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Fight Night Champion by EA Sports™ Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on March 2, 2011


Fight Night Champion by EA Sports™
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Smooth animations with detailed 3D models and arenas.
  • Customizable characters and the ability to 'relive' a Pro's career.
  • Local multiplay via Wifi/Bluetooth.
  • Relatively intuitive controls.

CONS

  • Conflicting controls make advanced maneuvers challenging, if not simply unreliable.
  • Career mode lacks depth; simply bout after bout with luck-based 'training'.

VERDICT

Fight Night Champion had a chance to feature a true pocket-sized version of its console releases, but the iOS release lacks a lot of depth and fighting can feel more like a random brawl than a calculated fist-fight.


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Where previous games in the Fight Night series by EA Sports had a far more upbeat and glitzy presentation, Champion, the fifth title in the series, is following the movie-based trend of depicting the sport in a 'grittier' fashion. If nothing else it highlights some of the brutal aspects of Boxing without glossing it over with light shows and glitter-cannons, but the iOS release does away with the new story-based 'Champion mode', leaving players with nothing more than a straight boxing simulator.

Yes, it really is a stripped down boxing simulator as matches and training are performed automatically, with the game pushing you in to each subsequent fight as soon as possible. This would be fine, but the controls have a lot to be desired when it comes to representing the sport in a way that isn't simply comical. Smart-gestures allow players to quickly and easily throw punches based on where and in what direction they swipe on the screen; for instance, swiping from right to left on the top of the screen will cause you to throw a a right hook. Unfortunately blocking is performed by touching with two fingers on the top or bottom of the screen, though switching between the two is made difficult by the dodge/weave system that requires two fingers swiping the screen at the same time. It's a confusing mish-mash that continually results in one set of controls getting in the way of another and during all of this you're dancing about the screen thanks to the tilt-based movement system.

If you're willing to put more than a healthy bit of realism aside, the boxing gameplay can be quite fun (albeit heavily favored for aggressive tactics) and the detailed visuals make the experience all the more visceral as you're able to see the damage you're dishing out (and taking) applied in real-time.

Players can either start their own career with a custom character or 'rebuild' the career of several titans of the sport and when punching AI opponents gets tiresome you can jump in to a local network to take on your friends (via Wifi or Bluetooth).

There's almost no denying that Fight Night Champion is a pretty game and if you're willing to go with the flow of its unique take on boxing, it can be a fun game too. 'Champion' is still a decent pick-up for sports fans, but it lacks the depth to remain amusing for very long.

Screenshots

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