September 10, 2008

Boxing for the 360

When it comes to boxing on the 360, the pickings are slim. The latest releases, Don King Presents: Prizefighter and Facebreaker, received less than stellar reviews. Prizefighter has a cumulative Metacritic score of 57 (ouch) and Facebreaker is currently at 58. And EA’s Fight Night Round 4 is slated for next year. What’s a boxing fan to do?

My recommendation is Fight Night Round 3 (Metacritic-86). While it’s not without it’s faults (way too much in-game advertising and a complex attributes menu), it’s still a fun game. I burned through this one fast. It had an innovative punching mechanism that utilizes the LS and RS. It is not a simple, button-mashing game. You actually have to think to dodge, duck, and counter-punch. Plus, the super-duper KO punch is fun to attack your opponent with. Your heart rate quickens when the game goes into slow-mode and you’re on the ropes. Knowing the next punch can send you to the canvas will put you on your toes and suddenly dodging and ducking sounds like a good idea as opposed to nailing the other guy with roundhouse punches.

Fight Night 3 has gone up in value since I traded for it. I bought and sold it for 350 points earlier in the year. It’s now worth 400. It’s a small increase, but for a game that’s over two years old to go up in value, it’s a sign that the boxing genre is lacking some real hits (pun intended).