the speed to throw a hard counter attack. If you can master this, you will find your opponents faced to be brutally mangled and lacerated by the end of the first round, if they last that long.
Those gaming tid-bits aside, the online matchmaking is a beast on its own. When you sign onto the Fight Night Champions game, you are notified when a title holder is online or when the K.O. champion for a weight division is online. This gives players something to strive for. Should you become that great at the game, you will be able to grab the title in the online modes, and you will be challenged on the daily basis by players vying for your title.
Fight Night Champions is quite simply one of the, if not the, best boxing games ever created. If you are looking for a great boxing simulation, or just a different fighting game, to enjoy, Fight Night Champions is definitely worth your time.